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To give and to receive

Hands holding gift box with pine cone

We canvassed the campus community, asking a handful of students to tell us what gifts they plan to give and receive this holiday season. The responses ran the gamut, covering everything from clothes and electronics to handmade paintings and dream catchers.

Dana Farkas, E’18:


Farkas, a third-year chemical engineering major, will be traveling to Los Angeles to visit her sorority sister for the holidays and then jetting off to see her family in New Jersey.

She plans to hand-make her sorority sister a dream catcher or a painting of an elephant, her friend’s favorite animal. “She likes things with personality,” she explained, noting that dream catchers are simple to make with a little help from one of YouTube’s instructional videos.

At the top of her wish list is a new MacBook, but her parents have already paid for her plane ticket to see her friend in California, she said, and “a new computer would be pretty unlikely.”


Kersha Burke, BHS’20:

Burke, a first-year health science major, will be celebrating the holidays with her family in Boston. She’s planning on buying her mom a handbag and her brother a new pair of Nike’s. “I don’t know what kind yet,” she said, when asked what brand of handbag she would buy her mom. “I just know she really wants one.”

If Burke had her druthers, she would receive a pair of tickets to see the Golden State Warriors play out in Oakland, California. “The Warriors are my favorite team,” she said. “They’re the best.” Short of that, she’s not picky. “I want to be surprised.”


Non Kuramoto, AMD’18:

Kuramoto, a second-year theatre major, will be making the 14-hour flight from Boston to Tokyo to be with her family for the holidays. When asked what she’s planning on buying for her dad, she laughed. “My mom and I always get him a T-shirt for Christmas and socks for his birthday,” she explained. “He’s all about the T-shirts.”

Kuramoto, for her part, is saving up for a new digital single-lens reflex camera and is hoping her parents will pitch in to help cover the expense. “It would be nice to get some money to buy what I want,” she said.


Dan Calacci, CIS’15:

Calacci, a fifth-year computer science major, will not be giving nor receiving any traditional holiday gifts this year. Instead, he’ll be spending two weeks with his sister in Madrid, Spain.

“I’d rather spend my money on doing things like going to Madrid,” he said, with a laugh. The itinerary is blank, which is just fine with him. As he put it, “We have no plans.”


Will Jobst, SSH’15:

Jobst, a fifth-year political science major, will be enjoying the holidays with his family in Maryland. He plans to buy each of his two teenage brothers a pair of headphones, a practical gift owing to their passion for music. But his wish list is a little quirkier: “I want a big box of orange candy canes,” he said. “The ones that look gross and taste gross, but are actually good.”


Shamar Smalls, SSH’20:

Smalls, a first-year sociology major, is looking forward to spending some quality time with his friends and family in Baltimore. He’s purchased gifts for his two younger brothers, but he’s not looking for anything tangible in return. “I just want to go home and hang out with good people with good vibes,” he said.

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