As a kid I always liked the hard packages the most, for birthdays and christmas. Those were the ones you could play with and immerse yourself in right away. Fun fun fun! As opposed to clothes, which you can ... wear. And that's about it. As I grew older, the softer presents got more interesting, but there's enough of the child left me to appreciate a gook set of hard, geeky birthday presents: books! Strictly speaking they're not entirely hard (a bit wobbly, I suppose) but they're firmly in the "hard" packages category.
So what am I on about? My recent birthday, I got designing with web standards by Jeffrey Zeldmanand Ethan Marcotte, Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey E.F. Friedl, and Learning Python by Mark Lutz. I'm a happy little boy :D If I manage to, might write a review or two as well :)