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The Best Christmas Gift I Ever Got Was …

Here are the many ways readers finished this sentence

Here’s how our readers finished that sentence. The first five responses appeared in the magazine. The rest are Web Extras.

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A Majorette record player that my dad bought for me three days before he died.
Becky Holzhaus, Medina EC | Castroville

When the neurologist removed a tumor from my son’s pituitary gland in his brain and found no cancer.
Fran Baca, CoServ | Cross Roads

My brothers coming home from World War II and the Korean War.
Don Mason, Heart of Texas EC | Gatesville

My adopted son, born Dec. 22 and received in our arms Dec. 26.
Dee Susan Magella Azeredo

My brother, who was born on Christmas Eve 1957.
W. Grant Braly, Guadalupe Valley EC | Cuero

A Texas-shaped waffle maker. I was so happy I cried.
Susan Prokosch

My mother’s wedding band. Money was tight that year, so my mom had her and my dad’s (who had died when I was 2) wedding bands sized to fit my sister and I, and we each received one of their rings as our primary gift.
Melissa Gustafson, Bluebonnet EC | Bastrop

A closet for my Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. My grandparents made me a box that carried my Barbie dolls but was also a Barbie closet. It included outfits for my Barbies made by my grandmother, and my grandfather even made small wire hangers so everything could hang up in the closet.
Sherry Crecraft Krupinski

A 1962 Ponytail Barbie when I was 6 along with several outfits handsewn by my mom. I treasured that Barbie and those handsewn clothes for years.
Robin B. Aguirre, Pedernales EC | Jonestown

A drawing from my daughter when she was about 7. There was a little note attached: “It’s not much, but it’s all I had.” Still the best gift I’ve ever received.
Tawnya Hand Wales

The birth of my first child. Even though it was a couple of weeks before Christmas, I was so blessed to have this little girl in my life.
Pat Wells, Bandera EC | Bandera

My great-grandmother’s cookie jar.
Mandy McRae

A kiss from Santa.
Helen Woytovech, Nueces EC | Corpus Christi

A hardworking and loving family.
Judy Pickel

The birth of my handsome son.
Roger Mendiola, Guadalupe Valley EC | La Vernia

Laurie Boone McGinnis and I got married that week.
David McGinnis

A brand-new red Camry. My husband surprised me with the car parked in the garage topped with a huge gold bow.
Janice Wyman, Guadalupe Valley EC | Hallettsville

A red bicycle when I was 7 or 8. My parents bought it used, cleaned it up and bought new tires, and my daddy painted it. It looked almost brand new.
Cheryl Cooper Cotton

When my husband hid tickets to the Alamo Bowl on our Christmas tree.
Laura Shaffer, Wise EC | Alvord

Getting married Dec. 24.
Karion Hawkins

A Betsy Wetsy doll and a baby buggy to push her around in. I still have her and some of the baby clothes I bought for her with my allowance at Woolworth’s.
Susan Roberts Freeman

I got remarried on December 19, 2015.
Angie Skousen, CoServ | Little Elm

My first Christmas with my son Chris and daughter-in-law, Tracy, and new grandson, Darin (Dee).
Cecelia Hetchler

A grown-up watch when I was 15 years old.
Gail Marcial, CoServ | Frisco

A fake leopard print jacket. It had a brown plastic “leather” belt, and I thought I was a junior Miss America.
Lisa Flowerree Bigon

A yellow ’66 Mustang from my husband in 2018. It was a surprise to recreate my first car in 1968.
Gail Pitchford, Pedernales EC | Austin

My daughter. She was born on Christmas.
Julie Steveson

My first real Christmas tree and a living Bible when I was 12.
Becky Evans, Bandera EC | Bandera

My daughter, born on Christmas morning 2000.
Cindy Jarrott

A Barbie Dreamhouse with its fancy elevator.
Lesli Burton Cathey, Pedernales EC | Dripping Springs

A Red Ryder BB gun.
VDelight Groom

My 42-year-old dad had been a two-pack-a-day smoker for 25 years, and when I was 12, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him that all I wanted was for him to quit smoking. He had just purchased two cartons of cigarettes, and on Christmas Day, we went out back of our farm and built a fire and tossed the two cartons in the fire. He never smoked again and lived to be 79.
Deborah Bartlett, Farmers EC | Royse City

A Cuisinart 42 years ago. I didn’t know what it was but have loved it since then.
Karen Birtchet

A Barbie Dreamhouse. I remember playing all day and night with the house.
Emily Black, MidSouth EC | Montgomery

A red pony saddle with a matching bridle and martingale all trimmed with silver diamonds. It was a Christmas gift from my dad for my spotted pony, Laddie.
Susan Grafe

Another year to believe in Santa. I was a sixth grade farm girl playing under the tree on Christmas Eve. My parents said let’s drive into town and see the lights. We came home, and the new bike I wanted was there from Santa. They never told me how they made that happen.
Cheryl Rummel, Sam Houston EC | Coldspring

My family.
Carolyn Feltner

In 1961, when I was 10 years old, our home was broken into on Christmas Eve, while we were at the home of a relative. They stole all of our Christmas presents and even sat at our kitchen table and ate cake. The next day, after our church heard of the situation, friends gave us the best Christmas we ever had.
Scott Aulds, Pedernales EC | Richmond

In 1968, when my husband of one year returned home safely after almost a year serving our country as a medic in the Vietnam War.
Suzanne Lewis Cagle

A handquilted bow tie quilt made by my grandmother.
Jim Marfice, PenTex Energy | Lake Kiowa

A bicycle when I was about 9 years old, blue and white with the same color streamers on the handlebars.
Evelyn Runnels

A small book about my dad. He died in 1970 when I was 9. I loved him dearly. My husband managed to contact people who knew my dad—roommates at Texas A&M, etc. He put together a small book containing recollections of those people and photos. The time, care and thought that went into that book makes it, and my husband, very special to me.
Jackie Blair, Bryan Texas Utilities | College Station

A new son-in-law and surprise wedding ceremony on Christmas Eve.
Sherry Boultinghouse, Hamilton County EC | Lampasas

My husband. He was actually an early Christmas gift that year because we married Dec. 21.
María Alma González Pérez, Medina EC | Zapata

The year my mom told us our aunt and her family were coming for Christmas—but they had no money, not to expect gifts. There were five girls in our family, and they brought us all decks of different cards such as: Go Fish, Old Maid, etc., and dime store rings.
Tresa West, Lyntegar EC | Terry County

My baby sister, Carolina.
Niza Hernandez, Magic Valley EC | Edinburg

A stocking filled with nuts, an orange and apple and some old-fashioned candy like orange slices and hard candies.
Deb Ross, Rusk County EC | Tatum

The year that I was pregnant with my son, I had removed my wedding band because my fingers were swelling and put it up. My husband secretly took it to a local jeweler and had the diamonds taken from a five-year pin that he had earned at work and added them to my wedding band. He then wrapped it up for Christmas. Very, very romantic.
Joy Watson, Navasota Valley EC | Groesbeck

A jade ring from my mother-in-law the same year she gave her son an Etch A Sketch!
Mary Ripperton, Tri-County EC | Aledo

My son, born Dec. 20. The doctor was so happy because he got to finally have Christmas as a day off.
Tracy Robinson, Pedernales EC | Kyle

While in Vietnam in 1972, I received a small drawstring bag of goodies from a ladies auxiliary in Missouri.
Warren Richardson, Central Texas EC | Llano

A handmade wagon with octagon-shaped wood wheels that our dad made for my late brother, Travis Jr., and me during World War II that bumped as we pulled it.
Gwen Collier, Sam Houston EC | Livingston

My Old Timer pocketknife, given to me by my husband.
Sandra Price, Pedernales EC | Spicewood

Finding a brother I’d known about for over 30 years.
Paula Curtice Smith, Deep East Texas EC | Hemphill

I returned from my tour in Vietnam 53 years ago. On Christmas Eve morning 1967, I was flying out of Seattle when the plane broke out of the heavy cloud cover. There was the snow-covered peak of Mount Rainier shining in the early-morning sun. I remember clearly as I write this: I bowed my head in prayer and thanked my Lord Jesus Christ for allowing me to return home without any physical injury.
Bill Klotz, Central Texas EC | Castell

I was in my early 30s, and there was this very heavy box with my name on it under my parents’ tree. I opened it, and to my surprise, my mom had baked six loaves of homemade bread for us. I was in tears as this was a true labor of love since she didn’t have a bread maker. They were done in the old-fashioned way.
Jim Foehner, Pedernales EC | Wimberley

When I was 5, under our Christmas tree was a shiny new police car bicycle with red, white and blue streamers on the handlebars. Proudly, I drove my police car bicycle, patrolling our Houston neighborhood, training wheels and pigtails on call.
Jennifer Weatherly, Southwest Texas EC | Crockett County

Our baby sister, Toni.
Diane Billingslea and Rena Dill, Pedernales EC | Leander

A small artificial Christmas tree in 1968 in Vietnam. My aunt sent it with decorations, and I put it on my footlocker in my tent. GIs came from miles to see the tree. It brought smiles.
Judy Stevens, Pedernales EC | Spring Branch

When, in 1946, the U.S. Navy took a few of us orphans onboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt to watch Santa arrive in a helo with a bag of Christmas presents for us kids—my first Christmas present ever.
Thomas Liberty, Cherokee County EC | Troup

An orange and the next book in the Little House on the Prairie series.
Dawn C. Burton, Coleman County EC | Voss

My daughter, who was born Dec. 19 and was brought home Christmas Eve.
Millie Cassidy, Deep East Texas EC | Hemphill

My bike. I was 7. The ceiling in the old house we lived in fell in on the Christmas tree. Everything was ruined except for my bike.
Pat Begesse, Heart of Texas EC | Zabcikville

When I was told I was cancer-free, 2015.
Debra Middleton, Bowie-Cass EC | Marietta

My youngest child. She came home with a little red hat that she got from the hospital that made her look like a tiny elf.
Corey Jacob, Pedernales EC | Dripping Springs

Our oldest daughter, Kathy, who arrived a little after noon Dec. 25, 1958.
Don McClain, Sam Houston EC | Livingston

On Christmas Day 1961, when I had just turned 8, someone called and said they had found my collie, Lassie, who had gotten out of our yard about three days before.
Susan Hester, Guadalupe Valley EC | La Vernia

My first son, Mark Osgood, who was born on Christmas Day, which was my 20th birthday, in 1957.
Marlene O’Day Cruickshank, CoServ | Frisco

My grandfather, grandmother and aunt spent Christmas with us.
Elizabeth Deden, Houston County EC | Centerville

Me cutting and dragging our Christmas tree half a mile when I was 10 and making a star out of cardboard and foil.
Katrina Antu, Deep East Texas EC | Burkeville

A Lionel train set, the Texas Special.
Frank Gibbons, Farmers EC | Rockwall

A Roy Rogers rodeo set, Christmas 1955.
Roland W. Garza, Medina EC | Zapata