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Most successful presents you've ever given?

(27 Posts)
Witzend Thu 28-Nov-19 11:15:23

Posted since I just remembered one for my mother, who was often difficult to buy for.

I had a very small, black and white snap, taken before her birth in 1918, of her mother and her granny - both of whom she loved very much - and her sister at maybe 2, who she'd never really got on with at all, especially in later years.

Before the days of being to do any such thing at home,, I took the snap to a photographer and asked him to enlarge it as far as feasible.

Having got that, I then cut out her mother and granny separately, discarded her sister!! 😈 - and put them in a dark blue velvet-covered frame with twin ovals for the photos.

I wasn't there to see her open it, but my father said he'd never seen her so pleased with anything - first time he'd ever said any such thing.
Such success was never quite repeated, alas!

Other was a huge, squashy stuffed elephant a dd of 9 or 10 saw in a shop window and coveted. However it was very expensive and out of the question - until shortly before Christmas, when I saw it reduced by 50%!

It still lives here - Gdcs love it.

Would love to hear of anyone else's.

Alexa Thu 28-Nov-19 11:17:54

I hope the most unsuccessful present I will ever give is a rope fire escape ladder

kircubbin2000 Thu 28-Nov-19 12:00:39

A beanie hat from Lidl.Sil and gs wear them all the time.

M0nica Thu 28-Nov-19 12:24:16

Our charity shop Christmas when funds were tight. Someone was taking a rather battered coach built dolls pram into a charity shop as I arrived, I bought it for a fiver, DH cleaned and repainted it, I made bedding from fabrics in my scrap bag and my DMiL knitted a pram suit for DD's favourite doll.

I also bought a part used chemistry set for DS, DH made a nice wooden lab with a drop down flap from offcuts and we added a few very cheap extras and a chemistry experiment book, also from a charity shop.

We have pictures of two beaming faces as they open the present and as DD took her doll for a walk in her beautiful pram. For years the children said this was their best Christmas ever.

GagaJo Thu 28-Nov-19 12:26:28

A mini sewing machine for my daughter. She was VERY huffy when she saw the box and assumed it wasn't anything she was hoping for. Then she opened it and was delighted.

Same for my mother when I got her the same one in a different colour.

Chewbacca Thu 28-Nov-19 12:51:05

Tickets to a pantomime for the whole family. Everyone absolutely loved it and asked if the could have the same again the following year. Been 5 years now, and counting, so it must have been ok!

Gonegirl Thu 28-Nov-19 13:28:58

Love that Monica.

Septimia Thu 28-Nov-19 13:38:59

One year I bought DH a loft ladder for Christmas.

Well, he'd said he wanted one....

Grammaretto Thu 28-Nov-19 14:02:28

The DGGP are really difficult to buy for because they never seem to need anything. But they asked if their GGC could do a piece - a party piece- to perform on Christmas Day.
I told our DC and didn't expect them to respond but on the day, we were moved to tears when all the DGC (7 of them) plus their parents, sang specially written songs, recited poems and one accompanied everyone on the keyboard.

Apart from that. I try to find one original present to give each family. It's often a game but one year I got windup torches, another boot beetles. They still use them! although DGF thought it was an ornament....

Gonegirl Thu 28-Nov-19 14:06:40

Any internet devices or Lego sets.

Summerlove Thu 28-Nov-19 14:52:07

When I was younger, my mother had a cookbook that she loved. Somehow it got lost. A few years ago I was able to find a used copy for her. She has been looking for 15 years for one. It had been out of print, so she was very happy to receive it.

Witzend Fri 29-Nov-19 08:26:57

Thanks for all stories - that cookbook was inspired! Also love yours, Monica. How lucky to find that pram just as you were going in!
I wish my dds wanted a sewing machine! They both loathe any sort of sewing, hems stay down, buttons off, etc. - my SiL is more competent at stitching a button on than dd1!

Dh once gave me a very old out of print book to replace one got rid of by my mother when I was 18 - they moved while I was away from home and I wasn't consulted.

It was called Freshwater Aquaria, given to me by a grandfather, published pre 1900 by a country clergyman, full of his own line drawings of all sorts of fish, plants, etc. I was only 9 or 10 at the time and very interested in my tank of goldfish! I loved that book.

Couldn't believe it when dh found an exact copy so many years later - could almost have been the same one.

GrannyLaine Fri 29-Nov-19 09:12:24

I gave one of my grandsons a small lightweight aluminium step ladder for Christmas when he was three. He absolutely loved it.

joannapiano Fri 29-Nov-19 09:15:31

I had a baby girl on Christmas Day 1974, a nice present for all our family.

B9exchange Fri 29-Nov-19 09:24:24

I planned a surprise birthday present for DH when we were struggling financially and hadn't had a holiday for years. I found this run down property in France. He had booked a week off to paint the house, and hired ladders, so I secretly cancelled those. I persuaded neighbours to take him out for a drink whilst I packed up the car. Then when he woke on his birthday I explained everything, we loaded the six of us into the car and set off. The house needed a good clean, it was run down and on a main road, so noisy at night, but he still talks about that as his best present ever!

Witzend Fri 29-Nov-19 09:25:29

How lovely, Joannapiano! Best present ever.
And I love the step ladder! My Gdd used to,love my step-stool but I never thought to buy her one for home.

Liz46 Fri 29-Nov-19 09:26:41

I know I am not answering the question exactly but one of my favourite presents that I received was a bird of prey experience. I love owls and handled several. It turned into a family occasion and I have a lovely photo of my little grandson very gently holding a bundle of feathers (a baby barn owl). I think, as we get older, we don't want more 'things' so this was lovely.

Witzend Fri 29-Nov-19 09:33:36

That was a major one, B9ex!

I've just remembered a woman I used to see at work, who told me that shortly before a previous Christmas, when she had relatives coming to stay, the house needed a really good clean, and she was tired already - her husband paid for a team to come in and do it all - carpets, oven, windows, the lot.
She said that was her best present ever.
I'm sure quite a few would agree!

Justanotherwannabe Sun 01-Dec-19 18:18:03

One year I was short of money for a present for DM. I had a 'Beware the dog' sign engraved saying,

"Beware the Agapanthus"

DM was delighted, she thought it most amusing. What made it even better was that the milkman refused point blank to come in the gate after that! She never told him.

DanniRae Sun 01-Dec-19 18:47:03

I bought Mr R a 'fly a plane' experience! His face when he realised what it was was a picture.
Mr R took me for lunch on the Orient Express for my 60th Birthday - it was fabulous!

Bookr Sun 01-Dec-19 22:29:01

The delight on my the face of the face of my (then little) best friend when I bought her an Asian American Girl bitty baby and bought with it separately a bitty baby backpack. She loved it and it travelled to India many times. I was so happy she was happy and just seeing her joyous look was amazing. I hope this doesn’t sounds self congratulatory. Just that Asian dolls were (then) impossible to get and made the ££££ import charge worthwhile. She was (is) a lovely lovely girl (now young adult).

Bookr Sun 01-Dec-19 22:30:42

Posted too soon: best friend’s daughter.

FearlessSwiftie Fri 20-Dec-19 05:59:24

Wow, that`s a tricky question! I liked the bicycle which I got for my BDay when I was 6 but I don`t remember much about it, then I loved Fluffy, my kitten, I got her for Christmas in 2009 (she passed away this year and I`m still feeling down). She was so tiny, playful and soft, I just can`t sad My Mom wanted to take another one but I refused, Fluffy was one of a kind… Well, next beautiful present is the picture calendar I got from my friend, this adorable thing has my favorite pic (Fluffy and me sitting on the grass in the park!!) on the cover and small photos of my Mom and Dad on the cells with their Bdays. I even made the same personalized calendar with the program from here and gave it as a gift to my teacher. And the last but not the least is the whole pack of Harry Potter books, it was a special edition with the most colorful covers ever, can`t remember the year, it was like 2014 or something.

Grandma70s Fri 20-Dec-19 06:21:08

Wonder Woman swimming goggles for my granddaughter, then aged six, last Christmas. She had mentioned she’s like them, but her reaction was extreme. Ever seen a little girl jumping up and down yelling with joy for what seemed like 15 minutes?

It was, of course, one of the cheapest presents she got. Cost is little to do with enjoyment.

Calendargirl Fri 20-Dec-19 06:37:49

When the children were small, always tried to give the same number of presents from Santa to each of them, often little things. One year was one short for DS, about 6 years old, happened to spot some toy handcuffs in good old Woolies, he loved them, spent most of Christmas Day handcuffing all and sundry.