From thoughtful treasures to life-changing gestures, extraordinary ordinary objects and expensive purchases, our friends and readers look back on the most unforgettable Christmas gifts they’ve ever received.
This Christmas, I got a pair of brown leather shoes from my girlfriend. I’d needed to buy a pair of shoes, so I sent pictures of some shoes for her to help me choose. She persuaded me not to buy it as I already have a lot of shoes. Three days later, someone called me and said he was asked to deliver something to me. No prizes for guessing that the package included the shoes my babe had persuaded me not to. They came in a box labelled “Christmas Gift.” I cried like a baby. I received my first ever proper Christmas gift at 31! For context, I didn’t always count the clothes my parents used to buy for me as a child because those felt like an obligation. I know better now sha, as it wasn’t easy back then. But I’d never experienced getting something wrapped in a box and given to me as a Christmas gift.
My wife died five years ago. Before she died, she gave me a bunch of notes-to-self she had written during the most tumultuous parts of our lives. I’d been a primary school teacher while she had little education. It’s almost as if she knew that she was going to depart from this earth soon; that’s why she wrote them. Her notes are love letters to me which I will cherish till my last breath. I had known her for almost all my life, and reading these letters reached into parts of myself that I never knew existed. I will die a happy man.
I’m always cold, so when I received a spa voucher and a blanket made of soft yarn with a note wrapped in it, I melted. It’s the most thoughtful gift. First, this person dropped the voucher on WhatsApp very early in the morning. I came online and was like, “Wawu!” The next day, they sent a dispatch rider to deliver the blanket and the note.
This year, an ex gave me a vibrator dildo. We had a meeting, and he gave it to me. It was cute because he reminded me of how I used to talk about wanting one. It’s the best gift ever because, since gold, frankincense and myrrh didn’t reach my side, I’ll be using this one to hold my body.
In secondary school, my mum got me a bike. Technically, she bought it because I’d passed maths for the first time since forever. However, she waited until December 24th to hand it to me so it could double as a present for passing maths and for Christmas. I saw it hang in the parlour since the end of November and yearned it so much that I legit cried when she presented it to me on Christmas Day!
In 2015, I was dating this dude who was broke af. He wrote me a letter — a personal and soulful piece. I’m now married with two kids and nothing tops that till date.
Two gifts come to mind; I received a cologne and tailored-fit pants last year and a complete barbing kit this year. The barbing kit came in just when I needed it. As for the cologne, I later found out that it’s very expensive. These Christmas gifts mean a lot to me because the givers — who are my colleagues — put a lot of thought into it and somehow knew exactly what I wanted.
My most cherished gift came to me this year. I hadn’t seen my family for over five years. They came to spend the holidays with me this season and it’s been the best thing ever. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself when they leave.
My grandmother gave me a recipe book the Christmas before she died. It means a lot to me because African mothers — talk more of grandmothers — don’t keep cookbooks or write recipes, especially not someone of her age. Apart from being such a Western thing, she could not read nor write. She knew I loved to cook, so while others were feasting in the spirit of the season, she called me aside, and for the next few nights, she described her recipes and narrated how her cooking evolved through the years. She always had remarkable stories to spice things up. She has long passed away, and I no longer cook as much as I used to, but I try her recipes once in a while to relive the memory.