The Best Christmas Gift Ever

To help get you in the Christmas spirit, I’m republishing this 2014 article about a totally digital present my eight-year old sister gave me. Happy Holidays!

The best Christmas gift I ever received was homemade. It came from an eight year old—my youngest sister. She gave it to me on December 25, 1982 and it’s been making me smile ever since.

Back in the summer of 1982 my brother and I tried to see the movie Poltergeist. This Steven Spielberg release had been out for only a week and was already a blockbuster. We couldn’t get in because the lines were so long. But another Spielberg movie was being released for the first time that day: E.T.—The Extra Terrestrial. The lines for this movie were sparse because it hadn’t been advertised ahead of time. We took a chance and bought tickets. It was flat out the best movie I’d ever seen. By the time Christmas arrived, I’d watched it six times.

Observing all this was my youngest sister Beth. She decided I needed a souvenir of my favorite movie. So she found a large piece of drawing paper. With tacks and scotch-tape she affixed the paper to a scrap of wood paneling. Then using Crayolas she recreated the iconic movie poster. The paneling featured a faux wood grain pattern (it was 1982, after all). The crayons picked up this texture so that her final product looked much like a 19th Century woodcut.

Why have I kept this gift for so long? How did it survive so many moves to new apartments when I was in my 20s and 30s? Why has it presided over my kitchen pantry for the last 21 years?

Detai no 1 jpeg newest

Detail No. 1: Picture’s Backside

It’s not because of the prepubescent graffiti that appears on the panel’s reverse side. There are doodles, hearts, and several iterations of Beth’s signature. All this is sweet, but not nearly so sweet as what appears on the front side.





Detail no 2 JPEG

Detail No. 2: Misspelled Title

It’s not because the movie’s title is misspelled. That’s hilarious, but it’s still not the drawing’s best gag.






Detail No. 3: The Spaceship

It’s not because of the spaceship that’s lifting off. More inverted bowl than flying saucer, this ship provides a winsome touch, but something that appears elsewhere  is more winsome yet.







Although this artifact possesses many charms, there’s one reason and only one reason why I’ve kept it so long.

You see, it’s all about the urgent message that ET has traveled millions of light years to deliver. With big blue eyes and a Mona Lisa smile, he extends this message with absolute clarity and the utmost sincerity:


Detail No. 4: ET Extends an Important Message

There’s something truly humbling about this crayoned creature’s unmistakeable greeting. I’ve enjoyed it for more than three decades now. I hope to keep enjoying it for many years to come.

*   *   *

This holiday consider giving a gift that’s heartfelt because it’s homemade. Choose your own materials. They don’t necessarily have to be paper, scotch tape, and textured panel. They can be anything. What’s important is that you make the gift yourself. That’s what makes it sincere. So this year give something that says how much you care—or at least have an alien deliver that message on your behalf.

Happy Holidays!

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10 Responses to The Best Christmas Gift Ever

  1. Annie LeGere December 9, 2014 at 7:19 PM #

    Thank you Moose! I cherish my homemade items and your message was spot on. My family used to draw names and you had to make the gift for that person. I remember making homemade peanut butter cups for my Dad. Memories . . . .

    • A Noonan Moose December 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM #

      Thanks for stopping in Annie! I totally agree with you about homemade presents—they rock!

  2. Tracy December 12, 2014 at 11:11 PM #

    Thank you. I laughed for 10 minutes when I read this and saw the picture.

    • A Noonan Moose December 13, 2014 at 6:19 AM #

      Thanks Tracy! Happy Holidays!

  3. MyMoneyDesign December 15, 2014 at 10:18 AM #

    That’s awesome. I totally would have kept that drawing forever too.
    MyMoneyDesign recently posted…Can the Experts Help Us Find Good Stocks?  9 Month UpdateMy Profile

    • A Noonan Moose December 15, 2014 at 8:10 PM #

      And as ET must be pointing out, my sister’s surviving artworks are definitely in the “single digits.” 🙂

  4. Free to Pursue December 30, 2014 at 1:48 PM #

    What a great, thoughtful gift. It’s so important to show others we “get” them. What a great example of just that. Love it!
    Free to Pursue recently posted…What FI Seekers and Dexter Have In CommonMy Profile

  5. dojo January 2, 2015 at 4:30 AM #

    The best gifts come from the heart. She was talented, thoughtful and worked for it. I’d have kept it myself, a really amazing gift.
    dojo recently posted…Financial Resolutions for 2015My Profile

    • A Noonan Moose January 2, 2015 at 7:59 AM #

      Thanks dojo!


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