“I like to hunt, so getting a shotgun was a huge thing,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said. He called the gift “special” because he and his father used to hunt together. “I was about 12 years old. That was certainly a big one.”
“I got all of the typical presents,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), but one Dec. 25 almost seemed like a scene from “A Christmas Story.” “When I was a small boy, I got a popgun,” he said, “and I broke it the first day. I broke it on Christmas Day.”
“I would borrow my parents’ camera to take pictures from the time I was about 4 years old,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said. “They gave me my first camera, and it was a Hopalong Cassidy box camera.” The photography enthusiast still has the simple camera decorated with the cowboy character. “I’ve kept every camera I’ve ever had. … I remember that one very well.”
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) loved horseback riding as a child, so a pair of white leather riding boots was a special gift from her parents when she was 12. “I rode — well, I tried to ride — growing up,” she said. “I volunteered to work at any stable that would take me.”
“The one that I remember, that I didn’t think I was going to get, was a Bonnie Braids doll,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), referring to a toy based on a character in the Dick Tracy comic strip.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) remembers getting a recent gift from a friend in Congress. “I had a nice Christmas present from Steny Hoyer about seven or eight years ago,” he said. “It was a clock. ... It was not only timely, but it was beautiful. And it was a surprise.” Pascrell said he still keeps the clock in his house.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.