During my childhood, my mom did most of the shopping for Christmas presents. She was a practical shopper, buying mostly clothes and necessary items. One mid-December day each year, however, my dad made the yearly excursion to shop for “his” gift.
Daddy’s presents weren’t practical. They were of the fun, frivolous, open-me-last variety. The anticipation began on the shopping day and built until the much-anticipated opening of the gift. Looking back, my sister and I both recall our favorite as the year of the boom boxes (CD player just doesn’t have the same flair as boom box, does it?).
It wasn’t just the presents that were memorable. Knowing that my dad took the time and effort to seek out something special each year—that one item destined to become my favorite—well, that was every bit as meaningful as the gift itself.
Actually, it’s that feeling of being loved and treasured that I remember most.
Now I like searching for gifts to make my daddy happy, like this mug in honor of my his prized Mustang convertible that I drove in high school.
What about you? What is the most treasured or memorable gift you’ve received or given?
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Amy Good (splintergirl) says
I think my most memorable gift was the watch that my dad bought when I was in either 2nd or 3rd grade. I wore it everywhere. I remember replacing the band several times and opting to pay more just to keep wearing the watch. I felt like a princess. It was the first year that my dad had gone out for that “special” gift and I too treasured it.
Dawn Camp says
Amy, what a sweet story. I totally get that. 🙂
Vicki Hornsby says
The most memorable gift I can remember giving my father was when he had a heart attack at the age of 37. My father is a pastor, minister of a church and we have always enjoyed gospel music in church and out. My father, mother, uncle and aunt sang in a gospel group so music was a big part of our life. Well my father had to have lots of rest and calming of nerves when he came home from the hospital, so we started looking for soothing music he could listen to while playing it on his reel to reel. (most do not know what that is) When asked what group he wanted us to buy a recording for him, he gave us an answer that has not been forgotten 42 years later. He wanted a reel to reel recording of Heavy Cream! Hard rock it was. He would sit for hours with his ear phones on listening to them. We got a real kick out of that and his love for all music has never waivered even at 79 years old.
Dawn Camp says
Hysterical! Your dad sounds like a lot of fun.
Dawn – Thank you for such a beautiful post about your father. My father passed away September 2011 at the young age of 65. His passing – due to a heart attack – was completely out of the blue and a terrible loss to my family and to me personally. My dad was my hero: he never tired, was beyond supportive, and loved me the way a father should love a daughter. His love was the closest representaion I have felt to the love of our Heavely Father. When I consider all the things my father did and gave me throughout his and my life, I believe his greatest and most treasured gift to me was showing me how a man should love his wife and family. I am the strong woman I am in large part due to his unwavering love and self-sacrifice. I hold him in my heart and thank God daily for having been blessed to share 32 wonderful years of my life as his daughter. I love you, Daddy!
Dawn Camp says
Sam, I still call my dad Daddy, too. What a wonderful example yours was to you. Beautiful!
Beth Williams says
Perhaps one of the most unusual and treasured gifts given me was food. Now let me explain this…I was in college and joined a church handbell choir for college students. The choir director that Christmas bought food for poor countries in our names. Mine was 1/2 chicken. Not only was the thought special, but knowing that I was helping someone else really made an impact on me.
God has given me 2 most precious gifts..Salvation through His son Jesus Christ and the love of my life..my hubby Douglas Williams. I remember praying for a loving, caring Christian man. He is totally awesome in so many many ways.
My loving hubby was there for me when my parents health deteriorated & mom ended up in hospital for 1.5 months & her dementia turned to sundowner’s. I was able to assist them more. He totally supported me in that & was there when my sweet mama died!
Dawn Camp says
Half a chicken! Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂
My most favorite gift ever was when I was 10 and my mom made me a homemade doll. She was beautiful, and she meant more to me at that young age than any other gift ever has, because I knew she took the time for me.
Dawn Camp says
That is certainly a treasure, one that took time to prepare and to make.
Debby Stephens says
The most important gift I was given was the gift of a godly Grandmother. She grew up in a large family that was very poor in the south. When she was 12 her mother died giving childbirth to her sixth child. Grandma was the oldest and she had to quit school and raise the five children one who was just a newborn. She was in the 8th grade and never had the opportunity to go back to school. She was the most godly woman I have ever known. When she was older she got married and had one child, my mother. Times were hard during the depression, she had $100.00 and she took my mom and they took a bus all the way to Cleveland, with no job, and no where to live. She found a room to rent and she purchased a hot plate to cook their meals each evening. She began working in the garment industry and was so good she eventually was named manager of the factory. She was frugal until the day she died. She knew what it meant to be without and make do with what you had. When she had enough money she bought a home for her and her family. I remember spending each weekend with her and my grandfather, they were my rock. She made sure I went to church each Sunday and through her influence I came to know the Lord. She helped anyone who asked, even if it meant she had to sacrifice. Because she never finished her education, education was extremely important to her and she paid my entire way through college to a private college with cash. She was the most faithful woman I have ever meant. Then in 2001 came the words from my mother, “The doctors have said Grandma has Alzheimer’s” I thought God, this isn’t fair, she has given everything to everyone else her entire life and now we have to lose her like this. It was difficult to see her walk through each stage and each day we would lose part of her. One of her doctors said the last thing to go in an Alzheimer’s patient is what is at the core of their soul. Jewell Lucille Sullivan never lost her love for Christ, her joyful spirit and her smile until she met her Savior face to face. When in the hospital she would thank each and every person who came in to care for her. The last ten 10 of her life on earth we had her in Hospice. As I had stayed several days and was ready to head back home I went to the volunteer coordinator and made sure there was support for my mother. The woman behind the desk said to me, “Are you talking about Miss Jewell?” I said, “Yes” She replied, “she is the sweetest woman we have ever met.” Even in the midst of her struggle with Alzheimer’s she never lost what was deeply rooted in her soul. That began my mind to think there is a connection between the decisions we make and who we become, now and later in life. There is nothing else in this world that has impacted me, loved me unconditionally, taught me life lessons than my grandmother. She is an unsung hero, if anyone heard her name they wouldn’t know her. She was a woman who loved God and was a servant to all she met. if I can be half the woman she was I will be happy. Thank you Grandma for all you gave to me and all the others who knew you. You are missed but someday we will be together in heaven.
Dawn Camp says
Debby, I had a good cry over your comment. What a blessing to have such a wonderful grandmother and see the example she set before you. And paying your way through college? She believed and invested in you.
When I was a child my dad would go to the dimestore and buy me a birthstone ring every year for my birthday. He would leave it in the big flat Duckwall’s bag and hand it to me after I had opened all my other things. He would quietly say, “Oh, by the way, I found this sack in the car. I don’t know, there is probably nothing in it. You can just throw it away, or you might want to check it out before you toss it.” As a child it was just a special ritual between Daddy and I. It meant so much to me that he would remember it from year to year.and always manage to find the perfect size, and buy it for me. There was no fanfare, just a quiet affirmation that I was special to him. He died when I was in college. Several years ago, my husband honored Daddy’s memory and me by taking me to the jeweler and buying me a real birthstone ring in the style that Daddy always bought and gave it to me for my birthday. Now I have a visible reminder of both their love.
Dawn Camp says
Oh, my goodness – I love this ritual. I can see my daddy doing the same thing. How wonderful that your husband has honored both you and your dad’s memory this way.
I got what can only be called a “mixed bag” of blessings from my father. As a child he hid his shames, griefs, angers and grudges behind a newspaper and kept from hurting us in his sadness and rages. As a teenager and young adult he shared so much compassion, care and gentlenss he taught me that a person can survive and have high ideals (even as they choose to live them or forget them at times and be human): I remember him meeting me as I returned from my pt-time evening job at a pharmacist in a snowstorm with a scarf to walk me home on a cold dark night in wintertime. There were many such moments I truly treasure and will never forget. Even though he began to drink more and returned to his former mulling and letting go of his grief in rages that finally broke me into shouting back and being disowned I have the lesson of love: to err is human and to forgive is divine – and more than that, to have a peaceful heart is a choice and sometimes much, much work and struggle but it is worth to have that peace for yourself and for the ones that you love. Though I never saw my father for the last 11 years of his life I will never forget him, his humaness, uniqueness, beauty and all the generous and positive things he gave me in my life.
“Love covers many sins” 1 Peter 4:8
I still miss him.
Dawn Camp says
Oh, Liz, this just makes my heart hurt for you. I am so very thankful for those good memories you have. The scarf in the snowstorm speaks volumes of his love for you.
Thank you Dawn, and it’s not true that “love means never having to say you’re sorry” bc sometimes someone doesn’t have the courage to say sorry and sometimes we have to say I’m sorry and it only makes the love so much more real and precious. Ty!
Julie Sunne says
My most memorable gift from my dad was for my high school graduation. Growing up we didn’t have much extra in the way of finances although I felt rich in so many other more meaningful ways. I had been jokingly dropping hints about getting a car for graduation–not just any car, but a Toyota Celica. Now my dad was a hard-working, “jack-of-all-trades” farmer, and he did not go shopping for anything other than farm equipment and supplies. However, much to my surprise and delight, Dad had found a little Matchbox Toyota Celica to surprise me with the day of my graduation party. Even though it wasn’ t “wheels” I could drive, it showed Dad had listened and cared, demonstrating his love. It is a cherished memory.
Dawn Camp says
My husband has a similar story of receiving a Hot Wheels model of the car he wanted! 🙂
The most treasured gift I’ve been given is my “By Grace Alone” necklace. My best friend had one too, and we always said that we could “hear” each other in the chimes of it. It never comes off. Probably the most treasured gift I’ve given is Lisa’s “Beautiful” necklace. We gave it to our eldest as she moved from kid to young lady, to remind her that no matter what, she is beautiful in the eyes of her Creator. Your dad’s gifts to you were pretty amazing, because they were picked by him just for you…kind of like our Father does for us. 🙂