What Was The Best Gift You Ever Received?

Yesterday we asked you to tell about the crappiest present you ever received. And after all that outpouring of bad memories and disappointment we’re ending the week in a better mood.

So please share your tales of that gift that just blew you away. Maybe it wasn’t the most expensive thing you ever received, but it was the most thoughtful or heartfelt. It need not be anything material at all (But please, let’s try to keep it PG-13. This is a family site).


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  1. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    Five speed sting ray bike!

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      I was on cloud nine when I got my CCM freedom machine. Banana seat, butterfly handle bars, and a sissy bar!

    • rahntwo says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Except mine was a one speed. And it was my Bday, which would have been 1970 give or take a year or so. Heh Heh.

    • caddisfly says:

      THIS. Mine was orange with a sparkly banana seat, a “stick shift”, and raised handlebars. Schwinn made some great bikes!

  2. OnePumpChump says:


    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      What kind? I’ve got the Fluke 87V on my list but Santa only gives me coal. :(

      • OnePumpChump says:

        Piece of crap cheapo hardware store analog multimeter, but I’ve probably used it more than any other single tool I own.

      • cosby says:

        When I was younger and was starting to get serious in electronics my father got me a flute 87 III which was the newest revision at the time. Thing is still going strong. He has an 88 for automotive work.

      • kc2idf says:

        Mine was an Archer, which of course means not the greatest, but it was a kit, and I built that sucker in two hours at age 11. I still have it; it still works, though it is more of a trophy these days as I have a couple of digital multimeters that I use for my occasional hardware projects.

        It was a gift from my Aunt Linda and Uncle Gordon. Uncle Gordon was always the coolest: an aircraft engineer by trade (mostly working on helicopters), and a mechanical hacker if ever there was one. He had a decent machine shop behind his house in Houston, where he used to build all kinds of interesting things.

        I should drop him a line and see how he’s doing.

    • PSUSkier says:


      Just kidding, I have a crappy one for basic electrical testing. Nevertheless, if there were a list of tools it would suck to live without, my multimeter would make it on the top 5.

  3. danmac says:

    Kindle. My wife gave it to me, and it more than compensates for her not loving me anymore.

  4. RandomHookup says:

    I was ready to spill the beans until you dropped the “family site” crap.

  5. yellowshirt says:

    I was 13 and confused when I woke up Christmas day and opened up a box with PVC pipe in it. Then my dad handed me a card with instructions on how to make a Potato canon. Awesome.

  6. MamaBug says:

    This year, I’m getting a .38 S&W airweight. Best grown-up present yet.
    I think my best present growing up was a set of pearl drop earrings and a hematite necklace with a byzantine-type coin my dad got for me – it was my first “adult” gift at 13. I still have them.

  7. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    I was traveling alone in Australia over the holidays in 2007. I dated a guy from Perth for a few weeks and he bought a Roy Orbision documentary for me! I barely knew him and wasn’t expecting any gifts that year. It was a very thoughtful gift!

  8. humphrmi says:

    Believe it or not, camping gear. Not expensive stuff, but it was exactly what I wanted one year, and I got everything I asked for. Lanterns, stoves, foldable chairs, etc. It was very cool.

  9. Trevor says:

    An ornament that I cherished and loved with all my heart got smashed by my carelessness. My partner at the time, unbeknownst to me, went around all over the place to find that exact ornament. Which must have been quite an undertaking, it was no antique, but it wasn’t exactly cheap or easy to find. He presented it to me on Christmas eve and I bawled me eyes out I was so overcome with happiness to have the ornament on my tree again, but mostly over the fact that someone would be so caring and thoughtful. Too bad he’s an ex!

  10. WendyB says:

    Goats, chickens, more goats. All my family and friends know I’m a huge World Vision fan. I figure a gift that can give a family food and a livelihood is way better than another sweater with Rudolf on it. Opening that little card on Christmas morning makes me giddy for days!

  11. Mike says:

    (But please, let’s try to keep it PG-13. This is a family site)

    Darn it. I was going to say the transvestite hooker my dad gave me for my 12th birthday. Now I have to think of something else.

  12. tallshipjoe says:

    Back when I was nine I got an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock. Best Christmas ever!

    Oh yah, it also had this thing which tells time.

  13. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    My boyfriend got me Kingston Trio tickets several years ago. They were the best gift because (A) I didn’t even know they were coming to town and (B) he had paid enough attention to know that I grew up listening to the Kingston Trio, even if I don’t listen to them as much today.

    My mom and I went together (not my boyfriend’s thing) and had such an amazing time. I have enough crap, but I cannot put a price on that night and how awesome the thought was.

  14. NightStalker3 says:

    A Mini Christmas Tree when I was stationed in Germany in the Army.

  15. Saskiatas says:

    As a kid, the Daisy BB gun I received from my dad at age 12.
    As an adult, the big full-size rear-tine rototiller from my husband.

  16. The cake is a lie! says:

    Hopefully it will be a pre-order receipt for Portal 2 which comes out in a few months.

  17. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    Probably the best gift I got was my mother paying for my first tattoo. When I first told her I wanted one (at 19), she threatened to kick my out of the house, but then relented and said that if I still wanted one at 25, she’d pay for it. I waited, and my 25th birthday present was to get inked.

    • JennQPublic says:

      I wish my mother had done this. She just said I shouldn’t get one, so of course I got a crappy one as soon as I turned eighteen. I had MUCH better taste by 25.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        In other words, your mother was right and you were too young for a tattoo.

        Funny how that works.

  18. fff398 says:

    Pokemon Red….my childhood

  19. Blackfoot says:

    My fiancée gave me a Movado for my birthday last year. I’ve wanted one since I saw the Museum Watch 30 years ago.


    Yep, she’s a keeper.

    • a354174 says:


      My wife gave me the Movado SE (blue dial one) for an anniversary present.

      It retailed at Jared for $995 but she got a better deal on it.

  20. BrianneG says:

    The microscope I got when I was 7 or 8. It was actually really good and I used it for my science fair project in 8th grade.

  21. bugpaste says:

    This summer I went to go volunteer at a large multi-day free clinic in a very isolated part of my state, about a seven-hour drive away. It was hot, we worked from 4am to after sundown every day, and I did the whole thing on an injured foot. The day I came home, I went straight to my boyfriend’s apartment, who greeted my gross sweaty ass with a huge hug, a pizza, and a homemade welcome-back pound cake.

    Best present I’ve ever gotten from anyone. Hands down.

  22. greggorthechamp says:

    Fortress Maximus, the giant $99 Transformer, in 1987. It was almost as tall as I was at 6 years old.

  23. ironflange says:

    My daughter. She was an early present, Dec, 21 1990, but I consider her the best gift of all. She’s cool, just like her ol’ man.

  24. SonarTech52 says:

    When i was about 5-6 yrs old, I wanted a bike but we didnt have much money. My grandpa worked with metal for work and was a gunsmith. He got some metal from work and MADE me a bike!!

    It was heavy as hell, but very sturdy :P

  25. JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

    I think the best gift I’ve gotten was parents who loved me and my brother enough to bust their asses to get us exactly what we wanted every single year.

  26. ArcanaJ says:

    One year my husband gave me a day off. This consisted of gift cards for:

    -day spa
    -movie theater
    -book store

    Then he told me to pick a day (or two, or three) and get the heck out of the house. It was fantastic.

  27. RoamingNomi says:

    About 10 years ago, my husband was out of a job, and had been for about 6 months. Money was so tight, that neighbors were bringing us groceries and we received food from the food pantry. My sister (a single mom with only a part-time job), knew we could never buy Christmas presents for our 2 sons; she stepped in and showered my boys with gifts beyond all expectation. THAT was the best, kindest Christmas gift ever.
    Later that day, an anonymous friend left a sackful of Christmas gifts for the four of us on our front porch. I never found out who played Santa. It was a wonderful Christmas.

  28. eakwave1 says:

    This may sound strange, but… I’m 31, and my parents are giving me $2000 worth of dental work this year. I’ll never be able to do that for myself and I really need it.

    I’ve gotten actual cool stuff before, but nothing I’ve wanted or needed so much at the same time. Whoda thunk it, right?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      After we got married, my car started crapping out and my parents paid for all of the maintenance. That after they had paid for the majority of our wedding. Then they helped us negotiate a good deal for a new car after we decided to sell mine.

  29. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    A one-year subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club!

  30. outis says:

    A bullwhip (huge Indiana Jones fan as a kid). By Christmas afternoon I had gotten so good I could shatter ornaments off the tree without the branch moving. Then I had to play with my new socks for awhile.

  31. chucklebuck says:

    This is probably going to sound weird to some people, but here goes . . .

    About a year and a half after I got married, I had to move down to Florida to take care of my mom who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. My wife stayed behind to keep working, take care of our apartment, cat, etc. while I worked remotely out of another home down there. We were separated most of that time except for one or two weekends that were pretty much all we could afford with expenses on two places.

    My 30th birthday happened in the middle of all this, and of course I was not really in much of a mood to celebrate, didn’t care about cakes and presents and all that. But one day, a package showed up at my parents’ house. In it was the cutest plush monkey. My wife sent it to me to keep me company while she couldn’t be there.

    Again, it probably sounds odd, but there were nights when the whole weight of my mom dying any day just crushed down on me, and of course I had to put on the strong front for the family and give strength to mom to help her through what is certainly worse for her than it was for me. I spent more than a few nights just holding that little plush monkey and crying myself to sleep. It was the thing I could let all the pressure out on when it all got to be too much.

    My mom passed away a few days more than 8 years ago, and I still have that monkey, and it still stays in the bed when I sleep. I don’t know how any present I ever get from now until the end is ever going to top that one.

  32. chucklebuck says:

    I realize I just posted kinda the ultimate downer in what’s supposed to be the happy thread – sorry everyone!

  33. spark says:

    A Windstone Editions dragon figurine. I’d wanted one since I was 12. (I was 24 at the time.) One of my best friends got together with the guy I was dating at the time and split the cost of buying me one. (They’re not cheap.) Funnily enough, the best friend who had the idea is my husband now. The guy I was dating turned out to be a total tool.

  34. jojo319 says:

    Nintendo Sixty-FOOOOOOUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

    • kbr3970 says:

      YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Its on like Donkey Kong!!! LOL

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      OMG when I got mine, I didn’t stop playing for about 3 days. I ate, drank, and almost peed my pants in front of that damn thing.

      …. on a lighter note, mine is still in my bedroom, my kids play it all the time ;) I might actually finish Zelda, Ocarina of time! I’m on the last medallion at the Gerudo Fortress!! :)

  35. TerpBE says:

    Christmas day 2008 we brought my son home from the hospital. You can’t really top that.

  36. CreativeLinks says:

    Dating myself, but….Commodore 64–complete with 2 (count em, 2) floppy disk drives and a sweet 2400 baud modem.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      eh, i’d like a commodore 64 THIS christmas. but my dad isn’t giving his up. *pout*

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        Well, there’s always eBay. Or VICE, which is a sweet emulator.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          emulators don’t match my pong console, atari 2600, atari 5200, sega genesis… you see where i’m going with this? it’s keeping the old ones running that works for me.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I would totally freak if someone got me a Commodore 64 even now, I think I would be pretty happy provided it had everything I needed to use it and it worked especially since its something I don’t have.

    • rahntwo says:

      Commadore 64- wait- isn’t that like an abacus with an electric cord?

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        Let me guess– you owned an Atari 800 at the time, didn’t you? Ahh, yes, the good old days, when BBSs were full of “my Atari beats your Crummidoink!” and “My Commodore commands your Craptari.” I almost miss it. Btw–I was in the Atari camp.

        • rahntwo says:

          Honestly, the first puter I ever purchased was a Packard Bell Pentium from radio shack. I think it had a 2 or 4 megabit HD.

        • MarvinMar says:

          I remember getting our Atari 400. It was awesome!
          Then later we got an Atari 800 xl.
          I played the hell out of that thing. Remember loading games from the TAPE drive? LOL
          I also recall typing in my own games that I read in COMPUTE! magazine.
          Then I bought my own Commodore 64. I was in heaven and bought my own games for that every week.
          This is why I’m a computer nerd today.

    • JennQPublic says:

      I got a Commodore 64 for Christmas one year, too. And I LOVED IT!!!

    • HoJu says:

      Better get a fan on top of those floppy drives before they overheat!

  37. framitz says:

    Microscope at 8, Erector set at 9, and Chemistry set at 10.
    Those were the days.

  38. jenn7110 says:

    In 2008, I got both the most thoughtful gift ever, and I also got the most amazing.
    My husband gave me a book he covered and bound himself. It contained 52 envelopes. I was to open 1 a week for a year. Each envelope contained something he would either give me or do for me that week: things like a massage, scavenger hunt for another small gift, special dinner of my choice, etc.
    His mom gave me a car. I’d been driving a 14 year old car that was showing its age, but I had just started a new job after being unemployed, and there was no way we could afford to replace my car. She gave me a 4 year old Mini in fantastic shape. I’d been wanting a Mini for years. I had no idea, and was completely shocked. People still don’t believe me when I say my *mother in law* gave me a car.

    • greggorthechamp says:

      Last year I gave my nephews father a 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT Hatch. He is the sole caregiver of my 7 year old autistic nephew since my sister passed, and I needed to make sure he had something safe and reliable to cart my nephew around in. That was very nice of your mother in law to help you like she did, sounds like you married into a very nice fmaily.

  39. Nighthawke says:

    Four years ago it was a job that paid well. This year I want another job. (The jerks laid me off this week.)

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      That sucks I know how you feel. Just be dilligent, and don’t turn down a sucky job if it’s bearable be the pays more than unemployment (or offers benefits) I worked as an AT&T csr so yea.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      That sucks I know how you feel. Just be dilligent, and don’t turn down a sucky job if it’s bearable be the pays more than unemployment (or offers benefits) I worked as an AT&T csr so yea.

    • framitz says:

      I was laid off on December 23 in 2008 after 12 years along with 400 others.
      It took me 9 months to find work.
      I worked for just over a year as a contractor.
      I was hired as a permanent employee the 22nd of November.

      Hang in there and NEVER GIVE UP trying.

  40. HogwartsProfessor says:

    A radiator for my car. Thanks Mom!

    And my bf went out of his way to surprise me at work on his way moving to Arizona. Instead of driving through Texas as was his original plan, he came over and visited me. He walked through the door at my work at a quarter to five. You could have knocked me over with a feather. No one has EVER done anything like that just because I wanted them to. It was the most awesome thing ever.

    He says it was no biggie because it only added an hour to his driving time, but it really was.

  41. diagoro says:

    A handmade bowl and cup my ex-fiance’s kids gave me (would have been my step-kids)…..regardless of peripheral drama with my ex, they remain priceless….

  42. stevied says:

    PG-13 ?

    Darn, I can’t tell you about Xmas when I was 15 and the nice lady down the street gave me a nice…….. wait for it…….. basket of home Christmas Cookies.

    • stevied says:

      Really a basket of home made Christmas Cookies.

      Yes, I wanted something else. Looking back, those Christmas Cookies were quite good and no…. she wasn’t that hot after all.

  43. cash_da_pibble says:

    Tickets to the “Treasures of Egypt” exhibit at the De Young, and the “Secrets of the Pharaohs” dissertation by Zahi Hawass at the Legion of Honor. My boyfriend gave that to me last Christmas.

    Followed closely by the “Blinking Beauty” Barbie pony I got when I was 8- Santa brought that.

  44. VOIDMunashii says:

    Either my laptop, without which I likely would not have started writing again, or possibly my CC Radio, which has been used almost daily for the last nine years.

    I would like to says something cool from when I was a kid, but whatever big things I got on Christmas usually had to go back to the store because they were either broken or missing parts.

  45. Joseph S Ragman says:

    My house … last year.

  46. ogremustcrush says:

    If you’ve seen the video where the little kid just goes nuts when he gets an N64 for xmas, well that could’ve been me. Except I recall being even more excited.

  47. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    My second summer in college, my apartment was broken into and about 500 dollars worth of computer games, consoles and accessaccessories were taken. For my birthday about a week afterwards, my roommate and friends replaced almost half with stuff they had found at gamestop. It made me feel so good and I cried at their generosity.

  48. Alvis says:


  49. sgtyukon says:

    At the time, I was what we called in radio “air talent” and during our first year of marriage, I was unemployed for three months and we moved twice (it kind of goes with the territory). For our first wedding anniversary, my wife gave me an inexpensive and cheaply made red metal toolbox. I believe it cost a dollar or two. If you put anything heavy in it the latch wouldn’t stay closed while you carried it by the handle. It was all she could afford and I kept it and used it until the bottom rusted out.

  50. TabrisLee says:

    Over the last few years, my in-laws have been slowly gifting us some sweet cookware and dishes. Thanks to their generosity and ingenuity, we’ve got a full set of Calphalon pots and pans, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a few sets of nice beer glasses and other serving and entertaining pieces. Not only can we cook well for ourselves (which we do, almost every night) we can cook well for and entertain our friends and family. Those pots and pans have brought us countless nights of good times and it never seems like I thank them enough.

  51. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    A huge backyard trampoline.

  52. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    A combination lamp/end table with a movable lamp. My daughter picked it out when she was in her early teens. We put it together and I still use it to this day, each and every day. It’s one of the best gifts I ever received.

  53. JohnJ says:

    My best gift ever was the family finally allowing me to have a dog. My Shetland Sheepdog is the best doggie in the whole world.

  54. venomroses says:

    This Christmas I’m getting a ithica featherlight from my boyfriend. For my last birthday I got a Berretta 76. The 76 is the perfect sized little .22 handgun for me. I can’t shoot it anywhere outside of a range here in canada, but its still pretty awesome.

  55. yessongs says:

    Let’s just say my wife at the time put a smile on my face. Now I’m waiting to see what my girlfriend gives me.

  56. beandog says:

    My sister got me tickets to see George Winston in concert. I’d been a fan since I started college. It was awesome. :)

  57. AngryK9 says:

    Anything that my mother gave me before she passed away. :(

  58. speaky2k says:

    I would have to say it was an Atari back when they were just coming out in the late 70’s early 80’s (I don’t remember when.it was, I was just a kid at the time). “Santa” always left 1 present for the family and this time it was the Atari. This was left at the bottom of the steps so I almost tripped over it when I came down from my bedroom to the living room Christmas morning. I don’t remember many specifics about things from my childhood, but that is one memory that stands out.

  59. EllenRose says:

    It was back in about 1945, when I was four years old. “Santa” gave me a crystal radio kit that was so well constructed that I could put it together and use it even at that age. Opened it up on Christmas eve, put it together, woke my parents up Christmas morning with the weather reports.

  60. Scoop11 says:

    When my brother was stationed in California for training in the Navy, he went to a sci-fi/comic convention out there and got me the best gift.

    I was a huge X-Files fan at the time, so when he heard that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson from the show were the “super secret surprise guests,” he got in line and got me an autographed picture.

    I unintentionally spoiled it, though, when he called my grandparents’ house on Thanksgiving. He said to me over the phone, “You’ll never guess what I got you for Christmas.” Without thinking I jokingly said, “An autographed photo of David Duchovny?” There was this pause on the other end of the line, and I hear my brother say, “Well, you’ll have to wait until Christmas.”

    I still have the picture somewhere at my mother’s house. I think it’s in the closet since she’s re-done my room since I moved out.

  61. Ken V says:

    My Family.

  62. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i wanted a tree house for my eighth birthday.
    i got a stack of boards, a box of nails, a saw and a hammer. i still have the hammer and there’s still a platform in a tree in my parents’ backyard where i spent many an afternoon reading in peace.
    i never did get the hang of walls but it worked for me.

  63. BradenR says:

    I entered a radio contest for a pair of boots. When they called, I asked if they would donate the boots to an organization I appreciate. They not only donated that pair of boots but added four more pair to help one family. I didn’t realize how generous radio people can be.

  64. jbandsma says:

    The year my husband gave me tickets to go visit the 2 people I had been the closest to here. They had moved away and it had been a long time since I had seen them. It was a total surprise and I had absolutely no idea what he had planned.

  65. kittylauper says:

    A ticket to see Tori Amos.

  66. kc2idf says:

    My wife.


    Our first date was a Christmas party that my sister threw. We married a month and two years later.

  67. deltaalfadelta says:

    When I was about 14 years old I got a ATV for Christmas. It was a Suzuki that had just enough power to be REALLY fun for a fourteen year old. That was probably the best present I have ever received. Thanks Mom and Dad.

  68. PBS says:

    When my first wife and I divorced, she took two of our dogs and I took the other two. Shortly thereafter, I lost both my dogs to illness and my ex gave me back one of her dogs so that I wouldn’t be alone.

    For me, the best present ever.

  69. boris the red says:

    My 23 yr old son wrote me a haiku for my birthday this last summer. In 17 syllables he was able to refer to things that were what made me, well, me. And he incorporated me into something that was important to him. I’ve never had any gift that so reflected me and showed so much thought. And he wrote it on a tore up envelope no less. Needless to say, if my house is burning down, this will be the first thing I grab (besides the fam photos). Priceless.

  70. b612markt says:

    Italian Millifoiri Paperweight!

  71. FrugalFreak says:

    TV with closed captions. I cried because I was so happy. I could follow along like everyone else.

    • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

      I remember when I got my first captioner – it was a boxtop contraption that weighed a ton, but it was such a wonderuful thing to finally be able to understand the TV !!!!!

  72. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I’ll be dating myself here – Tandy Coco II (TRS-80) computer. I LOVED that thing, and spent hours upon hours learning Basic and Logo and writing programs. I also loved the games (esp Dungeons of Dagorath)

  73. KyBash says:

    For my 18th birthday, my dad’s lawyer gave me a ‘get out of jail free’ card. It was issued by a bail-bondsman guaranteeing my bail for up to $1000 (the maximum bail for a non-violent crime in that state at that time).

    I carried it in my wallet for more than a decade. I never had to use it, but it gave me peace of mind to know I’d never have to spend a night in jail no matter how bad I screwed up.

  74. Dilbitz says:

    When I was 5, I got a sweet 20″ Strawberry Shortcake bike with a banana seat. I still have it in my basement and once I get some new tires for it, I’m going to let my kids ride it.

  75. legotech says:

    so a few years ago, my parents were in London over the holidays and my sister and her family were joining them and my other sister was spending the holidays with her husbands family on the east coast…I was in Culinary School at the time and our last day before the holidays was like 12/23…Dad and I got together and he got me a flight to London and I walked into their flat on Xmas to surprise Mom…THAT was pretty cool…and then Dad surprised me with reservations to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Claridges and we sit down for dinner and Gordon Ramsay comes walking out of the kitchen…he was actually cooking that night!


  76. JulesNoctambule says:

    My aunt, who was declared cancer-free not long before Christmas a few years ago. I don’t remember a single present I bought or was given that year even though the celebration was a big one; all I remember is the look on my uncle’s face at the sight of his wife sitting with everyone when we weren’t sure for so long that she’d even make it through.

  77. Exek says:

    a donation in my name to the Human Fund

  78. kmw2 says:

    My shiny new laptop computer. This is indeed shiny and I love it, but what made it really specially is that my boyfriend correctly diagnosed that my 3-year old laptop was about to kick the bucket from a 3,500 mile distance and ordered it for me about two days before the old one died.

  79. SJActress says:

    I work in an outdoor bar. When it was really cold outside, my boyfriend and I were texting back and forth, and I told him I was cold and miserable. When he asked me if he could do anything, I jokingly told him I wanted socks and hot chocolate. He lives an hour away and is transitioning into a new job and is incredibly busy, so I didn’t expect anything.

    Wouldn’t you know it, an hour and a half later, he shows up with, you guessed it, socks and hot chocolate.

    Best present ever.

  80. Catmomma says:

    A 2010 Mustang convertible from my husband last year. We had 3 deaths in the family in 2009 and it was a harsh reminder to enjoy life while you can.

  81. notanignoramus says:

    There is nothing better in my life than seeing family members at Christmas time. I am several hundred miles from my closest relatives. Just having quality time with them is a gift in itself.

  82. flarn2006 says:

    My MacBook Pro. I’d been wanting one of those for like four years.

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      No matter how much Apple hate flies around this place, I gotta say that I love mine, too. Better than any PC laptop I’ve ever owned. I upgrade to the new model every few years, to keep up with developments in the software I use. Best part? The old ones still have GREAT resale value to defray the cost of the replacement.

  83. Darkneuro says:

    My dog woke me up one Christmas morning (about 3 a.m.) to go outside. They had predicted rain for the holiday, but it was snowing when I opened the door and had snowed about 4 inches already. Suzy sat just at the edge of the patio for about 30 seconds and then went back inside. I had mentioned earlier that I would very much like to see snow for Christmas since I was home from school in Southern California.
    She gave me snow for Christmas. I have never received a better, more welcome gift.

  84. gman863 says:

    Two years out of college my grandmother decided it would be a nice gift to send each of the grandkids a check. When we talked around Thanksgiving she told me to “buy yourself something you want but save part of it.”

    Given this clue, I was expecting (at most) a few hundred bucks. When the card arrived in mid-December and I opened it I damn near passed out.

    I won’t share the exact amount other than to say my remaining college debt disappeared and I had enough left over to kill off trips to the laundromat with my own washer and dryer.

    My guess is she wanted to be around to see our happiness rather than have an executor dole it out as part of her will. RIP Grandma.

    • bjcolby15 says:

      The year my father passed away from terminal lung cancer in 2005, all four of us brothers were expecting to get our usual $150 check and of course something to open.

      None of us expected a check for $1,000 – each – for Christmas. It was our mother’s way of thanking us for helping our dad through his last days, and Dad’s way of saying thanks for taking care of him. He wasn’t rich by any stretch, and his childhood in northern New Hampshire wasn’t Norman Rockwell, but that $1,000 was welcome during the time I paid my college loans.

  85. Rhinoguy says:

    1938 La Salle 5019, Google it. Fiftieth birthday, which was three years after I was supposed to have died. And THAT was back in 1999.

  86. jjmishu says:

    when I was fairly young I remember getting bells from Santa’s sleigh that “fell off” on my uncles roof in Germany.. this was the best gift ever, even 20 some years later when I know better..

  87. HungryGal says:

    When I was 8 or 9 I got a 35mm camera for Christmas. I can’t remember the brand now, but it was blue with black rubber bumpers and a neck strap. It took disposable flashes. I used to send away my film to be developed. As I remember, my favorite present ever. I’ve gotten some pretty awesome stuff since, but no surprise gift of this magnitude! (Well, my digital camera circa 2006 brought me to tears, but I had actually asked for it.) Not even a surprise 1g memory stick in the toe of my stocking in 2004 compared to my amazement at having MY OWN CAMERA in 1990.

  88. I just blue myself says:

    My crock pot! Thanks Mom

  89. Whimsey6 says:

    A 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. My sister-in-law came into some money, and wanted to repay us for the used car my husband and I had given to her many years ago.

  90. VATERGrrl says:

    Just after Christmas one year, my downstairs neighbors found a cat in our shared apartment basement. The poor thing was slightly overweight, and another neighbor took one look and said, “That cat’s pregnant.” I figured that was the end of my hope for adopting this kitty, but I took her to the vet and he said, “The cat’s been spayed, she just has love handles.” I brought her home to stay on my birthday — best birthday present ever!

  91. Rachacha says:

    I think by far, my Red Paramedic truck and Hook and Ladder truck made by Nylint (Tonka copycat) that Santa brought be when I was 4. I used to play EMERGENCY! (Cheezy TV show from the 1970s that followed 2 Paramedics in LA County for all you young kids). 36n’t make toys like they used to. years later it still works fine, although after 1000s of emergency calls, they are a bit banged up. They just to

  92. SagarikaLumos says:

    Almost 7 years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a dog that she just couldn’t cope with. Best present ever.

  93. cbutler says:

    I was the lucky recipient of the first generation Go-Ped when I was twelve. :)

  94. ElizabethD says:

    The three-speed English bike I got when I was 8. Walking downstairs and seeing it in front of the tree, all gleaming and enormous looking, was amazing. I used that bike for the next 15 years until someone stole it.

  95. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Back in the mid-1990’s, I was serving in Bosnia and a 6th grade class from rural Iowa sent me a very nice stainless steel w/green enamel, Stanley thermos. I have no idea how they got my name, collected the money for it, or came up with such a great idea but it really meant a lot to me. It got me through many very cold nights in the Balkans and several subsequent deployments.

    I still bring a thermos full of coffee to work with me every day.

  96. mister_deez says:

    ASUS G53JW-X1!!!

  97. Hil-fish says:

    When I was in college, I took a costume class, and we had to make a pair of boxer shorts for a project. I used the most lurid, god-awful ugly fabric I could find for my shorts, and proudly showed them off to my family at Thanksgiving. Everyone was suitably impressed with my workmanship and appalled at my sense of taste, including my gradmother.

    For Chanukah, I got a package from my grandmother. I opened the present before I opened the card, and the shirt she gave me was just hideous – there’s no other word for it. My parents, sister, and I were sitting there, wondering if my grandmother’s mind was going, as I iopened the card. The card read, “I thought this might match your shorts!”

    Best gift ever – we all just howled with laughter.

  98. bill793 says:

    The year I finally got my Red Rider BB Gun…almost made up for getting a boot in the face by santa, and the soap in the mouth for saying “fudge” But the first time I took it out, I broke my glasses :(

  99. zenpirate says:

    This year has been a little lean on the financial side of things. The tires on my car were begging to be replaced (one of them was almost bald and I was actually scared driving long distances on it) but I didn’t have the money to replace them. If anyone has ever been in a situation like that – something you rely on, like your car, desperately needs work but you can’t afford it – will know how anxious it made me.

    Best present? Walking out into the parking lot after work last week, my dad standing by my car and pointing to the four brand new tires on my car and saying, “Merry Christmas, kid!” I nearly broke down in tears!

  100. Abradax says:

    Tickets to see Jim Gaffigan for my birthday a few years ago.

  101. The_IT_Crone says:

    One year I was talking with one friend that I hadn’t seen in years and his friend (who hardly knew me) gasped when she learned it was my birthday. She asked me what I’d gotten and I’d said “oh I never get anything” and shrugged. She disappeared into her bedroom, and came out a few minutes later, finishing polishing this fold-up knife. She presented it to me with a flourish, saying that “everyone needs a gift on their birthday.”

    If I got a car for Xmas this year (not bloody likely), it still wouldn’t mean as much as that gesture did.

  102. Adam says:

    Yeah, it’s a family site here. What, you don’t gather the wife and all the kids around the computer and read The Consumerist together?

  103. ninabi says:

    Years ago my children were 5 and 7 and we were living in a damp condo in rainy Seattle, far from any of our relatives. Christmas Eve came and my husband told the children he had to pick up a present for them. A surprise…

    “Is it a puppy?” (no) “Does it use batteries?” (sometimes) “Does it come in a box?” ( oh God it better not) “Can we play with it?” (yes!)

    They peppered me with questions for the hours their dad was gone. And then, they heard the car pull in out front and it was so hard to keep them standing inside, waiting for The Present…

    It was Grandma! Grandma! The kids were over the moon at seeing my husband’s mother, swarming her with hugs and shouts. They had no expectations of seeing any family for the holidays.

    That they were so happy because of seeing somebody they loved and not toys was a real gift to all of us.

  104. HenryES says:

    A 20 GB 2nd gen iPod.

  105. 44Wadeable says:

    My grandfather would give me bonds “for my education” every holiday as a kid. I never needed them during my undergrad, but last year, after my first year of grad school, I couldn’t put together steady work for the summer (damned economy). As a result of the bonds maturing, I was able to pay rent and buy food for myself until classes (and my assistantship) kicked in again. As a plus, since I go to music school, I actually had a very productive summer of practicing and was told my playing was markedly improved after the summer. Thanks, Gramps!

  106. Bella_dilo17 says:

    Hmmm… my dog, Dottie was a wonderful gift.

    I also got a Pokémon camera when I was 5, and now I’ve upgraded many times, but it fed my love of photography.

  107. NoFriggingWay says:

    I almost Miscarried our Last Child.I had pre eclmasia, a prolapsed uterus and not enough Amniotic fluid. I had Intra Uterine Growth restriction and was having injections weekly to help develop her lungs before Birth. She was Due Around the new year. On 12/21/2005 I had a Sonogram that showed her Lung function was below the ability to sustain life. I went in for a Emergency C-Section and we were terrified about what could happen. Baby girl was born 5lbs 3 oz. She was healthy with no problems what so ever. She stayed in the hospital till 12/24 and after 3 days was able to come home. Our family always has opened one Present on Christmas Eve to help the kids be able to make it till Christmas Morning. I think this was one hell of a Christmas eve present to our whole family.

  108. JeremieNX says:

    My best gift ever was a photo of my great grandmother at her 90th bday party…. That was the most recent time when most of my family on her side was together in one place and once time.

  109. OutThere says:

    A PlayStation 2. I had been asking, wait, begging my parents for a PlayStation 1 since they were the really big bulky kind. I received the slim PlayStation 2 the year after they replaced the original bulky ones. I had kinda grown jaded by that point, and though I asked for a PlayStation that year, I didn’t really expect to get one. Lo and behold, a PlayStation 2 AND a 9″ TV so I could use it in the car on our annual post-Christmas cross-country family-visiting road trip. I guess my parents finally decided my brain was so rotten from TV and the computer that an extra video game console wouldn’t hurt. I even got a copy of my then-favorite game, Crash Bandicoot Warped, which was a PS1 game, but that totally didn’t matter to me. I was very, very happy that year.

  110. shawnamuffin says:

    A Sony Discman from my parents when I was 12. It gave me years of happiness, and even today I have it stuffed in a drawer, broken but still there…can’t bear to throw it out.

  111. EarthAngel says:

    Since 2001, my husband has been deployed too many times. Of the ten years we’ve been married, we’ve spent at least half of the winter holidays separated.

    The year he went to Afghanistan, his orders kept getting extended 30 days at a time. He was supposed to be home in October, only to find that the unit’s orders were extended another month at the last minute (literally, they were loading the bus with their bags to head to the airport). Same thing happened in November and December. In January, he called to let me know that he was going on another mission and he would call me when he got home. Of course, he couldn’t tell me any of the details of this mission. And the idea of not hearing from him for 30 days when he is in a combat zone scared me, because we never knew what was happening and it drove me crazy to watch the news.

    Thankfully, his mission brought him home. It wasn’t for Christmas, but it was still the best gift. He’s not active duty anymore, but he joined the National Guard when he got out. He’s scheduled for deployment again next year, but it doesn’t matter because he’s home now and we are spending Christmas together as a family.

    • EarthAngel says:

      clarification: In January, he called to let me know that he was going on another mission and he would call me when he got back to the home base.

  112. bobosgirl says:

    Best gift as a child: Mrs. Beasley doll . Best adult gift I ever got: My 4 daughters, Janine, Alex, Olivia & Sarah.

  113. trencherman says:

    My dad welded a horse cart out of scrap metal and old bicycles parts when I was about 12. It was awesome.

  114. Wysguy says:

    My 9 year old dog lost all his energy when he turned 5as a result of a mountain of medical problems. About 6 months ago, we were sitting in the sunshine enjoying each others company and I told him that I loved him and wouldn’t trade him for anything, but I wished I had my puppy back. His illnesses got the best of him in September and our whole family swore off getting another dog, but a month later, we welcomed another puppy in the family… I know it was his gift to me

  115. ldavis480 says:

    A bottle of Glenmorangie 18 year old scotch.

  116. djkatscan says:

    When i was a kid i wanted the petster robotic cat. I cried when i opened it. I still remember the clapping sequence to get it to purr.

  117. corker says:

    My father was dying, and he was really suffering. It was in 1973, the hottest labor day weekend ever. I went with my sisters to say goodbye. shortly thereafter he passed. as i was driving home, crying in this terrible heat and I asked God to give me a sign that my father was up in heaven. at that instant, the wind whipped up and i could smell the ocean and the heat wave was over. I knew God had answered my prayer. it was the best gift I ever received. Just wanted to share. thanks

  118. anduin says:

    Super Nintendo when I was like 5 or 6, back when video games were a new world to me. Mind was literally blown and I still thank my parents for it.

  119. tkates says:

    As part of my Valentine’s Day gift this year, my boyfriend folded up some paper into a rhyming storybook and tucked in pennies representing our birth years and the year we met each other. On the back, it says “future pennies here.” I just about melted onto the floor. It was very sweet, and I treasure it.

  120. muffinandjezebel says:

    A suitcase full of Barbie clothes when I was in the third grade. My mother had paid a lady to make the clothes for me and I had evening gowns, dresses and a velvet coat to die for. I still remember how happy I was when I saw all those Barbie clothes. Those were the days….

  121. dg says:

    Well, there’s the original gift that my parents gave me – the gift of Life. But since then, lots of stuff – all interesting. But the one which ended up having the biggest impact? A calculator kit when I was 5 – had to solder it together myself. Still have it in a box somewhere…

    That one gift led to a career in ‘puters…

  122. sweetgreenthing says:

    It wasn’t for a holiday, but the best gift I ever got was my car. I was a single mom, recently left my abusive alcoholic father’s house and staying with my best friend’s parents. I had just started a new job, had only some savings left- and the lease was up on my car. I was stuck.
    A woman I had never met from my best friend’s mom’s church offered to sell me her daughter’s 2001 civic for $800. It was everything I had, but I needed a car so I said yes. When I got there, she said nevermind. She didn’t need any money. I still cry when I think of how this stranger handed me the keys to this perfect, freshly detailed and full of gas car- for nothing. The only rule is that when I am done with the car I can’t sell it. I have to either give it to someone else who needs it or junk it and give the cash to someone who needs it. I’m okay with that :)

  123. qwill says:

    I think I have something in my eye… thanks for sharing everyone.
    As a kid it was a frog print comforter set and a huge stuffed frog. It was so unexpected and so me.
    As an adult my husband got me a kitten for our first Christmas together. A house is not a home without a cat.
    This Christmas my son is coming home for the first time in 3 years. Pass the tissues please.

  124. mowz says:

    New car. My parent told me that they would help me out with college, but they never came through. So I guess because they felt bad for helping out my sister with her financial problems and leaving me to pay for college, they got me a car when I graduated.

  125. consumedchick says:

    I tried to read through these, looking for a few laughs but it’s all corny

  126. nsv says:

    Mom spent her last Christmas with me.

  127. jellyfish says:

    Oh goodness…it’s a tie. My laptop, which is five years old and on its last legs, was an excellent gift from my parents. A few years later, my mother sent me a subscription to National Geographic magazine for my birthday and she renews it every year. I love the articles and the pictures, and it’s saved me from buying them at the thrift store. The magazines take up a ton of space, but it’s worth it.

  128. Tedsallis says:

    Adult Best: Amazon Kindle. Surprise gift from my very thoughtful wife, since my eyesight has gone to pot I’d pretty much stopped reading. Kindle gives me the ability to set type extra large so reading books is a pleasure again.
    Kid Gift: Mego Planet of the Apes Treehouse playset+ A bunch of ape figures. Man I had a great time with those!

  129. Joseph49 says:

    A pack of chewing gum. My wife of 1 year and 4 month old daughter gave me a pack of gum because it was all they could afford. The best, and most memorable, gift I ever received. We’ve been married 36 years.

  130. MysticYoYo says:

    A Garmin GPS device from my older brother! I am SEVERELY directionally challenged. Seriously.

    You have no idea.

  131. djkatscan says:

    I know i have already posted one, but I just thought of another one. My nieces gave me gift cards with like $3.46 and $7.28 on them. I guess my brother made them use thier allowances to get me gift cards. Thier scratchy handwriting on the front of the card…i

  132. Loridori4 says:

    When my husband bought me a pair of expensive running shoes, in the right size, and without me asking for them :)

  133. PercyChuggs Was Found At JFK Airport says:

    I woke up one morning in my palatial suburban estate, and my wife had bought me a new Lexus and it was sitting in my wide open living room with a big bow on it.

  134. Mr Fife says:

    My Grandmother’s smile…

  135. Robofish says:

    Spyder Ski Jacket. sooooo warm and it’s always being used.

  136. Riroon13 says:

    Late 1970’s. I was not quite 10 and the Star Wars movies had blown my mind.

    ‘Santa’ had procured for me every Star Wars figure available at the time, along with a few playsets/ vehicles.

    From Thanksgiving Day until Christmas Eve, each day I woke up there was a new figure that Santa had hid somewhere in the house for me to find. On Christmas Day, the playsets and vehicles showed up under the tree.

    Dad didn’t have much $$, but he made sure we had awesome Christmases!

  137. Warai says:

    My first guitar. Still have it, still plays great, and provided me with a lifetime hobby.

  138. NoThankYou says:

    Shop Vac

  139. DashTheHand says:

    My dog. A gift from my wife (girlfriend at the time). They’re both great and I love them.

  140. MarvinMar says:

    This one year, mom mom got me and my dad a ton of TV Dinners.
    My best one had raisins in it… I like raisins.

  141. kennedar says:

    Our dog. We were driving home from a brunch at the beginning of December 2 years ago when I suggested that we go look to see what was involved with adopting a dog from the local humane society. We were able to afford her adoption fees and all the “set up” costs that come with bringing home a new puppy by calling her our Christmas present to each other. She has given us so much happiness since we brought her home, far and away the best present I have ever recieved. This year, we are hoping and praying for a postive home pregnancy test on Christmas morning. I think that one would beat our pup after the 18 months of infertility!!

  142. Helix Queen says:


  143. Rena says:

    Probably my bike, but it wasn’t a birthday/Christmas gift, so maybe that doesn’t count? The Nintendo 64 is definitely a contender; best game console ever dangit. I still play it. (well that one burned out and I had to replace it but yeah.)

  144. Wolfbird says:

    My man bought me a Kindle. It’s extra-awesome because I read books like most people eat food and for some reason Kindles never appeared on my Cool Stuff radar until one was given to me. It’s a killer little gadget.

  145. B says:

    The Millennium falcon I got when I was 7 or 8. It was by far my favorite toy as a child. Finding out as an adult that my dad and uncle put it together the night before Christmas makes it all the more touching a story. Finding out that they were possibly a little stoned, thanks to my uncle’s primo weed makes it a funny story.

  146. Bernard says:

    An incredibly loud Japanese alarm clock that doesn’t have a volume knob.