‘Tis The Season To Be Giving (So How About An “I Heart Sweat” Shirt Giveaway?)

I’m not going to dance around today and put on a show with my words and my ramblings.

The holiday season makes me want to bestow unto people mass quantities of stuff.

I’ve always said it’s more fun to give than to receive. I love picking out gifts for people and I always get excited when I find that “perfect something” for someone. Like that time last year when, for Christmas, I gave my dad a hug. He said it was all he had ever wanted in his life.

This year, all I want for Christmas is for Tyler to cuddle with me all day long. I would also like a stipend for my dry cleaning, since Tyler did not care that my sweater was cashmere and baby drooled all over it. I would also like some SoulCycle classes, but we’ll talk about that another time.

Gift giving is the best. You can’t put a price on that (except apparently, according to my overdrawn checking account, you can put a very specific price on gift giving).


In the spirit of the cheerful season, I’m here to give you a little something.

Oh you do? So do I.

I am giving away one “I Heart Sweat” shirt. Why? Why now, you ask?

Well first, I just told you.

Because it’s Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa time, and with that I choose to get gifty.

But also for a few other reasons:

  • December 1 — that’s tomorrow — kicks off Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week. This is an actual thing. The senate made it legit last year. This weekend is the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon benefiting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, so that’s cool, too. I’ve run the race twice with Team Challenge, CCFA’s endurance team. You may remember how that race went for me last year. We don’t need to relive it. But you also may remember that a portion of all sales from the “I Heart Sweat” shirts goes to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. That’s why I started selling them in the first place.
  • I have more shirts for sale! I know, finally. On Monday, December 3, at 12 PM EST, another round of selling will begin at iheartsweatapparel.com. And I kicked it up a notch this time. More colors! More sizes! The return of the long-sleeved shirts! All orders placed by Friday, December 7, will arrive in time for Christmas. Get on it, because I can think of no greater gift for your grandfather than a sweet new shirt proclaiming his adoration for perspiration.
Ah memories. This was a year ago.

So now you know: Crohn’s and colitis are things that are bad, and if you want an “I Heart Sweat” shirt you can buy one starting Monday.

Or you can try to get one now.

I’m giving away one shirt of your choosing. Boy shirts, girl shirts, short sleeves, long sleeves (for women only), in whatever color I have that you want.

I have more colors than this…but at 5:00 this morning, this was the best I could do for a photo. Sorry.

Entering, as always, is easy.

I’ll preface the rules with a story: When I was 7, I got the most amazing Christmas present of all-time. I was in my little Christmas PJs and probably hadn’t brushed my teeth, and I walked downstairs and there, all lit up with Christmas lights, was a massive, two-story (plus an attic), fully-furnished dollhouse for my collection of 800 (slight exaggeration) Barbies. The best part? My dad built it. The rooms had real flooring and wallpaper, there was a yard behind the house with that green astroturf stuff and chaise lounges, and there was a balcony in the front where Barbie stood, waving to a very shocking and excited Young Ali.

Don’t worry — my parents have the whole “surprise” experience on video. I flipped out when I found out my dad built the whole thing and didn’t buy it at Target. We didn’t even have a Target where I grew up.

I don’t have a photo of the dollhouse here with me today, but I do have this shot of me giving my dad his Christmas present last year. And yes, that’s a video camera on a tripod on a kitchen table. We are all grown adults(ish), and my dad still videotapes every Christmas morning. He gets us waking up, walking downstairs and, sometimes, running to the bathroom for puking reasons. Christmas tends to be a very hungover-y holiday in our family.

That present was amazing and it’s the gift I’ll always remember as “the best one ever.” That dollhouse still exists in my mom and dad’s basement. Last year my dad said he wanted to make a project of “fixing it up,” but I’m pretty sure that went about as well as my “cook saffron risotto” New Year’s Resolution.

Years after the dollhouse had moved from the center of the living room to the basement, I got another “best present ever” without even realizing it. I was in college and my aunt and uncle — the ones I feel I know the least and hardly ever see — got me a nail clipper travel kit. You open the zipper on the folding case and there are two sets of nail clippers, a nail file (on my list of “greatest fears,” after hairless cats but before Stonehenge) and one of those flat tools you use to shove your cuticles down.

It probably cost them $5 on sale at Bath & Body Works, but I still have it and I use that thing all the time. It was the most useful gift ever.

My dad is probably a little pissed right now that nail clippers rank almost as high on my list of favorite things as the dollhouse he spent months crafting with his bare hands.

A good thing for me to do right now would be to stop talking and get to the rules.

HOW TO ENTER THE “I HEART SWEAT” SHIRT GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post telling me the greatest gift you’ve ever given and/or received. Did you buy something that blew the receiver’s fuzzy socks off? Or maybe you found something under the tree or by the menorah that made you weep happy tears.

(I’m definitely not asking you to do this for selfish reasons…it’s not like I still need ideas for my brother, sister-in-law and grandmother…)

There are four people in this picture. One of them is me. The other three currently have nothing under the tree coming from me. I ONLY BUY FOR TYLER. Sorry, guys.

I’ll draw a winner Monday at 8 AM EST, so you have all weekend to enter.

Good luck and happy weekend sweating!



383 Responses

  1. Best gift ever, my hubby gifted me with an iPad. It was Christmas n we found out we were pregnant the night before.

  2. My Kindle. I use it everyday and just love it. I can’t tell you the last time I actually read a physical book!

    PS: Glad to hear you are ok after your fall. I had one last year while I was training for a metric century and it was so scary.

  3. Engagement ring!!!!! …..followed by a red two-wheel bicycle that I had to wait so many long months to get to ride!

  4. My best Christmas gift was in 2006 when I was given my (then) puppy, Molly. She is such a sweet dog and I honestly don’t remember what my life was like before her. 🙂

  5. One year I asked for a hamster. My mom and dad saved it for last, being my big gift and all, only they forgot to give it to me! The poor thing sat in his cage until 5:00 that night before my mom remembered. I named him MC Hamster so all was well.

  6. The Christmas I was 6 years old I got a pink Ms. Piggy Toiletry Set complete with a brush, comb, toothbrush, cup, and some other things I can’t remember cause I’m not 6 anymore. It was fab. I carried it everywhere. I still love Ms. Piggy.

  7. The best gift I ever recieved was not dying after falling off my my own bike while talking on my cell phone….at least your fall was doing something badass like riding 87 miles!!!

  8. I got a blackberry playbook last Christmas and it’s awesome. I’ve never owned a laptop before so being able to use the Internet any where in the house was so new to me!

  9. The best presents I got in recent memory were for Hanukkah last year. My two best friends and I, being poor college students, decided to exchange $1 presents. I went to Michael’s and bought 2 wooden picture frames for $1 each and spent hours collaging them. I was so excited to give my gifts!! In exchange I got a small bottle of Petron (not gonna complain about that one… though hard to believe it was actually $1) and a little pin with a hand-drawn Liberty Bell and the numbers “215” on it, since I am from Philadelphia and my area code is 215. Each of our presents pretty much define us, so it was fun and funny! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!

  10. It wasn’t a Christmas gift but a few years ago I managed to surprise my mom for her birthday by flying home from London. On her birthday I told her I was late mailing her present, so it probably would be a few days late getting there. I spoke to my parents the night before I flew for a usual catch up, and talked about what I had to do at work the next day. My brother picked me up from the airport and drove up to where our parents live, having made dinner plans with them. He went into the house to make sure our parents were in the same room, and I hid outside the garage. He came back out supposedly to get the food he brought, and I walked in behind him. My dad saw me first (because my brother was standing between me and my mom) and he just kind of blankly stared at me (I could tell in his eyes that he hadn’t registered it was me yet). Then my brother stepped to the side and my mom saw me, stopped her sentence and jumped forward in her chair going “Cindy?! Cynthia?!” It was absolutely the best moment and one I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Later in the evening my mom had disappeared, and it turned out she was at the other end of the house, calling family members telling them what I had done. It was even funnier because while my brother had plotted out the dinner plans with my parents for that night, my dad was convinced that them having dinner had been his idea!

  11. The best gift I ever received was a She-Ra Princess of Power waterfall. I say it is the best Christmas gift because I received it when I was young (maybe 5) and still remember playing with it. And getting mad at the dog when she would drink the water out of the waterfall basin. So much fun!

  12. The best running gift I received was a paid Turkey Trot registration from a fellow runner. My hubby and I made a last minute decision to visit our son at college for Thanksgiving (he had to work Thanksgiving Day). I “knew” a girl from the area who had mentioned in a FB Running Group that she would be running a turkey trot. I asked for details and she offered to register me. On race day, i handed over the race fee and she said it was a welcome to Lubbock gift and wouldn’t take the money. I had never met this girl and was just meeting her for the first time. It was truly thoughtful and I got to turkey trot with a fellow runner and new friend.

  13. the greatest gift I ever received was a tiffany necklace. I mean what girl doesn’t like jewelry (to go with her new i heart sweat shirt)

  14. When I was 18 my Dad made me this really awesome cedar hope chest. I cried so hard – he’d be “working” long days and I’d been giving him grief about it and telling him not to work so much. He was actually at his friend’s house working on my gift all those hours!!!
    My Mom spent the next couple of years filling it with awesome stuff before I moved out on my own!!

  15. The greatest gift I ever received was a metal detector in the 3rd grade. Not sure it actually worked, but it was the most high-tech gift i could have ever imagined!

  16. So many great gifts to choose from! I got a Garmin from my in-laws 2 years ago. That stands out as an awesome one. Now I just like buying gifts for my kids. Giving really is better than receiving.

  17. Best gift was a fur coat Christmas ornament I got from a good friend growing up. Random but 25 years later, I still have it and put it on my tree! I had to explain to my two year old last night that it wasn’t a life jacket but was a fur coat and to please not touch it!

  18. The best gift I ever received was a small white kitten when I was 9. My parents adopted him from the SPCA after I had seen him there early in December. I was surprised that they were able to keep it a secret until Christmas. My husband and I are planning to do the same for our kids this year 🙂

  19. I’ve been so blessed with great gifts and the ability to give to others – it’s so hard to choose! I love getting new running shoes! I love giving gifts that people forget they said they wanted – like when you’re out shopping and someone says, I love that. I like to go back and buy it for them. 🙂

  20. The best gift received was definitely not one that I thought of as “the best” at the time. When I was about 9 or 10, I wanted a Crayola Caddy for Christmas (Lots of art supplies in a spinning organizer.) Sounds funny, but my family wasn’t well-off, and this was a very big deal. I sneaked and snuck and snooped around my parents room and closets, hoping desperately that I’d be getting one. And I found it. About a week before Christmas. But my elation and relief was shortlived. On Christams day I realized that I had nothing to be surprised by, and realized just how much I love surprises! So the real gift was that it was the first moment of self-realization that I remember. Now I will ALWAYS gun for the surprise rather than clues or (gasp! horror!) peeking!

  21. The year my brother and I got our first bikes. We were very poor growing up and lived in a culdesac with lots of kids and we were the only ones without for years. I’m sure my parents made many sacrifices to get us those bikes, and when they rolled in on Christmas morning, we were shocked. I remember them letting us go ride outside for a few minutes in our pj’s.

  22. Last year my siblings and I gave my parents a family photo. We were all at home for the holidays so we all went out and had it taken.

  23. As my mother in law aged (she is now deceased, bless her heart) , she told more and more stories of her childhood. Many of them featured a clock that sat on her family mantle as she grew up. It was under a glass dome, with 3 pendulums., and struck the hours with a sound she swore she could remember as if it were yesterday.

    My husband remembered it, too, from his childhood visits to their house, and we spent many months visiting antique shops in every town we cross. (I should mention that I hate antiqueing.) Finally we found It! Or, rather, one just like It. The look of awe, surprise, and tears when she opened it was truly priceless.

    I’m sure this is why I was her favorite even after my divorce, lol. 😉

  24. the best gift I’ve ever received is a magic mouse to go with my macbook pro. super dorky, yes, but it makes putting together figures for my dissertation so much easier than using the trackpad! also up there on the list of best gifts: a marc jacobs bag. love.

  25. The best gift I ever received was a full set of Emeril pots and pans after I moved to TX from PA. They knew I wasn’t able to afford (also, didn’t care at the time) to buy nice kitchenware. I’m still using them 5 years later!

  26. Like your manicure set, my best gift is also the most useful. A few winters ago my mom gifted me with a beautiful dinner plate/dessert plate/ mug and bowl set in sage green. It’s practical, adorable, and makes me feel that much more like an accomplished adult since I have nice dinnerware instead of the cheapest set I could find at Ross (a glimpse at the rest of my kitchen).

  27. The best gift i ever received was from my sister two chistmas’ ago. I had just finished a very grueling treatment for cancer (chemo and radiation together) and was done hopefully for good. She gave me a handstamped necklace with the names of my three children on it. At that point i was at rock bottom, broken, and really hurting from all of the treatment of the past year. When i opened the box i began to sob uncontrollably. It brought to light how worried i had been about not being around for my kids. I wear the necklace all the time. Having them so close to my heart reminds me of the really important things in life.

  28. I think the greatest gift I ever recieved was probably the CD my husband gave us after our 1 month anniversary of dating back in highschool. I also gave him a CD and was extremely careful about what songs were in it to make sure there were no “i love you” or sexual references. I did not want to imply anything that we were not ready for. The CD he gave me had a bunch of random songs that were popular or that he liked that were incredibly sexual or had lots of love references. We listened to it in his car together and I was shocked! He said he just liked the songs. A great example of how the minds of men and women work completely differently! Still makes me smile big!

  29. It’s fun to thing about all the cool gifts I’ve given and received. I was pretty excited when my sister was born because I thought I was getting a new BFF. She’s five years younger than me though, so I was sort of let down that she wasn’t ready to play dolls with me right away… best gift I’ve given? Probably a GIANT bone to my (rather small) puppy. She went nuts!

  30. Best present I ever got: a garmin from my hubby last year! Being able to track my running challenges me to run farther and faster!

  31. I dont have a cool spectacular gift or Christmas that stands out in my mind. The past few years my family hasn’t done gifts. I do remember one year getting a Care Bear, the pink one with the two hearts on it. I still have that bear. That was my Teddy Bear forever, he went everywhere with me when I would be spending the nights. He even went to college with me. After many years of me sleeping on him, his face is sort of flat. Once a roommate’s dog tried to eat him and his nose and face is a littel ripped up, but I still slept with him. One summer when I was living at the beach with some friends they kidnapped my bear and tied him to a tree and sent a ransom note! Anyway, I still have that bear. I think I decided to put in him the nightstand once I was in my late 20s and my boyfriend was spending the night.

  32. I think one of the best presents I ever received was a lunchbox. It was the squishy kind, not the hard boxed kind. All the cool kids in 3rd grade had them. I was ecstatic.

  33. The best gift I ever got was a Nintendo! My brother and I had to share it, but it was the coolest gift – at the time!

  34. My favorite gift was from my husband last year. He surprised me with a beautiful bezel set aquamarine necklace and I love it. It’s special because aquamarine is our daughter’s birthstone. 🙂

  35. My parents always get me toys or childish gifts, even though I’m way into adulthood, so the year I got a beautiful cashmere scarf from them was thrilling. I still wear it because tis perfect.

  36. Oh boy, this is really tough. (I guess I got nicer gifts for my birthdays?) Though, come to think of it, it was probably the bike that I got for my 12th birthday. It was orange with blue stripes (hence its name “Tigger”). What makes it so awesome is that I still have it now, 15 years later, and ride it every day. Now, I’m not freakishly small (well… maybe a little) but I guess I just didn’t grow a whole lot afterwards.

  37. Well every gift we give our kids seems to be that way is cool. For my husband it was his iPad. He had no idea and loves it still. He gave me diamond earrings the Christmas after our first Daughter was born and was three months old. I wear them every day, never change them. They mean so much to me!

  38. The best Christmas gift I ever got was a moving truck filled with my furniture and belongings driven by my parents from Chicago to San Diego. After 4 months of futon sleeping and living in a bare apartment, seeing my parents pull up was pure joy!

  39. I make it a goal every year to make my mother cry (happy tears of course) on Christmas. The most memorable is my first Christmas after leaving home and going to college. I spent my parent’s money and pierced my tongue and almost ruined Christmas. During a quiet moment at the dinner table, my brother announced that I had pierced my tongue. Up until that moment it had gone unnoticed. My mother started screaming something about it being used for oral sex, which is not the reason I got it! The evening went downhill from there and my mom was pissed at me for the whole next year. The second Christmas home, after all of the presents were opened I gave my mom a little box with my tongue ring inside. She of course cried and said it was the best present she’s ever received. Since then she’s also cried when I’ve given her a TV, laptop, and my first half marathon bib.

  40. My greatest gift was my 30th birthday present from my boyfriend, now fiance. A pink camo Quintana Roo tri bike! That pretty thang came in handy when I did Ironman Lake Placid!

  41. One of the best gifts I’ve given was last christmas — (BOYFRIEND IDEA ALERT!) I sent my boyfriend and his best friend to a “Martinis, Manhattans and More…” drink mixing class at Astor Place. Bro time + constructive excuse to get a lil tipsy? They loved it.

  42. I will NEVER forget when I was 13 and I got my first cell phone. I had been absolutely dying for a silver flip phone (remember those days?!!) and had dropped hints to my parents daily. Christmas morning came, and I tore through all of my gifts at record speed searching for the phone and…nothing. I felt like a deflated balloon, but I decided it wasn’t enough of a reason to let it get me down. So, I pulled out a little purse my mom had given me (sort of as a joke because it was laughably ugly) and took out the paper stuffed in it to try it on. Lo and behold, I take out the paper and a silver LG flip phone is tucked in the bottom! I just about died! I was so surprised, and the pictures are priceless. It was so great to have a little trick pulled on me, too–I look back on it and the phone is almost irrelevant now. The thought that my parents put into the gift and the levity they brought to the holidays make me feel so so so loved.

  43. Best gift ever: when I was about 11 my parents gave me a little karaoke machine, i loved it, pretty sure they regretted the gift.

  44. A well planned surprise visit from my grandparents for my 28th birthday dinner was by far the best gift I have ever received!!!! Nothing beats a successful surprise visit from my two favorite people 🙂

  45. Along the same lines as your favorite gift…it was a Barbie cruise ship! Unfortunately I’m pretty sure it was from Toys r Us…not made by my dad! 🙂

    Still my favorite though!!!

  46. Greatest gift ever was given to me last Christmas by my dad- his bible that he has had/used since the early 80’s. Priceless!

  47. Telling my second daughter who was at the time 4 that we were going to Disney…she cried happy tears saying “really, I’m going to get to see everything!” Pure magic.

  48. The best gift I ever received was a house! My husband and I called it our gift to each other last year, and I’d say it’s pretty darn awesome 🙂

  49. I gave my dad a hug one year, too! It was for Father’s Day. I also got up to make him breakfast before work that day at 5am. I was about 12 years old, and I burned his eggs. He said it was the best gift ever.

  50. My mother is impossible to shop for. If she wants something, she buys it herself. For her birthday theft year I got married, I got a 3-photo frame and filled it with a photo of her with my dad, a photo of me with my brother, and the last of Mom with grandma and me. Tears, I swear.

  51. The best gift I ever got was my “second” engagement ring. my real one was my grandmother’s so my husband got me a black pearl ring for my right hand since the left was taken already.

  52. The best gift I ever received was one of the highly coveted Cabbage Patch Dolls in the early 80’s!!!!! As I got older, I truly realized all my mother went thru to snag these for my sis and I.

  53. The best gift I ever received was, of course, my health, my happiness, and my family. But really though, it was the “Samantha” American Girl doll when I was 8. I literally cried tears of joy when I saw her.

  54. Hi Ali. I am a New Zealand-based reader of your blog. It is my favourite morning coffee accompaniment! Question – would you post a “I heart sweat” shirt oversees if I include the shipping costs in the purchase price? Also, to keep with the Christmas theme….my ultimate gift was a guitar I got from my parents when I was eleven or so. I could not play a single tune at that stage but had great aspirations.

  55. The best gift I received was a surprise plane ticket to spend a week in San Diego – much needed after a few months of non-stop work! The best gifts are usually experiences, especially for busy people.
    It might seem cheap but I think one of the best gifts I’ve ever given was a rubik cube personalized with pictures, it seems like the nerdy person will never stop talking about it and proudly displays it!

  56. I got a flight ticket to Michigan on my 18th birthday. I spent a year abroad in Michigan and just came back a few month earlier, so that Ticket was really a nice present. Nevertheless, the best presents one can give or receive are the times spent with the loved once 🙂

  57. A laptop! Hard to leave without a computer but after mine was stolen I didn’t have the money to get a new one right away… My boyfriend knew how miserable I was and got me one for my Birthday 🙂

  58. Most awesome gift given: a fake shaving kit for my nephew when he was like 2. I found it for $5 on Black Friday at like 2am at Sears. It had a plastic razor and a can of foam. He still “uses” the razor from time to time. He is currently 8.

    Best gift received: When I was little I collected cats…stuffed, ceramic, posters, everything. I was super cool. When I was like 14 my grandmother sent me a salt and pepper shaker siamese cat…but it was like a wiener-cat in a U-shape with the salt at its head and the pepper at its tail. We laughed about it for about an hour…on video. My grandmother has since passed, but every Christmas we bring up the cat salt and pepper shaker. (:

  59. the best gift i ever got was when i got to go with my dad to a giants game on my 16th birthday! it was an awesome memory for both of us and i knew he appreciated his daughter wanting to see an nfl game instead of having a party!

  60. Super cheesy, but the greatest gift I’ve given and received is the gift of running. I “gave” it to myself 1.5 years ago and I’ve “received” so much from it (confidence, motivation, new friends, new life lessons, new milestones, etc.) that I now can’t imagine my life without it!

  61. It’s so hard to buy presents for parents now, they have everything they need and they just want to spend time with you. My parents wedding anniversary is New Year’s Day, so for their 30th I gifted them a surprise party to celebrate. I invited all their friends to come over to ring in the new year. After we finished dinner, the doorbell started ringing and my parents didn’t even think it was strange that all their friends were randomly showing up on our doorstep. After multiple Happy Anniversary wishes from their friends my parents finally figured out what was going on. It was probably one of the best New Years, spent in a house full of people we knew and loved.

  62. I love all things corgi and my sister gave me a corgi shadow box with a picture of my corgi mix in it, a corgi water bottle, and a corgi pillow. You can’t NOT smile when you see a corgi, so really she gave me eternal smiles that year 😉

  63. The year before last I hosted a mini xmas/channukah for my boyfriend and his brother who’d never been to NYC before. I cooked a huge roast and made one of those apple pies that are twice the normal height , like almost the height of a birthday cake. On xmas eve we went out to look at the decorations and took his brother on a walk over the brooklyn bridge. Just as we were walking off on the brooklyn side the empire state building turned on and we got to see the moment the lights flickered, warmed up and went red and green. It was the most beautiful xmas moment I’ve had in a long time and I’ll always remember it. 🙂

  64. The best gift I’ve ever received was on Christmas when I was 9 years old, my parents got me a Boston Terrier puppy 🙂 We had him for 15 years.

  65. the best gift I received (or at least one of the most memorable) was when I was a kid, I saw a stuffed animal duck in a CVS and told my mom I really wanted it. I then proceeded to write a letter to Santa about the duck. Christmas came and the duck wans’t under the tree, but when I went to bed that night it was on top of the pillow.

  66. My freshman year of college I constantly argued/kindly debated with my roommate about the temperature in our room. I am pretty sure she ran a constant fever her whole life because anything above 65 and she was apparently “sweating to death.” A third friend of ours, Julie, bought me a really warm fake shearling (sp?) blanket for Christmas and it not only kept me nice and toasty but seriously improved my relationship with my roommate. Who knows, we could have Julie to thank for the fact that we’re still friends.

  67. Best gift I’ve ever gotten (in recent memory) was my crock pot my parents got me for Christmas a few years ago. I use that thing constantly!

  68. I gave my dad a CD by the band The Moody Blues- they were big in the 1960s- because he always talked about hearing one of their songs when he was studying abroad in France at the time they were most popular. He has always told the greatest stories about this trip, and he said the CD took him all the way back to the 60s. He loved it!

  69. My boyfriend gave me a 3 liter bottle of champagne when I graduated college. It was the most random and hilarious (and delicious!) gift I’ve ever received!

  70. I have twice been gifted with puppies, once in fourth grade from parents and then 5 years ago by then boyfriend for my 24th bday.

  71. the best gift i every received was my winter ski jacket. all i wanted was this coat, and all my mom kept saying was that she had gotten me all sorts of cool small things for my first apartment. well, i was fairly certain it would be a “bad christmas” (such a brat, I know), because she hadn’t gotten my this jacekt, when there it was, under the christmas tree. i think i screamed and thanked my mom/apologized for being such a brat about 15 times. every time i wear it i think of her, though 🙂

  72. My sister knew I found the “Marcel the Shell” videos hilarious, so she decided to make me a little replica of Marcel. When I opened it and saw her homemade gift, I was so touched by her thoughtfulness! Although this is probably not a gift idea you can use for your family, haha.

  73. When I was maybe 7 years old, my parents took my brother and me to the airport and told us we were flying to Salt Lake to go Christmas shopping a few days before Christmas. (I’m from Idaho, so we often went shopping there.) This was back when you could pre-check bags at the airport, so my mom had secretly packed bags and my dad had checked us in before we went. In Salt Lake, we boarded another plane and my brother and I were so confused. I asked the flight attendant where we were going and when she said Disneyland, my brother and I started FLIPPING OUT! Waking up to find Santa had still visited us in Disneyland was absolutely the coolest thing to a 7 year old girl.

  74. The best gift I ever received was a surprise bday trip to Antigua from my (then) boyfriend- complete with secretly clearing time off with my boss for me. Marrying him was a good move.

  75. I am so excited that you have your shirts available again (as of Monday) unfortunately, I can’t do it this time, coming off of unemployment, thrust into the holidays and must buy gifts, it makes me sad. I really want to buy one for me for Christmas. I would completely wrap it up and put it under the tree.

    So my best gift so far has been, the way my son lights up on Christmas morning, he is such a believer. As you will learn with Tyler and your own kids (one day).

  76. The best gift I ever received — the most anticipated gift I ever received – was Christmas when I was 9 years old. All I wanted was a Samantha American Girl doll (since retired, sad), and I finally go her after years of putting her on my Christmas list. I don’t think that doll left my arms for a week.

  77. My favorite gift memories are those of our Christmas Eve PJs, that my mom always made, when I was a kid. As far as adult presents go…. definitely the family cookbook that my mom put together of all of our favorite family recipes…. and my Garmin 🙂 I actually cannot imagine a week that I don’t use both of these items!

  78. The best gift I ever received was from my best friend in 2009. She had always been a big Sex & The City fan, and I started watching it because of her. It became our thing, and I began referring to her as “the Miranda to my Carrie” because I felt their friendship mimicked my BFF’s and mine–even though she lives a gazillion time zones away, she was always there for me, no questions asked.

    For years I had been searching for the perfect “everyday necklace” (which she knew), and on my 25th birthday all my closest friends flew to my city (she lives over 5,000 miles away–which is in and of itself already a special gift), and she gave me a “Carrie” necklace (with my own name, of course). It’s the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever gotten me, and I adore it so much more because of the sentiment involved.

  79. An angel ornament my late Grandma made me. Christmas was her fave holiday and her last year she was too sick to leave the nursing home to buy us gifts. She got help from the nurses/aides/someone and made us all the angel ornaments. I cant look at it and not remember every Christmas with her…

  80. My best give ever was my best friend, and her understanding husband, taking me in for three months when I returned from overseas going through a divorce and trying to figure life out. She is a blessing.

  81. Best Christmas present was a round trip ticket, from my boyfriend (now husband), home to see my parents, my first Christmas away from home after college.

  82. When I was in 3rd grade in the early 90s , Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was in Chicago and I had developed a near obsession with the soundtrack and a (now I realize embarrassing) crush on Donny Osmond. For Christmas that year, my parents got me tickets to the show and an autographed Poster of the show. I think I almost fainted and ran around the house. That poster was up in my room well into high school…ha! Oh the 90s…

  83. The best gift I ever gave was flowers sent to my Mom for her birthday–she was so touched that my brother and I, although living out of town, sent them to let her know how much we care!

  84. best gift I ever received would def be my engagement ring 🙂 awwww so cheesy I know but it keeps giving every day!!

    oh and I gave a sick grill to husband that he loved!

  85. My parents gave me one of those nail kits too! I agree, it is definitely the most useful gift ever.

    As for my favorite gift? I spent a year living in Germany and didn’t get to fly home for the holidays. For Christmas that year, my family pulled together and sent me the most heart-warming box ever. My sisters worked together to make a stocking for me (we didn’t fill stockings in Germany, but it made me soooo happy to have one, and I still have it. It hangs in my closet AT ALL TIMES), my mother sent me paint chips and snippets of materials that she was using to redecorate part of the house (so I wouldn’t feel out of the loop and shocked when I got home), and my father threw in some AMAZING running tights (that I still use!) and some other running gear (like lights, that I STILL USE!). My cousins put in pictures, my aunts & uncles chipped in for a picture frame, my grandparents included a quilt.

    That box made me feel like I wasn’t on the other side of the world from my family, and had the added bonus that everyone pitched in. Phenomenal.

  86. I think my favorite Christmas present was when I was in 6th grade and opened a box that had a remote control inside. I ran up to my bedroom and my dad had put the TV in my bedroom!! That was a big day for me 🙂 haha

  87. Last year we secretly hired a friend from college to come and make 3 hours worth of audio CDs recording our 85 year old grandparent’s stories from childhood, WW2, how they met, etc. We surprised the entire family on Christmas eve and it was waterworks throughout the room. Shortly thereafter our grandfather passed away and our grandmother had a stroke; those CDs are now priceless to everyone in our family. Best gift giving experience ever!

  88. 3 years ago, when my son was just about to turn 9, we got a Wii for the family. He really wanted one and we were pretending we didn’t. We set it all up on Christmas Eve after he went to bed and even made a Mii that looked like Santa. Then we hid it in the cupboard under the tv. As he opened his stocking and found a Wii game and the Wii remote covers, he knew. He was amazingly happy and best of all, we got a couple more years of Santa because he was so sure Santa had brought it and made his own Mii. 🙂

  89. A common one in my family is concert tickets from one of us to the whole family. We end up all having something to look forward to and some amazing family weekends.

  90. The best gift I ever received was a helmet to wear when I was snowboarding. An ex-boyfriend gave it to me a few years ago and his words were “I couldn’t stand to see that big beautiful brain get hurt”.

  91. The gift I remember the most as a kid was my orange and brown (so on-trend) Barbie Winnebago. I was the envy of all of the Grade 2 girls!

  92. The best give I ever gave was the year I gave my Dad a dog. I brought this lab home from a kennel where I worked where she was for sale cheap. She had destroyed someone’s house and was deemed untrainable. She was so sweet and slept with me every night. My Dad decided that he wanted to see if she could be trained and spent every day for months and months working with her. She earned a hunting dog title and was his faithful companion on many hunting trips. When it came time for me to go back to college after a year long break (another story) he assumed that I would take her with me as she was my dog. I knew I couldn’t separate them so for Christmas I had the dog carry him an envelope that told him she was now officially his dog. The memory still brings tears to the eyes of anyone that was there to see his reaction.

  93. Super sappy… When my son was born (December 2006) he was born less than a week before Christmas. He was really jaundiced and we weren’t sure whether he’d be discharged from the hospital when I was – meaning we’d have to sleep in an extra cot or go home without him. Getting the okay to go home with my new baby (even if it was at 8PM that night) was a fabulous gift – even if it was a few days before Christmas (and also meant that we had to go back to the Dr. every day through Christmas to get blood work done).

  94. When I was 7 or 8 and SUPER into Beanie Babies, my mom and brothers set up a scavenger hunt for me. The first clue was wrapped under the tree and then it had me running all around the house finding new clues and Beanie Babies along the way. It was so fun and so sweet of them!

  95. The best gift I’ve ever given is surprise portraits of my brother and I to my parents. They were so sad that year that our schedules didn’t sync and couldn’t get pictures done. Little did they know we managed to do it as a gift!

  96. The best gift I have ever gotten was an American girl doll. Though I knew it was Felicity, that didn’t stop me from screaming Josephine until my parents corrected me!

  97. My best gift ever was a wedding shower gift from my aunt. She took all of my family’s old-fashioned recipes – my grandma’s nut roll, my grandpa’s salad – and bound them into a cookbook for me. I cherish it.

    (As a side note, this aunt gives the most thoughtful gifts, but she’s also my mom’s least favorite sibling. Shh, don’t tell my mom I wrote this!)

  98. The best gift I think I have ever given was a to my husband. It was a key chain that said “I love you” in Morse code. What can I say? We’re nerds. He loved it and still carries it today.

  99. The best gift I’ve ever received was walky talkies way back in the day. I remember my brother and I being SO PSYCHED because this meant we could achieve our life-long dreams of being legit spies.

  100. The best gift I’ve ever gotten was the box set of the complete Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I got when I turned eight. I came home from camp and there it was sitting on my bed, in all it’s beautiful, colorful Garth Williams illustrated glory. I still don’t think anything will ever top it.

  101. For my twenty first birthday my best friend gave me a Pogo stick, I don’t think we could have had any more fun that night, or get kicked out of more bars…..

  102. My best Christmas present was this beautiful little diamond necklace my fiance picked out all on his own. I wear it almost every day!

  103. My favorite present ever was a purple bike when I was in elementary school. It was my first ‘big girl’ (mountain) bike and to say I thought I was the coolest thing would be an understatement.

  104. Best gift my family ever received was my son’s new heart. He received his angel heart on September 19, 2007, when he was just 7 days old. Because one family chose life in the midst of their tragedy, because they chose to bless us when their hope was gone, my son is alive today. He is my miracle, my love, and my inspiration. Love my Bug and his donor family!

  105. The best gift I ever received was Christmas of 2002. I had joined a sorority in January ’02 and had been dealing with a Crohn’s flare up while away from home. It was a difficult time, but loved that my “sisters” were there for me, sitting in the hospital when my parents were unable to be there. That year for Christmas, I was broker than broke since I was unable to work due to my flare up. Since I couldn’t buy gifts for my family, I didn’t ask for anything in return. When I woke up Christmas morning, there was a large box under the tree. (My dad was secretly tapping gift giving that year.) At first, I was confused, but grateful that my parents didn’t care that I was unable to spoil them like they had spoiled me throughout my existence. As I started to unwrap the box, there were plastic bags in it…. and a LOT of them…. along with another box smaller than the one I opened. This repeated at least 7 times. My parents smiled and said, “we couldn’t leave you without opening anything!” Then I came to the final box within the many boxes. It ended up being a ring box. When I opened that tiny box and saw a gold ring with my sorority’s letters and diamonds on it, I burst into tears. My parents came up to me and gave me the biggest hug and told me that they are so happy I’ve found a great support system at college and wanted to know they love those girls as much as I did. I wear that ring to this day with pride, as I was extremely involved with my chapter. That will be a Christmas/present I will never forget.

  106. The best gift I have ever given was when I flew back to MI (from CA) to surprise my niece on her 13th birthday. She answered the door and it was priceless!

  107. My best gift ever was also a dollhouse!! I think it came as a kit thing, so my dad built it in our garage. I got to choose the exterior colors (yellow with a red door) and all of the wall paper inside. I remember buy doll house furniture for years, to furnish all the rooms! Such an awesome gift 🙂 And 20+ years later, it is still in my parents house because I can’t stand the thought of getting rid of it!

  108. The best gift I have given (and still am in the process of giving) – is to my nephew and niece. He’s currently 4 and she is almost two. I opened a bank account for each of them and each holiday put an amount of money in it for them – along with buying about 12 other presents each for them. I will give them the money at some point during their college years and they are only to spend it on an epic travel journey! They might not think I’m the coolest now but once they’re in their twenties they’ll enjoy a fully funded trip! Bam!

  109. I love your Christmas story! It’s so cute. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I still to this day have trouble sleeping on Christmas eve. I just get so excited!

    The best gift I’ve ever given was sort of a collaborative effort between me and my mom. My mother is not very technologically aware, and this was when HD TVs were a big deal. I believe it was 2006. She wanted to get my dad something he hadn’t thought of before, so she enlisted me to go to Best Buy with her and help her pick out a TV. We drove to the farthest Best Buy because it was the only one with the TV in stock and we talked to a guy who I swear was Gilbert Godfrey and he sold us this TV. I translated for my mom because she didn’t understand anything the guy was saying. Then we hauled the TV home and hid it at my grandma’s house. We ended up picking up the TV later that week and hiding it in the minivan until Christmas morning, where my dad opened it! It was quite the sneaky Christmas.

  110. So… This wasn’t a tree gift but it was the kindest gift I was given! When I was 19 my house burned down. As a child I’d had an ET stuffed animal, I still had it at 19. Well a neighbor who had just moved in saw me sifting through the rubble (I was definitely in shock) and asked me what I was looking for and I told her about my doll. Well they didn’t make him anymore but she called every antiques and doll shop she could find. She found one in Florida and had it shipped over night to me. The next day when she rang the bell at my grandmothers house she gave me a new doll and said he might not be the same et but he loves you all the same! God bless her soul – I still have him

  111. A couple years ago I got a kitchen aid stand mixer from my mom…I’ve always wanted one and was totally surprised!! It was a great day 🙂

  112. Ok-obviously I can’t taupe on an iPad! My previous post should say “my mom” and “very few.” Typing is hard. :-/

  113. My mm died just before I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I had very drew pictures of her because she was always the one behind the camera. At my baby shower my sister gave me a framed picture she’d found of my mom holding me the day after I was born. After my daughter was born I often found myself wondering if my mom had loved me as much as I loved my daughter. I couldn’t ask her, but I could look at that picture and see how she was looking at me with so much love and I knew that she did. That was definitely an awesome gift. 🙂

  114. When I was little we didn’t have very much money and I desperately wanted a holiday Barbie. My mom painstakingly sewed a gorgeous red teeny tiny gown for my Barbie to wear. Best present ever.

  115. Ali, I also got a dollhouse my dad built! He used leftover wallpaper from our house, so it was a very personal gift! I will say that is my greatest gift too

  116. My favorite present was a birthday present…..does that count? It was a speedometer for my bike way before the computers they have now. I didn’t even know such things existed but my friend got it for me and started my anal compulsion to always know my mileage.

  117. The best gift I’ve ever given was to my husband about 6 years ago. When he was growing up he had an adult man who was like a mentor to him, into engines, taught him all about boats and how to build a business and a million other things I’m sure. Well he died very suddenly when my husband was maybe 20? We hadn’t met yet. Anyway on that Christmas after hearing all about him for so many years I gathered all the photos that he had shoved in a box in the bottom of his closet and had someone make them into a DVD set to music. I had it playing on the TV when he got up on Christmas morning. He cried for 2 hours watching it and still talks about what an amazing gift it is to be able to take “Jerry” anywhere he goes. Im not being cheesey when I say it was an amazing feeling to give him a gift that was so special. 🙂

  118. The greatest gift I ever gave was a cookbook I made online to my sister when she got married. i was able to fill it with family and friends recipes and photos to go with each one. It was such a meaningful and useful gift!! (And I made one for myself too…)

  119. As of last year, my fiance and I decided on a new tradition: instead of exchanging Christmas/Chanukah/anniversary presents, we would save our money for a vacation to a new location every year. Last year, for our inaugural trip, we went to Savannah and Charleston, and it was amazing. Instead of trying to one-up ourselves by buying each other new things, we instead got to spend time with each other and make new memories (cheesy, but so true!) I hope it’s something we carry on for a long, long time.

  120. Best gift I ever gave was a turtle pillow pet to my 50+ year old dad. He loves turtles…it goes with him everywhere..


  121. When I was little, I loved Mickey Mouse so much. I got a Mickey Mouse lamp as a gift and it was so awesome! I remember crying!

  122. So here I go getting all sappy….. but the best present I ever received was last year for Christmas from my boyfriend. Sidenote: He’s a total macho muscly dude haha. But he handmade me a Crohn’s bracelet. It is adorable. It has purple beads and a silver chain with a purple ribbon in the middle. It is soooo special to me. I feel naked until I put it on in the morning, not gonna lie haha. It meant a lot because he went way out of his comfort zone to make me something to show that he supports me and my battle against Crohn’s. He’s a pretty smooth guy apparently 😉

  123. The best gift i ever “found’ was when I was nine and i saw a kitten walking past our front door on the day after christmas. I picked her up and told my mom she had walked in the house on her own (sorry mom!). I’m 20 years old and in college now but seeing Snowball is one of my favorite parts of coming home, she’s a gift to me every day

  124. Without having dropped any hints or even gave a thought to asking for one, my aunt gifted me a sewing machine for Christmas three years ago. It’s been ridiculously awesome to have.

  125. The year after my moms mom/my grandmother died I gave my mom a photo jewelry box with a photo of my mom, my grandmas(mom and dads moms), and me on it from my graduation from college, which was the last time we were all together. It’s special because it allows us all to remember that great day and how lucky we are. I loved giving her that gift as much as she loved getting it.

  126. Best gift I have ever received for Christmas was a Vitamix! Seriously the best invention ever. You can literally make anything with it. Well worth its ridiculous price tag 🙂

  127. My favorite present ever was a giant trampoline for our backyard when I was small (extra points for being an early fan of sweating? :)).

  128. The best Christmas gift I’ve ever received was from my then-fiance, now-husband. He’s not a very emotional, sappy person (I totally am). But for Christmas, he wrote me the story of how we met, started dating and got engaged from his perspective. I definitely cried as I read it. It was funny and witty and sweet, and I still pull it out from time to time to read it. And yes, it still makes me cry.

  129. When I was born I got a teddy bear. When I was 3 years old I got a second of the same bear, so they were twins. They came with me to college. Until I lost one. A friend of mine found an identical bear on EBay so I could have twins again. Nothing like getting a teddy bear as a favorite gift as a twenty-something.

  130. The best gift I ever got was from my mom – she handed out bright squares of fabric to my best friends, grandparents, brother, dad, and then boyfriend (now husband) and had them write a message to me in pencil. Then she embroidered each square and made them into a quilt – permanent messages from all the people I love most, in their handwriting…It’s especially amazing now that my grandfather has passed, and I can see his words to me every day!

  131. The best gift I ever received was when I was 14. All presents had been opened by all 5 of my siblings when my mother announced there was one more hidden under the Christmas tree skirt. It was a travel brochure and I was given a trip to Germany. I cried so hard that I couldn’t even read it! Happiest ever!

  132. The best present was nice pajamas from ll bean & the loft. I never spend that much on myself.
    Hey I went to Bentley too.

  133. A practical gift, but one of the best ever for Christmas was a KitchenAid mixer!!! I had never used one before and my future in-laws gave me one as a nudge to start cooking and baking more and we use it ALL the time now for sweet and savory treats well-into our 6th month of wedded bliss!!!:)

  134. The best Christmas present ever was the Miss Victory costume for my Molly American Girl doll. I wanted that costume forever. It was the one thing I would drool over in the catalog. I ended up getting it out of nowhere a couple years ago at the age of 29.

  135. The best Christmas present I ever received was bringing my 3 year old boy home from the hospital on Christmas Day to a home full of love! My husband and three older kids were so excited to have him home on Christmas.

  136. When I was 7 or 8, my dad gave me tickets for us to see New Kids On The Block in concert. It was my first concert, and maybe the best one I have ever seen…. hard to say for sure.

  137. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’m so hard to buy for! I think this is why I love buying gifts for others more than I like receiving.

    My favorite gift was a pair of Wunder Unders from lululemon. I told my husband that I’d love anything from that store and he delivered. I’ve worn those pants to more places than probably appropriate (gym, yoga, fancy dinners, and even to work) so he definitely did a good job!

  138. When I was little I REALLY wanted high heeled tap shoes for Hanukah. Oh the 90s. The best thing I probably ever got was either my ears pierced, or this key necklace from my Dad that my brother bought me a charm for too, so its like I have all the awesome men in my life with me when I wear it.

  139. Best Gift I ever received was a puppy for Christmas! Always asked “Santa” for one so was very surprised he actually “delivered”!!!

  140. My favorite Christmas present was also a Barbie house! I got it when I was 8 and was so excited when I ran downstairs and saw it. I have a December bday, so I also think of when I got my first American Girl Doll, Samantha. 🙂

  141. The best gift(s) I received was anything horse related that I received between the ages of 7 and 18! When I was younger, I dreamed of becoming the next member of the Olympic Equestrian team…

  142. Best gift ever? I opened a gift from my boyfriend to find a clock radio that displayed the numbers EXTRA LARGE. You see, I am quite blind without glasses or contacts so at night/first thing in the morning, I can’t read the time. So thoughtful 🙂 I Heart Sweat t-shirts are on my xmas list already 🙂

  143. My niece and nephew live 600 miles away from me and I am crazy about them and miss them a ton. Last year I bought my 5 year old niece a recordable storybook… She loved it – my whole family sat and watched as she listened to every page of the book right there on Christmas morning (super strange and creepy to listen to my own voice). I also bought her PJ’s.. and she said at the end of Christmas morning gift-opening “now you can put me to bed every night because I’ll wear these pajamas and listen to your book.” COME ON. It gets better.. she loves the book so much that she listens to it all the time. I get texts from my brother at least once a week of her snuggled up somewhere listening to her “Aunt Erica book.” He and my sister-in-law love hearing my creepy recorded voice all the time, too. They haven’t told me that, but I’m sure they do. It really is the gift that keeps on giving to everyone involved.

  144. The greatest gift I ever gave was a Richard Petty Driving experience for my husband 4 years ago. He still talks about it to this day as the best gift he’s ever gotten!

  145. Over Thankgiving I found out that my family is headed to Cancun as our Christmas present this year. Can’t beat that!

  146. My favorite Christmas present when I was younger was a kitchen set-I was so excited and played with it all the time. Now I try to avoid the kitchen as much as possible!

  147. when I was 6 my parents gave me a nice porcelain doll and I was so beyond enthralled with the bubble wrap I ended up dropping the doll and smashing it. they give me bubble wrap every year now. oops? 🙂

  148. The best present I ever received was also a homemade doll house. It was complete with wallpaper that matched our house’s

  149. My sister and I gave my parents a dance show for Christmas one year. (or maybe 3 years) I danced from age 3 to 16 so pretended I also could choreograph as well. And in case they felt like a dance show was a cop out on a gift, we combined the show with coupons. “Free 5 min back rub” and “Watch what you want on TV tonight” to name a few.

  150. The best gift I have ever received was when my grandmother collected all of our family recipes and gave me a box full of them for Christmas.

  151. Every year my dad gives my brother and i each a “free pass” that gets us out of a stressful family event and provides $50 for beer/food/whatever.

    it’s the best.

  152. The best gift I ever GAVE was to my now ex-boyfriend (dang! wasted a great gift!) it was a bags set – also known as cornhole and it was handmade. We painted the mascot of his favorite football team on it too. It was amazing. The best gift I ever received is kinda tough since I’ve gotten some awesome gifts over the years. My KitchenAid mixer is probably one of my favorites and most useful. I use that puppy ALL the time!

  153. The best gift I’ve ever received was a bright red Kitchen Aid mixer. Holy moly do I love that thing! Either that or the “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” computer game… it’s a toss up haha

  154. The best gift I just gave last weekend was buying tickets for my BF and me to Europe! We have never been and we are going next year around his birthday! Clearly a combo bday/xmas present, and the best part is I get to enjoy it too.

  155. the best gift i ever got was a feather that drifted down to land on my boyfriend (now husband) while he was whitewater rafting on the nile river in uganda… he brought it home and framed it for me, it’s beautiful!

  156. The best gift I have ever received was a kareoke (sp?) machine. I was probably 10 or 11 and felt like I sounded just like Shania Twain.

  157. The greatest gift I received was a pair of running gloves from my sister. She finally let me pace her in a marathon and she had a 4 minute PR! This was her “thank you” gift to me. I wasn’t expecting a gift and in desperate need of running gloves so it felt that much more exciting.

  158. best gift i’ve given….a speargun. Yes. A legit speargun, for fishing. I gave it to my boyfriend a couple years ago and it took quite a bit of research online and advice from his friends to figure out what I was supposed to be buying. He totally wasn’t expecting it which made it even better!

  159. The best gift I’ve ever received was my freshman year of high school. I went to boarding school and we were having our first formal dance of the year. I went to Boston with a few friends to go dress shopping but couldn’t afford one that I fell in love with. A few days later my two roommates surprised me with an early birthday present… the dress! I cried…a lot. But also I looked amazing and never forgot their generosity.

    1. Wow I can’t type. My favorite present would be the Beauty and the Beast bike I got when I was like 4 years old. It was my first bike and I loved that thing more than anything. I told my mom she is never allowed to get rid of it because it is such an awesome bike.

  160. The best gift I ever recieved was my first bike! I was about 5 and since I was a really smart kid, I decided to sit on the bike in my living room to “get used to it.” Well, I then fell off the bike and broke my elbow. So that part of the story isn’t so great. But, I got a bike, which is exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

  161. A couple of years ago I got my husband an awesome blue pair of Nike Air Jordans. The way his eyes lit up when he opened the box told me that he loved them and better yet… he didn’t expect to get them so it was a great surprise.

  162. 1984, and I was 12. Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage, and hard to find – I wanted one so bad my stomach hurt. My aunt found one 🙂 Best. Day. Ever.

  163. The best gift I remember wasn’t really about the gift. It was the day after Christmas and my mom asked me what my favorite gift was. After naming a few of the things I had received she said, “Oh, I thought you’d like the art set the best.” To which I responded, “I didn’t get an art set…” And then ran to look under the tree and it was hiding under the tree skirt blanket thing. Wasn’t meant to be a surprise like that but it was an awesome bonus present.

  164. This wasn’t for christmas, but actually a birthday present. I bought my husband a snowboard for his birthday the first year we were together. It has led him to finding his love of the mountains.

  165. I’m not the most creative gift giver ever, but I think the best gift I ever gave one of my craft-brew loving friends was a fun day at a brewery tour and beer tasting. The tour was free and then it was $5 to sample as much beer as you wanted for as long as you wanted. I obviously offered to DD so they could fully enjoy the beer. It was a birthday present and it rocked.

  166. Boyfriend (now husband) bought me a bike! And he did it even after seeing me test drive it. There were a few near misses (really near hits) with drivers. But today, we both bike ride. Him, often. Me, occasionally, when I don’t feel like running!

  167. Sadly (funny?) enough three years ago for Hanukkah my parents got me my first GARMIN!! It was by far my favorite present ever, and I’ve been using it/wearing it weekly every since. I’m in love 🙂

  168. I remember being so excited for a new bike with a basket! My brothers and I found arrows from Santa leading from our Christmas tree to our driveway. There all three of us discovered the bike of our dreams. 😉 I just remember us screaming with excitement.

  169. Ten years ago at Christmas, I dressed my daughter in white p.j.s, curled her hair, and sat her on a stack of pillows, then took her picture with black and white film to mimic a picture of my mother when she was the same age. Mom couldn’t believe the similarity in how they looked, and she was shocked that we were able to recreate the scene so accurately. Mom’s not usually speechless.

  170. best present ever was when my parents got our first family dog- a yellow lab named abby- i think i was only 6 or so- such a great pup.

  171. I think the best gift might be the iPhone we bought for my dad last year. He didn’t think he wanted it, but he now uses it nightly in place of a computer to browse the internet, watch youtube videos, and listen to music. He doesn’t know, but this year we’re getting him an ipad because we’re afraid he’s hurting his eyes with tinyness.

  172. The best gift I ever got was my puppy Moon, my parents kept saying we wouldn’t be getting a dog but on Christmas there she was with a pretty red bow!

  173. The best gift I ever got was when I was a little kid; my parents (Santa) got me a huge terrarium. I was a weird kid but I loved that thing! And it was huge, and such a surprise!

  174. My sister gave me the greatest gift years after one of the craziest christmas fiascos. When I was about 10 years old in the 70s, (yes, I am that old) my Mom made one of those big goofs that you NEVER let her forget and laugh about every year as adults. I had wanted a Mr. Frosty snow cone machine and begged for it for months. It was the one thing I wanted most. It was a huge deal. HUGE. Well imagine everyone’s surprise when my mother forgot which of her 2 older daughters really wanted that thing. (Of course with 5 kids in the family there was a lot to keep straight). My 8 year old sister was the receiver of MY greatly coveted snow cone machine. I was stunned and tried not to show my disappointment as I played with my dancing doll. So for months my sister proudly played with what should have been my snow cone machine. She knew the mistake and loved it and just let me add, she was not very good at sharing. So for the past 38 years this has been talked about at every single Christmas. Fast forward to 2010. My sister brought me a christmas present but I could not figure out why everyone was so interested in watching me open my gift. Until I opened up a 1970’s Mr. Frosty Snow Cone machine. She had been looking for it for a very long time. It was the greatest gift and I display it proudly. I love my sister.

  175. Last Christmas my now fiancee had a Christmas Eve party with his friends. It was my first time meeting his friends. I opened up a gift from him…tickets to see Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw in concert and started hysterically crying in front of all his friends. It was the best gift b/c he HATES country music and the fact that he knew I would love this gift meant so much to me. Greatest gift ever.

  176. My fav gift was a real (!) cash register that my grandparents got me from Sam’s Club, when I was about 9 years old. I loved to play store! My grandpa even made me a credit card slidy thing to make carbon copy charge card receipts. Sadly, I never had a real job as a cashier. 24 years later, I still have the cash register!

  177. The best gift I ever gave was a new motorcycle jacket to my then-boyfriend/now-husband. It was something he was coveting for a while, but couldn’t afford on his grad student budget. Luckily, I had a “real” job and was so excited to surprise him with it…But not without pranking him first by disguising the jacket in a pilates workout set box! He was sweet and pretended to be happy that I wanted him to do pilates with me, but when he opened the box and saw the jacket, his facial expression was priceless! 🙂

  178. My absolute favorite gift ever was a canopy bed. Yeah a bed. I thought santa had forgotten about me when I came downstairs for Christmas, as there was no “big gift” (tradition in our fam) and no stocking. I started crying when my mom told me maybe santa went to the basement this year. Lo and behold, he had and there was a gigantic wrought iron canopy bed with white sheer curtains all made up with new bedding, and my stocking sitting on top of it all. BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. Thanks, Mom.

  179. Greatest gift ever was this big stuffed lampchop doll…I was probably 7 or 8. I threw up on no more than 4 hours later and his ‘fur’ was never the same.

  180. The greatest gift I ever received was a pair of fuzzy slippers and some bath and body works lavender spray from my roommate while studying for finals in law school! made me feel cozy and helped me relax 🙂

  181. A couple of years ago for Christmas I made an appointment to have family pictures taken for my mom. She had been saying for years it was something she had wanted to do but didn’t think my brother and I would go with her. When he opened the gift and realized what it was she immediately started crying. She was so happy, which made me happy. I think that was the best gift I have given!

  182. The best gift I’ve ever gotten was my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Not because it’s expensive or the best gadget ever but because it belonged to my Grammy who passed away a year and a half ago. It’s an older model and makes a slightly bizarre sound when turned on but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for a shiny new one no matter how sparkly it might be.

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  183. The best gift I ever remember giving was a gift my family gave to another family (and it’s still a big secret). We knew another family that didn’t have a lot of money for Christmas gifts for their 3 small children, so my parents (and my brother and I, although we were young and didn’t help make the decision) decided to buy the 3 kids bikes for Christmas. I remember sneaking through their backyard and putting the bikes on their back porch. Then my dad called their house from his cell phone (that looked like one from Saved by the Bell) and asked for Jonathon, who was 4. When Jonathon answered my dad said, “Ho Ho Ho Jonathon, this is Santa, I left you and your brother and sister some presents on the back porch!” From our hiding place in the alley we could see them go outside and scream and jump up and down with excitement for getting the new bikes. To be honest, I don’t remember anything I got that year for Christmas, it was so exciting to give something to a worthy family that year. 🙂

  184. best gift i’ve ever received was a homemade calendar from my boyfriend. he personalized each month with pictures of us and wrote in our anniversary, birthdays, etc. it was a total surprise and probably the most thoughtful and heartfelt present i’ve ever gotten. 🙂

  185. this is the best post bc of everyone’s comments. must file some of these ideas away for later use..

    one of my best gifts was a playhouse in the backyard; i must have been about seven. it was big enough for me and my best friend to play in, painted in all kinds of bright colors, with little window boxes for plants and a porch and everything. i still remember the door had a heart cutout, and they used the heart shape from the hole to decorate the opposite wall. so cute.
    the killer was, to cover for the fact that my dad uncle and grandfather spent months in the backyard building this thing by hand from scratch, they told me they were building a garage for one of my dad’s cars. so when xmas morning came and they told me to go unwrap this big plastic they wrapped it in, i pretty much refused and resented, thinking why the eff do i have to unwrap my *dad’s* present to *himself*. !! when it turned out to be a playhouse for me instead, i really couldn’t process it and let go of “but i thought it was a garage-?”

  186. The best gift I ever received: When I was 14 my brother lived in Washington for School and my family lived in Minnesota… My parents could not afford to fly him back for Christmas and he was in the same situation… Christmas weekend my dad was pretty bummed out, he had just returned from his uncle’s funeral, his son was miles away… it just didnt feel like the holidays… That evening, a limo pulled up and out jumps my brother!!! A family friend of a friend, someone we had never even met, heard the story and wanted my brother to be with his family, so he paid for the whole trip.

    We were all so stunned and started crying and Christmas was saved… SO, I guess the gift of family…I know it sounds cheesy, but it is true. 🙂

  187. We got a puppy the week I turned 7. My present was actually a hot pink bean bag chair that I had been dying for, but the puppy promptly took over said bean bag chair, so I claimed the puppy as my present. We were best buds for the next 11 years (dogs need to live longer :()

  188. The best gift I ever recieved was from my not romantic husband. We were young and poor when we got married and couldn’t afford what he thought was an appropriate wedding ring. 5 years ago he bought me a beautiful new ring, but the best part was how he gave it to me…a package wrapped under the tree with a note saying this was the first clue to the location of my present, several more notes and clues until I found it. It was so sweet and out of character!!

  189. Like you, I like giving presents even more than getting them. The best gift I ever gave was a few years ago when I gave my mom a new bike. I had to sneak out in the snow in the middle of the night to bring it in and put a giant pink bow on it. When she saw it the next morning she started crying and said her whole life she had wished to find a bike under the tree Christmas morning.

  190. The best gift I ever received was probably the kitchenaid mixer from my boyfriend for my birthday, mostly because it was completely unexpected and I was surprised. People do not often surprise me, so that was awesome! Just for fun, the best gift I ever gave was tickets to Bob Seger for my parents. My mom’s sister had just died and we were at the funeral when the tickets went on sale (and they had really wanted to go but obviously weren’t worrying about it given everything going on). I had my awesome boyfriend of only a few months at the time get up early and get them tickets. They were shocked!

  191. The best gift I ever received was a car from my great aunt as a college graduation present. I had dreams of moving across the country (from NY to OR) after college graduation but it wasn’t going to be feasible without a car. Great Aunt Marj’s gift made my dreams a reality. Since my move I met my husband, got married, got promoted three times with my company, made many friendships, and have set countless PRs in races from the 5K to the Marathon. The car is the best gift I ever received because that car helped me get to exactly where I believe I am supposed to be in life.

  192. Every year we get a few books. It’s my favorite because of the tradition of it (we KNOW we’ll each get at least 3) but also because my mom has a knack for picking out some really awesome books.

  193. Well, at the time my greatest gift ever was a hedgehog. I had been begging and begging for years and even wrote my parents a letter outlining why I NEEDED to own one. Well, I got the thing, and it sucked. Awake all night, climbing the walls of its cage and flinging itself to the ground, biting me and getting all prickly whenever I tried to hold it (not to mention the fact that it was white with blood-red eyes)… unfortunately, hedgehog had to go back to the store.

  194. I gave my Mom a bread machine one Christmas because I owned one, and I loved it. It turns out, she loves it too, and she usually makes a loaf or two each week!

  195. For one holiday (I do not remember at this point) I scanned a bunch of our old photos and created a CD of them for her to use as well as a photo book. She really appreciated the gift and the time it took (more precious than money spent).

  196. The best gift I’ve gotten recently is my iPad! My parents usually do small gifts for birthdays so that was a nice surprise!

  197. I don’t have many little kid gift memories, honestly. The best gift I got was more recent. I was a freshman in college, and I started reading Dan Barry’s columns in The New York Times because he went to my college, and I fell head over heels in love with his writing. At one point, he visited campus, and I couldn’t stop talking about it to the guy I was seeing at the time. So for my birthday, he emailed Dan Barry and asked if he could get a signed copy of his memoir for me. And he did. I may have cried. I’m not still seeing this guy, but I love that book and still read it frequently. It’s honestly one of my most prized possessions!

  198. My husband made a photo book called “A Good Boy’s Story” about my dog Radar, written entirely in rhyme and filled with tons of photos of my best boy. (Fact: had the dog before the husband) That book is priceless to me!

  199. When I was in high school, my best friend Jincy told me that her parents, though they celebrated Christmas, never bought her or her sisters Christmas gifts. She told me that when she was younger all she ever wanted was a Barbie, but no one ever got it for her. So that Christmas, I bought Jincy a Barbie doll and made her a Christmas stocking, and dropped it off at her house on Christmas morning. The look on her face made it the best gift giving/receiving moment I’ve ever had.

  200. The best Christmas gift I’ve ever received in term of most used would definitely be my food processor. The best give I’ve ever given was coordinating a group effort to pay for a 2-year gym membership for my broke-ass best friend!

  201. When I was little, all I ever wanted to do was play store and I would put pricetags on all the toys in my bedroom (although no one actually got to keep their purchases). My parents finally bought me a real cash register from a going-out-of-business sale and I was in heaven!

    The greatest gift I ever gave was a personalized Muppet I got from the Whatnot Workshop. It was one of the first times that my gift to someone elicited huge gasps of shock and joy.

  202. I am so happy the shirts are back!!!! I have been wanting to order one (or many) for such a long time.

    The greatest gift I ever received was on Christmas day 12 years ago. It was the day my husband proposed, and when we knew we would build an awesome future together.

  203. The best gift I have ever received has been my family’s decision to make Christmas about spending time together and NOT about gifts. Ironic, but it’s nice. Instead of buying something for each person, we do a white elephant (buy something cool within a certain $ range, wrap and bring to Christmas dinner, draw numbers and choose based on the number with the option to “steal” from someone else). It’s fun, entertaining, and saves a lot of money.

  204. the best gift i ever received was a trip to nepal with my dad. not just because the country was amazing, but because we finally got a chance to get to know each other after years of misunderstandings and stale grudges.

  205. The greatest gift I’ve received was a brand new car for high school graduation. Spoiled… I know! As I’ve become an independent adult, I’ve realized more and more the blessing of having a reliable car without car payments. My parents surprised me with the car when I was going through a tough time… It meant so much to me!

  206. The best gift I ever got was 2 years ago, when I was living abroad in a non-Christian country. My boyfriend flew in to visit and brought a christmas tree in his suitcase. I can’t remember what ended up going under the tree, but I was so happy to have the tree itself.

  207. We actually don’t celebrate xmas (I know, scarred for life by a weird family. Not really – just what people seem to assume!) so I can’t think of a particular gift. I might have to be cheesy and say that I’m not really bothered because having such an understanding family is the greatest gift of all – they’ve put up with more from me in the last decade than anyone should have to in a lifetime.

  208. I can’t think of the best gift I’ve received, but one of my most used gifts has been the Garmin I received last year! My sister & I gave my mom hand-painted wine glasses (Etsy!) for Christmas one year, which is definitely one of her favorite gifts received.

  209. The best Christmas present I ever received was a mix CD from a boy in high school that I had a huge crush on (but that I was pretty sure didn’t know I existed). I woke up on Christmas morning to a CD taped to the outside of our living room window from him, and we’ve been dating ever since.

  210. When I was in third grade I came downstairs to find a fluffy little white kitten that we named Dakota snowstorm. Best preset ever!

  211. Let’s see… the best gift I have ever received. My now husband (then boyfriend) wrapped up a 5 lb bag of SUGAR for me. Don’t get it? Neither did I! Underneath, were two tickets to the SUGAR BOWL in which our alma mater (the university of CIncinnati!) was playing on New Year’s Day! We spent NY in NOLA! 🙂

  212. My best gift I ever gave was to my dad, it was a picture of us together at the National Championship…we went in memory of mom who was the biggest fan or our college. Great trip for a daddy and daughter!!

  213. One of the most significant gifts I have ever given was when I was 10 years old and my first dog passed away a month prior to Christmas. I put together a photo album of pictures of the dog, Maggie, and my family over the years. It meant a lot to my parents and we still look back over it around Christmas occasionally. Of course, I’ve received a lot of great gifts over the years (hello, treadmill last yr!), but the album stands out as a sentimental moment for us.

  214. The best gift I ever received was a red bandana. Yes, you read that correctly. A classic, red bandana. I think I was about 6 years old and when I wrote my letter to Santa all it said was “Dear Santa, I’d like a red bandana this year.” Unfortunately these days my list is a bit more extensive.

    Love the shirts!!

  215. The best gift I ever got was all new kitchen stuff (coffeemaker, mugs, dishes, etc.) from my parents, the year that I finally moved out on my own. Before they bought me those, I was using paper and plastic everything!

  216. The best gift I ever received was photo shopped holiday cards with my pug’s face superimposed as a member of the E Street Band. Pugs + Springsteen = my faves! 🙂

  217. When my husband and I were dating (we were 16 and 18 at the time) , he gave me a Build-a-Bear frog. He stood in line at the mall forever by himself with all those crazy parents and their kids to make him for me. And I learned later that he told the worker who helped him stuff him that he wanted to marry me someday. I have no idea why he picked a frog, of all things, but i love it.

  218. one of my favorite gifts was a gift certificate to a boxing gym. i had so much fun over the course of the month i went! plus, i got really sweaty – and i <3 sweat 🙂

  219. Last year we got my grandfather a duck lamp, because he likes to duck hunt, and what do you get the man that has everything anyway?
    Turns out my aunt and uncle got him a duck lamp too. Unplanned.

  220. Probably the most satisfying gift I’ve ever given was getting my sister, who was single and mostly broke (in her mid-30s), a road bike for Christmas. She wasn’t expecting it at all.

  221. A few years ago I got some ugg moccasins. I wore those babies almost every day in the winters until this month I noticed the stitching has completely come undone and they couldn’t be repaired. 🙁 I added a new pair to my list for this year!

  222. Last year my older brother skipped shopping for Christmas altogether and put the money toward a family vacation at the beach. We all live in different states, and our budgets are tight, so helping us get together like this?? Best gift EVER!

  223. For this Christmas I have bought a sky diving experience for my mom. It’s something that she has always wanted to do. I can’t wait to see her face. I think I’m as excited to give it to her as she will be to jump!

  224. The best gift I ever gave was when I was poor as dirt right after I graduated from college and I gave my mom a handprint poem. It was complete with my adult sized handprints and a revamped version of the poem as it applied to me as an adult. My mom cried and cried when she opened it.

  225. I think my favorite gift of all time that I received was the year Santa brought us a huge trampoline! Many flips and zero injuries later, I miss that thing everyday. No feeling like flying thru the air with the greatest of ease.

    Favorite gift I’ve ever given? A creme brûlée torch to my mom. Mostly because she still lets me use it when I visit 🙂

  226. Probably the best gift I’ve gotten was when my husband got me a Kindle for Christmas last year. I was behind the times and swore that I didn’t want one because I love real books. He surprised me with one which was really sweet because it’s totally unlike him, and I love that thing. I have it with me all the time and I don’t know what I would do now without constantly having a book at my fingertips always.

  227. So happy you are selling the shirts again, every time I am too late!

    I think the best gift I remember getting is my first real bike with training wheels. My sister and I were beyond excited. Then again, we also got excited by the orange my mom would put in our stocking… we were easy to please.

  228. I LOVE picking out great Christmas presents for my 4 daughters (and now 3 of their husbands)! Perhaps one of the best, was when they were little, and each of them opened a box with a Micky Mouse ornament inside that said “Disneyland 1997” on it. It was great watching while they figured out we were taking them to Disneyland in a couple months.

  229. The best gift I have ever received was a box filled with homemade chocolates and caramels that my sister made from scratch. Gone and eaten in 3 hours–each and every piece. Sorry? I’m not sorry.

  230. My dad also gifted me a doll house. As crafty and handy he is…it was actually probably from Toys R Us. BUT he took the time to put it all together and put it next to the tree. It was awesome waking up that morning and seeing it in all of its glory!!

  231. As a kid snow was always the best christmas gift! We would play together outside all day…gift gift though, I got a digital camera last year and that was pretty awesome but my family doesn’t put too much value on presents.

  232. My favorite gift is definitely my engagement ring. It was completely unexpected and absolutely perfect. I think it will forever be my favorite gift.

  233. I got my mom RedSox tickets one year for mothers day (she loves going to games my father doesn’t). The weather was perfect, we went for brunch first and then ended up walking to Fenway. Got a couple drinks, found our seats, having an absolute blast. Until the guy sitting next to us started hitting on my mom. She tried being subtile and making sure her ring was in full view, but the guy didn’t stop even after she said she was happily married and not interested. It was awkward, yet funny. Afterwards my mom joked that my dad obviously needed to buy her a bigger ring since this one was no longer fending off the fellas.

  234. The best gift I ever received was a trip to Greece with my Mom. My Dad surprised both of us with the trip my soph year in college (she went on various trips with all 3 kids while we were in college).

  235. My favorite gift I’ve ever given was a 3D puzzle that made a globe. My brother, mother and I all spent A LOT of time putting it together…. it was awesome to work on something as a family and was a lot of fun!

  236. The best “present” I ever received was when my mom surprised me for my 25th birthday. I had gotten married almost a year before, had moved from Illinois to South Carolina…I worked in a retail store in the mall and a silent clown came into the store with balloons for me for my b’day. The clown also had a boom box with it. When they clown pressed play….it was my dad singing happy b’day to me in his oh so lovely monotone voice! At the end of the song! I was blown away – how the heck did this random clown get this cassette of my dad singing?!?!?! At the end of the song, dad said, if you have not already done so, take a close look at the clown…..IT WAS MY MOM!

    She had driven 18 hours straight to SB, changed her clothes and put on clown make up in a mall bathroom just to surprise me!

    I will never forget these types of things my parents have done for me. Especially since I just lost my mom, suddenly, in October.

    So special….

  237. The best gift I received was in 3rd grade when my parents had a phone line installed in my room (yes, I’m probably older than most of your readers.) They had coordinated with my BFF to have a phone line installed in her room too, so at the appointed time, we all walked into my room and the phone rang with my BFF calling. SO EXCITING!!

  238. The best gift I gave was a write an essay about why my Dad was the greatest, and won. We got box seats to a Jays game, and got to meet a player, lots of food and fun. he was so happy, it was awesome!

  239. The best gift I received was my dog recovering successfully from back surgery. He is 12, and I was worried, but he is running around again like his 3 year self!

  240. A few years ago I stole my family’s collection of home movies on VHS tapes and had them transferred to DVDs so they’ll last forever. My parents were so happy and thankful….I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top that gift.

  241. The greatest gift I’ve ever given was to my Dad on father’s day for tickets to Fenway to see the Red Sox and the Yankees play. Total surprise. He had no clue. He’s such a die hard Sox fan, so it was fun to see him so shocked and surprised.

  242. The best present I ever received is a painting my grandfather made for me (of me) when I was three. I still have it sitting on my bureau. The best gift I ever gave was the Christmas I gave my mom personalized notecards. You’d have thought I’d given her grandchildren she was so excited.

  243. The greatest gift I ever received was my stuffed animal bear when I was first born. I’m 24 and still love that thing to death!

  244. The greatest gift I ever gave was to my mom two Christmases ago, to fly down to Alabama to visit our family friends’ baby twins for a long weekend in January. She was in a funk and definitely needed cheering up by cute babies. She burst into tears when she opened the tenvelope with a plane ticket in it on Christmas morning!

  245. I can’t think of one greatest gift but we had really fun Christmases in my household. I often wanted the latest toy that was impossible to get (Kimberley Jem doll, the most popular Popple, etc.) and my mother would always manage to get one (with no credit – Santa got that) so while I can’t think of one specific gift being my favourite we had a lot of exciting Christmas mornings.

  246. My family isn’t into gift-giving so much but the doll I got from my parents when I was born is something that has been through the most with me! She still sleeps in bed with me (no, I’m not embarrassed) and reminds me of my childhood everyday. They even got me a spare in case I lost her and I know I’ll give that one to my kid one day!

  247. The best gift I ever recieved was an American Girl doll when I was in third grade. I opened it and said “but we didn’t even win the lottery!!!”

  248. Best gift ever was a surprise trip to California to visit my relatives for my 18th birthday. Most of my relatives live there, whereas I live in NY, and I’ve always been bummed that I miss out on all the big group birthday parties my relatives have together in Cali…so my mom booked us a flight out there so I could have my big family party with them all 🙂

  249. When I was about 5 years old, my Grandmother called me to come over to her house (about 10 minutes away) a day or two after Christmas because she had a special late gift for me. Apparently she had spent all of the holiday shopping season trying to find me a Cabbage Patch Doll but was unsuccessful…until the day AFTER Christmas. I never even remember wanting it that badly but she was so excited that she finally found one for me that I couldn’t help but be excited. It shows how we all love to shop for the kids!

  250. The best gift I ever received was my dog, Gus. I got him for Easter when I was 17, very random time, but he is the best thing that ever happened to me!!!!

  251. My greatest gift EVER is my families health and happiness. My brother had some issues with substance abuse and my family went through a dark time throughout that. I had a lot of hard feelings towards him and I felt further away from him then ever. I didn’t know if I would ever see his sweet smile again 🙁 Thankfully my parents took action and got him the help he needed and he also realized that what he was doing was tearing my parents apart and has been clean for a few years now! I know he is stronger then EVER now and he is going to go on to do big things in life!

  252. I was trying so hard to think of the best gift I’ve ever given. but I’m thinking I haven’t given too many spectacular gifts. The best gift I ever received was a gold Chai necklace from my mom when I was 10. I had asked for it, but I was still surprised at how nice the one she got me was – tiny and simple, just plain gold. It’s something I still wear to this day (though I have to reference another Chai necklace I have to make sure I’m putting it on in the right direction!)

  253. The greatest gift I’ve ever given is a Nascar driving experience for my boyfriend. He was SO scared beforehand but once he got in and drove around it was like seeing a little kid in a candy store. That just made me realize how much more awesome it is to give a great gift than receive one.

  254. The best gift I ever received was a ring from my grandmother. It’s beautiful and reminds me of her everyday when I look down at it.

  255. Best gift every: the cross-country plane tickets my parents paid for a few years in a row so that I could actually make it home to see the family for the holidays 🙂

  256. I best gift I ever gave was to my boyfriend, a HUGE Michigan football fan. I got him a helmet signed by the three best players on the team that year. It’s been hard for me to top that one!

  257. Best gift ever…. One year for Christmas my mom took about 20 of my t-shirts from college and made a huge quilt out of them. I use that quilt everyday. When my BF and I move in together, I will still use that quilt. He just doesn’t know it yet!

  258. The best gift than my sister and I ever gave to my parents was a professional picture of the two of us. My mom talked about for years wanting a picture of my sister and I and when we finally did it, she was so happy – she even cried, which made me cry! It was the best day and I’ll probably never forget that moment 🙂

  259. The best present I ever gave was to my husband on our first wedding anniversary. I got him tickets and backstage passes to meet and greet his favorite artist. That was a pretty good present for me too since I got to go along. 🙂

  260. My dog, although I have a similar dollhouse story as well. But dogs are the best, and they are the gifts that keep on giving!

  261. The best gift I have ever given was the gift I gave my dad the night before I got married. It was a picture of us when I was young, in a picture frame build for two pictures. The other frame was filled with a “insert a picture of us dancing at the wedding” message. He cried. So I cried. 🙂

  262. I will never forget receiving my first cell phone.. Nokia with a pink cherry case. LOL. I was a thrilled 16 year old (now 8 year olds have phones..what the heck!?) and I was so shocked because my parents said NO WAY, absolutely not and surprised me big time! I felt so cool with that thing.

  263. The best gift I gave was the Santana Calendar Oh Twelve. It’s a calendar of photos of my brother and sister-in-law’s dog Santana. I sent one to them, my mom and my sister-in-;law’s parents. Every month we get to exclaim over a “new puppy month” and it is the best thing to look at during the workday. I love that pup.

  264. I used to think the greatest gift I ever gave was a fish named Christmas….but apparently it wasn’t as well received/appreciated as I thought!

  265. My favorite xmas gift is a watch that my boyfriend gave me two years ago. I wear it every day! I love it and I love him.

  266. Greatest gift I’ve received was a surprise going away dinner before I moved to a new city. I knew a few friends were coming but I was shocked to see a ton of people in a rented out room.

  267. The best gift I ever got was a huge ‘Go Daddy Go’ sign my 3 year old made for the 2012 NYC Marathon. Even though it never got used, it still hangs proudly in our apartment!

  268. nothing comes to mind for me, but i remember the year my grandpa gave my grandma a beautiful diamond necklace… and wrapped it in a washing machine box.

  269. One year my sister and I (we usually don’t get along so I guess this was an epic moment) got my mom a wooden picture album with old favorites and a new family fun portrait that she may or may not have thought was for a school project (otherwise she wouldn’t have worn that yellow sweatshirt). My Momma cried at Christmas, and that is a very rare thing.

    Looking forward to a long sleeve shirt for the winter season.

  270. The best gift I ever gave was last year to my nephew: a foosball table. He had been asking for it all year and he thought maybe he was going to get it. We spent the whole day convincing him that he wasn’t going to get it. He would walk around tree to try and find the biggest box and when he couldn’t find a big enough box we told him that maybe he wouldn’t be getting it (pretty evil if you ask me). When all the gifts were open and he didn’t get it, my dad walked in the room with the biggest box that has his name on it. Before he could even open it, he knew what it was and started crying. It was the best feeling ever!

  271. This sounds silly, but one of the best gifts I received was a blanket from the camp that I worked at in high school. I asked for it every day for months, but truly thought there was no way I would get it because online shopping wasn’t available. My parents called someone at the camp and had them mail it to the house. When I opened it I was shocked. I still sleep with it on my bed almost every night. It’s so useful, practical, and cozy, plus it reminds me of good memories through years of summers.

  272. I am going to officially out myself as a nerd here. My favorite present was from my exboyfriend several years ago (hopefully new boyfriend never finds out about this!). I love stationary. The post it aisle is my happy place. One year I received a bunch of desk organizers filled with post its, high lighters, thank you cards, etc. IT WAS AWESOME. All different colors and shapes – so much happiness!!

  273. is it bad that I literally can hardly remember any of my Christmas presents!! I am a terrible person! I remember getting a bike one year but for my birthday so it doesn’t count. I loved my American Girl doll, that was a pretty awesome present at the time (8years old!) I would LOVE a sweat t shirt!! looking forward to seeing the new colours!

  274. The best Christmas gift I ever received was my car. I had already unwrapped all of my presents, and so the next thing to dig through was my stocking. I reached my hand in and I felt the keys. I knew exactly what that meant, and I am not ashamed to admit I started crying (real tears and sobs!) and screamed lol I then proceeded to throw the keys on the ground and sprinted out into the cold to find my brand new Red Honda Accord (but I couldn’t unlock it or get in it because, after all, I had thrown the keys into a never ending abyss of torn up wrapping paper!) It was the greatest Christmas ever 🙂

  275. Best gift I’ve ever given was a pencil drawing (professionally done mind you, I’m hopeless in the art department) of my family home to my parents. They loved it. And it’s especially great now since they moved and now have a lovely reminder of where we grew up.

    Great giveaway!

  276. I’m grandfather (pop as well call him) built me a Barbie house too!! That thing was AWESOME. Wood floors.. Like 10 bedrooms, you name it it had it. My grandmother sews, so it had curtains, sheets on beds, towels.. Oh man. I miss that thing.

  277. The best gift I ever received was a surprise trip planned by my fiance. I didn’t have to do a thing, and it was the best weekend ever.

  278. I’m so excited you will be selling these again!!!

    My favorite gift I’ve received is the watch my husband gave me! Wear it everyday.

  279. The greatest gift I ever received was, no doubt, the Babysitter’s Club Secret Santa book. It was this nifty BSC book with little envelopes and letters from each of the BSC members to each other. I was absolutely TORMENTED by it in the book store because you couldn’t open the letters without purchasing it. So obviously I had to have it.

    How do I know it was the greatest gift ever? There is an excessively unflattering picture of 8 year old me screaming in excitement when I opened it on Christmas morning.

    A gift is great if you make an ugly happy or ugly cry face when you receive it!

  280. My husband is a HUGE yankees fan. On our first chrstmas together I gave him tickets to go to NYC to see them play in the new stadium, the year it opened. I had never seen someone so excited before !

  281. The most memorable gift I ever received was in the mid 90s when I was only 6 or 7. I remember coming down the stairs and seeing 2 bean bag chairs – one for me and one for my sister and a ghetto-blaster (HELLO 90s!). That CD player got so much use it was unbelievable – constantly playing N’Sync, Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls!

  282. The greatest gift I got was when I was 8. It was around the time CD players were becoming popular and cassettes were becoming obsolete. I didn’t have a CD player or stereo, but I was okay with it. I opened my first present that year to find Nsync’s Christmas CD and got so upset because I didn’t understand how Santa didn’t know we didn’t have a CD player!! The very last present I opened was a 3 CD stereo. I nearly cried with excitement!!

  283. Best gift I ever got was a big bird stuffed animal (when I was 4); still have & sleep with him today (I’m 26). I hope that’s not why I’m still single… 😉

  284. I want a long sleeved top quite badly.

    My best ever present was two Christmasses ago, we had just moved to California from the UK. I found the move difficult, even if I love it now. My husband knew how hard I’d found it and wanted to thank me. So he took me to the local animal shelter and let me choose a cat – I have wanted my own cat ever since I left home MANY years ago. To make it more romantic, he has a cat allergy (and suffered for 4 months before it miraculously was healed) so he knew he was going to pay big time for this gift. I ended up choosing my darling ginger boy-cat who I utterly adore, and every time I cuddle him, I say ‘Best. Gift.Ever’ to the husband.

  285. I have had Crohn’s for 16 years now and just started running in July of this year. I am at the SLC airport on my way to run in the rock and toll marathon this weekend. Really enjoy the blog Ali!
    Best gift I got was last year: a card from my wife sprayed with the perfume she was wearing from our first date over 25 years ago. Brings back a flood of memories!

  286. Greatest gift I’ve ever received was the first piece of furniture for my first apartment on my own! I had NOTHING when I moved in right around Christmas so the first thing my sweet boyfriend did was take me to pick out a couch. He wanted me to feel like I was at home in my new place…which is a pretty awesome gift.

  287. My best gift has been my HEALTH! When you are at your lowest of lowes you tend to remember how good it feels when you are having the good days!!

  288. One year my Mom went through all the family slides and made prints for everyone. She sorted it by kid (so we each got the baby pictures of ourselves) and included some (lots) special family pictures. She probably did it for her own reasons (so she would have prints of all the slides), but it was and is still one of my favorite things. It was one of those presents that puts Christmas morning on hold while everyone takes time with the current present.

  289. A few years ago I was living in Boston in an old apartment with a newborn and no dishwasher. My mother-in-law completely shocked us by getting us one of those portable dishwashers. I literally jumped up and down. I know that appliances are not the most sexy or exciting gift but after 7 years of not having one and a bazillion baby bottles, it was the most amazing thing ever.

  290. It’s so true, finding the perfect present is the best thing ever! Over Black Friday weekend, I actually found out I could customize NBA team t-shirts, and was finally able to get a shirt with my boyfriend (and my) favorite player’s name and number on it. It sounds really silly since it’s just a Knicks t-shirt, but I was crazy excited to be able to customize and give him something I knew he’d been wanting for a year.

    Also a perfect gift for me would be those I Heart Sweat shirts so I might have to screenshot this comment for my fam…

  291. Oh, even if I don’t win these are going on my Christmas list. 😉 The best present I remember getting was when I was maybe in fourth or fifth grade?

    Santa brought me a Backstreet Boys CD. And I was really perplexed when I unwrapped it because it didn’t have the protective covering on it. And so I opened it to find tickets to a Backstreet Boys concert. And I am not ashamed but-maybe-a-little to say that my fourth or fifth grade self weeped some tears.

    Merry holiday season. 🙂

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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