We’ve asked what the best gift you’ve ever gotten was, but what’s the best one you’ve ever GIVEN?
That will come next year, and details are a closely guarded secret from the recipient at the moment. It will be the present of a lifetime though.
I pushed an old man’s car half a mile down the road to a service station.
Don’t know who he was, where he was from, or where he was going. I just had the time and the ability to push.
The best ones have come since Mr. BuggyQ became a professional photographer. We gave our goddaughter a photo shoot for her birthday this summer, and a couple years ago, we surprised my boss with a set of pictures of her bulldog (I’d borrowed him for a shoot for the Humane Society). And a few days ago, he did a shoot for a dear friend. Their dog was diagnosed with cancer a week ago, and they wanted a family portrait with him.
Wow, did that bring back a memory. Going back to high school. A good friend and my debate partner lost both her parents in a week – father had a heart attack, mother had a massive stroke 3 days later, and this friend had to make the decision to take her mother off live support. It was a bad year.
So that spring, when she turned 16, we (there were 3 of us organizing it) threw her a surprise birthday party. We secretly raised money, and then we rented a banquet room at a local hotel, and got catered food, and had a live band, and we invited the entire junior class. You won’t believe me when I tell you this, but we did all that and somehow managed to keep it a secret from her. We threw her the biggest, best party we could, with everybody there, because at 16 that seemed like the best way to show her that she wasn’t alone and that we cared about her, and she walked into that room and was SO surprised. What a great night that was.
The best gift I ever gave was a grandchild to my mother. I know this, because my son and daughter-in-law gave me a grandchild 4 years ago.
well, i thought it was cool, but since the recipient died before i knew if he liked it…
I gave my vinyl record collection to my friend as a wedding present. We had spent most of our college years hitting old record stores together. When I gave it too him he said ‘Man. This is like an afterschool special or something. You’re not going to kill yourself now are you?’. No, I’m not you bastard.
And congrats to him and his wife for still being happy and married.
When I was 7 or 8, I heard that the family across the street from us was not going to have a Christmas because they were too poor. When I went shopping for Christmas gifts, I spent all of my hard earned cash and bought gifts for everyone on the street – men, women and children.
I continued this until I went into the service when I was 22 years old.
Many years later I was in a store that was about 17 miles from what I considered to be my hometown. Two women, probably in their late 20’s or early 30’s came up to me. They were identical twins, they hugged me and told me that they had never thanked me for the great presents I gave them. They were from the poor family.
I bought and set up a computer for my dad back in 1997. He had retired and was driving my mom nuts with organizing her kitchen. He was always a gadget guy and he just loved it. It used it to help him with some consulting work in his old industry and he felt more up to speed than all his friends.
He told me several times what a great gift it was.
I miss him.
This is making me realize I probably don’t give enough gifts.
I did quit my career-oriented job once so I could move in with my great aunt so she could live her final days in her own house.
I’m not a big gift giver, but last month, I found a black lab. That nite, I took him to an emergency vet – he was ok, just needed a prescription. Anyway, while I was waiting for the dog, a woman and a man came in with a pit bull looking dog. When they came out from seeing the dog, the woman behind the desk told her it would be something like 90 dollars. The woman started crying because she said she only had 64 dollars and that on the phone they said it would only cost 65. She said that was all the money they had. She couldn’t afford the shot or the meds that they said the dog needed. I talked to her and said not to worry and asked the woman behind the desk to put it on my bill. She was crying and thanking me and telling me the dog was the most important thing in their lives. Not sure it’s actually a gift, but it was to them I think.
A few years back my dad found my name on a list of unclaimed property — many years previous a relative had put a savings account in my name so it wouldn’t have to be spent down to qualify for Medicare, and we’d all forgotten about it. The relative had long since passed away.
I divided the money up and presented checks of a thousand dollars each to my brother and sister. Offered to further divide it and pass funds on to my mom and dad, but they graciously declined.
The wooden workbench with real tools we gave my son the Christmas he was five years old. Today, he’s a master carpenter and cabinet maker, albeit one with a bachelor’s degree in English. Never know when you might have to conjugate a verb out on the job site, you know.
I was just out of college when my great-grandmother was in her last decade of life. I managed to get hold of my first computer, a Mac Performa with a printer, and I started to write to her and print out the letters on that printer – all in large font so that she could read them easier. The letters weren’t anything major, I thought – until I started hearing from my grandpa, who visited her a lot in her walk-up in Brooklyn, about how much she enjoyed those letters and please keep them coming.
She was sharp as a tack until the day she passed away, which happened to be the day after she met my then-fiance-now-husband. And she’d saved all the letters I’d written.
For me, it was dispatching a note on occasion to her about how I was doing, which was really all I could give to anybody at that time. For her, it was a window on a world far beyond 68th Street that, it turned out, she couldn’t get enough of and actually helped lift her depression at her sister passing away and put her on the road to some happy years at the end of her life.
iceblue2, you are awesome.
All the cool stories made me rethink my answer. I think the best thing I’ve ever done for somebody was when my quartet sang Christmas carols for a hospice. We were singing Silent Night as a family said their goodbyes–we didn’t know it at the time, but we finished the song as it happened. One of the family members came up to us a little later and thanked us. I knew something was going on at the time, but knew I couldn’t think about it or I wouldn’t have been able to finish the song. Toughest performance I’ve ever done.
My friend A. was going through a tough separation (and ultimately, divorce) from her addicted and mentally ill husband, but he still had access to the bank accounts and drained them playing video poker whenever possible. My parents had given each of us kids some cash from a maiden aunt’s bequest to them, and I split my share with A. How could I not?
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