As the hustle and bustle of the holidays begin to draw to their close, do you have gifts for everyone on your list? Many times, it’s not the most expensive gifts that mean the most. Ten Liberty Group employees recently recalled the best gifts they’ve ever received, from the funny to the surprising to the heartfelt. Read on to see what gifts have touched their lives the most over the years.
Of course, not all gifts are great. Click here for our top ten list of cringe-worthy gifts we’ve received!
- Mary Martin, Banking Executive Recruiter: Three months after I married my husband, I lost my wedding band. So the greatest gift I ever received was the brand new diamond wedding band my husband gave me that Christmas.
- Nina Patel, IT Researcher: We adopted a rescued dog from a shelter after Hurricane Ike.
- Sharie Flores, Accounts Payable: Kida, my tabby when I was 11.
- Robbie Stevens, Director of Digital Marketing: I can be pretty tough to shop for, so a few years ago a good friend simply made a donation in my name instead of wasting money on a gift I’d probably never use. I had never heard of the Human Fund, but I’m sure they’re putting that money to good use.
- Shonna Schneider, Austin Branch Manager: My best Christmas gift was from my brother Justin Wright who was serving for the Air Force in Kuwait during Desert Storm. We were worried about him and did not think we would hear from Justin on Christmas.
Lo and behold, the local news station called us and told us to turn on the television, and there was a personal message on the news from him! It was so wonderful to see him safe and well.
Justin also shipped the most special presents to me. He sent a Kuwaiti necklace with my kids’ names on the front and back, a flag for my son, and a special doll for my daughter. I will never forget that Christmas and hope all the military families will be able to hear from their special loved ones this year!
- Angie Lavrack, Sales Associate: I grew up in Maryland and moved to Houston with my parents when I was a sophomore in high school. (I’ll leave out the year!) Texas was quite an adjustment for all of us because other than immediate family, all of our relatives were still back in Maryland, and I had always been very close to all of them. In fact, for as long as I can remember we’d have huge family gatherings (including aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members) with both sets of grandparents every single Saturday.
Christmas was always so much fun and a huge production. That said, my best Christmas gift was my parents flying our whole family to Maryland each year for Christmas to spend a week with our relatives. To this day, especially since all of my grandparents have since passed, some of my most cherished memories were Saturdays and Christmas at my grandparents’ house.
- Tucker Herring, SBA and Banking Division Manager: My lab, Cooper, who is now 8 years old.
- Laura Leal, Accounts Receivable: I receive the greatest gift every single day. When I tell my son that I love him, his response is always “I love you more, Mom.” Aaron is my pride and joy.
- Carol Swirczek, Staffing Specialist: My mom passed away two days after Christmas in 2011. The greatest gift I’ve ever received was being able to see her just a few weeks prior.
- Laura Lestus, Houston Branch Manager: This certainly isn’t a traditional Christmas gift, but I wanted to share because you never know if someone close to you – someone you may see every day like a client or coworker – is going through a similar situation. It is important that they know that they are not alone in their struggle. I am grateful that my son is “safe” in jail through this holiday season. I realize this is not a gift most moms would be grateful for, but my 21 year old son is an addict. He has been deep into addiction (to just about anything he can get his hands on) for the past 4+ years.
He has been homeless at times, wandering the streets – sometimes missing for weeks or months at a time. This year I will not be wondering where he is, if he has eaten, if he is out in the cold, or even worse: waiting for “that call”. This ritual had taken the place of the “normal” holiday traditions for me. But this year, I can know he will be warm, have food to eat, and the dreaded call about an overdose is unlikely.
Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes are even hard to recognize. For me this Christmas, I’d put this “gift” pretty close to the top.
What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Let us know right below in the comments. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!