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And the award goes to…


Christmas presents are delightful and challenging in so many ways. If you know friends and family well enough and you share similar tastes, they are easy to buy for. Occasionally, you’re lucky enough to stumble across something in a shop window and think, “That would be perfect for my Great Aunt Deidre.” And then you buy it and get the pleasure of seeing genuine surprise and appreciation on Great Aunt Deidre’s wrinkly, powder-softened face.

* Sample Great Aunt Deidre shown. Real thing may not actually exist.

My family are pretty damn good at gift-giving. We’re usually onto the money at least a week before Christmas Day, and while we don’t do Secret Santa, we do consult one another as to what someone would like. And if we’re out of ideas, we just ask the receiver and get them the coolest (or most affordable) version of that item. (Incidentally, we’re also all really good at feigning surprise.) For example, this year, my brother asked me what I wanted and I told him a camera and hey presto – I now have a wicked little digital thing that can zoom in at a speck of dust a million miles away and that I can also take scuba diving to a depth of 3 kilometres. Or thereabouts.

There was one present, however, that I think deserves an award. I’m going to title this the Most Unique Present Award (MUPA).



This year, I’d like to nominate my parents’ gift to me for the MUPA. Why? Because this is what they gave me:



Don’t worry – it’s not real. It’s a museum-grade replica of a Homo Floresiensis skull. (If you have no clue what Homo Floresiensis is, you can read about it here.) It even comes with its own hand-crafted stand. The local bookshop had it in about 8 months ago. I remember commenting that was pretty cool that a nondescript bookshop in a tiny country town was selling something like this. (Incidentally, 3 months later they had a replica sabre-tooth tiger skull in stock. I’m thinking of starting a collection.)

Nominations for the MUPA are now open. Winner will be announced in early 2012.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 28.12.2011 2:24 PM

    Wow! That IS one unique gift… It definitely deserves the MUPA award. And I bet the sabre-tooth tiger skull will look smashing next to it!

    • 28.12.2011 7:41 PM

      I concur. My family disagrees, but I’m determined to own that sabre-toothed tiger skull.

  2. Kanerva permalink
    29.12.2011 6:05 PM

    The sabre-tooth tiger skull would also be a worthy MUPA nominee! This is my nomination although it’s not a christmas gift: The Engineer gave me an axe as my first Mother’s Day gift. Not just any axe, it was a beautiful Fiskars axe. Sent all the way from Finland in the post. Goodness knows what customs thought about it!

    (You can read about The Engineer here:

    • 30.12.2011 1:15 PM

      Wow. An axe is pretty unique, especially morbid since it was a Mother’s Day present!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. 30.12.2011 12:36 AM

    Awesome post, my friend!

  4. 08.01.2012 11:53 AM

    They must know your taste really well and well worth the award!!

    • 08.01.2012 8:57 PM

      Hi susielindau,

      Yes, they do know me pretty well. I love this sort of stuff, and it’s pretty relevant to my field of work too. If nothing else, it’s a good conversation starter!

      Thanks for commenting.

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