Christmas is the best time of year as a child, possibly only topped by your 10th birthday (Yay double-digits!) and that one time in 4th grade when your personal class bully finally got busted by the teacher for picking on you for having a Power Rangers backpack. While today we might understand the significance of sharing the coldest, shortest time of the year with people we love, it's hard to ignore the amazing gifts that come along with the season.
Reddit user, u/jez_crossland, wanted to know, young or old:
What's the best Christmas present you've received?
When You Get To Play At Being A "Grown Up"
When I was a little girl (5 or 6) I was obsessed with ballerinas. My dad got me tickets to a professional performance of the Nutcracker.
It was just him and me.
I still remember feeling so grown up when we had dinner beforehand in a grown up restaurant. The ballet was beautiful. It was just a wonderful day.
Your Bro Always Knows What's Best
My brother was starting a new fitness routine, and told me he wanted to make a competition out of who could improve their body dimensions. I wasn't planning on working out or anything but wanted to encourage him so said "screw it" and let him measure my upper body. Turns out it was for a custom made Captain America leather motorcycle jacket. I screamed like a little girl on Christmas morning
A Song Of Time To Last Forever
I was in high school. Ocarina of Time had come out in November, and I wanted it so badly for Christmas.
I got up Christmas morning, opened my gifts and it wasn't there. Then my dad pointed out a small package he had hidden behind the tree under the tree skirt, in the back. Opened it, and there it was. Ocarina of Time. My dad had to go to 6-7 different stores when he was traveling on business to find that. Played it non-stop over break.
Makes me love my dad more every time I think about it.
They Never Actually Go Away
This is going to seem really stupid, but growing up I had a dog that was my best friend. She was small enough to take in a bag places and most of my friends loved having her over.
When I was 15, she passed away from kidney failure. She had been my constant companion through my depression for four years at that point. She had been a gift from my aunt, who committed suicide shortly after.
For Christmas, a good friend of mine got a bench at the dog park dedicated to her. So now when I visit my hometown I can go and sit on the bench dedicated to Sweetie. It had to have cost about $400 to get it done and she used her Christmas money to do it.
It All Starts Somewhere
Conversation with my uncle, Christmas day 2001:
Uncle: So have you seen Lord of the Rings yet?
12 year old me: No, what's Lord of the Rings?
Uncle: Oh dude, you absolutely have to see it. I'm taking you to the theater to see it tomorrow, done deal.
And that's where my Tolkien obsession began.
Overcoming For Everyone
When I was a teenager, my mom and I lived in SoCal while the rest of our family lived in Oregon. My mom had me flown up to spend Christmas Eve with her sister and Christmas Day with my dad. My mom wanted to come badly but she has a huge fear of flying.
I get to my aunts house on Christmas Eve and we're doing our typical chit chat, hang out, snack and drink coffee while dinner is getting prepared. After checking on dinner, I come back from the kitchen to see my mom sitting on my aunt's couch. I was stunned. Stopped dead in my tracks. Jaw on the floor. I was so happy. Christmas is her favorite holiday and we'd never spent one apart. She faced her fear of flying to spend Christmas Eve with us.
I'll never forget that Christmas. She passed away a couple years later on December 22nd. It's a wonderful memory to have of the holidays when this time of year can be kind of depressing.
Doesn't Have To Be "Good" To Be "Great"
I don't even know if it's the "best" present but just one of those I'll never forget.
My dad and I have an extremely distant relationship. He was never an affectionate or emotional person. All birthdays, celebrations, events, etc went to my mom to organize. It was just simply not a task he was involved in. He didn't give gifts or engage in the theatrics of any of it and I can't blame him - he is an immigrant, lived a very hard life, and culturally speaking, this is just how it was for him.
One Christmas, I was probably like 10 or 11, I noticed among all the other presents I had from my mom and other family, there was an actual present from my dad addressed to me. I opened it and it was like this child's picture book, not a baby book, but definitely aimed for about age 7-8 and way too young for me. It was just shocking to me that he would first of all, care about getting me a present at all and secondly, choose this child's book out of all the things he could gotten. I realized, at 10 years old, that my dad genuinely had no idea what to get me, but wanted to get me SOMETHING. He only knew that I loved to read and read books all day long, so he got me a book, even though he had no idea what level reading I was on.
Maybe that is not a very good story or makes him seem bad, but it will always stick with me. He is such a non-sentimental and stoic person, I can't imagine him going to a bookstore, choosing this very cutesy, colorful book with me in mind, and actually giving it to me as a gift, but he did. He wanted to give me something, in his awkward way, and tried his best.
Something No Store Could Ever Carry
My mom passed from cancer this year, she had been stage 4 for 11 years and passed at 55 years old, so pretty young.
Last year Christmas was really emotional as things were taking a turn for the worse.
My mom made me a large shadow box with ticket stubs she had saved from every concert we went to since I was a kid (both big fans of music). Mr. Dressup, Pearl Jam, White Stripes etc. Not only had she saved these over the years, she went online and got post cards, buttons and patches from the specific tour dates we attended to go with the stubs.
The moment I unwrapped it, and realised what it was, I burst into tears and cried for a good while. It was a very heavy moment and one of the best gifts I've ever been given.
No One Should Be Alone On Christmas
My family was abusive, and poor. Growing up I always kind of hated Christmas time, because it just sort of highlighted how sh-tty my own life was.
Well one year after I moved away to college, I was scheduled to work Christmas day, since I was a Resident Advisor. A student who had been evicted from housing for selling hard drugs came after me and attacked me. The school told me I should leave campus until the police caught the kid. I didn't have any where to go, so I called my best friend. Her and her dad drove all the way to my school on Christmas eve to get me.
When I woke up, I discovered that my friends mom had some how conjured up a a full stocking and a couple small gifts. It was the most amazing gift, because I had never had a good Christmas, and then her mom just went so above and beyond to make me feel loved.
Fun Times On Isle Delfino
I was seven years old in ICU with pneumonia. It was horrible timing because Christmas was that week.
The nurses brought in a massive television with a Nintendo GameCube hooked up to it. The only game I played was Mario sunshine the entire time I was in the hospital.
I love that game so much! It was so colorful and just super exciting to play since I didn't even know the game existed. It is still my favorite Mario game ever made but I'm biased.
Well I made it out of the hospital just a few days before Christmas and on Christmas Day we went to my aunties house. We started opening gifts and they got me my very own GameCube but it didn't appear I had any games for it. They tricked me and hid the other gift they bought. It was Mario Sunshine.
I've never ever had tears of joy but when I opened these gifts I couldn't help but cry. I was so surprised and so happy! I've still never experienced the same emotions I had in that day.
Let your parents 'Oprah' you!Giphy
My parents have always gone above and beyond for christmas presents- even though our finances aren't always stable. I always get stuff I've mentioned that I wanted, and other thoughtful gifts. My family is dysfunctional as hell, but Christmas time always reminds me how much we love each other. Which is nice because I always struggle with depression more in the winter.
I feel guilty about being so spoiled at christmas, so I do the reddit secret santa events to buy moderately expensive gifts for randos on the internet lol. grungegrenade
The Basics for the Win!
Clothes and a gift card to a local grocery store worth $75 dollars. I was a broke college student, so this was the equivalent of having my wildest dreams come true. U_smell_like_goat
First Christmas after getting married and coming home from out of state, a family friend of my in laws gave us a Meijer gift card that we used to help stock cleaning supplies in our first apartment two months later! It was a pretty good gift! QueenSynderella
I'm not Crying... You're Crying
The Christmas before my father passed away he gave me a necklace, which was very unusual. He normally just gave me cash. The necklace was three hearts intertwined, and engraved on the back was, "My little girl yesterday, my friend today, my daughter forever."
He knew how sick he was but he never told anyone, and he died the following August. The pattern of that necklace is my first and only tattoo (I got it done a week after he died.). I plan on giving the necklace to my own daughter someday. kikikiwi625
I was 8 years old and my family was dirt poor. My family had just filed for bankruptcy and my mother can't hold a job, so my dad was working overtime at his gas station job. My parents told me that they just couldn't manage to buy Christmas presents that year so I was pretty sad considering I was 8, but I understood why. Come Christmas morning, I don't even rush out of bed because I knew nothing would be waiting for me, but I go out in to the living room and there's a single hula hoop propped up against the tree with my name on it. I was so surprised and happy that I cried. I used that piece of plastic until it fell apart. jraay
Life saving gifts...
My mom bought me my real estate course with the little money she had left, she taped 100s into a real estate book of houses listed, I cried. 3 years later and I now pay her mortgage each month and help her buy her life saving meds. Without that gift she probably wouldn't be alive. WalkerJAdair
We Love you GrumpyGiphy
Santa brought me a Grumpy Care Bear. In 1985. I still have him. He's come with me to have my babies and get my boobs cut off. He's travelled this wide red land with me, comforted me through deaths of loved ones, traumatic events, disappointments and multiple depressive episodes I am lucky to have come out of. He still has all his hair, is still blue, is still Grumpy and still with me. He's awesome. _LuckyDucky_
Presents of the Past
I'm adopted, my birth mom didn't remember my birth father enough to include any info on heritage or anything like that. I've always been curious where the other half of me is from. My best friend has always known this so him and his girlfriend got me a 23 and Me so I can find out more about myself and where I come from! Funny-Tub
Your Chosen Family...
Idk what it is yet but my friend said she's getting me a gift. This is the first time any of my friends have gotten me a Christmas gift. Just knowing someone other than my family cares about me is the greatest feeling I've ever felt in my life. YourSaltSucks
All of our Limbs are a gift!
My prosthetic leg.
I had a below the knee amputation the Saturday before thanksgiving this year. Infection in my blood got into the bone and almost took my life. Been on medical leave from work since. Today I saw the surgeon for a post surgery visit. Was told I'm ahead of schedule healing and recovery wise.
I won't get my prosthetic for a while yet but being told I can start getting fitted for one is a pretty great early gift. GypsyPanther729
When I was a kid I wasn't allowed an iPod because I was a little brat. I was really upset because I wanted to play Minecraft, so for Christmas when my brother said he'd gotten me an iPod I was super excited. It turns out he made an iPod out of cardboard and drew a Minecraft scene on the 'screen.' It still holds up as my favorite present and I still have it nearly 10 years later :) machiavillains