In the weekly feature called e-views, we invite readers to answer a question via email or on Facebook.
Last week's questiom:
What's the best Christmas present you ever gave or received?
AN EASY BAKE OVEN by my former boyfriend. He knew I always wanted one when I was younger. He listened, and when I opened it, I cried, then I baked him a little cake.
MY GRANDMA PAINTED a large portrait of me when I was younger. I put it in my trunk so that I could go show a friend and my car was stolen. They took the portrait too.
THE CAMERA I got Ayla Laster last year.
THE GIFTS given to less fortunate.
Shannon O'Dea Lindsey
MY DAUGHTER -- born on the Dec 23. Brought her home Christmas morning!
MY MOST memorable Christmas was a year my wife and I, living in the Philippines, went to an orphanage run by nuns. We presented little gift bags of candy, ornaments and Cracker-Jacks- type toys that we had put together, but we received a far greater gift.
Some 50 kids came down the stairs and, unexpectedly, sang to us. They glowed like no Christmas tree that I had ever seen, illuminating priceless lessons.
A lesson on giving and receiving; a lesson on perspective on so often taken for granted material and family blessings; a lesson on simple gratitude.
Oh I cried, but tears never felt so sweet, nor did Maya Angelou's reason for the season ever echo for me so clearly: "I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."
Next week's question:
East Contra Costa Fire District board will discuss a proposed parcel tax again. What features do you think it should have? Should it be based on the Consumer Price Index? Should it sunset after a certain number of years? Do you think residents will approve a parcel tax this time out?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on Facebook. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday, Dec. 9.