The gift was a sibling. And though I didn't know it at the time of the question, it turned out to be a sister.
As I'd been an only child up to this point, I really didn't have much experience with babies. She was loud. She was smelly. She turned herself purple when she cried - which she did rather a lot.
Over time, she got bigger and louder and, for a time, smellier as well.
We lived together for eleven years - give or take - and then my folks moved across the country. I was in college when they moved, and seeing as I was very enamored of a young redhead who lived across town, I didn't feel particularly inclined to move with them. So I stayed. And they went. And that, as they say, was that.
And yet, for my perception of my sister, carbonite and California are synonymous. It is as if she stopped aging the moment she got in the car and rode away with my parents. She stayed locked in carbonite at age eleven.
I don't know how many years passed between the day Solo was frozen and the day a Leia thawed him out. But I do know that in the tender scene in Jabba's palace - Solo emerges from the carbonite temporarily blind but looking like he hasn't aged a day. I like that. It is comforting somehow.
But that hasn't been my experience with my sister. No, she has stubbornly refused to stay frozen in time. In fact, she grew up. She got considerably less smelly. Although, truth be told, she never did get much quieter.
Now I understand that I may be old fashioned. But I just don't think that an eleven year old should get married and have children. And in my mind, she is still eleven. Never mind the fact that it has been many years since she was eleven - that's irrelevant. Seeing her with her husband and beautiful family is for me like trying to watch a television marathon of Bewitched. You can't just switch Dick York for Dick Sargent without explanation. It doesn't work. Are we really not supposed to notice? Because we do. A lot. They're two different people.
But that's my sister. One minute she's York and the next she's Sargent. Both are cool, I guess.