Best Gift Ever


icon2.gif Everyone has those one or two gifts they received at some point in their life that they will never forget. The gift that will forever stay with you. The one where every gift received after it will pale in comparison.
We would like to know what your perfect, or “best gift ever received” is, use the comment form below the page to share  – “What is the best gift you have ever received?”
Here’s a summary of what we have received so far:

1. Voucher for a free skydiving trip with guide.
2. Surprise weekend with friends & leatherbound book of 100 letters written by people who I have known.
3. GPS unit.
4. Friend told me I had turned from an Ugly Duckling to a Swan.
5. Husband commissioned a local composer we know to write a clarinet duet for the two of us to play.
6. A prayer box necklace.
7. Giant trampoline (surprised after being told “no”)
8. Tickets to go see Joy Behar + dinner out.
9. Wife commissioned artists to make a ceramic collage with references to many of the major connections in my life.
10. Personalized sign with my name written the way nephew says it.
11. A slick Nike tracksuit.
12. Trip to Disney World.
13. Honeymoon trip to Italy from my parents.
14. Real street name sign.
15. Amazing hug from a friend when I really needed it.
16. Necklace – 5 large oval-shaped turquoise-like stones called Larimer from the Dominican Republic.
17. My grandmother gave me her 50+ year old china and crystal.
18. Husband planned a brunch for my special birthday.
19. Diamond eternity band on our 10th anniversary, & trip to Bed & Breakfast, outstanding dinner, and relaxation.
20. Donation to my favorite charity.
21. Secret cooking sauces.
22. Necklace with a pendant, containing our daughter’s birthstone.
23. My daughter gave me a picture frame with both old and recent photos of our family arranged in a collage.
24. My engagement ring.
25. Two beautiful scrapbooks tracking my pregnancy and first year of my son’s life.
26. Personalized book that tells a story while spelling his name.
27. Package of Tropical Fruit Punch Bubble Yum, wrapped up in a handmade cardboard box.
28. Personalized book for son’s 4th birthday.
29. Gift of laser eye surgery from paremts.
30. Diamond eternity band from husband (he designed it).
31. Special white envelope.
32. Wooden paint box engraved with my name. A wonderful gift for a beginning artist.
33. Pair of new shoes.
34. Gold Star of David with the “Chai” symbol (commemorating aunts who passed away from cancer)

Thank you all who have submitted your “Best Gift Ever” stories in our quest for providing unique gift ideas to un-stump your brain!

Food for thought – was the best gift you ever received purchased as a last minute gift?

Add your “best gift ever received” below…

40 Responses to Best Gift Ever

  1. Joe Peterson says:

    The best gift I ever received was a voucher for a free skydiving trip with guide. I live near Lake Elsinore in California where there are few different companies that take offer this. It wasn’t much money and I’ll remember it forever. I’m sure there are companies all around the US that offer affordable skydiving trips.

  2. jerry ashworth says:

    The best gift I ever received was from my wife,jeanne on my 50th birthday. Along with a surprise weekend with friends, she presented me with a leatherbound book of 100 letters written by people who I have known throughout my life.

  3. Cassie D says:

    I would have to say that the best gift I have ever received was over this past Christmas. My boyfriend knows I am a total freak show about driving places because I have this horrible fear of getting lost. I drive a lot so this anxiety about getting lost was a huge problem. He got me a Garmin GPS unit and I use it almost everyday. Even when I know where I am going! Garmin has some of the best and most innovative GPS units on the market and I am so appreciative of this great gift. No more getting lost for me!

  4. Lucille says:

    When I was an undergraduate in college, I was quite shy. I did hang out with some grad students who were wise. They tolerated my shyness and took me under their wing. They lived with my pathetic attempts at social conversation until I learned how to do it. When I turned 21 they took me to dinner. The nicest gift I received was a ruler from my friend, a PHD in Math, which had the story of the Ugly Duckling on it. She told me I had turned from an Ugly Duckling to a Swan.

    My daughter has given me a rock she found on a walk we did one day. She told me it was the Rock of Love.

  5. Lauren says:

    The best gift I ever received was for an anniversary/birthday a few years ago from my husband. We both play clarinet and met playing in a community wind symphony 30+ years ago and still play in this group. He commissioned a local composer we know to write a clarinet duet for the two of us to play. It is called “Three Moods” and references Glenn Miller’s theme “In the Mood” in each of the three movements. We aptly heard this Glenn Miller tune throughout our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies. The duet is lovely.

  6. A prayer box necklace. It’s a simple gift, but deep and meaningful.

  7. Casie says:

    When I was a kid my brother and I really wanted a giant trampoline for Christmas. We asked and asked but my parents said it was too expensive (this was obviously after we found out about Santa). On Christmas morning we had unwrapped all of our presents but there was no trampoline to be found. A little while later my Dad told us to go run out to the garage. There it was…a giant trampoline in all of its glory. Best present ever. Even now I’d be happy to get one!

  8. Amanda says:

    I had my own talk show in college and always said I was ‘the Kelly Ripa of Marietta’ and my friend Josh bought me tickets to go see Joy Behar (redhead from the View talkshow) he suprised me (for no reason) with tickets to see Joy Behar in Cincinatti with dinner too! It was a great night and one I will never forget – not just because I met Joy but because of how much thought he put into it!

  9. Roy says:

    For a “round number” birthday, my wife commissioned two very creative pottery artists to make a ceramic collage with references to many of the major connections in my life. It is amazing! The “plaque” includes replicas of the musical instrument I play, my college class ring, a well-known product that I helped to develop and introduce, home handyman paraphernalia, my company’s name and logo, a giraffe eating my birthday cake (we went on a safari), and the tail of a diving whale (we were on a whale watching cruise). The piece hangs on our kitchen wall, and no visitor can see it without wanting to know the story.

  10. John Johansen says:

    My wife, who is very creative, gave me a great present recently. We had some friends with a little two-year old that couldn’t quite pronounce our last name.

    For Christmas, she had created a little sign, framed and all, that says: Mr. Johandsome.

  11. Kyle says:

    A slick Nike tracksuit when I was in the sixth grade by a distant relative. Circa 1983. Totally unexpected therefore more of a surprise. I wore it to school and some of the squares gave me a hard time. Unknown to me I was representin’ to some degree, as these were made trendy soon after by seminal hip-hop groups such as Run DMC and the Fat Boys. Right now I’d recommend tracksutis by Fila, which you’ll see from time to time in the Sopranos. Luxurious velour with great rich color combinations. Ideal for sytlish housewear, and if you’re really feeling gangsta, wear it to sch…, er, work, er, maybe the grocery store.

  12. Scott Alden says:

    After high school graduation, I was offered several things: cash, a washer and dryer (I was moving out), and a couple other things. Instead, my folks along with the parents or several friends of mine, pooled their money and got us all a trip to Disney World. Sounds kinda kiddie for 18 year olds but we basically got 6 days in Orlando, Paradise Island (with fake ID’s), the beaches, etc. So, a vacation with all my buddies still ranks #1. With all the packages and such it wasn’t that bad. We left our graduation party and went right to the airport. Fun times!

    (Well, perhaps the birth of both children around my birthday would count as #1, but I don’t think that’s a valid gift idea :-) )

  13. Sam says:

    The best gift I ever received was our honeymoon trip to Italy from my parents.

  14. Andy says:

    This might not be the “best” gift I ever received, but the first thing that comes to mind is something that a few friends gave me back in my senior year in high school. Three friends gave me a call and told me that they had a present for me that I would always remember. A number of things went through my head, but I had no idea that they had absconded with town property in the form of a street sign from a street called “Andrews Hollow”. I’m not advocating theft, but I do still have that street sign on my desk (about 18 years later). The street sign not only has my name in it, the word “Hollow” also adds to the atmosphere that displaying the sign can have when it’s up in “my” area (my desk). Also, I come from a very small town and there is a connection that the sign adds to my memories of simpler times.

  15. Connie says:

    The best gift I ever received was an amazing hug from a friend when I really needed it. It was life-changing.

  16. Trish says:

    When my boyfriend went home for the holidays just a few months after we started dating, he surprised me when he returned with the most beautiful necklace that I have ever seen. It is made of 5 large oval shaped turquoise like stones called Larimer from the Dominican Republic. He had it specially made for me. It is quite a large piece of jewelry so I don’t get to where it very often but I always get compliments on it whenever I where it. Even though the relationship has ended, the necklace continues to make me feel special b/c someone thought to have something special designed just for me.

  17. Julie says:

    If you had asked me this question back 12 years ago when my grandmother gave me her 50 plus year old china and crystal, by no means would I ever thought these itemms would be the best gift I ever got. Now being a lot older and my grandmother has since past, I have to admit, these items are indeed my best gift ever.

    I now have a family of my own and we now have taken on the tradition of hosting holidays and use these family heirlooms. I think of how lucky I am that she handed these down to me and I too in turn will do so one day to our children.

  18. Carol says:

    The best birthday gift I ever received was when my husband planned a brunch for my special birthday. This was not just any brunch: the place was wonderful and there was a place my seven grandchildren could play outside while my adult children could relax and really enjoy themselves. The day cooperated, and the weather was perfect, the food was great and it was so nice that my daughters helped him plan the event. Best of all, we were all together. I will remember that day forever.

  19. Dana says:

    I have received a number of incredible gifts I am pleased to say- mostly from my husband. The two that stick out in my memory are a diamond eternity band on our 10th anniversary of being together and a trip to the Windam Hill B&B where we had an outstanding dinner, napped in a lovely room and ate two amazing meals!

  20. Yampa says:

    The best gift I think you can give or receive is a donation to your favorite charity in the name of some one…ie. adopt a pet, plant a tree, pick a start, cancer research, etc…in some one’s name. We often spend money frivolouosly, why not have the money be spent on cancer research or saving the children, for the troops etc.

    At my son’s last birthday party on his invitation, I stated that “their presence is gift enough”…but if they felt so compelled they could donate money to a charity of their choice in his name. Unfortunately, of the 15 kids invited, only 2 did so, and the rest brought gifts. I just think kids have way too much excess…and I would like to instill a greater sense of giving back at a young age….I will continue to do this with hopes that it will catch on. I plan to do this next year with holiday gifts as well.

  21. Bob Dyke says:

    My daughter gave me a selection of secret cooking sauces, I use them all the time. My cooking gets much improved results.

  22. Tina D. says:

    The best gift I’ve ever received was from my husband just after our first child was born. It was a necklace with a pendant, and the pendant contains our daughter’s birthstone. It is not only beautiful (I still get compliments on it every time I wear it), but it is special because he designed it with our daughter in mind.

  23. Emily says:

    Every Christmas my kids would get me what I told them I needed without many surprises. But one Christmas my daughter gave me a picture frame with both old and recent photos of our family arranged in a collage that she had made. It was such a wonderful gift that meant so much to me. I still have it hanging in my house.

  24. Meaghann says:

    The best gift I’ve ever received is my engagement ring. It sounds cheesy and cliche, but it’s true…besides it’s sparkling beauty, I love what it stands for, what stories can be told about it, and what memories were created around & with it.

  25. Jody says:

    Recently I received two beautiful scrapbooks tracking my pregnancy and first year of my son’s life. My niece had put so much thought into picking the right photos and adding the right captions and embellishments. It really brought back so many memories and looks 1000 times better than just a plain photo album. With digital photos and computers so common today, I think many rely on the computer screen versus photo album to look a pictures. These books reminded me that sometimes the old way is better. I will cherish these albums for years to come. I also intend on keeping up the library and creating one for each year of my son’s life until he graduates. It will be something nice to hand down when he starts a family.

  26. Lisa says:

    When our second son was born we received a personalized book that tells a story while spelling his name. It is a great unique and thoughtful gift (at least we thought so). I loved it so much that I bought one for our older son too. They will even print a personalized message on the inside cover. They also have a princess version for girls. The website is

  27. Erica says:

    The most memorable gift that I received was in 6th grade by my next door neighbor. We “liked” each other, and he gave this gift to my friend to give to me. It was a package of Tropical Fruit Punch Bubble Yum all wrapped up in a handmade cardboard box. The flavor has since been discontinued.

  28. Kim says: sells beautifully personalized books for babies and children. My son received one for his 4th birthday and I’ve been buying them for gifts ever since. Use FSD12415 at checkout and you will receive free shipping on your order. Great keepsake books–check it out!

  29. giftguy says:

    It took me awhile to put in my entry for the best gift I ever received. But, it dawned on me the other day when I was driving. A number of years ago my parents offered to give me the gift of laser eye surgery. They had recently had it done themselves and were so happy that they wanted to share that with me. It was amazing! I often forget how much that changed my life. No more contacts, or fumbling for glasses at night. No more worrying about contacts coming out doing a game of hoops. It is a gift that literally walks with me everywhere I go. I have definitely received some amazing gifts in my life, but this is one that is as close as it comes to “best”. (I’m not counting some of the very important other “gifts” such as GiftBaby and PrecociousGiftKid, health, family, friends, etc.).

  30. the best gift i have every received were two of my favorite things in one. first, diamonds are a girls best friend. c’mon if it comes down to it every girls likes and needs some diamonds. second, i love it when i receive gifts that my husband actually puts his thought into. This is the reason why a diamond eternity band that my husband designed tops my list. he worked with some designers and actually designed the whole thing!

  31. GT girl says:

    I have never received this gift, but I have given it and it gets one of the best responses I’ve ever seen to a gift!

    Here’s an inspiring story that may lead to some great Christmas gift ideas that anyone would love! The original story was published in the December 1982 issue of Woman’s Day magazine as the winner of the “My Most Moving Holiday Tradition” contest in which readers were asked to share their favorite holiday tradition and the story behind it. This story lead to the creation of The White Envelope Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of Givers, Civic Leaders, and Philanthropists. Read the story below and visit for more information and gift giving ideas!

    “For the Man Who Hated Christmas”
    by Nancy W. Gavin

    It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so.

    It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas–oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it–overspending… the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma—the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

    Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

    Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.

    It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.

    Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids – all kids – and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition–one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

    The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

    As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.
    You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

    Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.

    Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

  32. Krista says:

    My parents bought me a wooden paint box engraved with my name. A wonderful gift for a beginning artist.

  33. jadia says:

    give them a pair of new shoes-because they are expensive and they will not buy them on their own. when you go to visit try on a pair of that individuals shoes that are on the side – guesstimate what size they are or just make ajoke about how big their feet are- find it out – and send it!

  34. Susan says:

    I have a very strong family history of breast cancer. I had 2 maternal aunts that had passed away from breast cancer and my mother has had breast cancer in the past. In December of 1993 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My children were only 3 and 6 y.o. at the time. The first step of treatment was chemotherapy. After going through chemotherapy I had to have an axillary node dissection to see if the chemo had worked. If not, I was to have more chemotherapy. Fortunately the doctor came into my room after the procedure and told me the good news; that the chemo seemed to have worked. My husband and I were both so excited we both started to cry. The next thing I knew my husband pulled out a bag with a small box in it. He handed it to me and said “To Life”. I opened it and couldn’t believe it. It was a gold Star of David just like one my aunts who had passed away from breast cancer used to wear. In the middle of the star there was a symbol, a “Chai” that means “To Life”. I still wear that Star of David. It is the most meaningful gift I have ever received.

  35. Julieanne says:

    One of my most treasured gifts was from my husband after my dad had passed. When my dad’s health began to fail, he and mom moved into an assisted living facility. It was a difficult transition for my parents but they soon made friends and we visited often. During one of our visits, our son Michael came with us. The facility was hosting a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and they took pictures of everyone. After my dad passed, the facility posted a picture in their lobby honoring my dad. It was one of the best pictures ever taken of my dad and Michael, with Michael’s arm around my dad’s broad shoulders and both grinning ear to ear.

    My husband memoralized that special day and picture by having it made into a personalized lamp from a company called Light Affection ( We’ve placed it in our den so dad’s light is always shining upon us and it is a wonderful reminder of the joy we shared that day and the special bond between my dad and his grandson.

  36. keisha says:

    best gift for me would be LIFE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. nina says:

    The best gift I ever got was my best friend brought me and a few of my other friends to her country house to teach me how to surf since i’ve always wanted to learn. it didn’t really work out because my friend got hurt so i didn’t learn but the thought was what counted.

  38. Chris says:

    It was for Christmas and I was 7 years old. My mother gave me a sewing basket with thread, needles, scissors, fabric, buttons-looked like everything I would ever need. To this day 54 years later I still sew. Now it is for great grandchildren and not my dolls!

  39. Phyllis Ford says:

    I just today received the best Christmas present I have ever had. You see, my brother passed away in Oct. 2011 and this is our 2nd Christmas without him. My sister-in-law’s van broke down and the mechanic was working on it when he discovered a letter written to us from my brother. This letter is the best Christmas present I have ever received.

  40. Di says:

    -I can’t say these are my best gifts received, but unique ones I have given. One was cufflinks as my guys use them and they open to put a special picture in smaller than a dime. Photo Cufflinks they are called.
    -I ordered a sign with my son’s call name on it from ebay.
    -I used modge podge and did my MIL’s kids picture in each square and the name of the one she lost since no pictures, and then her parents that have passed. She really treasured that. Pictures bracelet DIY -Ebay.
    -I did up a pillow cases, and any one I give them to just love them. I did them original for a boo bag for my son’s Halloween Bd party. Then I started making him one for each season when he was young, even a bd one. I recently sent my friend a few and she likes them so very much. Yard of any fabric for a standard pillow. Sew up a long side. Then take the top roll just a little iron and then roll again 3 inches iron and then sew it up and you have a pillow case.
    -The best gift I ever got was when my son purchased me a gift all on his own. He knew the living room furniture is ocean blue, and picked that color. IT is glass but looks like a rock and it has fish and a turtle swimming. I will treasure it not only because he has good taste, but that he thought of buying me a gift on his own.

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