A shirt from my mother. it wasn't the shirt, it was the fact that she sacrificed almost everything that she had just to get something for me and my sisters that year. we were all old enough to know that there wasn't any money that year, but still each of us had a gife under the tree when we woke up that christmas morning.
I still have that shirt, don't wear it anymore, but it is tucked away in a box of my childhood treasures.
When I was in college, I realized that a steady girlfriend wasn't for me and besides that, girls my age are less and less inclined to cook for a guy! So I wanted to be able to cook for myself and enjoy what I made... I went home to my grandmother (who raised me), and learned all I could about cooking a good meal.
One Christmas she went out and bought me a cast iron skillet. I really don't think I've ever gotten a better gift. There I was this 22-year old guy excited over a frying pan! That's one of the few things I still have from her and will never get rid of it.
Not long before my wife and I were married I was pretty much a scrooge. Well long story short thanks to her unwavering love of the season and a lot of late night talks about things Christmas related and some cheap but extremely thoughtful and related gifts I have been turned to the HOHO happy go lucky Christmas dad you see today.
Several years ago, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although they treated him with some new drugs, he passed away after a 2 year struggle. The Christmas after he died was a rough one for me. Imagine my surprise when my oldest daughter presented me with a large rectangular package wrapped in brown paper. It was a portrait of my Dad that she drew from an old army photo from Korea. I have to admit I cried like a baby. I'm sure no gift I ever receive will be more thoughtful or beautiful.
The next Christmas I had it professionally framed and hung it in our formal living room. Everyone who sees the picture can't believe it was drawn by a 15 year old. And people who knew my Dad swear it captures his spirit perfectly .