What Is The Most Meaningful Gift You Received? | Coursera Community
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What Is The Most Meaningful Gift You Received?

  • 14 December 2018
  • 12 replies

The most, the best, your favorite...I usually never respond to such questions because there are always more than one choice for any given topic. In the USA we are being inundated by “Holiday” ads, to give gifts. The newspapers also run stories about this. In my newspaper today, someone wrote a story called, “The Best Gift I Ever Received”. It was getiing “The Black Stallion” book series.
I have been thinking about this, pondering both the material and non material gifts of my life. Of course I can’t choose just one, but it has been a wonderful experience to just reflect upon some of life’s special gifts.
Do you have a meaningful gift or story about one that you might like to share with us?

12 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9
Love this question! I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about gifts they received in case they come across as bragging or make people with different financial circumstances feel uncomfortable but to put the emphasis on meaningful gifts really helps avoid that problem. Instead we have to think about the person and the thought that was behind the gift, which is really the most important part of gift-giving anyway!

All my life my mum has been the gift-giver. She's the one who remembers the occasions, thinks about what people might like and goes out to buy it, wraps it, delivers it etc. My dad used to travel on business and sometimes would bring back presents for me from his trips. I remember each and every item he got for me, not because there was anything particularly special about them, but because it was so rare that he was the one who was choosing the presents.
@Claire , how special and beautiful! We didn’t get many gifts in my family, but you reminded me about what my father used to bring me. Every now and then, he would stop at this charm machine, in front of the local candy store ,on his way home and bring me a handful of these charms. They were small plastic items that I kept in a can and treasured. Every now and then you might get a very special charm such as a little lightbulb that after holding it up to the light would continuento glow. It was like magic. Because my father brought these for me, they were so meaningful. I would look at them all the time.

A close friend and I challenged one another that we would not buy but make gifts for each other. All the supplies used had to be from recycled materials. We both had such fun doing this and learned so much. I cut up plastic bags and created plastic yarn which I crocheted into a shopping bag that was waterproof. I learned how to make a bowl from folded pieces of paper. I also rolled up magazine papers into beads to create an unusual necklace. She had found feathers from birds and created a feather bouquet for me, a project that involved many walks and searches.

My granddaughter once asked for such a meaningful birthday gift. She didn’t want anything material, just wanted her family to go camping for a weekend, to spend quality fun time together, to have a campfire, sing songs, tell stories and make s’mores. She will tell you that this was her favorite gift.
Being very interested in crocheting as a hobby, my grandmother would gift beautiful crocheted items to her relatives and friends on various occasions. She would always select elaborate crochet patterns for me as I was the apple of her eye.😊Once she gave me a skirt and a blouse made of silk yarn. I can say they are among the best gifts I have ever received. Even though she was more comfortable with bright colors due to her eyesight issue, she had picked dark yarn. She had thought dark colors could better match the elegant guipure-like look of that pattern. And, it was the right choice indeed. The final product was marvelous. Every time I look at them, I can feel how strongly her threads of love and cordiality are interwoven with those little silky loops...
Oh, @Maryam, how beautiful! How very special to get a gift like this, filled with such love. Knowing how long it took as well as the intricate pattern it was shows such thoughtfulness and incredible devotion. I can’t even imagine how difficult it was to create both a skirt and blouse made out of dark silk yarn! How blessed you are to have this, to feel her love for you forever. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
@Judith, I don't have a particular favourite gift. I think any gift that is given from the heart is special. For example, once when my siblings and I were quite young, two of my younger siblings gave me $1 each for Christmas. I was so touched since, as young children, we didn't really have much money. Now, $1 doesn't seem like much, but it was a lot back then. It's not necessarily about the expense of the gift, but how much the person actually thought about what you would like and the way in which they gave it.
@Lillian , what a beautiful response!
You have illustrated exactly what a meaningful gift should be. You have such incredible siblings. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Userlevel 7
Badge +13
As I started to write my response, I changed my answer! I was going to say that a necklace given to me by my host family in South Africa was one of the most meaningful gifts I'd received. But there is an even more meaningful gift that was given to me by this same family. It's a gift that I'll treasure for the rest of my life. And that is the gift of choosing to open their home to me, a relative stranger, for two years. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer at the time and needed a place to stay due to an unexpected change in circumstance. It was incredible to me how I was embraced and cared for by my host family. It was really the gift of lodging, collaborative meal making, and wonderful conversation. They became my second family, and it was painful when the day came to say goodbye. Thanks to technology, we keep in touch and I was even able to visit them a few years later. This is a deeply meaningful gift to me because it was a gesture of total generosity, something that wasn't at all necessary, but that was done out of sheer kindness. And the commitment was so big – two years! This experience is one that I return to when I need to be reminded of humanity's goodness. I also think that this generosity of spirit is something that continues to influence me and how I seek to live my life.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
Thank you @Judith for starting such a meaningful thread. Like many of you emphasized, I find it hard to choose which gift being the most special one because almost all of them are so valuable to me. They are heartfelt expression of love and care mostly. It's the thought that counts. I already mentioned this in the Flower Fun thread of Mentor Portal of @Lillian some months ago but one of the latest most meaningful ones that came to my mind for now is a bouquet of gorgeous flowers I received at my doorstep with a beautifully written card inside from some of my very thoughtful friends to express their gratitude for something. I was deeply touched...

It was also the National Day of Encouragement apparently that day: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-day-of-encouragement/ . They just arrived at very a meaningful day as well. So, it was such a humbling experience indeed...
@Denise , thank you for brightening up this thread with your beautiful flowers!
What an excellent and beautiful expression of thanks from friends!
One of the most romantic gestures I saw my son do was when we went hiking together and climbed to the top of a mountain. It was such a strenuous hike, but there on top, was a field of flowers. My son excused himself, then came back with a handful of gorgeous wild flowers. He walked over to his wife and gave them to her!
@Laura your example is what I was originally thinking abiut when I created this thread. I was going to say my greatest gifts were the birth of my children, and grandchildren but kept thinking everyone knows that, to think deeper. What this family did for you goes way beyond what you would have ever expected, and has given you the understanding that there are some wonderful people in the world. You have chosen the best career to pursue this now too!
Thank you both @Denise and @Laura for your posts!
Userlevel 7
Badge +13
@Judith Yes, that's exactly it. Meaningful gifts take many forms, but in the end they all open our hearts – whether it's to joy, possibility, hope, or something else.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
What you shared is an incredible story @Laura . It’s always wonderful to hear that there are some amazing people out there. What a treasure to carry in your heart for life! Priceless indeed!
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
Interesting posts flying everywhere! 🙂 Thank you for this thoughtful discussion, @Judith

The most meaningful gift I have received and still receive is the gift of Love. Knowing that people care about me makes me happy and also makes me think thrice before doing anything.
I've been down with illness and hospitalized, and seeing people visit me on my hospital bed, sharing sweet memories with the "get well soon" cards make me recover fast. Love makes the world go round!


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