SAO Says: The Best Gifts

16 Nov

What’s the best gift you’ve given or received?

N: My mom had a 1970s-era Ernie (Sesame Street) cookie jar that sat on our kitchen counter ever since I can remember.  Many cookies were baked, stored, and stolen from Ernie over the years, and he endured a lot of wear and tear.  Sadly, a few years ago Ernie sustained his final injury and my mom emailed my sisters and me, and she was just heartbroken that Ernie was no more.  On a whim, I googled “Ernie cookie jars” and, lo and behold, found a few on eBay.  I successfully won one that was exactly as I remembered hers, and we surprised her with it on Christmas.  I have rarely seen my mom so surprised and touched as she was by the return of Ernie – there were many tears.  I will never forget that moment!  Sometimes vintage finds can recreate the best memories, and sites like Etsy and eBay make this so easy these days!

Andrea: One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received was a wine of the month subscription. It was so fun to get wine on my doorstep every month and was a great way to try new wines.

Danielle: This wasn’t a Christmas gift, but it is by far the best gift I have given. My husband is a drummer, so for our wedding I gave him a Noble & Cooley snare drum and had a line from our wedding song engraved on the rim. Finding a gift that is centered around someone’s passion always works. Unique art supplies for an artist friend, vintage posters for a movie nut – things like that. Ebay is a great resource for unique gifts.

RA: I think the best gift I ever gave was a framed Calvin and Hobbes comic strip for my husband. We both love it, and we have all of the books, including the massive hardback versions. The creator of C&H, Bill Watterson, famously denied any licensing of the characters, which is why there aren’t greeting cards, stuffed toys, or the like (legally) available. So when I found official prints available from the publisher, I got very excited. I ordered the last comic strip, my husband’s favorite, and framed it on my own. When he unwrapped the present, he got all quiet and then asked, “Where did you get this?” It was great. And, for what it’s worth, the best thing he ever gave me was a Slanket, oh, yes. That thing is awesome.

Hillary: The Christmas I was 21 and my sister was 19, we each found a diamond ring tucked way down into the toe of our stockings. “A girl should get her first diamond from her parents,” Mom said. They weren’t big — maybe 1/4 carat — but they were a great and special surprise. I don’t wear that ring as much as I do my wedding rings, but it means just as much. In the picture, the one on my middle finger is from my parents. The other is from my little sister. It’s also one of my favorites.

Becky: The best gifts I ever received were tickets to go see Dolly Parton in concert. My husband and I had so much fun.

Stacey: The best gift I have ever given was to my brother. We grew up in a really small town. I was 3 years shy of graduating when we had to move, my brother had already graduated and went to college. Neither of us wanted to leave this safety net of a small town, but we did. Three years ago I made a trip back there to visit a friend and I don’t know why but I took a picture of our street sign. The street of the house our parents built and where we spent the better half of childhood. They had just redone the street signs and since our street crossed with Main St. it even had the name on the town on the sign. The picture was fantastic so I blew it up to an 11×14 and framed it. On Christmas morning when he opened it he was in shock…. “Who took this?” he asked me. “I did.” I could tell it meant even more to him then.

And I have one more: My grandmother had a very old Gisele Mackenzie Christmas record that my mom and her siblings listened to every Christmas growing up. My mom snatched it up after my grandmother passed away when I was 4 so it also became the music I listened to every year as well. In 2007, I asked my mom to give me the record. I could not find this record anywhere on CD so I took it to a record store and asked them to help me. The guy told me later that he would not normally transfer a record to CD that was this old but he could tell it meant something to our family so he did it. Aw! Christmas cheer, everyone! I wanted to hug him. I got the CD in hand and I immediately made copies for my aunts and uncles and put them in the mail right after Thanksgiving so they could have them for the holidays.

To me, these are the gifts I love to give. Sometimes it’s not always possible but it sure is nice when it is.


One Response to “SAO Says: The Best Gifts”

  1. Becky November 16, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    This is the sweetest post. I love it. I also love that photo of Dolly Parton!

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