Greatest. Gifts. Ever.

Students reflect on the presence of gift receiving throughout their lives.


Photo Courtesy of Kobe Thambyrajah

Kobe Thambyrajah rejoices after receiving his Wii console, a gift he had anticipated up until that very morning.

Behind every good gift is a thoughtful gift-giver, one that selected an earthly possession that they believed would best communicate the sentiments felt for their recipient. The receiving end of such a gift is an agreeably good place to be; one is able to appreciate the intentionality of the giver and bask in the joy their gift brings. When the question of which gift is best is inquired, it’s easy to see that the qualities of a “good” gift differs for everyone.

Senior Kobe Thambyrajah

Thambyrajah remembers a certain Christmas when he received his favorite gift. 

“When I was about seven years old I got my first ever gaming system which was a Wii,” Thambyrajah said.

The picture clearly presents Thambyrajah in a triumphant pose at the sight of his new console.

“It was just showing me putting my hands up and I was just like super happy,” Thambyrajah explained, describing the photo.

Before receiving the gift, he was persistent in his pursuit for the gaming system.

“I remember we had… a Santa Stalker, which is like your top ten things you want for Christmas. I just put ‘Wii, Wii, Wii, Wii, all I want for Christmas is a Wii’,” said Thambyrajah, laughing. 


Senior Lilly Klohr

A collector of snowglobes across the nation, Klohr recalled her most prized present, a snow globe she attained with her dad on their trip together.

“We went to Texas together and he got me this really cool Texas snow globe, and it means a lot to me because I never get to travel with my dad just me and him,” Klohr recalled.

The effort it took to procure her present made the results that much more satisfactory.

“It was the middle of spring and nobody wanted snow globes. So when we finally found it, it was like such a relief that we finally got one,” said Klohr.

While on the trip, her dad’s knee was injured.

“When we were going down there, he accidentally pulled his knee and had to have three surgeries,” Klohr said. “Now it’s, like, even more special because my dad said he never wants to go back to Texas,” she finished, giggling.

“I feel like me, picking out things and giving them, I have more fun than actually getting them because I get kind of embarrassed when I get a gift,” Klohr admitted.


Sophomore Lucy Schwesig

Although an uncommon present, Schwesig’s most memorable one was a mattress.

“A very important gift to me was my bed. I got a nice bed, and before, I didn’t sleep good and now I really love to be in my bed, and it’s changed my life,” Schwesig stated.

As a taller individual, sleeping in a smaller bed proved to be an issue. With the arrival of her new sleeping pad, commenced the end of her bed issues. Its arrival also brought anticipation within itself.

“I was ecstatic mostly because it came in a box, and most mattresses come in mattress form, but… this one actually had to sit there for a few days and decompress out of its box form,” Schwesig said.

During the period of waiting she endured for her gift, she was feeling “amazed, full of excitement and wonder.”

“I love to receive gifts because, you know, everyone loves gifts, and then I don’t have to get them for myself,” Schwesig added.


Freshman Emma Williss 

For her birthday, she received “Dear Evan Hansen” tickets from her parents.

“I really enjoy musical theatre and it was a really fun experience and I had fun with my mom and I really enjoyed it,” Williss said. 

Her seed of interest in the musical arts was watered and fed by her frequent visits to performances. This performance, in particular, was individual to Williss.

“I go to the Muny every summer and it was fun because [“Dear Evan Hansen”] was a different kind of musical,” Williss explained.

She also is aware that her gift wasn’t given without the sacrifice of her parents.

“Broadway tickets are not cheap,” Williss said, laughing. “And my parents decided to spend their money on [the tickets] instead of so many other things they could’ve spent it on.”

Sophomore Cole Dunman

On Christmas day, Dunman found himself $100 richer, only it was hard to comprehend receiving the large sum of money.

“I legitimately thought it was fake… I [have never received] a hundred dollar bill or just anything in that expense,” said Dunman.

Finally, “when [his] aunt kept telling [him] it was real like five hundred times”, he realized the gift was genuine. Upon the realization, Dunman decided he didn’t need the money quite as much as another would, so he gave it away.


The gift he received and what became of it reminds Dunman of the reality of there being “people… who would preferably need it more than [himself].” 

With the danger of St. Louis in mind, he donated it to a coalition to end gun violence. 

“With how the world is today something like [giving] should just be a norm,” Dunman asserted. 


Pullquote Photo

“The gift reminds me of the awe I found in walking into the Lego store. I walked in, and I was like, ‘Woah’. It’s one of those things.””

— Freshman Joseph Hornberger


Freshman Joseph Hornberger

Years later, Hornberger recalls his most memorable gift as a Lego gift card given by his grandmother on Christmas day. 

“II had so much fun with it because I didn’t even expect it,” Hornberger said.

Even as a freshman, he aspires to be an engineer one day. Building with his hands has always been something he enjoyed. Enamored by the gift at the time, Hornberger described the way he felt on his way to put his gift to use.

“[The gift] reminds me of the awe I found in walking into the Lego store. I walked in, and I was like, ‘Woah.’ It’s one of those things.”

Hornberger reminisces about the feeling of receiving his gift:

“You experience like, ‘Wow, someone cared enough about me to do this for me.’ And it makes you feel special, like, it’s because you’re you that I did this.”