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Best and worst gifts

December 18, 2007

Why are parents and grandparents - who are grown-ups and must be able to take care of things most of the time - sometimes so clueless when it comes to giving Christmas presents to teens?

The Pulse writing team got together at Valley Mall in Halfway recently and spoke to teenagers about their best and worst presents.

Andrew Christman, 16, is a junior at Greencastle-Antrim High School. He said his best present was the bike he received when he was 7. His worst present? That would be "a pack of socks" - boring. A good present is "something you can actually do something with," he said.

This year, he would like an iPhone. "But I won't get it, so it's not worth wanting," he said.

Paul Peer, 17, a junior at Greencastle-Antrim High School, said his best present was a car he got one year for birthday. The worst present he received was underwear. A good present, he said, is "when you get what you really want." And in his case, he said, that's frequently the way it is.

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Josh Amalls, 15, is a sophomore at Greencastle-Antrim High School. Christmas is not really a religious celebration for him. Once, he received a gift of $700 from his mom - that was his best gift ever. The worst gift he remembered was candy. Candy is OK, he said, but "not for Christmas." This year, he wants an Xbox 360.

Sometimes, giving is more fun. Like when you find a gift that's so perfect you can hardly wait until the person opens the gift from you. Heidi Thomas, 15, a sophomore at Williamsport High School, said the best present she ever gave was a signed football helmet; she gave it to her father. The worst present she ever received? A hot glue gun.

Kasey Fields, 14, also a sophomore at Williamsport High School, said the worst present she ever received was a porcelain doll. The best present she ever gave was a knife she gave her dad.

Kasey said she loved going shopping. She was part of the crowd out shopping on Black Friday.

"It was pretty fun," she said. "I went to Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and the mall. There was a lot of people."

- Contributing to this article were Fedora Copley, Kacey Keith, Brigitte Grewe, Teresa Gilbert, Shoval Resnick, Sally Newlin, Darcy Shull and Eva Niessner.




Decent gift ideas



Need good gift ideas? Pulse writers put their heads together and came up with some out-of-the-ordinary ideas.

For teens who love horror movies and all things dark, "The Vampire Book" is essential. Running more than 900 pages (including index), this quirky book is perfect for anyone who has fallen under the spell of popular vampire novels like "Twilight." Spanning every subject involving vampires (anyone want to learn about Czech vampires or Dark Horse vampire comics from the 1960s?), "The Vampire Book" makes a great and unusual gift for that cousin who only wears black.

- Eva Niessner, 14, Hagerstown

It is difficult to find a truly unique gift. However, if you think about it, for every gift there is a card. So, if the gift can't be unique, get a really great card. Among other things, Odyssey, a small store in downtown Williamsport, has a card selection that rivals that of Hallmark. The cards range in size from that of a normal card to cards the size of a manila envelope. All feature magnificent drawings or paintings. Some show popular or unique animals. Others have scenes or figures apparently out of magical worlds of Merlin with fairies, wizards, mythical creatures. Some cards come with messages of wonder, dreams and magic while others are blank so a personal message can be written.

- Shoval Resnick, 17, Hagerstown

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