It happens every Christmas. The presents are unwrapped in a torrent of flashing ribbons and torn paper. Boxes and bows are strewn from the kitchen to the bedrooms and everyone gathered seems to have a pile of goodies by their side.

Some of those thoughtful presents will undoubtedly never be thought of again. But others are magical — the right gift for the right person, and the new owner can’t wait to try it on for size.

The Review caught up with several Coastsiders to ask about the holiday gifts that stood apart from the pile.

Madelyn Gaasch

Maddie hasn’t decided on a name for her new American Girl doll. She’s considering either Persephone “because that was the name of a fairy that’s visited (her)” or Rose because that’s her middle name.

The new doll came in an ice skating outfit that was especially appealing to 7-year-old Maddie because she has recently learned to step away from the wall at the ice rink.

“I wanted the doll because my friends have them, and I’ve looked at every American Girl doll magazine that’s come to my house,” Maddie said.

Heather Mezey

She wasn’t expecting a new cell phone for Christmas but was pleasantly surprised when her parents got her a Samsung smartphone.

Monday morning, Mezey was again pleasantly surprised when she got her grades for her last semester at Academy of Art University in San Francisco: She scored A’s in both her sculpture and metal arts classes.

The young artist plans to use the money from recently selling one of her surfboards to buy a gas torch to braze and sauter metal. Perhaps there is an app for that on the new phone.

Mark Loos

Santa brought the Hatch Elementary School principal an early Christmas present this year: college football tickets for the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

Loos took David Aliamus, the director of Coastside Children’s Program at Hatch, to see San Diego State play the U.S. Naval Academy. A big Naval Academy fan, Loos noted how difficult it is to see the team live. “They opened at Stanford’s stadium a couple years ago. Whenever they come to California, I try to see them,” he said.

Loos’ affinity for the team stems from living in San Diego as a kid. His dad served in the Navy as a dentist.

June Miles

Miles’ family doesn’t really exchange gifts, but her son Keith did give her a lovely Poinsettia flower plant.

“I really like this plant and am hoping it will last through the season,” Miles said.

She will use the plant to decorate her house for an upcoming New Year’s party at her home in Moss Beach.

“Christmastime has become too commercial,” she said. “We don’t do much for Christmas but get together.”

Her family had a Christmas dinner together, and then the next morning they ate an eggs Benedict breakfast.

Ava Gaasch

When asked for her favorite, Ava’s top gift kept changing — she couldn’t decide between a pink robot penguin from her grandma, a Polly Pocket yacht from her parents or a remote-controlled helicopter from Santa.

The Polly Pocket yacht, with miniature dolls that 5-year-old Ava dives off the boat on little pink surf boards, was probably her favorite Monday morning.

“I asked for it because I saw it at Toys ‘R’ Us and really, really wanted it because it has two girls who surf,” she said.

(1) comment


christmas is really my favorite holiday because of the gift giving and family gathering and im very happy for the gift that ive recieve last christmas...

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