1. We’ve been gifted a couple of things over the years that I absolutely love. There’s a couple of handmade quilts from grandmother’s that we use everyday, and the antique Tweed chairs that sit in my living room – both were gifts from people who couldn’t make use of them anymore and I’m glad we’ve been able to make space for them in our home.

  2. House shoes. Not sexy, I know, but as one ages the extremities cool. Walking in socks on a hardwood floor, is well, dangerous, and so a couple of years ago my wife and daughter got me a pair of leather, wool lined, house shoes with a rubber sole. I wear them so much (often out of the house) that I now get two sets a year. Keeps the toesies toasty and keeps me from pitching head first down the stairs. Win/win if you ask me.

  3. Oh, Penny! Here I am, welling up with tears reading this in the local library…

    As a kid, my sister and I received the gift of a modest second-hand piano from our great-aunt, who also acted as our piano teacher. It still sits in the loungeroom at my parents’ house. The weekly piano lessons were more an excuse for our great-aunt to see us regularly than to seriously advance our skills. We were able to play a few carols at family gatherings around Christmas time. We remember her fondly and I’m sure the piano will stay around for a long while.

  4. A pocket edition of Thoreau!
    Just kidding. I use my rice cooker all the time- it was a great gift. I also like sheets and towels. I’m stretching the depths of my brain for something that doesn’t make me sound incredibly pragmatic…Got it.
    When we first moved to the States, my dad greeted me at the airport with a big white teddy bear. Teddy, as I creatively named him, has survived every single purge and he sits on my night stand to this day. That was a good gift!

  5. Omg I love the tree. I remember my too-small tree from years ago; it almost made things MORE Christmas-y, funny enough.

    This is weird, but the best gift was when I was in fourth grade. It wasn’t for Christmas, but my birthday. My parents didn’t do a lot of presents, but they did hand me a brand new $100 bill!

    At the time, that was like winning a million dollars to me. I felt INSANELY rich. Of course, if I got a $100 bill right now, I would still feel insanely rich, but still.

    It’s funny how perspective and adulthood take the joy out of things.

  6. I hope to be your nana one day handing down our too small tree. We got a wee bitty thing to sit ON our hearth because we don’t want to give up the floor space in our too small living room.

    I won’t wax on in a whole blog post because I already wrote mine on some favorite things and gifts but I cherish the small things just as much as the big thing. It’s nice to know our hearts can still appreciate them.

  7. Jody

    Wow, those stories got me in the feels. I especially like the first one. Dear grandfather.

    My parents put together a family cookbook for me of recipes from family and friends. They went so far as to scan in some in the original handwriting. Some of them are over a hundred years old. I add to it occasionally, too.

    On a funny note, my dad got me a KitchenAid mixer one year. This is a huge thing for him because they are expensive and because he is known for getting you what he thinks you need, not what you could actually use, and he is known for quantity over quality. That year, he called me, asked me if I could use one, and asked me what color I’d like. And then I was the proud owner of a cobalt blue KitchenAid.

    The next year, he was back to his normal self. He came in holding a powder blue metallic faux crocodile skin guitar case. I do not play guitar. I never expressed interested in starting. Yet here he was giving me an *electric* guitar with a mini amplifier, also in faux powder blue metallic crocodile skin.

    Here is the punchline: the guitar was cobalt blue. He actually said to me “It will match the KitchenAid!” LOLOLOL

    I still have it. I found out a while later his mother played electric guitar and was pretty good. This gift was more about his memories of his mother than me, and I get that now even if he doesn’t. But the matchy-matchy thing is still hilarious.

  8. My 2 favourite physical gifts are a quilt that my sister made for me, and an electronic toothbrush from my dad. Obviously the quilt has sentimental value, as it was the first (of many!) quilts my sister made – and she made this one specifically for me. The toothbrush on the other hand was not something I ever thought about. When I opened it I wasn’t overly thrilled. But OMG how much do I love it??

  9. One gift that sticks out with me was a scarf my wife made for me when we were dating. It was her first time knitting and although she has gotten better at making scarfs and hats, that first one stands out because it represented to me that we don’t have to just go out and buy gifts for each other. Taking the time and effort to make one makes more special.
    I still wear to this day whenever it gets ‘cold’ here in California. When I mean cold, its below 50 degrees!! I know, we’re wimps…hahaha!!!

  10. These are perfect! Especially the nail polish. I held on to a crappy kit of makeup my little sister gave me for almost ever because she was two, and wanted to get me something to make me pretty. My husband has this bobble head of his 6th grade teacher that I absolutely hate, but we tote it with us to every new house because it reminds him of his one good year in public school, and the best teacher he’s ever had. Gifts symbolize a lot more than we sometimes realize. I’ve been given some pretty great ones, and even though our Christmas celebration is the passing around of $5 dollar presents, some of the stuff that’s come from that has been priceless.

  11. Three gifts come to mind – all jewelry, all from my husband.

    The first – what I refer to as my “little ring”. Not exactly a promise ring, but not an engagement ring, either. This is my little silver Pandora ring with a heart-shaped pale pink stone. I don’t wear it now but I will keep this ring forever because I am sentimental. Hubby worked hard to choose and buy it and I love it so much.

    The second – my engagement ring. It’s interesting- we recently replaced my band and while that was difficult for me (my original ring is wood and I wanted to preserve it) I realized I would have been FAR more upset if something happened to my engagement ring. Again, this is something my husband saved for and picked out completely on his own – which is worth noting because it is exactly what I would have picked for myself. I love it.

    The third – I have a little cross necklace that I wear every single day. Hubby bought it for me during our first Christmas together. He heard me talk about it, knew I wanted it but would never buy it for myself so he did. I did replace the chain (the original one broke a few years ago) but the charm is the main piece. I don’t bother buying other necklaces because it is the only one I ever want to wear.

    I really, really loved this post. The examples you used were so perfect – I love that each of them had a story behind them. I also totally agree with you re: celebrating good gifts. Thanks for the encouragement to reflect a little on this 🙂

  12. Alison

    A set of kitchen utensils in a natty wooden box from my sister, it sits on my counter in daily use and I think of her every time I reach for something in there. A back scratcher – such a luxury if there’s no-one around to scratch that hard to reach itch, and very handy for hoicking things closer to grab off the top shelf or out from under the bed (I’m looking at you, Kitty Mouse-Catcher)! And I totally get the car – even though we had broken up, I plucked up the courage to go round my ex-boyfriend’s to say thankyou when I finally passed my motorbike test on the 100cc Honda he’d bought me (after working overtime) for our one and only Christmas together. Freedom to travel is so precious. Merry Christmas!

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