18 Times Our Readers Got The Absolute Best Gift Ever

There’s nothing like the moment when you realize that you’ve just received your heart’s desire in the form of a gift from someone else. Not only does it mean adding something wonderful to your life — whether it’s that prized toy you’ve been coveting, freedom from tyranny or a new fuzzy friend. Speaking of fuzzy, we asked you, our wonderful, giving readers a few weeks ago to tell us about the best gift you’ve ever gotten, whether it was Christmas, Hanukkah or just a regular day.

Now we’re going to ask you to try not to get your heart squeezed with the answers that we were lucky enough to receive.


I got the best gift ever the Christmas of 2012. My father had passed away from cancer on Oct. 9, 2012 after a seven-month battle. That Christmas I didn’t want to celebrate or do anything for my birthday (I was born six days before Christmas). It was hard because Christmas was my father’s favorite time of the year, he got to be a kid again and often would enjoy playing with the toys and games more then me and my brothers did.

On Christmas day, after my younger brother tore though all of his gifts, I found this little wrapped box and opened it. Inside was a necklace with a heart pendent with little red stones. It was from my father. He knew he wouldn’t make it to Christmas, so he went and bought me this necklace. I wear it every day on a chain along with a pendant with his birthstone and his wedding ring. On the back of the heart there is a short poem,

“My little girl yesterday, my friend today, my daughter forever.”

I love him and miss him but I am so grateful for this necklace.

The necklace, and "the greatest dad ever."

The necklace, and “the greatest dad ever.”


My late cat Marvin. The best thing anybody ever gave me.


Freedom. In the summer of 1965, we escaped across the Iron Curtain and, on November 3, 1965, we emigrated to the United States.

Best gift ever, indeed, and one that truly keeps on giving.


The best Christmas gift I ever received was a jungle cat bedding set when I was 16. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? But I didn’t think I would be getting any presents that year. My dad had been laid off and was having trouble finding steady employment. My parents told me that the couple of presents under the tree were for my grandparents, and I believed them. I didn’t throw a fit or anything! Imagine my surprise when they handed me two big boxes on Christmas Day (I got a new CD player, too). Our extended family was a bit confused when I started sobbing over a comforter.


I’m not usually much of a fangirl about any brand or product to actually write in to these things, but five years ago my mother purchased me a North Face Base Camp Duffel, and this is still my all-time favorite, most-used, most-loved gift ever. I don’t know how my mom ended up buying this for me, and I can assume it was dumb luck on her part (thanks again, Mom!), because she’s not much for travel.

But this bag is perfect for hopping on and off of over-night trains in India, keeping your clothes dry in Alaska, and comfortable enough to keep on your back trekking through Belize (I have done all of these things and more with this bag). It makes a great gift for any young traveller, and I am SO thankful for this gift, even years after the fact. She got me the Large in bright red, which is just about perfect. I can cinch it down smaller or make it bigger when I need it, and the bright color is awesome for airports (it definitely stands out!). It comes in different sizes and colors, it’s waterproof, the zippers can be locked, you can either wear it like a backpack or carry it like a traditional duffel, and it is tough as nails… after years of travel, airports, and abuse, it’s still in near-perfect condition.



I have to say, the best gift I ever received for Christmas was an Almond Joy, a bottle of red Mountain Dew, and a package of butterscotch pudding. None of those are particularly expensive or interesting, but they are three of my favorite snacks. A simple gift, but an incredibly thoughtful one — it’s nice to have someone who knows you well enough to get you the little things. I guess that’s part of the gift too, having someone that’s that good of a friend.


Best gift from my sister was a pair of Uggs boots. On sale and it was a size 3 (child) but I’m a adult size 5 so it fit.


The Best gift I ever received was from my spouse is a wedding ring with engagement ring attached. I received it 14 years after we were married. He couldn’t afford one until he went back to work for Boeing in 1980. He has passed on and I know longer wear it; but that was my best gift.


The best gift that anyone could ever receive, the gift of life! Seven years, five months and five days ago. I was fortunate to receive a kidney from an anonymous angel. Not a day goes by that my thoughts wander her way.

Please become an organ donor and hopefully you will receive a special place in heaven!!!!!!


When I was a teenager I was, and still am, a huge fan of the artist Frank Frazetta. He is most famous for his Conan and Tarzan book covers from the 60’s and 70’s.

For Christmas my parents gave me an original Thunda #1 from 1952. The only comic book that was entirely Frazetta’s artwork.

I still have it some 40 years later and a comic that is over 62 years old. Best present ever. Thanks mom and dad.



The best gift I ever received was from my girlfriend for Christmas.

A bit of backstory: At the ripe age of 18 I set out for basic training in the U.S Army. The first thing i bought was a very basic olive green Timex watch. At a time when flying under the radar was a very smart thing to do, having a watch to keep you from being late was a lifeline. Many years later my watch had been used and abused and finally crapped out. I was devastated. My wonderful girlfriend set out to get me a new one. Her mother kept saying she should get me a nice metal or fancy watch. My girlfriend knew better, and searched and searched until she found what she was looking for. Christmas day I open a small box to see the exact same model as my old watch. I was elated! I could only ever find them at AAFES stores on military bases. She just happened to find it in an obscure military surplus store in Tucson, AZ. This will probably be the best present anyone has or will ever give me.


We grew up poor. A good Christmas present was socks. One Christmas I came downstairs expecting socks and there was a TV! And a record player! And a bicycle! I was in kid nirvana. I only found out years later that my big brother had gone into massive credit card debt to buy it all. It haunted him for years, but it’s my favorite Christmas memory. We’re old men now, but I still go out of my way every Christmas to tell him how much that meant to me.


I was 12 years old and my parents got me a Casio VL tone. It was the best gift ever and a BIG surprise!



Amongst the mittens, PJs, books, and toys from Santa and my grandparents was always a Christmas gift that was to me from just my dad. He wrapped it himself and it showed in its funky, wrinkled glory. The gift was always something offbeat or particularly interesting to his science-y daughter. As I approached my teens, he knew how hard it was to share the old Hi-Fi record player with my brothers. So, one Christmas he gave me a portable record player. It’s nearly 50 years later and I still recall carefully opening the box. These special ‘Dad’ gifts were the highlight of my Christmas. I miss him.


The best present I ever got (at least that’s what I thought when I opened it) was what my wife gave me in 2004. She knows I’m an airplane buff, and I have occasionally tried to take ground school at a community college, only to have the course cancelled before the start each time. So she saved up a bit and I opened my last gift to find a certificate good for a 4- minute ride (cost of about $450) in the front seat of a dual control WWII SNJ trainer. I was ecstatic and singing her praises to everyone.

The outfit with the plane was in Winchester, VA, about a five-hour drive from us, so we called up the pilot, set an appointment, and drove down the night before. We arrived at the airport, and found the pilot. He took one look at me said, “I’m sorry to have tell you this, but your shoulders are too broad to fit in the plane.” He refunded the money on the spot and we drove home rather disappointed. As they say, it’s the thought that counts.


The best gift ever was one year after my grandmother passed away, when my aunt made us personalized quilts (sized to be a throw on a couch). A quilt would have been a thoughtful, home-made gift on it’s own; but she also up-cycled my grandmother’s linens into the quilt-backers. That family connection made it feel like there was one more Christmas with my grandma…. a gift beyond price.


My Krazy car, of course. Nothing’s topped it yet.



I have to give a bit of background before I tell what the gift was or one won’t understand the significance. I was finishing graduate school at the time. I had been teaching for 10 years and had decided to go back to school to get my M.ED in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialty in Reading since I worked with children who had difficulty reading. My graduation was set for Mother’s Day Weekend. Of course, I let my parents know because I would have loved for them to be there. I had skipped my undergraduate ceremonies since I had finished early in the fall, but the ceremonies were only held in the spring.

As it turned out, the weekend of my graduation was the same as the yearly Meeting of the National Bankers’ Association, which my father attended every year…and this year the event was in Bermuda… with all those lovely golf courses my father was so looking forward to playing. There was NO way I was going to even ask my golfer father to give up a trip that had been planned for more than a year to attend a boring ceremony. I told him that we’d celebrate as a family when he and my mother returned.

True to his word, my father called when they got back to the United States to tell me they were coming to visit that weekend. He wanted me to pick the restaurant I’d always wanted to visit but never had. Saturday came and my parents arrived, my Daddy, with a large box in tow. They wanted to see my diploma and class ring and then Daddy handed me the box. I opened it and there it was, the thing every golfer aspires to but only a select few ever get! I had spent the previous two years working very hard teaching school full-time and going to school half-time. I guess my father felt I had earned my green blazer as much as any golfer who has had the lowest four day score at Augusta National ever has. I’ve never been prouder of a gift. I had my green Masters’ Blazer for my Masters’ Degree!

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