The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Everybody's got one: a twisted tale of mega-hinting for a gift that never materializes

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - It's not possible for Katie Jackson to be any more clear about what she wants for Christmas. It's the same thing she has asked for three years running: a dog.

But not just any dog. A Leonberger, one of those gentle giant breeds that can cost up to $1,500 and would occupy a good chunk of her Long Island City apartment.

The first year she asked, she got a replica fashioned from chicken wire. The next year, Jackson tracked down a Leo breeder in Montana, where she was visiting her parents for the holidays. She printed out the directions, wrapped them in a big box and presented them to her father as a gift: "We went home without one, but it was a fun road trip."

And the year after that? Her mom shipped her a giant stuffed dog to stand in for the real thing.

While her parents have good reasons for not granting her wish (cost, size), other people aren't so sure why their numerous gift hints year after year yield a big fat nothing, even when their sought-after treasures aren't out-of-this-world expensive.

David Bakke, 46, said he's not the greatest at matching his clothes and always asks for new shirt-and-pant combos. It never happens.

"Time and again, I end up with a new GPS or digital camera," he said. "People always tell me that clothes are boring to give as a Christmas gift. I'd take that boring gift any day of the week."

Bakke also hinted for an iPad last year. Didn't get it. "I'm a little more excited about it this year because I'm not even asking for the newest iPad," he said.

Marissa Anwar, 29, in Waterloo, Ontario, has been left in the cold. She's an avid snowboarder who wants a season pass to the ski club near her house. The cost? About $700.

"I'm pretty sure that I've wanted that for the last five years or so, but my family has a really hard time getting the hints," she said.

She should swap parents with Bakke.

"I'm not quite sure what the issue is. I have a feeling that it may be the fact that my family really likes giving 'tangible' gifts. Mostly electronics and clothes," Anwar said.

Anwar has been so bold as to suggest a few friends join forces to make her wintry dream come true, "but that suggestion has fallen on deaf ears."

Tiffany is lending a hand in the hint department. The luxury jeweler launched its Drop a Hint program in November, in time for one of those blue boxes to show up under the tree.

Click any item on and you'll see a "Drop a Hint" link allowing you to email the details to a recipient of choice with this message: "Dear _____: We have it on good authority from our friends at the North Pole that this is on top of _____'s list and would make her very merry indeed." The blanks are filled in upon receipt.

More than 65,000 hints have been dropped so far, said a Tiffany spokesman, Carson Glover.

Well played, Tiffany.

Persistence worked for 62-year-old Mark Kinders of Edmond, Okla. He once spotted some wonderful neck ties in the gift shop at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Wis., during a conference.

"My wife wouldn't let me buy it," he recalled. "Over the banquet later with lots of table buzz, I interrupted with, 'Did you hear that? I can hear that tie calling to me from the gift shop.' My wife could have killed me. Ten minutes later I interrupted with, 'There it is again.'"

The result: "I got the tie. Still have my wife."


Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Photo Store Gallery

  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think the Jets will win Game 4 on Wednesday?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google