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The Licensing Project

Women Divulge The Best Gift They've Ever Received

You might just get some great present ideas!

There are two types of people in the world — those who give gifts that illicit tears of gratitude and jumps of joy, and those who give things like neckties, candles and robes. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category, but I am oh-so-ready to change that once and for all!

In an effort to unlock the secret to giving great gifts, I asked girlfriends near and far to tell me about the best gift they have ever received, and their responses made me smile, cry and ready to shop. If you are tired of giving socks and body wash to your loved ones, consider these tips for meaningful gift-giving — inspired by grateful women.

Lighten the load

“I’m in a long-distance relationship with a merchant mariner, who is usually 3,000 miles out at sea. He’d love to play house and do manly stuff for me, but circumstances don’t allow for that. So, he uses Amazon. [He has sent] a spring for the back gate so the dog will stop escaping, a case of light bulbs, an ice maker, a personal air-conditioner, a bathing suit and cover-up, and all sorts of other little things. It’s not about the gifts so much, it’s that he listens and wants to make my life a little easier, and he likes making me smile.” — Gwendolyn, 44, New Jersey

“My all-time favorite and most meaningful gift came when I least expected it. As a single mom living paycheck to paycheck, I just didn’t have the money to pay the electric bill. The balance was growing each month and I would toss and turn at night wondering if or when the electricity would be shut off. I called the electric company to inquire about a payment plan and to my surprise, my bill had been paid in full. They didn’t tell me who paid it, but with a little investigative work, I found out it was my aunt and uncle. I cried happy tears on that day and I am crying them still seven years later.” — Suzanne, 44, Connecticut

Listen for clues

“My sister is the best gift-giver in the entire world. She knows what I need and want even before I do. One time I told her that I had a new love of dragonflies. I wasn’t sure why, but I felt as though they were communicating something spiritual to me. Fast forward a few months and a package arrived for my birthday: a picture of a beautiful dragonfly. Another time, I mentioned a nagging back pain that wouldn’t go away; the next day she sent me a gift card for a massage!” — Tricia, 51, Connecticut  

“I’ve had the same purse for over 10 years. It’s the perfect purse for me. Women will understand when I say, when you find the perfect purse, you want to hold on to it forever! I was in need of a new purse, but really didn’t want the change. I voiced this to my husband, saying I wish I could get an exact duplicate of [my favorite] purse. Well, I forgot about it … and a few weeks later I received the best gift of my life. Three identical purses. If I’m lucky, I won't have to get a new purse for at least 30 years! I feel so lucky to have such a thoughtful husband.” — Kelly, 32, Colorado

Get crafty

“My goddaughter put together a collage of photos of us [and paired it with] music. It included photos from her communion, crowning, dinners, special events. It captured so many important moments we have had together. It touches me again and again, every time I look at it. It’s like watching a movie of your life, and reminds me how much she means to me and of the appreciation I have to be called her godmother.” — Sheila, 52, California

“The best gift I ever received was a handmade quilt from my grandmother. It was so special because it was made with so much love and care. It was also very practical and helped keep me warm during the cold winter months. What made it even more special was that my grandmother passed away a few years ago, so the quilt is a reminder of her love and care, and I am so grateful to have it. It is truly a one-of-a-kind gift that I will always treasure.” — Amira, 38, Florida

Keep it simple (and meaningful)

“Five years ago, I was having my quarter-life crisis. I felt I was not where I was supposed to be, working a job I was not happy with, and basically depressed about everything around me. When my friend gifted me a weighted blanket, it really gave me comfort. It helped me calm down, especially since I’m more anxious at night. It also helped me sleep better, as it felt like someone was hugging me. Though I did not share what I was going through with her, it felt like she understood what I was feeling then, so she knew the perfect gift to give me.” — Veronica, 38, New York

“My husband got me a figurine of a couple sitting on a couch holding hands, foreheads together, with a Bible beside them and a Bible verse at their feet. He got it for me at a time when I was really struggling. We are an infertile couple and I badly wanted children. The figurine really showed me how much he cared for us and just us, as it really felt like them vs the world with God on their side. [The couple didn’t have] children and this gift showed that he was OK with that and happy with just me. I always say if the fire alarm went off and I had 10 seconds to get out, that would be the item I’d grab.” — Rachel, 29, Connecticut

Giving great gifts doesn’t require a hefty bank account or hours of shopping. It simply requires a little attention to detail and a lotta love. Maybe the one thing we need to do more than anything is open our hearts more and our wallets less. Happy holidays, girlfriends!

What's the best gift YOU'VE ever received? Let us know in the comments below.

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