You win some, you lose some

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2011, 12:00am


Mandy Lieu, model

Christmas is about being around my family and friends. I grew up in Malaysia and Christmas for me was always warm because of the weather. There was a feeling of being very contented and happy to know that I was safe at home with all these people that I love. So I think that was the best gift. I don't know if there could ever be a worst Christmas gift because Christmas is such a joyous season. I never expect to get any presents from anyone, actually. I don't think Christmas is about gifts. It really boils down to celebration - not only religious celebration but also the celebration of family and love. So I think there can never be a bad Christmas present.

Marina Vorobeva, model

When I was a kid, I always wished for a Barbie doll. Every year I wrote a letter to Santa Claus, put it under the tree and hoped Santa - maybe my parents - would give me a Barbie doll the next day. My favourite Barbie was one with long, blond hair, and I had a house - and even Ken and so many dresses - for her. I still have quite a big Barbie collection at my parents' house.

Ulrike Pohl, owner of Forest Bird boutique

The best gift was a Bottega Veneta bag from my ex-husband. What girl doesn't think a handbag is the ultimate gift? When I saw the bag I started screaming in a very high pitch and my parents thought that I must have been out of my mind to be so excited about a piece of leather.

My aunt once gave me a vase, which she thought matched my furniture. One of the colours did match, but it was pretty terrible and it now lives in the attic at my parents' house. It has a lot of ugly friends up there and lives a happy life.

Eve Smith, model and DJ

I don't know if you could say whether it's the worst gift, but this one really made me suffer. We have this family tradition that each one of us has a chocolate advent calendar. We are supposed to eat one chocolate every day in the run-up to Christmas. One year, when I was four or five, I ate all the chocolates on the first day. My little body could handle the sugar intake but what made it unbearable was my sister. She's really self-disciplined, so for the rest of the month she would eat a chocolate in front of me every day. And for someone who loves chocolate so much, it was really painful.

Harlan Goldstein, chef and owner of Gold

Even though I'm Jewish, my family back home would celebrate Christmas every year with a Christmas tree. I received my best Christmas present when I was 14 years old. My mum bought me this screaming yellow Yamaha 360 motocross bike, and as a 14-year-old kid, that was awesome. The bike was one mean machine and extremely fast. Unfortunately, for that reason I broke my leg on it. Regardless of that, I loved that bike. My worst Christmas present was when I received a mini fishing rod and reel. I'm a keen fishing enthusiast and while I appreciated the sentiment, the fishing rod was not capable of catching anything that weighed more than two ounces!