Best presents ever

I am one of those people who has a hard time finding the right presents for people. Although I love the celebration of Birthdays, Christmas, Weddings etc. I find the task of having to come up with a fitting present (on a specific date) challenging. Maybe it’s because my expectations are too high. It can’t just be a gift certificate, a new vase, a pair of socks, a CD. It has to be something that makes that day special, shows the person how much I care about them. But all I mostly get is ‘blank’.

And so I try and write. If I can’t pick gifts, I am good with words, I pour it all out in that card, maybe write a poem, hoping the person will forgive me for another mediocre gift.

Today as I was picking the picture that crowns my latest blog entry, it reminded me of one of my last birthday gifts. I got a self-made card from my mother who has recently retired. It’s an aquarel of the rosebush that lines the pergola in my parent’s backyard. She has always had a creative mind that was buried under the work responsibilities of her life. Now she has taken up painting classes and her true calling comes out. The painting is beautiful, it is perfect and no matter how much I can ‘hear’ her grumbling about and judging it, I will go out and have it professionally framed. I have gotten many presents from my parents over the years, there are three that linger on in my memory: Jessica – my own baby doll, my first ‘new’ bike, my brown leather briefcase that I got for the start of my ‘academic’ life, and this painting.

I haven’t just gotten present from my parents. One says that self-made presents are the best, and from where I am standing, this rings true. It’s because you always get a piece of that person with it. And although not every present has to be that way, there should be at least one, that stands the test of time. Which day of the year one receives it, doesn’t matter either, for there are too many to remember anyway. And as I think about musician friends who have written songs for me, painting friends who have left pictures, computer wizard friends who set up my blog, Mac fan friends who published my first picture-poem collection, opera lover friends who took me to see Aida in Madrid’s oldest bullring arena, travel buddy friends who brought me toy sheep as a reminder of journeys once shared, scrap book guru friends who collaged me a photo calendar of our stay in Spain, boy friend friends who knitted me winter hats to keep me warm, soul mates who had customised finger rings made, best friends who picked out necklaces that nobody else has – the memories and smiles just keep pouring in.

So who knows, maybe words is the best I have to give and maybe some of those words are stored away in a special place somewhere.

What is the best present you’ve ever given or received?


~ by spasmicallyperfect on October 28, 2007.

10 Responses to “Best presents ever”

  1. The best present I ever got was a synonym finder – that was over twenty years ago and I still have it and use it. It was the best because it acknowledged my utter love of words.

    The best give I ever gave? I really don’t know. Like you, I really try to find gifts that speak to and of the person and I’m generally really good at it. But if you want my opinion of what I think was the best gift, it was the Christmas story I wrote and sent to all my friends and family the year I was too broke to buy gifts or ‘have’ Christmas.

    You’re so special Spaz – we really must meet in person some day.


    Annie, I am sure that was a great Christmas story! And Christmas is approaching fast again…… which means a new year is also on its way and with that – well, maybe a chance to finally have those drinks….. 😉

  2. I’m working on presents right now for my daughters, small pillows I’m embroidering for them– and I hope that someday they’ll be able to treasure it the way you do your mom’s card.

    nice to “meet” you!

    Jackie, welcome. Another person who can handle needle and thread, I am sure your daughters will appreciate those pillows. Thank you for coming by.

  3. I really couldn’t say what the best gift I’ve ever gotten has been. For me, just having my friends and family is enough most times. Whenever I can, however, I do prefer to give homemade gifts as well. For Christmas last year I crocheted over 2 doz scarves for family and friends. This year I am working on a blanket for my MIL and a pair of dolls for a niece and nephew. Time is shorter by far this year for me.

    As a funny note, a friend once gave me a little sign which I had hanging by my front door. I thought it was perfect for my large family. It read, “I love to give homemade gifts. Which one of the children would you like?” For some reason unknown to me, it was targetted by my little rascals and has, for sometime, been MIA. lol


    LOL, that is too funny Jennifer! Oh – I have a soft spot for people who can knot/crocheted, that always reminds me of my grandmothers who used to give us selfmade doll clothing, sweaters or other types of clothing. Thank you for sharing.

  4. My best gift was my first daughter after three miscarriages,and maybe a little something in a turquoise box tied up with a white ribbon from someone who can’t even chose what shirt to put on let alone a present.

    I would agree that both of those must be very special. I am sure your daughter appreciates your feelings. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Homemade is definitely best. I lived in an old, old house as a child, a roaming house with all kinds of rooms (fruit jar room, oil tank room, ironing room etc.) Many years ago I wrote a poem about each room in the house and the memories they evoked and made books. Everyone on my Christmas list got one. I still visit relatives’ homes, 20 years later, and see their copies visible and well-read.

    Thank you for sharing Barbara, that’s a lovely experience you have shared. And a gift that lasts 20 years is quite the accomplishment. Be well S.

  6. I agree that handmade presents are the best.

    The best I have given would be a notebook that recorded down the months that I have spent with my friend. On the front cover, I pasted a paper cut.

    I believed my friend really loved it.

    The best I have received would be birthday surprises. I received two surprise cakes this year. It really touched my heart. I believe the thought that comes along with the present, handmade or not, is what that matters the most. It especially mattered to me because I was going through a rough time.

    Your post is really meaningful. Cheers.

    Thanks for sharing Jenn. That reminds me, I too have given and received notebooks. I also remember once I was away for a holiday and when I came back, the friend who had been looking after my appartment had left lots of messages all over the appartment letting capturing things I had missed throughout those 2 weeks. I am glad you like the post – cheers towards future self-made gifts 🙂

  7. Hi!
    One of that rare ones I was given on my first day when I went to a new Kindergarten of the village we had just moved to…

    love, Eliane

    Hey there stranger, s’isch guet Dich z’lese. Hoffe alles gaht guet, mues bald aluete, han de letschti Monet numme grad 4 Taeg frei gha, maengi vo dene a Ufzgi gsesse. Maybe Sunday? Und ja, mag mich a de Tag erinnere….. 🙂 love, me.

  8. Hi, me!
    Sunday sounds great – ziitlich wird’s schwieriger, bsueche mini Grossmueter – und de Grossvater, wo nümme so zwäg isch. Demenz isch en seelisch oder emotional schmerzhafte Prozess…

    neue Spruch zu: hast du heute schon gelacht?: hast du heut schon ein Gschänkli gemacht? Dir selbst oder jemandem anders?

    love, another me

    Nice quote 🙂 . Hoffe hegsch en sunnige Tag gha mit Dine Grosseltere. De Sunntig isch Eus irgendwie devokroche, maybe next weekend although I am in school on Sunday.

  9. Hi, I accidentally came across your blog. But I really like your article on finding a perfect worthy present which may draw a smile on a persons face for the entire life
    Love this!!!

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