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Hollywood Stars Reveal their Best, Worst Christmas Gifts

2018-12-20

Still hunting for that perfect present for family or friends? Maybe this will help. With Christmas shopping season well under way, Reuters asked a number of stars about their best and worst Christmas gifts.

A Star Is Born actor and director Bradley Cooper said his favorite present was “a conducting baton” he got when he was eight years old. Mary Queen of Scots star Saoirse Ronan also went back to childhood to answer the question. She said Harry Potter-related presents are on the top of her list. She recalled that Christmas as “probably the best year of my life.”

Joe Alwyn also stars in Mary Queen of Scots. He said his favorite present was “a big toy car.”

Dr Who actor David Tennant named the 1980s electronic game Astro Wars as his best gift ever. He received it first as a child. Then, last year, his wife bought another for him.

“...It was very old but that was a very touching moment,” he said.

Saoirse Ronan arrives at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Saoirse Ronan arrives at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Among the less loved gifts, American Hustle actor Alessandro Nivola, has an unusual one. He said his father once gave him an old vacuum cleaner. “I think he was trying to send me a message,” Nivola said.

Movie star Leslie Mann noted the old trick of buying someone a gift that you will enjoy yourself. “My husband likes to give me presents like trips that he wants to go on,” she said.

Emily Blunt said her grandmother would re-gift presents.

“She’d give me back the pashmina that I bought lovingly for her,” she said. “It always used to make me laugh.”

For many stars, it is the predictable gifts that are the least wanted.

“I think the worst present I always get is socks,” said “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. “I can buy myself socks...”

The Office and Despicable Me actor, Steve Carell, said he once received a pair of Santa socks.

“Those ones, like the aunt who has met you three times sends you and doesn’t really know your likes or dislikes, just gets something at the gas station on the way over, that kind of gift,” he said. “But…it’s done out of love.”

I’m Susan Shand.

Reuters reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

toyn. an item a child plays with

vacuum cleaner – n. a machine that sucks up dirt

conducting baton – n. a stick used by a music conductor to lead the orchestra

pashmina n. a type of scarf for a women

pair of socks – n. the items one wears on one’s feet

Santa Claus – n. man who lives in the north pole and delivers gifts to children at Christmas