In the spirit of the holidays and to celebrate our 10th year of Fritz’s Holiday Lights and the annual Toys of Tots drive, NBC LA posted this question on our Facebook page: "what is the best holiday gift you have ever received?"
We had an overwhelming response with some great answers we wanted to share with you:
“A book of unlimited hugs and kiss from my son when he was 5” was Debbie Priest Bowling’s best gift.
Local news from across Southern California
Many of the responses were non-tangible things that family members did for one another.
Inga Woody Schuenemann wrote an incredibly touching story of her family supporting her.
“My best holiday season was spent in Marine Corps boot camp… I was convinced no one could afford to come to my graduation,” Schuenemann wrote. “But there they were; my mom, my sister and my niece. I have never felt so proud in my life. Proud to be a Marine, pride in my country; and for the first time ever I made my family proud of me.”
Many parents include their children as their best holiday gifts.
Leslie Kahanu wrote, “On 12-25-80, my daughter Nikole was born…nothing better than that!”
Judy Fradkin wrote about her daughter, Amie, who was born Dec. 23, 1975, “She’s the gift that keeps on giving!”
A return from war and military service was often mentioned as cherished gifts.
Deborah Aslakson Mendoza wrote, “My daughter’s surprise homecoming after serving 16 months in Iraq” as her greatest gift.
Carol Manning-Ryan shared her story of when her brother returned from Vietnam in 1970.
“My father and two of my sisters went to pick him up from Ontario Airport,” Manning-Ryan wrote.
“Before the car even came to a stop, my sisters and I were jumping out of the car and almost brought him down when we tackled him with hugs.”
Mary Pat Bowe gave the story of her Christmas in 1982 when her and her husband were planning their wedding while living on two separate Navy bases; Memphis and Hawaii.
“We were planning our wedding long-distance to take place in New York at Christmas time with no idea whether or not we would have to go back to our separate stations,” Bowe wrote. “In an act of desperation, I sent an official wedding invitation to the commander of the naval personnel office in Washington D.C. One week before our wedding… my husband got papers transferring him to Hawaii effectively following our wedding. We’ve been grateful to that commander ever since.”
Viewers also wrote about some personal gifts that were treasured.
“I’m a letter carrier and one of my customers gave me a gift card for a foot massage,” Tari Thorp wrote. "Awesome gift!"
Lori Noyes reminisced about childhood memories while responding to our question.
“When I was a little girl, I got a ‘Barbie Camper Van,’” Noyes wrote. “I still remember playing with that for years and wondering how my parents could afford it.”
In these times of economic uncertainty and rising unemployment, some gifts mean everything.
Eddie Castaneda Jr. wrote, “My new job” as his best gift.
Jackellyn Trinh wrote her best gift was something she gave to others.
“The best gift I got for Christmas is being blessed enough to be able to give my son, family and friends the Christmas they deserve,” wrote Trinh.
Comment: You can leave memories of your favorite gift by visiting our Facebook page here.