We asked teens to tell us about the best gifts they ever received - and the ones they never got. Their responses:

The best gift I ever received:- Adam, 14: It opened a whole new world to me, a world of freedom, endless possibilities, a world outside the cul-de-sac. The best gift I ever received was my silver Huffy dirt bike. My silver steed glimmered in the sunlight as I rode it past the awed neighbors. I was king of the road where I wanted - until I reached 98th Street.

- Jens, 15: A computer. It opened up so many new worlds for me. It was probably the first thing I had that started my favorite hobby, actually being involved in the cyberpunk culture.

- Lindsay, 15: A dog. Her name is McKeever and she's the most loyal friend I have. McKeever's world is the opposite of the world that you and I live in. She is not judgmental, always forgives, and loves unconditionally. She is always ready for a fun game of soccer, basketball or fetch, but will snuggle and protect me when I need her to.

- Justin, 14: A guitar, when I was 5 years old. I still have it. I still play it every day, especially when I'm feeling stress.

- Sara, 14: My parents are divorced. I hadn't seen my dad in over six years at the time of this specific Christmas. I really wanted to see him but didn't think there was any possible way. So Christmas Eve I went to bed, but heard a knock at the door. It was him and he came to see my brother and me. I haven't seen him since that Christmas about five years ago and every year I hope he will come again. But even if he doesn't, I will always cherish that Christmas.

- Matt, 17: My drum set. It was incredible when I woke up and saw it in my living room. I still have it today and still play it every day.

- Janice, 16: When I was 8, I studied ballet with the State Ballet School. The greatest experiences were the three years I danced in "The Nutcracker Suite." I loved being on stage in the spotlight with my friends. We were a big family, and every year moms and dads would bring us flowers and wish us luck with kisses. Having my family and friends there for me when I needed them was the only gift I could ask for.

- Michelle, 17: Every Christmas morning it is always the same, and even though my brother and I are older, the excitement and anticipation are still there when we wait at the top of the stairs. The ritual is what's important and what I love. I'll remember and cherish the memories longer than any Barbie doll or toy I could ever get.

- Shana, 16: I got it when I was 10. It was a diary. In that, I have written all the important things that have happened to me since then. A real gift is something you can keep all your life.

The gift I've always wanted but never got . . .

- Andrea, 15: My own private Christmas tree. Not a full-size one, just a small pine tree in a pot that I could put my own decorations on. My mom's tree always has ugly pink decorations on it.

- Justin, 14: The Hanukkah gift that I've always wanted but never received is for my parents to remarry. They've been divorced for about 10 years now. I always thought that sometime they would get back together, but they didn't. I'm now realizing that I will never receive this present, but I still wonder what it would be like if they were back together again.

- Jed, 15: A phone installed in my room and maybe my own phone line. I can never seem to get privacy when I'm on the phone and my parents are always yelling at me to get off.

- Jenny, 15: A hug from my real dad. We have never met and it seems like Christmas would be the best time since it can be a time of forgiveness and love.

- Aaron, 16: A baby monkey or elephant.

- Brenna, 17: A pony for Christmas was always at the top of my list, but Mom and Dad never bought me one. They said I wouldn't have anywhere to have it sleep. I suggested the garage, but they didn't think that was a good idea.

- Janna, 16: A puppy - a big Rotweiler. I have never gotten one because we have already got a dog and my parents feel that we do not need another.

- Monica, 14: A ferret. When I was 3, I fell in love with this adorable animal. However, according to my parents, Santa will never bring such a "fetid rodent." I'm not giving up - they'll give in - I hope!