Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Worst and Best Gifts Ever

The First Lady told Oprah recently that her most treasured gift was a dollhouse. This made me wonder, what are my worst and best gift ever received?

After much thought, here they are:

My ex gave me an expensive make-up set by Shiseido. I was thrilled until he said, "I thought I'd give you something you need."

Ahem..... Enough with the negativity! I want this post to be more about what makes a great gift, if not THE best gift.

And my BEST GIFT EVER is....

....a sock monkey!

Here's the boring backstory. Back in the '90s, Intel had a commercial that featured a sock monkey surfing the 'net in search of other playmates (and a soul mate).

I don't know why, but I was fascinated with this commercial because I'd never seen a "sock monkey" before. I really loved the fact that the sock monkey is quite ugly yet cute - - like a pug, an Ewok or a hairless cat. Anyhow, I casually mentioned to my sister how I loved this commercial. The following Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised when my sister presented me with a sock monkey kit. Although I liked sock monkeys, the kit remained untouched for months mainly because I can't sew. My mom, who worried that my sister would take offense, took it upon herself to make the sock monkey. The sock monkey has been my constant companion at work for the past 9 years.

At the time, I really didn't think much of this gift since it probably cost less than $20. But after nearly a decade, I'm starting to realize it's true value. My sock monkey is one-of-a-kind, and not because it's hand-made. It's special because it's proof that someone cared enough to listen to my useless drivel and remembered what I liked. It's priceless because every cut and every stitch was made with love. And the resulting product makes me smile everyday at work. Yeah, it's definitely the best gift ever.


Miss M said...

Ha ha, I love your ex story. Open mouth, insert foot!

Ms. MoneyChat said...

this is the first i'm hearing of the sock monkey;-).

the best gift i ever received was a gift card to the viking store. i have a hidden love for cooking and kitchen appliances. i don't like to took just to cook, i like to cook new things, try different receipes. the thrill is more about experimenting than it is just making regular everyday food. yep, that was the best gift that i can think of.

Bonnie said...

Worst gift ever: Ex-BF gave me a set of plain white dishes. I mean, can you get any more boring or unromantic?!! I wouldn't mind dishes, but please, keep my personal style in mind! :)

paranoidasteroid said...

Aw, that story is pretty cute.

Chad had this annoying skill where he gives the perfect gift. every. time. It's really annoying, especially since he is the hardest person to shop for!

Anonymous said...

Ha! At least it was nice makeup! My worst gift is this huge foot by foot makeup set "thing" of really cheap eye shadow, etc. You know the kind! Eek. I barely wear makeup... what made this person think I would want that? Best gift? Car starter that warms your car up in the winter. Great for the freezing Minnesota winters!

444 said...

In probably the only theft episode I've ever had in my life (post-toddler, I mean - I am excluding behavior so far back I can't remember and I won't be responsible for infant-age behavior), in about first grade, I brought home from the school gym a sock monkey I really, really wanted and was obsessed with.

I was too naive to hide this from my mom and of course she asked me where I got it and I blithely told her.

There was a huge bin of toys there that belonged to some sort of after-school-care that was not in session when I hit the gym and lifted the object of my obsession. Well, to wrap up this story, my mom got me to confront the fact that it was not mine, and I knew it, and made me return the sock monkey. I didn't even know what it was called at the time. For some time after that, they caught my eye and I was filled with envy if I saw that someone else possessed on. I don't know why I didn't simply figure out a way to legally obtain one. It's not like there was any internet then, to facilitate shopping, and I just happened to see them rarely, and never in shops. I thought you'd want to hear the story about my early and dramatic love affair with the quintessential, classic icon that I now know is called the sock monkey.