What is the best Christmas gift you've ever received?
I have gotten some truly awesome Christmas gifts in my 51 years of getting Christmas gifts. I still remember many of the gifts that I received as a child, but one really stands out in my memory, and the memory is very vivid!! I was in the second grade, so 7 years old, and Santa always brought our gifts under the tree in our never used living room. So my brother and I get up bright and early to see what Santa had brought. To be honest, I have absolutely no memory of anything that was left under the tree, but I do remember not feeling slighted in the least. After all of the presents were opened, my daddy pointed out an envelope in the tree with my name on it. I opened it in an excited frenzy, to find a card from Santa instructing me to go look in our den for another surprise. I took off running through the kitchen to see what could possibly be waiting for me since I absolutely could not imagine what it might be. My parents beat me to the door to the den and flipped on the overhead light. When my eyes adjusted and the room quit spinning from excitement and surprise what I found, can only be described as every little girl's dream. There it was, in the middle of the family den, the surprise to end all surprises. That one gift I had asked for for at least 2 years, but I truly didn't think even Santa could pull off. A beautiful white, French provincial canopy bed with a frilly, pink canopy and bedspread!!!!! Never had anything so beautiful existed before!! I remember for the first time in my life being speechless and completely breathless. My daddy still swears he held me up, because he thought I was about to faint. Never in my wildest 7 year old dreams could I imagine actually getting the one thing I wanted the most in life. From that holiday forward, I got to pick out a different piece of furniture from the ultimate bedroom suite until I had all of the pieces that I wanted. In the many years that have followed, I have gotten some truly amazing gifts, but no material gift was ever more special and unexpected than the canopy bed that I got from Santa when I was in the second grade.
The most amazing Christmas gift that I have received thus far as an adult was given to me just last year by my son and daughter-in-love. They have been best friends since they were about 2 years old, going to preschool, elementary school, and middle school and until the 11th grade of high school before my son decided to ask her out on their first date and they've been together ever since. After graduating from highschool, they went off to college together getting married after graduating with their respective bachelor's degrees. Understandably, it wasn't too long after this that I was wondering, sometimes out loud, when I was going to be a grandma. The answer we were always given when we asked was when my son graduated, and in all honesty, that was an "acceptable" answer while he was working on his master's degree. However, when he proceeded to move forward with pursuing his PhD, I got a bit concerned!!! Then when my daughter-in-love decided to pursue her master's in nursing degree and become a nurse practitioner, her mother and I got a bit discouraged. It wasn't until later that we would discover that they wanted a baby as badly as we did, and it just seemed to be more difficult than any of us could have anticipated. But just as it seemed that the only way it was going to happen would be to pursue adoption, our children found out that they would be parents shortly after she finished grad school. So in August, 2017, my daughter-in-love graduated as a nurses practitioner, and in December, 2017, she gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy I have ever laid eyes on (with the exception of his daddy), and she and my son made me a grandma for Christmas!!! Yesterday, we celebrated that precious, smart, funny, miracle's first birthday. And that is, to date, the most amazing Christmas present I have ever received!!!
As with tradition my Dad and I headed out together to the bush to pick the best tree of the bunch. My parents and I decorated it as soon as it could stand on its own. Once dinner was done, I was urged to go outside because I was badly in need of fresh air, or so my parents wanted me to believe.
One could only amuse themselves for so long on a cold winter's eve. It occurred to me I really needed to check out the indoor activities in order to decide wether it was fine to go back inside. I carefully climbed up to the dining room window to see, well, nothing! My parents knew my infinite curiousity would get the best of me sooner than later, so ´opération Père Noël' was deployed upstairs, far from my inquisitive eyes, I had enough time to build a snowman before they fetched me.
Defrosting with hot chocolate, and a story were next on the agenda. My mom helped me read it. It was Dennis the Menace's Waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve -way to wind me up further! It's a cute story about Dennis wanting to put up an apple on the tree, but in no time it was an apple core. Which makes for a prettier ornament if it were not for its changing colour!
Dad was tasked with tucking me into bed where he had to explain to me the mechanics of Santa getting into the house without a chimney. He told me I could look out my window and likely see him as he drove away. The moon was full that night so it made sense to a six year old Santa could make use of the light to guide him in case Rudolph's nose died out. Out we peeked of my bedroom window to see every snowflake glistening like diamonds. That's where the sugar-plum fairies hid out until it was time to visit my dreams he said. It was all so magical. With a big hug and a kiss I was off to Lullaby Lane. The fresh air had worked its magic.
As an only child I was spoilt at Christmas. This one I remember most as Santa was very generous. Under the tree was included Spirograph, Mr. Snow Cone, Mr. Potato Head, plastic roller skates, Barbie's Corvette, a garage ( Dad insisted ) Chinese Checkers. loads of books ( Maman insisted). Thankfully, that's all I remember! No wait, that was the year I got Old Spices' Soap-on-a-Rope! (In my excitement I had opened up one of my dad's gifts.) My mother sent me to the farmer down the street to get pure fresh cream so that she could make Sucre-a-la-Crème. We would have the usual French - Canadian holiday fare which included tourtière and a pie similar to the aforementioned fudge. And a buche à Noel (Yule Log) to really make you loosen your belt!
Later my grand-maman and uncle dropped by to share some cheer and drop off more presents. I was beside myself with glee. My gift from my uncle turned out to be the best of all. He knew I was a wee fashionista in the making. I unwrapped the beautifully warapped tisse to release the most exquisite forest green dress. And it was in velvet, a favourite of my mother's. I would later remember wearing it to my granny's holiday bash feeling like I was floating on air. Granny I knew would be duly impressed!
Nuns ordinarily did not make house calls, so imagine my surprise when Sister Jeanne - Mance knocked on our door. She was my favourite and my home-room teacher. Unlike some of her lot, she was always smiling and quick to bestow praise. She was just a sweetheart. We had a wonderful visit with her.
I fell ito a deep slumber Christmas night, overwrought from too many emotions. So much to be grateful for!
So what was my best gift? Not the velvet dress. The thing I hold dear is this memory of what Christmas could be like and the unmistakeable feeling of being loved and loving back. You see, that Christmas was to be my last with them. February would take them both away forever. Fate was not smiling down upon me. That memory has sustained me for many decades. And the feeling I cling to most was the sheer joy in having parents who really understood me. Something else to be grateful for that Santa just did not have in his sack...
(Icidentally, the nun gave notice. She was the one who had been tasked with relaying the message regarding my parents. She finished out the year and disappeared. Decades later I learnt she had married and had a family. I was thrilled for her on so many levels. She had too big of a heart to thrive in her restricted environment. I will never forget her,)
For my parents? That'd be me, because I was born on Christmas Eve.
But for me? Lemme tell ya.
When I was around maybe 5–8 I absolutely adored Pokémon. I still do. Anyway, I wrote to Santa that I wanted the (legendary) Mewtwo trading card. As a child, there was nothing better. It was the holy grail, the almighty pinnacle of Pokémon collection. Every kid wanted one.
But there were two problems with this.
- Our chimney was blocked off by a grate. It was mostly for show.
- Those $20 tin packs showcasing the legendary Pokémon card on the front didn't exist yet, so you can only buy the little plastic packs and try your luck.
So what I did? I took some printer paper and crayons, and wrote "Santa! Please come in through here!" with a big arrow in the corner. My dad, scared half to death, held my legs as I stretched far out from my window to tape the paper on the side of the 2nd floor of the house.
The next day I woke up to see an absolutely enormous pile of Pokémon cards.
My dad had bought nearly 500 cards. He bought so many in hopes that at least one, just one would be a Mewtwo card.
I didn't get a Mewtwo card that day, but I was so ecstatic about receiving so many cards that I was just as happy. I spent hours organizing them into folders and tins.
My dad still didn't give up. The day after that I received a Pokémon movie, a gift "Santa accidentally forgot to drop off". Tiny hyperactive me couldn't be happier.
The best Christmas gift I ever received was the absolutely unending love from my dad.
Let's go back a little ways and set the stage. The year is 2015.
I'd signed up to participate in Imgur.com's Secret Santa, an event involving thousands of users spanning the globe. I got the notification from the admin that I'd been matched with an "unusual" participant, who didn't need a gift back. I was like "Uhh... okay." Didn't have much money anyway, as cancer treatments two years prior piled upon my persisting educational loans had long since effectively bankrupted me, so I thought it was just a small lucky break there. My little money could go to groceries instead.
Some weeks later, my gift-from-a-stranger arrives.
For me, what immediately comes to mind is my dad, and the lesson he taught to us -- create your own memories!
Now you may be thinking that it's a bit cliche, but hear me out. Dad was born on 24th December, so December is always a happy month of celebration for me and my family. I'm going to divert from the topic a bit to give you some backstory and put my answer into context.
We are a small family of 4 (Dad, Mom, & 2 daughters) but Dad was away for long stretches of time because he was working abroad. When I was 7-8 yrs old, he decided to travel abroad to better provide for the family. It was a hard decision for him, but being financially strong was also an important dream, which pushed him.
After he went abroad, we had the opportunity or option to meet each other once a year. And that was during Christmas. As Christmas was the only time when all the family came together and spent quality time, we wanted to create some good memories with family and friends.
Store-bought gifts may be great, but there isn't too much effort put into buying them so there aren't a lot of memories attached. So we started creating handmade gifts. We made handmade greeting cards, Christmas decorations, cakes, and sweets as gifts. And in return, we got many lovely gifts and memories. Creating your own memories with the family is a special thing. While money can buy plenty of stuff, it cannot always buy memories.
Handmade Christmas gifts have become a tradition for us. At the same time, making the same thing every time soon got tiring. So I started looking for new ideas. While reading some blogs for good Christmas gifts, I came across this fantastic blog which shares some really good ideas on homemade Christmas memories.
If you're stuck with thoughts of making your Christmas different and creating some good memories, have a look at this blog. I'm sure you won't regret reading it, and you can definitely find some good ideas for Christmas this year.
The best gift I have ever received is being blessed with wonderful parents and everything I've learned from them, although that may sound cliche.
Thanks for reading my story!
I've been pondering this answer for a little while. I suspect it may get redirected somewhere else but nonetheless..
I think the best present I received was under the worst circumstances.
I inherited £15000 after the death of my grandfather died about this time two years ago.
It was from the sale of his house: