View Full Version : Most Meaningful Gift?

06-13-2007, 05:59 PM
I'm working on a query and could use a few sources from around the country to use as examples. So tell me, what was the most meaningful gift anyone has ever given you? What made it special? Thanks!

06-13-2007, 06:34 PM
My gran offered to pay for my desktop as "You'll need it, to be a writer." It meant a lot because she was a pensioner with meagre savings, and she had such faith in me. Shame she's no longer around. *sniff*. I said I couldn't take money off her so we agreed she'd match me pound for pound; we paid half each and I think she was proud of the fact I didn't take the money she offered and preferred to 'go halfies' with her.

My aunt also paid half my laptop, but she's minted, so it's loose change to her. :D

06-13-2007, 08:21 PM
With all the gift cards and instant wrap gift bags available today I remember gifts that showed people put a little thought into it- they paid attention to my interests or hobbies a book by a favorite author or rare embroidery floss from another country. I make that same effort myself. On the other hand I remember one Christmas when my older CEO brother gave me a calculator
emblazoned with "Time Magazine". He has gotten gift cards since then....
Where's the thread where we rant against older brothers?

06-13-2007, 09:08 PM
My ex and I were getting ready to move cross country together and he painted me a really cool table for xmas. It's a 1950's table and he painted it neon orange with white around the trim. He made pictures of things about us on there...like the ramen noodle guy cuz we'd be living cheap lol. it was very heartfelt and though we broke up 3 years ago i still treasure it. I always will.

Calla Lily
06-13-2007, 09:28 PM
During our engagement, the DH traveled for work a lot. One long trip was several states away with many female co-workers. (I used to have a nasty jealous streak, and I remember gritting my teeth to subdue it so he wouldn't leave for a week remembering me as a nagging b****.)

When he returned, he handed me a little carved elephant, saying that it was to help me remember that it didn't matter who he traveled with, I was always the woman.


06-13-2007, 09:31 PM
My dad (carpenter) made me this gorgeous little carved oak hopechest for a wedding present, and my mom (artist) painted the inside with symbols from a book on Wicca she got at the library. Plus they filed it with all these long-lost family photos of me and my sibs when we were kids, and stuff I'd written/drawn/made when I was in elementary school. I didn't even mist up during the ceremony, but I bawled my eyes out when they gave me that. I'm still living it down.

(Context: they're both Catholic, and our wedding was a handfasting, which sort of threw them for a loop - but that was their way of telling me they were ok with it. And - I hope! - with my husband. :D )

06-13-2007, 09:32 PM
After my grandmother past away my dad gave me a couple of her things, gold heart lapel pin, the dish she had sitting on her dresser where she put her rings, and the cake pan shaped like a fish. :)

They were hers. I cherish them.

06-13-2007, 09:53 PM
I've had a charm bracelet for years. When my husband or family member gives me a meaningful charm for it, I'm touched. Every charm represents a special event in my life.
For one of our anniversaries, my husband gave me a charm in the shape of a lily, which was the flower he gave me on our first date.

06-13-2007, 10:05 PM
Several years ago, a friend contacted me and told me he had a friend who loved Hemingway and, since he knew I did do, wanted a recommendation on my favorite book. I enthusiastically gave him several suggestions in a long email with the pros and cons of each one. A few weeks later, he presented me with a first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls as a housewarming gift.

Also, I know every mom has one, but one of my most treasured possessions is the plaster handprint my son gave me this mother's day.

06-14-2007, 01:49 AM
The Christmas before I graduated from grad school, my mother, brother, and sister-in-law clubbed together to give me money to buy the spinning wheel I'd been wanting for years, as an early graduation present. I'd been a spinner for close to a decade but couldn't afford a wheel--I just used drop spindles.

*Looks fondly at the beautiful Kromski Symphony sitting next to her computer* Yup, I think I'll put a movie on tonight and spin up some mohair!

06-14-2007, 01:33 PM
from around the country

Oops, sorry. Won't be bothering you, then.

06-14-2007, 02:12 PM
A BB gun while I was young . . . because I wasn't sure I was going to be allowed to have one just yet.

Also, flowers from a young lady. Guys don't get flowers very often.

JJ Cooper
06-14-2007, 03:14 PM
A few years back I thought it a good idea to make presents for my immediate family. I spent three months working 4-5 nights a week making half a dozen coffee tables and telephone tables. Man it was a labour of love and I was so excited at christmas when I presented them to everyone. I was so upset with the lack of gratitude shown by my family (except my sister, she still has hers). I remember my sister-in-law saying 'wow a coffee table...we have already got a coffee table'. Outside I smiled. Inside I was saying F*@# you.

Anyway the most precious gift I have ever received (two actually), my first son was born whilst I was in Iraq and the second I was there holding my wife's hand. I regret missing the birth of my oldest but am blessed to have two healthy boys. This to me is the greatest gift you can have -your children.


PS. They are Australian examples, so they may not fit into what you had in mind.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
06-14-2007, 03:38 PM
While Ol' Boy and I love other people's children (as long as they're well-behaved and not germy), we never wanted any of our own. The greatest gift Ol' Boy gave me was his vasectomy. And the second greatest was the safe room. That was a big one here in the Heart of Tornado Central.

06-14-2007, 03:51 PM
Thanks, everyone! This gives me good material to start crafting my query. Cheers!

06-14-2007, 04:12 PM
In case you can use some more examples:

When I was around 10 I mentioned Tolkien to a friend of my parents during a conversation about books. He seemed surprised that I knew of the books, and we got talking in general about the various things I was interested in. Later, he presented me with Yehudi Menuhin's autobiography, knowing I was learning to play the violin, with a very complimentary personal message to me inscribed inside. It was meaningful to me because an adult had listened to what I said and had taken me and my interests seriously, and had actively followed up on it.

06-14-2007, 11:31 PM
I can't remember...honestly I think it was something along the lines of my dad taking a entire day off to spend time with me, doing whatever I wanted to do. For my dad, who works like 70 hours a week, each week, that was huge.
We went roller-blading. He hated it. I had a blast.

If someone has sacrificed alot, put alot of thought into the gift, and gave you something you REALLY liked, and REALLY wanted, even if they think its junk--thats the best thing anyone could ever do. To me, anyway.

06-15-2007, 12:39 AM
My Beloved gave me a rubber praying mantis on a bit of elastic, once,

God knows what that meant!

06-15-2007, 01:23 AM
I once got a small plastic action figure of a Mexican Wrestler called Mr. Guatamala. He had been stuck in the front tuning slides of my section leader's sousaphone for the entire year, and has always brought the band good luck. Well now Mr. Guatamala is in my sousaphone and I hope he'll bring me good luck :D

06-17-2007, 12:22 AM
A friend of mine -- not a close friend, mind you -- apologized that she couldn't come to my wedding because of the cost. But she gave me a wedding gift -- again apologizing, because it was handmade --

She had, in her best calligraphy, written the Chinese character for love (she is Chinese). She had stamped it with her "chop" (name), and then put it in a simple frame. All very simple -- black ink, white paper, red "chop" and thin black frame.

Simple, and beautiful. Beautiful because she had taken the time to think about the me, the marriage, the gift, and then taken the time to do it (perfectly -- I am sure the first draft wasn't the end of it).

The marriage, alas, is over -- but my appreciation for that particular gift lives on.

06-17-2007, 01:49 AM
After many years of college, my friends bought me pens with sayings, amongst other things, as a graduation gift; “XXXX Author”; “Kudos to You!!!”; “Congratulations”; “La Chica Se Llama”; and “XXX writes a Best Seller!!” As a writer, how can I not love this gift? It is meaningful because they put thought into it and it showed how much they cared about me.

Another meaningful gift was a sewn picture from my sister that said, “My Sister, My Friend”. It is meaningful because she made it and the saying alone is touching.

Another one I forgot. I received an AW auction gift from an AW member. It was so unexpected that it touched me to think that someone thought of me. I have it sitting on a ledge in my living room. When I write, I think of the person and know I’m in the company of someone special.

06-17-2007, 03:13 AM
I'm with what Feathers said. The best gifts are those that say "I know you". Not every little girl likes Barbie and not every big girl likes jewelry.

06-17-2007, 03:16 AM
A diary with Maya Angleou quotes on the cover, given to me from my aunt.

09-04-2007, 08:07 AM
I know this is an old thread and you're probably not looking for ideas any more but just in case...

I recently moved to the US from the UK and my normally not very imaginative nor demonstrative brother bought me a digital photo frame and gave me a memory card full of photos of our family and our home. It was incredibly special because it's so unlike him to do something so thoughtful.

09-04-2007, 08:21 AM
How could I have missed this thread? I want to contribute too, because reading all of these has made me feel so warm and fuzzy!

My mom is a medical assistant and when I was a kid she worked for some surgeons and saw a lot of very old and dying people. She got to know this one old man pretty well. At the time I was about 10 years old and I collected coins, although my collection consisted of some military coins my dad had from Vietnam and a few coins I scraped together the money to buy. Well, my mom told this guy about my hobby and it turned out that he was a coin collector. I don't know if he didn't have any kids or his kids weren't interested, but I guess he wanted to pass them on to someone who had a passion for it.

So every time he came in to see the doctor my mom worked for, he would bring a little old tobacco pouch full of coins. All sorts of coins, from old US coins to coins from around the world and also paper money from all different countries.

I can't even express the delight those little pouches filled me with every time my mom came home bearing one. Sorting through each little silver piece was like being transported to another world. I never met the man who gave them to me, and I am sure he is long dead by now. But I still have those coins and I will treasure them for as long as I live. :)

09-04-2007, 04:58 PM
To make a long story short,

In the late 1950's my dad was stationed in Germany (Army) and he sent home several handmade Black Forest cuckoo clocks, one for my mom, one for my grandmother, and one for his older brother, my Uncle Roy. My Uncle Roy packed his away and said it would be for my dad's daughter when she married. Although I wasn't born yet, as soon as I was, the clock became mine for when I married. I did not know any of this for many years, though.

My uncle died when I was twelve, long before I got married. When I moved out and got my own place as a young adult, my cousin told me the story and I was moved that my uncle had planned to give me this very special gift. My cousin offered me the clock but I told him no, wait till I'm married.

When I did get married, my aunt (my uncle's widow) sent me a very nice clock but it wasn't the cuckoo clock. At the time she was very ill with cancer and she also thought I might think the old clock was tacky.

After her death, my cousin and I - who have always been very close, like brother and sister - had a falling out of sorts. After we got over it, I married my husband again in a Catholic church wedding. My husband wasn't Catholic when we married and he later became Catholic so we had a church wedding, not a legal ceremony but a spiritual one.

One day the UPS truck brought a package to my house and inside was the cuckoo clock. As soon as I opened the box, I began to cry because I could read the German writing and I knew what was inside. It was a gift that restored my relationship with my cousin and it also bridged many years as a gift of love from my uncle.

I've had several meaningful gifts in my life but this one is the one with the best backstory!