I never liked Christmas really. I was kind of indifferent to it as a child, and as a teenager, I really dislike it.
There's a certified guarantee that my brother will bring one of his friends around, and that the two of them will get drunk. We've had enough incidents in the past, ranging in extremity to understand that him drinking excessively is a bad idea, but since he is built like a brick shithouse, we can't really tell him to stop without resorting to emotional/familial manipulation(which I never like).
It's also an entire day where I have to be on my 'best' behaviour, which is also tiresome.
The best christmas gift I ever got though... that's a funny story.
This was a long time ago: back when Battlefront II was released. I was a child, but my parents didn't understand age ratings and such since our country of origin was crap in regards to censoring content for minors. I asked (in a letter to Santa, though I already knew who I was really addressing, even if my parents were none the wiser) for Battlefront II as a Christmas gift, since I played the hell out of the on-disk demo (for some game or other, I can't remember) and enjoyed it immensely.
So, on Christmas, I get a wrapped copy of a game. Now, my parents were never great with English, and they knew it, so if they made a mistake, it was cool to point it out. They must've misread my letter or something, because instead of BFII, I got Knights of The Old Republic II.
I said that this was the wrong game, and they said "okay, let's go and get the right one and exchange this". I went along with it, though surprisingly enough, the place where they got it(I think it was either Curry's or PCWorld) didn't do refunds. I kept the game regardless, though I was a bit disappointed.
I gave the game a go at home, and I found it boring.(I was really young, to put it in perspective, probably <11 years old). I cached the game away, and I just played something else instead. I eventually bought Battlefront II at a later date, and had a blast with it.
Now...why is this the best Christmas gift ever? Because years later(at least 2 or 3 years later), I gave the game another go. This time, I had a way better understanding of English, and I had a more refined taste in games.
Holy shit was that game awesome :D
The first stage (Peragus) was still uncanny and scary to me, but I persevered through it, and got to Telos. Everything after leaving that first area was just pure brilliance. I played the game for hours on end, and did multiple playthroughs to boot. Every single planet was amazing and rich: the dialogue was really good and the atmosphere was top-notch.
Bear in mind that this was the Xbox version, and whilst there were occasional problems, it was an amazing experience. To this day, it remains my favourite RPG of all time, and unlike my other favourite games from that console generation, it still holds up as a classic, and can rival almost any other RPG in my opinion.
It was the best gift ever because it wasn't clear exactly how great it was at the time. It was a masterful stroke of luck, and it's safe to say that KoTOR II played a huge part in my gaming preferences and everything else that goes along with it(design-philosophy, stance on games journalism, everything leads back to KoTOR II).
EDIT: Also just finished reading that article. I was the complete opposite in that regard: I was always too nervous to ask my parents of anything, since it felt like I was doing something unnecessary or stupid.
With my dad...well we never connected either, and it's a similar situation. The difference being though that he still lives in Lithuania, whereas I reside in England. I only ever see him for about a month every year, and whilst he's happy that I turned out tall and that my grades are good, I still feel like I'm not doing anything to make him proud.
The worse part is with my mother though. We have our ups and downs, though there is a clear problem of us not understanding one another. Growing up shy and introverted with attachment problems(whole other story, one that is long and one that I'm not prepared to go into), I didn't fully connect with my mother who was headstrong, loud and sociable. That and after a certain age, she began seeing my gaming habits as a childish addiction. Up to about 13 or so, she was sort of fine with it(since I never lost sleep; had consistently high grades and I always did my homework, though I was bone-idle, unfit and inactive).
After that though, she began seeing it as a real problem, ie: "when is he going to grow out of it", frequently saying that I am not in control and that I'm being brainwashed by my computer, etc. To add to this, my secondary school years were hell. Year 7 was pretty bad since I made little to no friends, but I didn't think much about it. Year 8 was pretty bad since I got bullied more consistently, which went on into Year 9. By Year 10 though, the bullies began realising that getting good grades is suddenly important, so I began getting respected more than before; it also helped that I suddenly became one of the tallest in my year(though I was never short anyway).
That helped to boost my confidence slightly, but the earlier years remained. I had built up defense mechanisms to help me deal with my social problems, such as distancing myself from others and trusting no-one.
Since I never saw any reason to stop, it carried on into my familial life, and still does to this day. My parents truly know very little about me: don't know the names of any of my friends, what I like to do aside from gaming, politics, there was even a point where they were questioning my sexuality since I never showed any direct interest in women around them... the list goes on and on.
Now I have to deal with a mess with my family. They have an idea of who I am, and it is completely false. This is very troublesome almost all the time, though I cannot blame anyone else but myself in getting into this situation. Though then again, they never encouraged a trustworthy environment at home anyway. My brother and mother frequently told me how easy things are for me since I don't live in Lithuania, how I am useless for not knowing how to cook and that I am an absolute loser for playing games and preferring to stay inside.
I truly wish I could talk to them, though that time is long past. I get the distinct feeling that they don't want to talk, since they are incredibly stubborn, so I'd just be giving them fuel to use against me.