1. My husband just gave me a small urn-type necklace to place some of my fathers ashes in. I think it’s one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received.
2. My sister had a local artist convert photos of my two previous and current dog into Pokemon cards and then had those cards beautifully framed.
The cards were of supreme quality, the art was reminiscent of the old classics and the movies, the tiny details were amazing.
To see my beloved family members immortalized in one of my favorite mediums was really touching.
3. For my mother’s last Christmas she wrote down some of her best recipes on index cards and put them in a box for me. She died of cancer less than a year later. I still have those recipes and her handwriting. She was already very sick and off work and I was still in college so money was scarce, but she spent what she could on a pack of blank index cards and a little box and made the best Christmas present while taking her chemo treatments.
4. First year my now hubby and I were dating: his mom got a Christmas tree ornament made with ‘daddy’ both of my now step-sons names, and the boys’ nick name for me. She gave it to me as my Christmas present.
The ornament isn’t anything fancy – four bears made at one of the mall kiosks where they paint your name on. However, it reminds me how quickly and deeply I was accepted into their family. I love it and it’s always that ‘one ornament’ I go searching for in the decoration box when we put the tree up.
5. I was seven years old in ICU with pneumonia. It was horrible timing because Christmas was that week.
The nurses brought in a massive television with a Nintendo GameCube hooked up to it. The only game I played was Mario sunshine the entire time I was in the hospital.
I love that game so much! It was so colorful and just super exciting to play since I didn’t even know the game existed. It is still my favorite Mario game ever made but I’m biased.
Well I made it out of the hospital just a few days before Christmas and on Christmas Day we went to my auntie’s house. We started opening gifts and they got me my very own GameCube but it didn’t appear I had any games for it. They tricked me and hid the other gift they bought. It was Mario Sunshine.
I’ve never ever had tears of joy but when I opened these gifts I couldn’t help but cry. I was so surprised and so happy! I’ve still never experienced the same emotions I had in that day.
6. The year I published my first article, my sister had it framed and got me an ornament with the date and title of the piece.
7. My sister rooted through many old documents to find examples of my late grandmother’s handwriting. She pieced together the letters to my name to be in my grandmother’s handwriting and had it engraved in a bracelet for me.
8. Girlfriend wrote a poem using nothing but lyrics from my favorite band. To this day I get giddy whenever I open a card from her cause she writes poems in them
I love her.
9. A huge picture frame full of pictures of my son. My sister-in-law took the time to go through my pictures on Facebook, save the best ones, get them printed out in different sizes to match each spot of the frame. It has been about 6 years now and it’s still the best thing I’ve ever received.
10. The first Christmas that I brought my then-boyfriend (now-husband) home with me, I showed him some old photo albums of me as a kid. In one of the albums I pointed out my favorite photo of me and my dad, taken when I was about 4 years old. He’s in a big recliner and I’m perched on the arm, my head on his shoulder, while we read a Super Girl comic together.
Fast forward to the next Christmas, I open a gift from him and it’s the comic, along with a framed copy of that photo that he restored for me. He spent the better part of a year searching Super Girl comics online for the one in the photo based only on the bit of the cover visible in the photo.
Just one of the many reasons why I married him.
11. My grandpa bought me a tv and DVD player when I was in middle school so we could watch wrestling together. His kids didn’t like letting him come over to watch it, he had had some drug problems in the past and was often homeless, but he was always welcome at our house.
He taught me chess and patience and it’s always been clear to me that he loved me and my siblings.
12. My one hobby that I have held onto from childhood has been playing guitar. My family never had a lot of money, so I was playing on ~$150 guitars my whole life. I always wanted my brother to learn an instrument so we could jam together, going as far as buying him a bass guitar, but he just couldn’t get into it. He always made it a point to tell me when he thought I was improving or when he had a suggestion for a song I could cover.
Last autumn he got his first full-time job and started putting money away. For Christmas, he bought me a Les Paul. I still can’t wrap my head around it everytime I come home and see it sitting on the stand. I’m probably going to have to buy him a car at some point.
13. I would have to say the one I got this year (early! haha) from my fiance. He put thought into my gift and got me a picture frame that is the US with a place for picture from each state in the shape of the state. We both love to travel and have traveled well as a couple meshing our two travel habits. I can not wait to fill up the frame with pictures of us as we travel.
14. I had a little kitten named freeway (his litter was, you guessed it, found next to a freeway). He would only let me hold him, and he would also come to sleep on top of me in some way shape or form and would only listen to me. At the time i had another cat that liked to go and wander outside and then come back. Freeway did it once, so I let him out again and never saw him again. That next Christmas my sister and grandma made me a portrait that says meow all over it with a picture of freeway. I remember opening it, and just start balling. I enjoyed the gift, it was such a bittersweet moment. I still have the photo and everything.
I miss you bud.
15. My aunt in law bought me and my husband plane tickets home to surprise his parents for Christmas. I hadn’t been home for Christmas in twelve years. He hadn’t been in 3. It was amazing to see the looks on their faces.
16. Growing up my grandma made this incredible fudge for Christmas and guarded the recipe with her life. No one knew how it was made and everyone loved it. A few years before she passed I finally got the recipe out of her – a list of the ingredients and one sentence.
That in itself was one of the best presents I’ve gotten in my life but it took me seven Christmases to get the recipe right and this year I finally did. I brought it to work and shared it with my coworkers and that was such a joy.
17. When I was a little girl (5 or 6) I was obsessed with ballerinas. My dad got me tickets to a professional performance of the Nutcracker. It was just him and me. I still remember feeling so grown up when we had dinner beforehand in a grown up restaurant. The ballet was beautiful. It was just a wonderful day.
18. A telescope! I loved astronomy (still do) and my Dad and I would spend countless summer nights outside with that telescope. I even looked at a comet with it. Some of my best memories of my Dad involve astronomy.
19. In school there was often this tradition, that everyone got assigned a classmate and had to buy/bring a gift for that person. The girl that had me that year knew I liked anime and mangas so she drew a couple of characters and made a small book like 4-5 pages of these drawings. To this day the best present I have ever received.
20. When I was like 6 or 7 I started to question whether Santa was actually real so I thought I’d pull a smart one and send a letter to Santa asking for a picture of him and Rudolph. My dad saw the letter, went out and found a Santa costume, somehow found a farm in the area that had reindeer or elk or something, got the owner to take a picture of him in the Santa suit with one of the reindeer. I got it on Christmas morning and was floored and didn’t doubt it anymore. Pretty sure I found out the next year though because I saw one of my gifts from Santa in a closet in my house a couple days before Christmas
21. My dad passed away when I was 9. He had always been an avid guitar player, and at the time my 14 year old sister also played guitar, so when he died his guitar got passed down to her. Now, I don’t know much about guitars but I do know that you’re supposed to change the strings pretty regularly (or at least every so often.) Well last year was the 7th anniversary of his death, and she had never changed the strings because she wanted to be able to play on the strings he played on. She finally decided to change the strings, and she got jewelry made out of the old guitar strings for my mom, brother, and me. I now get to wear the strings he last played on around my neck, and can carry him with me in my heart and around my neck forever, and there’s no better gift than that.
22. I am always cold, whereas my husband is always warm. Last year my husband bought me a super soft, twin sized, heated blanket for in bed and a heated wrap for in the living room.
Why I never thought to ask for something like this for Christmas before, is beyond me.
By far, the best presents I have ever received.
23. My first car.
A month after my 16th birthday (which was in November, 1990) my dad bought me a 1984 Ford T-Bird for Christmas.
It was a beater. It wouldn’t have been great car when new and it hadn’t been cared for since. But I fucking loved it.
24. My dad and I don’t get along. He cheated on my mom, had a kid, and came back expecting my love and admiration. He never gave gifts that had any meaning or showed that he payed attention to our interests. I had loved drawing from a young age. I was 11 in this story. He gave me a professional art set. Charcoals, pastels chalks, about 2 dozen different types of pencils and pens, gold leaf. It wasn’t the one that every kid gets with crayons and a pad of printer paper, it was real.
I used it until all the chalks and pencils were worn to nubs. I taught myself how to shadow, create realistic hair and freckles, and give bodies proportion. I kept drawing even when all the stuff was gone and got a sketch put into a local young artist contest when I was 15. Got no where lmfao but it was pretty great.
25. When I was 20 my future wife bought me a little wind-up toy robot that bopped itself on the head.
It was the first Christmas gift I’d received in 10 years.
26. A pair of riding boots. No I don’t ride horses, but I am a cadet a lot Texas A&M, and as a senior we wear these beautiful custom made riding boots instead of low quarters. These normally cost well over $1000 and my freshman year my parents put a down payment on my boots. Not only did I get my own pair of boots, but that down payment also served to encourage me to stick with this difficult program knowing that I had my boots waiting for me.
27. My grandmother and I have a very close relationship. When I was younger she would always read to me before I went to bed. Last Christmas she gifted me a family copy of “Anne Of Green Gables” from 1919 that she’s had since she was a little girl. It was one of the first books we read together. I cried like a baby when I opened the box.
Now that she’s getting older and is looking for projects to fill her time, I asked her if she could record herself reading it so that I can have both when she’s gone. They will be my most prized possessions probably until the day I die.
28. A year or so after release, my mom bought me the original Playstation. She didn’t know which games to buy, so she rented Triple Play, Crash, and Jet Moto from a local video store (remember those?). I honestly don’t even know how she afforded it at the time. That always stuck out to me.
29. A sketchbook with pencils, colored pencils and erasers from my dad. Drawing and making little comics has always been a huge hobby of mine and it felt amazing to have it acknowledged especially by my dad because he’s always been supportive and interested in the things I come up with. A simple gift like that carried a lot of meaning for me.
30. I asked for a drum kit one year because I wanted to learn how to play.
We opened all the gifts and I was sort of disappointed because a drum kit was not one of them-which should have been obvious just from looking at what was under the tree, but I was a dumb kid.
After all the gifts were open my parents asked me to help set up for dinner, and that they needed something from their bedroom.
I go in there, and the drum kit was set up in the middle of the room. I’m pretty sure I cried.
I never did learn how to play, but that’s just one example of how my parents always tried to give us kids what we wanted. I’m 27 now and that’s still one of my favorite Christmas memories.
31. When I was a teenager, my mom and I lived in SoCal while the rest of our family lived in Oregon. My mom had me flown up to spend Christmas Eve with her sister and Christmas Day with my dad. My mom wanted to come badly but she has a huge fear of flying.
I get to my aunts house on Christmas Eve and we’re doing our typical chit chat, hang out, snack and drink coffee while dinner is getting prepared. After checking on dinner, I come back from the kitchen to see my mom sitting on my aunt’s couch. I was stunned. Stopped dead in my tracks. Jaw on the floor. I was so happy. Christmas is her favorite holiday and we’d never spent one apart. She faced her fear of flying to spend Christmas Eve with us.
I’ll never forget that Christmas. She passed away a couple years later on December 22nd. It’s a wonderful memory to have of the holidays when this time of year can be kind of depressing.
32. $5 when I was first settled in the US in 1982 working part time at the YMCA as a janitor for $3.35/hr. He was just a non-descriptive person who worked out regularly at the Y. The $5 was in a Christmas card with one line “I believe in you”. I am now having a comfortable middle class life with multiple houses all paid for and earning 6 figure income. Will never forget that $5 and “I believe in you” Christmas card. Thank you stranger for changing my life.
33. My prosthetic leg.
I had a below the knee amputation the Saturday before thanksgiving this year. Infection in my blood got into the bone and almost took my life. Been on medical leave from work since. Today I saw the surgeon for a post surgery visit. Was told I’m ahead of schedule healing and recovery wise.
I won’t get my prosthetic for a while yet but being told I can start getting fitted for one is a pretty great early gift.
34. The Christmas before my father passed away he gave me a necklace, which was very unusual. He normally just gave me cash. The necklace was three hearts intertwined, and engraved on the back was, “My little girl yesterday, my friend today, my daughter forever.”
He knew how sick he was but he never told anyone, and he died the following August. The pattern of that necklace is my first and only tattoo (I got it done a week after he died.). I plan on giving the necklace to my own daughter someday.
35. When I was a kid I wasn’t allowed an iPod because I was a little shit. I was really upset because I wanted to play Minecraft, so for Christmas when my brother said he’d gotten me an iPod I was super excited. It turns out he made an iPod out of cardboard and drew a Minecraft scene on the ‘screen’. It still holds up as my favorite present and I still have it nearly 10 years later.
36. Santa brought me a Grumpy Care Bear. In 1985. I still have him. He’s come with me to have my babies and get my boobs cut off. He’s travelled this wide red land with me, comforted me through deaths of loved ones, traumatic events, disappointments and multiple depressive episodes I am lucky to have come out of. He still has all his hair, is still blue, is still Grumpy and still with me. He’s fucking awesome.
37. I’m adopted, my birth mom didn’t remember my birth father enough to include any info on heritage or anything like that. I’ve always been curious where the other half of me is from. My best friend has always known this so him and his girlfriend got me a 23 and Me so I can find out more about myself and where I come from!
38. We are pretty poor and I’m disabled but my Daughter is obsessed with Hamilton the musical. She’s an amazing kid and really helps me a lot and never complains. I saved from the second I’d heard the show was coming to London. So Last Christmas year we bought tickets to see Hamilton in London for our Daughter. I honestly thought she was going to pass out she was so happy. We saved like crazy for the hotel and flights as we are at the opposite side of the country. We made a mini holiday of the trip. She had never had a holiday either. It was one of the best experiences ever, I love the show but I couldn’t stop watching my Daughters face. Best seats in the house too, cost a fortune but definitely worth it. It was my best Christmas present watching her face getting her best Christmas present.
39. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, and one year my mom bought my brother and I those round sleds from the dollar store. We went to my grandmas house with them, (she had a lot of land,) and she took us sledding on the hills behind her house for literally the ENTIRE day. So much sledding that one of the sleds got a hole in it. She finally convinced us to go inside, as i’m sure she was freezing, and made us hot chocolate. My brother and I bet her that she wouldn’t wake up at 4 am the next morning and take us sledding while the sun rose…..she did. I love her so much.
40. Original Nintendo. We grew up poor and I wasn’t expecting to get anything on my xmas list that my mom insisted we fill out cause Santa was coming to the ghetto. On xmas I was ready for whatever, except the Nintendo I unwrapped. I sat there staring at it in disbelief until my mom snapped me out if it asking what I thought about it. Don’t remember what I said. I think I was high for 2 weeks. I slept with that thing and played it non stop the whole Xmas break.
41. I know you’re not supposed to give pets as gifts, but a few days before Christmas, when I was nine, my mum gave me a little kitten. She was the last one left and was small, skinny with runny eyes and runny nose. I adored her and for 12 years she was the light of my life.
42. When I was younger I was obsessed with the Spice Girls and my grandma gave me a poster of them one year for Christmas. My parents are divorced and we moved a lot with my mom but no matter how many bedrooms I had, I always had my Spice Girls poster hanging up on my door. One of the last times we moved, my mom was packing up my room and was trying to get my poster down and she ripped it. Now not terrible, but then she threw it away without my knowing. I found out and cried and cried for days. Then with it being many years later, I couldn’t ever find the same one for sale on eBay, Amazon, nothing. I told my MIL the story like one time and 2 years ago she found it and gifted it to me for Christmas. It’s the first time I’ve ever cried over a present like that. I still need to frame it, but it’s one of my prized things now.
43. When I was 20, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer right after my birthday in September, but it was very aggressive and he was eventually put on hospice in early December. He passed away the night before Christmas Eve, but he managed to write a Christmas card with help from my mom. The card had some cash in it (I don’t remember how much), but he essentially wrote a long letter to me explaining how proud of me he was and how he’ll always be looking over me. I pull that card out every Christmas for the past 7 years and anytime I need a little pick me up. Hands down, best Christmas gift ever.
44. This is going to seem really stupid, but growing up I had a dog that was my best friend. She was small enough to take in a bag places and most of my friends loved having her over.
When I was 15, she passed away from kidney failure. She had been my constant companion through my depression for four years at that point. She had been a gift from my aunt, who committed suicide shortly after.
For Christmas, a good friend of mine got a bench at the dog park dedicated to her. So now when I visit my hometown I can go and sit on the bench dedicated to Sweetie. It had to have cost about $400 to get it done and she used her Christmas money to do it.
45. My brother was starting a new fitness routine, and told me he wanted to make a competition out of who could improve their body dimensions. I wasn’t planning on working out or anything but wanted to encourage him so said “screw it” and let him measure my upper body. Turns out it was for a custom made Captain America leather motorcycle jacket. I screamed like a little girl on Christmas morning
46. RAM upgrade. I was a budding PC gamer but knew jack-all about how computers worked. My grandfather (retired computer engineer) gave me a RAM upgrade and taught me how to install it safely and explained what it was going to do for me. Now I work in IT and still find computers fascinating (and I still play a ton of games).
47. My mom passed from cancer this year, she had been stage 4 for 11 years and passed at 55 years old, so pretty young.
Last year Christmas was really emotional as things were taking a turn for the worse.
My mom made me a large shadow box with ticket stubs she had saved from every concert we went to since I was a kid (both big fans of music). Mr. Dressup, Pearl Jam, White Stripes etc. Not only had she saved these over the years, she went online and got post cards, buttons and patches from the specific tour dates we attended to go with the stubs.
The moment I unwrapped it, and realized what it was, I burst into tears and cried for a good while. It was a very heavy moment and one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given.
48. My family was abusive, and poor. Growing up I always kind of hated Christmas time, because it just sort of highlighted how shitty my own life was.
Well one year after I moved away to college, I was scheduled to work Christmas day, since I was a Resident Advisor. A student who had been evicted from housing for selling hard drugs came after me and attacked me. The school told me I should leave campus until the police caught the kid. I didn’t have any where to go, so I called my best friend. Her and her dad drove all the way to my school on Christmas eve to get me.
When I woke up, I discovered that my friends mom had some how conjured up a a full stocking and a couple small gifts. It was the most amazing gift, because I had never had a good Christmas, and then her mom just went so above and beyond to make me feel loved.
49. One year my nieces got me a Pillow Pet. As a dude in my mid 30’s I’m not exactly the Pillow Pet demographic…
Two years earlier I had found Pillow Pets, and in a total win at Uncle-ing I was on the craze way before it got big. They loved them, everyone at their school loved them, big win.
So, a few years later when they found a Dragon Pillow Pet they insisted they get it for me. Their mother, my sister, was skeptical that I would want such a thing. I loved it, not because I need or want such a thing, but because they wanted me to have it because they loved their own so much.
I know I’ve received bigger gifts and others that were given with the same kind of love, but this one sticks out.
50. I was in high school. Ocarina of Time had come out in November, and I wanted it so badly for Christmas. I got up Christmas morning, opened my gifts and it wasn’t there. Then my dad pointed out a small package he had hidden behind the tree under the tree skirt, in the back. Opened it, and there it was. Ocarina of Time. My dad had to go to 6-7 different stores when he was traveling on business to find that. Played it non-stop over break. Makes me love my dad more every time I think about it.