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What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?

We ask people to tell us about the most meaningful present they've ever been given.

Picking a present ain’t easy at the best of times. But this year, when we haven’t seen friends or family very much, there have been scant opportunities to pick up on those little things they’ve lusted after. At the same time, it feels more important than ever to tell those close to us how much we love them. 

So, we’ve decided to try to give you a little bit of Christmas inspo by reflecting on the most meaningful gifts we’ve ever been given. Drum roll please… 

Emma

I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and loved reading (being an only child no doubt influenced that too). When I was little I learned ‘The Listeners’ by Walter De La Mere off by heart, and used to recite it to my parents and granny at Christmas every year. My gran passed away when I was 13, but when I turned 21 my parents gave me a first edition of Walter De La Mere’s poetry.

Illustration of The Listeners

My gran had found it in an old bookshop when I was a child and decided to give it to me as a 21st present, which she told my parents when she was about to pass away. It was so special to have something so treasured passed on – every time I look at it, I feel her love beam down to me from wherever she is up above. 

Sadia

For the past year, whenever I’ve felt a bit down or struggled to find an activity to fill a lazy afternoon, I’ve picked up my little ukulele. A friend gifted it to me last Christmas and I’ve been teaching myself using the wonder of the internet, which is no mean feat given my lack of musical talent. But unlike other hobbies that I’ve tried and subsequently dropped over the years, playing music is the one escape where I don’t mind so much that I’m not immediately good at it. I’m a bit of a nerd in that I love learning, so the gift of a new skill that I’ve always secretly wanted to develop was one I really appreciated. 

Michael

It may not be the “best” gift I’ve ever received, but it’s certainly the one I remember most. You probably remember the toy advert that used to run during every commercial break on Saturday morning TV. I used to love the overly dramatic stunts they used to portray with the remote control cars. I think when I was about 8 or 9, Father Christmas brought me the Tyco Psycho RC and it was honestly the fastest thing I’d ever seen. I remember my dad taking me to a park on Boxing Day to test out its off-roading capabilities, and zooming is around the forest floor for what felt like hours. Definitely a toy for the outdoors though – it would kill if it accidentally drove into your ankles. 

I’d go as far to say that if someone was to get me one of those again it would still make my Christmas. Guess it would be one way to stay young at heart. 

Chloe

I think one of the most special Christmas gifts I have ever received was when I was about 7. I had a Beauty and the Beast book with beautiful illustrations, and I remember being obsessed with one page which had a magical ornate jewellery box with lion claws for legs. I remember asking for one for Christmas, despite knowing that it probably didn’t exist in real life. But low and behold my Mum, being the miracle worker she is, found one that looked just like it when she was out shopping. I was in awe and it felt like a true gift from Father Christmas, because surely only he could have found one just like it! 

#ThisMuchYouSaid

@simplynnekaty 

A book of photos & my blog of an epic US road trip I took with some friends back in 2013. 

@tommathe246 

Anything I asked people to give me and then really was given. Also spending time with my Grandparents.

@_maryam_w_ 

Spending time with my family & hugging my nan.

@stacbac 

A lead! I was then able to go pick my own puppy. Best Christmas ever! 

@jennyjanerudd 

A hamper of things my friend had actually made herself like jam, soap, pasta. Amazing. 

@xweyheyx 

Theatre tickets for Hamilton but that’s probably not helpful atm.

@katie_c_mua 

A vintage Alice in Wonderland book with beautiful illustrations.

@katharinehornett 

An ‘experience day’ flying birds of prey. Was amazing.

@gabrielleseyepatch 

A ring making day! Fun experience with a friend, plus a bit of jewellery I love. 

@008_mij 

Being able to travel with my mum from England to Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean last year.