Giveaway: Tiny Tree Canner Print by Johanna Wright

tiny tree canner

If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time, you’ll know I don’t limit my use of jars just to canning. I store dry goods and leftovers in them, keep pens and scissors stashed inside those with chipped rims and have even dedicated a giant jar to corralling my husband’s LEGO collection. In addition to pressing jars into service wherever possible, I also happen to be something of a fool for depictions of jars and the act of canning.

tiny tree canner

So, when author (she has written two beautifulΒ books for children) and artist Johanna Wright got in touch back in the summer and asked if I’d like “Tiny Tree Canner,” one of her canning-related prints, I said yes immediately. I am entirely charmed by this image of a woman doing her canning in the center of a cozy tree. What’s more, I am tickled by how it visually evokes the idea of “squirreling away.” I know that I’m not the only one who sometimes refers to her preserving in that manner.

johanna wright info

Johanna Wright grew up in Eugene, Oregon and currently lives in Portland. Though she’s not a canner herself, she grew up around it. She initially painted this image as a gift for her mom and when her sisters spotted it, they wanted it as well. So prints were made and happily, they’re now available for the rest of us too!

In addition to this image, she also has two different prints in her shop of floating jars (one is done on an orange background and the other is done on a turquoise background that I think is the exact same color as my stove). I am tempted.

thank you!

I realize that none of us are quite prepared to start talking seriously about the holidays yet (though Macy’s seems entirely ready, they were setting up the holiday tableware when I walked through two weeks ago), but should you be shopping for a jar lover or avid canner this holiday season, you might want to consider one of Joanna’s prints! At $25, they’re quite affordable. A basic frame from a Ikea and you have a lovely gift.

Joanna has given me a second “Tiny Tree Canner” print to give away to one of my readers. If you want to throw your hat in the ring for a chance at it, here’s what you do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me about the best gift you ever gave or received.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Friday, October 12, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
  3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Joanna Wright gave me the print you see pictured here, along with an additional one for this giveaway. I was not compensated for running this post and my opinions remain my own.Β 

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365 responses to “Giveaway: Tiny Tree Canner Print by Johanna Wright”

  1. Best gift I ever gave was sox months of piano lessons to my mother, who had never played and instrument and always wanted to.

    Best gift I ever received… I’ve received so many wonderful gifts… but I think the best, or at least the one I use the most, would be my red kitchen aid mixer.

  2. Hmm… there are a lot of cheesy and sentimental things I could say about gifts but when I was in high school my mom got me an Easy Bake Oven. I cooked the shit out of those brownies with that light bulb. I had always wanted an Easy Bake when I was a kid but never got one. My mom got me one eventually, even if it was a little late. I still have it.

  3. Many years ago someone I was dating decorated my home one day (while I was out) with all sorts of roses and flowers picked from around the neighborhood, so I would come home to beauty. There were flowers tucked into every nook and cranny and on every flat surface. Loads of them. It’s been 20 years and it is still one of the best gifts ever. I smile as I think about it.

  4. What a lovely print!
    I’ve been blessed enough to give and receive lots of lovely gifts. One of my favorites was when my husband took the violin my parents had given me as a child, and had it restrung and fixed up to be made playable again. Such a beautiful thing!

  5. Oh, how I love this! When I was little, I daydreamed I would one day live inside a hollow tree (still do). The best gift ever? Too many to name, but once a friend had several mutual friends make ATCs in the style of Nikki McClure (one of my fav artists), then framed them as a collage. So touching!

  6. What a beautiful print! The best gift I have received was last year, when my husband and I had to move away from family, and my son got the whole family together and took wonderful photos of us all together.

  7. I think the best gift I received was my new sewing machine. My folks researched forever for the best one that would cover all my needs. It was unexpected and fantastic.

    I’m pretty proud of the gift that’s going to my closest friend this year, I commissioned a rendering of my friend and I as super heroines (after a inside joke we’ve had for years). I’m so excited to give it to her!

  8. The best gift I ever gave anyone is the love of baseball to my kids and now can pass that to my grand kids. I got that from my grampa almost 55 years ago, when he showed me how to score a game when I was 5. There is nothing better than spending an afternoon talking baseball with someone else who “gets” it.

  9. The best gift ever was seeing my son smile at me in the emergency room last week after being hit by a pick-up truck while riding his bicycle.

  10. My sweetie got me a subscription to Quarterly for my birthday, because he knows I love getting things in the mail. It’s so sweet and appropriate! I can’t wait to see what I get…

  11. What a beautiful print!

    The best gift I ever received was a quilt that my mom made for me a couple of years ago. She has such a knack for combining colors and patterns.

  12. I think I might buy the floating jars ones for my kitchen, actually.

    The best gift I ever gave was a helicopter tour in Hawaii – my mother had always wanted to go in a helicopter, so that was that.

    The most useful gift I ever got was a wheelbarrow, but I think my best gift was the typewriter he refurbished for me early in our relationship.

  13. I love this print – Johanna Wright sure is a great talent. Best gift? I will never forget receiving my very own boom box when I was a teen.

  14. The best gift I’ve ever received…That’s a hard one. It would be easy to say it was my grandson, or that my daughter in law is someone I like and so is my oldest son’s intended. I’m really lucky on all three counts. But they aren’t things. They are gifts from God, all of them just like my two boys were when they were born. So, when I think of things, and it would have to be the best thing, then I’d think of something I got the most joy out of. Mmmmm, OK, I’d say it’s the small Ivory carved lion my youngest son gave me for mothers day one year. It is so delicate and detailed. Even the pads on his feet and the his claws are there. I just love to look at him. And yes, it’s also easy to tell he’s a him.

  15. The best gift I received is a dance made up by my daughter with her younger brother. It was for mother’s day and it was adorable.

  16. It’s a delightful print! And I want it for my home office.
    The best gift I ever got was the year I turned 11. My dad bought me a microscope for Christmas. We spent a whole week together looking at everything under the sun – I secretly thought he bought it because HE always wanted one but we had so much fun together I didn’t mind!!
    The best gift I ever gave?? Well, I think it’s the knitted hats & socks that I churn out every year for Gift Baskets to people living with AIDS. I do it because a hand knit hat is considered a luxury by people who’re living with very little.

  17. The best gift I ever received was knowing how to take care of myself in the ways in which we discuss here… I’ve received lots of stuff over the course of my life. Some of those things I treasure to be be sure. But those intangible gifts are the ones that now mean the most to me. Funny how that works…
    Thanks for your cool blog. We just got your book and love it!
    Terri πŸ™‚

  18. My husband and I have decided to not do Xmas gifts to lighten the pressure of the season. We pick one thing we both want and get it together (new tent, enamel cast-iron, etc.). My favorite xmas gift from family is always warm, flannel pajamas!

  19. This is hard. I’ve been blessed with many special gifts. One that makes me smile is a trip that my husband arranged to travel to Niagra Falls to commerorate the day we met. We almost had the whole area to ourselves on January 20.

  20. I think the best gift I ever gave was a couple quarts of home made chicken noodle soup tro a sick friend. She said that was the only thing she had been able to keep down and said it really made a difference to her getting well.

  21. The best gift I’ve ever received is a reversible apron, in 2 cool prints, made by the friend who gave it to me. I use it daily and never fail to think of the friend who made it.

  22. My husband is the king of thoughtful gifts. Early on in our dating I noticed that a casual reference would eventually “out of the blue” turn into package in the mail. Honeybell oranges, a food processor, numerous books arrived unexpectedly. But when he tracked down a replacement college diploma for the one that had long been lost to water damage he won the prize.

  23. Wow, I’ve been so blessed that choosing the best present is difficult. I guess I would choose my Kitchen-aid stand mixer that my in-laws gave me for a wedding present 30 years ago. I’ve worn it out, but I love it.

  24. I love these comments! They’re such sweet stories of some of the most awesome moments in the lives of people willing to share them.

    Recently, I had a conversation with my husband about the best gift he’d ever given me. It is a flashlight and drill combo with a rechargeable battery. It’s true….my best gift ever from my husband is a flashlight. I use it daily in my sewing room when looking through my fabric stash for my next sewing project. I use it to search in the dark corners of my kitchen cupboards when searching for something to cook for dinner. And my grandchildren like to use it when they’re afraid of the dark.

    Yup, for me at the moment, it’s the best gift ever.

    The best gift I ever gave was to my son last year for Christmas. A pair of night vision goggles which he loves to use when he goes camping.

    Have a terrific day!

    Debbie…(O:
    >

  25. Oh, gorgeous. Hope I win. Best gift I ever got; either my sewing machine (Christmas around age 18) or my long WARM winter dress coat, the Christmas of my first year teaching from my husband who wanted me to be warm on outside supervision.
    Thanks for opening this up to Canadians!

  26. Best gift I ever got was one Christmas my hubby bought me an entire set of bamboo knitting needles. He didn’t know what colour to choose for the needle roll so he made one out of wrapping paper. I used it for months, before picking out the one I wanted. Best gift I ever gave was probably our anniversary present this year (9, so pottery) I had custom coasters made that commemorate different stages of our relationship. He was pretty blown away by it. I love giving gifts!

  27. The best gift I ever received was Christmas. YES Christmas for my son and I when he was almost 2. I was a single Mom and Christmas was NOT in the budget. The retail store I worked for got word about that and then presented US with 2 baskets of WRAPPED Christmas present for he and I. That planted a seed which has grown in my GIVING heart! πŸ™‚ thanks !

  28. The best gift I ever received was a pair of windshield wipers. Yes, you read that correctly–windshield wipers. See, I hate, hate, hate driving in the rain, but sometimes I really don’t have a choice, and the pair of wipers I had on my car were horrible and made driving in rain even worse. So, one year, my daughter bought me the most highest rated windshield wipers on the market and my son installed them for me. They worked like a charm and made driving in the rain…well, not fun, but much better than before. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the most appreciated.

  29. I was told I gave the Best Gift EVER… so maybe it was.. For my son’s birthday last year we had a surprise dinner and I got him his very own brewing kit; carboy and all the ingredients to brew his very first batch of beer. Him and his friends were so exicted to get started! I think they’ve only got one bottle left for safe keeping!

  30. Before my husband and I were married, he brought in a giant Christmas gift. Inside were my own set of tools, real tools! Each was carefully wrapped individually and at the bottom of the box was a lovely sapphire ring. While the ring was special, having a good set of tools of my very own was my favorite part!

    I LOVE this print.

  31. Oh, I LOVE that print! So gorgeous. My favorite gift has to be my kitchenaide mixer – everyone told my husband (boyfriend at the time) not to give me a kitchen tool, but he thought I’d like it, and he was right! I use it alllll the time even now, 10 years later, and think of him every time. And he and I and now our three kids all enjoy the bounty I make with it!

  32. The best gift I gave was a Marine emblem paperweight to my husband. He has used it daily on a few different desks over the years and we have never seen another one like it. Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

  33. I’ve been fortunate to have been the recipient of many thoughtful gifts. The best I’ve ever received is an antique spinning wheel my sister and her family restored for me. My nephew who was 10 at the time went out of his way to let me know that they cleaned off dirt, but not too much dirt because they knew I’d like it better with more dirt. (True- but I think he meant to say patina or antique charm!)

  34. a gift that I am proud of giving is actually Johanna Wright based; a former boyfriend had a painting of her in his living room, of a scrappy patched-up whale, and I made him a stuffed toy version of it.

    Anyhow, I love her work and this tiny tree canner especially!

  35. The print is beautiful and these gift stories are awesome! Last Christmas my parents, in laws, and grandparents all got together and bought me a new stove. It was so thoughtful and unexpected- and I love it! Who knew cooking on burners that work was so great?!

  36. This print is just lovely! Best gift I ever received was from my nana for my graduation from high school. She made a beautiful wall quilt with squares signed by friends and loved ones. It’s still very special to me.

  37. The best gift I’ve ever received is my Grandson’s telling me that their favorite jelly is Grandma’s. When given the choice, they choose wild dewberry jelly which placed 3rd that same year (2011) at the Texas State Fair. : )

  38. I recently left my old workplace for a new job. When my supervisor found out I was leaving, she wanted to make me a cake for my last day. It was widely known around the office that I pickle, so what did she make me? A pickle cake. It looked remarkably like a pickle and tasted fantastic (pumpkin spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting). It was the single nicest thing anyone has ever made for me. A close second would be all the canning equipment my boyfriend got me for my birthday!

  39. The best gift I ever gave was a set of pristine, vintage Talking Heads’ vinyls that I found and had framed for my best friend in college. He still has it hanging on his way today πŸ™‚ LOVE this print!

  40. One day my husband came home from work and said that he had heard a song on the radio on the way home and thought of me. He found the song online, purchased it (for $.99) and put it on my MP3 for me. Greatest gift I’ve ever been given!!

  41. Beautiful print! Thanks for the giveaway!
    My favorite gift was from my husband last Christmas. I’d been lamenting that I never have pictures to look at since they’re all on the computer and it’s not the same as having them printed to look at. So he went and got all the pictures since we started dating developed and put them in a picture box. So thoughtful, and proved he’d listened to me!

  42. Best gift!! So hard! My most recent gift receipt was pretty swell – my parents were traveling & brought me a antique turquoise-y counter-mount nutmeg grinder that had my name “Anna” stamped on the side. Useful AND quirky! I love it!

  43. Wow! I love Johanna’s artwork! The best gifts I have received have been a series of mix tapes from my husband. He started making them for me when we started dating 12 years ago, and made the last one this summer for our 10th wedding anniversary.

  44. Best gift received? The gift of life – 15 cancer-free years – long enough to see my son married and hold my two grandbabies – with hopefully a few more years to see my daughter married and her babies.
    Best gift given? I’d like to think it is the handmade quilts I’ve given for weddings and new babies to wrap them in comfort and love.

  45. One of the best gifts I’ve gotten was from my oldest daughter, a set of spider skimmers and spatulas. Pathetic how excited I got, but they’re so useful!

  46. I love my parents dearly, but when I was growing up they always had a knack for getting me just the wrong gift. When I asked for a remote control car, the resulting gift had a cord running from controller to car. When I asked for a Lego castle, I got a Fisher Price castle. But my eighteenth birthday was an all-time low: I got a pillow. Add to my small amount of justified disappointment a much larger helping of teen angst-driven disappointment, and I was in a sour mood.

    Later that day, though, my friends threw me a true “surprise” birthday party. That was the best gift I’ve ever received.

  47. Last year I canned mincemeat for my Dad for Christmas, my Mom refuses to make it for him (I understand) but it was one of his favorite pies growing up. Couldn’t have done it without a pressure canner I received a few years ago!

  48. My best gift ever was my grandmother’s collection of pale blue canning jars. She used them on her urban farm to feed her family for many years. When i got married last month, she brought up the coveted collection as a gift. My mother-in-law filled them with wild flowers from our farm, for our farm to table wedding dinner. They now line my pantry shelves stuffed with dried goods, reminding me of my famlies past and filling me with hope for our future.

  49. Hmm, favorite gift, recently it was probably a bag of rare Red Fife flour that was made from a type of wheat that was grown here in Canada many many years ago. It is now having a resurgence, but the flour is still hard to find.
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  50. These are so, so amazing! Best gift I’ve ever received? Has to be when I was an aid worker in Afghanistan 2010-2012…two villages got together and hand wove me a Persian carpet when I was leaving. It was incredibly emotional, and to this day is the most beautiful thing I own.

  51. The best gift I have ever received was the announcement last December that my father was officially in remission from acute myeloid leukemia, every day since has been a gift, as well! I would have to say that the best gift I have ever given is in the form of breastmilk donations that I regularly give to a family in need. Today just happens to be my birthday, so it would be supercool to to selected! Thank you for the giveaway.

  52. the best gift i’ve ever received was the antique piano my mother gave to me for christmas when i was 11. she found it for a bargain, learned how to disassemble it, re-finished it, and re-assembled it all by herself. i still have it in my home and my children play it, too!

  53. I remember getting my first Maxi skirt and white fancy blouse. I was so thrilled! We were having Christmas over at my grandma’s and I was stunned to get something so beautiful! I ran to both of my parents and hugged them and told them how much I loved them both! Childhood memories are precious.

  54. The best gift ever given and received has been my two vivacious little girls. Gifts of pure love from the universe left for us to watch over.

  55. The best gift I ever received was the Ninja Pulse my husband bought me last year. He definitely got his money’s worth on that one! πŸ™‚
    The best gift I ever gave was the homemade (canned) peach jam I made last year. It was my first time canning, and I gave them as Christmas gifts and everyone enjoyed it. This year I canned A LOT more, so I am excited about all the goodies I get to give this year. πŸ™‚

  56. Best gift ever was from my In-laws. A two foot ceramic pig with a chalk board, it sits on my kitchen counter and has for nearly 20 years. I write notes on it all the time, telling my husband I love him is what I write the most!

  57. Best gift I ever received was a garage door opener, 29 years ago when we had an infant and toddler. Made getting into the house with kiddos and groceries so much easier. My thoughtful husband is always thinking!

  58. My favorite gift was given to me by my best friend, Louis, nearly 20 years ago.
    We had been roommates for a couple of years, and after I moved he found my senior class high school group photo in the back of the closet.
    I had unknowingly left it behind and had no idea!
    On my next birthday, he showed up with that picture in a perfect custom frame.
    I was surprised and delighted.
    Louis is no longer with us, so this gift brings back happy memories.

  59. The best gift I ever received was an anniversary present from my husband, Wes. It is an antique sundial that says “Grow old along with me the best is yet to be” around the rim. This was a gift on our 10th wedding anniversary (17th anniversary that we had been a couple) and the first anniversary we had after we bought the farm and home that we plan to live at for the rest of our lives, so it is a very special gift that I am still seeking out the perfect stump or post to mount it on here at our farm.

  60. The best gift I’ve given was my first attempt at a lap quilt. I gave it to my step dad, whom I adored. He always had it on his chair. I gave him a lot of joy and me as well. The best gift I’ve ever gotten was my Kindle Fire. I love, love, love it and use it several times a day!

  61. Best gift received was my life and my oldest daughter’s life which were threatened by severe pre-eclampsia. So close to stroking out – but my medical team saved us both.

    Best gift given – my oldest daughter – a week early for my husband’s birthday.

  62. I love this print!

    The best gift I ever received is too tough to answer… but the best gift I ever gave was a surprise getaway to Key West for my sister on her 30th birthday. After a very tough year, she was the most deserving and thrilled recipient of a present ever! (and I got to go on vacation too – not a bad deal)

  63. Last Christmas I gave jams, jellies and apple butter that I canned over the summer/fall, and handmade soap. A few family members told me how they just loved their gift and it reminded them of old-time Christmas gifts. That made me feel so wonderful.

  64. Love the whimsy of this beautiful print! I have received a lot of wonderful gifts through the years, but the best was probably this summer. I flew to NC unexpectedly to visit my ailing Mom; who passed away as I was arriving. Two weeks later when I returned, three of my dearest friends had come in and cleaned my house top to bottom, including refrigerators, stocked up on grocery essentials, left a touching card signed by lots of my friends, and a beautiful succulent garden. It made me feel cherished and loved.

  65. It’s hard to give one thing the title of Best Gift…….but, recently I was backpacking the John Muir trail for my honeymoon and a fellow backpacker gifted us an entire pack of shelf-stable bacon. We were 9 days into the trail and our dehydrated food so bacon was quite the treat. We were really grateful. It’s the little things…

  66. Can I be corny and say the best gift I ever received was my three kids? All other gifts seem petty. Though my LLBean slippers from last Christmas really rock

  67. The best gift I have ever received was my mini dachshund Diesel, for my birthday. The hubs and I drove 12 hours round trip to Ohio to get him. As soon as he was handed to me, I was instantly in love. 5 years later, he is the gift that keeps on giving.

  68. Thank you for the giveaway, what an awesome prize! One day our family had a discussion about that one gift you wanted for Christmas growing up that you really wanted, but never got. Mine was a Raggedy Ann doll. “Santa” couldn’t find one that Christmas & could only find Raggedy Andy. The Christmas after this family discussion, I received a Raggedy Ann Doll from my husband & daughter as a gift. My eyes teared up when I opened that gift, mind you, I’m 48 years old, but I felt like I was 10 years old at that moment. My Raggedy Ann Doll sits proudly on my bed today. πŸ™‚

  69. I love all of her prints. Her etsy shop is a colorful place to land. Thanks for sharing!

    My husband is the king of gift-giving. This year for our anniversary he planned a babysitter and whisked me away for a surprise weekend! Much needed and very much enjoyed!

  70. Best gift ever…every year my husband gifts me a book a day for the week leading up to my birthday. He chooses them without any input from me & I’ve liked every book.

  71. Wonderful giveaway! My favorite gift was the quilt my husband finished up for me last year! Keeps us cozy on the cold winter nights!

  72. The best Christmas gift I ever received was given to me and my sister when we were kids( I was about 10 and my sister 14 ). This was about the time computer printers came out. My sister and I spent weeks trying to figure out what our parents had wrapped up under the tree for us.We were convinced that they had sprung for a computer printer. But to make sure we were thinking straight we invited our neighborhood friends over to get their opinions on the rather large and heavy box that sat under our tree. Everyone agreed that it had to be a computer printer. We were so excited and thrilled to know that we were getting a computer printer! Christmas morning finally came and we were beyond excited to finally rip open what we have now decided was a printer. Our parents tortured us by making us wait to the very last to open “our printer” . We dug into that wrapping paper ,nothing but shreds of paper littered the floor around us. We looked at each other curiously when we noticed there was no writing on the large box, it was just brown…hmmmm we thought maybe they double boxed it. We ripped into the brown box still thinking we were getting “our printer” disappointed slapped us in the face ,and hard!! We opened the box to find 2 brown and yellow tackle boxes awaiting us. My sister and I looked at each other and confusion crossed our faces. Our hearts dropped and we realized we were so wrong ,we wouldn’t be getting a printer this year . Instead we were now staring down at 2 yellow and brown fishing tackle boxes. We looked at each other still confused and a little disappointed , and we slowly pulled out our boxes and opened them. A huge smile came across both of our faces when we saw what lay inside our boxes. TOOLS! My parents had gotten us our own tool boxes . With small versions of everything inside, hammer, screwdrivers, pliers,wrenches,nails..you name it it was probably in there. Our disappointment quickly faded and smiles grew from ear to ear over our faces as dug in to see what we had and then the plans came ..What can we do first. It was the best Christmas gift I ever received because one my parents totally got us, and second because it was on that day that we began DIY training. No longer did I have to go ask my dad to hammer a nail in the wall. I learned how to do it myself. We fixed our things when they broke,we took stuff apart trying to see how it worked. We hung and rehung posters all over our walls whenever we felt like it..it was great!!
    To this day the tool box has been #1 gift ever given to me.

    Ginger πŸ™‚

  73. What a sweet print!
    I love giving presents that aren’t so much a thing but more an experience. My favorite was surprising my husband for his b-day and our 10th wedding anniversary with a weekend away sans kiddos in NYC (our 1st time there together!) and tickets to see his favorite band play an outdoor show in central Park. It was an amazing adventure! : )

  74. ADORABLE print, sweet inside tree, cozy indeed! Best gift tough, but first that comes to mind is a used table saw I gave my husband for Christmas years ago when we had no money and he really needed one. My adorable father made it possible by doing the shopping and giving the green light. It was most fun because it was our secret together and my husband loved that Dad helped.

  75. How wonderful! The print reminds me that I pine for an outdoor kitchen. One that is screened in, but still allows for fresh air and colling breezes to be part of the experience.

    In our house, we have adopted a policy of home made or home sourced gifts, at least one per person for the holidays and birthdays. I so much prefer giving people gifts that I have made with thoughtfulness, care and love, but we still buy everyone socks too, LOL!

  76. Best gift equals most useful to me. The ‘poopy pail’ my uncle gave me. We use in multiple times a day for my daughter’s cloth diapers. It was thoughtful, useful, and he even wrote poopy on it.

  77. Best gift ever… a custom calendar featuring my puppy dog! 12 months of Sadie…. who wouldn’t love that! I did… i cried i was so happy. πŸ™‚

  78. The best gift I ever received was a yellow dog named Muggs. A gift from my parents. He was my first puppy; I will always remember him and smile.

  79. Love it! Thanks for the opportunity. Best gift I ever gave was a hand painted scarf for my best friend. When we were in our early twenties, her dad lived (still does) in the Florida Keys, in Islamorada. We were so young and free. We would meet there and drive with the windows down, cranking Bob Marley’s LEGEND without a care in the world. Now, 25 years later, with families and busy lives, I wanted her to remember that with all of her senses…so I did a stream of consciousness written piece and painted around it in Mallory Square sunset colors. It brought us both back to that space and time, which, was truly a treasure.

  80. Best gift ever received was an American Girl doll when I was little…my mom saved a year to be able to purchase it for me for Christmas. It meant a lot to me since we were so poor.
    Best gift ever given-handmade quilts, everyone appreciates the time and effort that go into them.

  81. Such a hard choice but I think my kids would be the easiest answer. Beyond that I’d have to say getting jars for my birthday so I can can more. πŸ™‚

  82. I love love this !! I am a painter and a canner and this would look so great on the wall of my kitchen. I have disabled children and my release and me time is to paint and do some canning =-)

  83. Best gift is hard to answer. But one if my favorite gifts was last year when my husband gave me the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am a huge Joss Whedon fan so this gift was awesome!

  84. Love the print! Will go perfect in my new kitchen!
    The best gift I have every been given is my bicycle. I don’t drive and live in Philadelphia so it is pretty easy to get around without a car. But I had been riding a really old bike for way too long that I had gotten through a friend. It was falling apart. We had bought new parts here and there to try and make it better but the frame was just a mess. I have developed many joint issues through years of sewing, riding, and crafting and this bike was not helping. So one day my fiance decided to take all the good stuff off of my old busted bike and put them all on one of his beautiful and highly coveted vintage steel frames. He did this while I slept so I woke up to a brand new (well, brand new to me) beautiful bike built just for me! Best surprise I have had in a while.

  85. Best gift- easy- my dad’s recovery from near death last week. I love love love this
    print! Thanks for sharing Marissa!

  86. The best gift I ever received, in recent history, is a copy of your book from my sister-in-law, Joanne, who was at one of your classes. You signed the book for me, thanking me for turning Joanne on to your site.
    You’re the best, Marisa!
    Sue Blando

  87. The best gift I’ve received would have to be the candy apple red Kitchen Aid mixer I got for my house warming party from my friend & family. One of my best friends contacted the rest of the girls & my mom and they all pitched in to get it for me. I was super surprised and incredibly touched as well as excited.

  88. That print is adorable!
    My favorite gifts to give are quilts designed for a specific person, because I think about them the entire time it’s being constructed–especially for kids. I don’t know if the recipient understands, but I like to imagine it’s like the book “Like water for chocolate” where the object is imbued a bit with the emotions that go into it.

  89. I know this is corny, but my daughter is the best gift ever. She was very hard to get, many years, many dollars and one excellent, amazing doctor who gave me the best gift EVER!

  90. Our honeymoon trip to Italy was the best gift I’ve received; my husband planned almost every detail and even managed to keep it a surprise..almost until the end, when a loving friend of my MIL spilled the beans. He’s definitely more into doing than buying, and this was a stellar example of his skills.

  91. The best gift I ever gave was handmade items for my Dad’s desk at work when I was a child. Thirty years later they still can be seen at the same desk!

  92. Best gift is too hard, but I absolutely love receiving anything handmade. I give handmade things, but not too many people I know in person are crafty. For my wedding, a coworker who didn’t knit much made me two dishcloths and I cherish them because I know how much time it took her to make them and how much care she put into them. πŸ™‚

  93. The best gift material gifts I have received were Weck Jars and my Kitchen Aid mixer.

    But my favorite gift in life was becoming a mother.

  94. The best gift I gave would probably be the Christmas food gifts we made to give to friends and family. The best gift I ever got was a beautiful silver ring from my kidlet…I treasure it.

  95. For our first Christmas together my husband made me a Shaker rocking chair. It had a lot of use when out children were babes. Now it has some use on winter evenings in front of the fire. I love these cozy little prints.

  96. It’s totally cliche, but I was told that it was a very real possibility that I may never have children. The best gift I was ever given, my 2 children. My husband will agree too.

  97. Beautiful print! I received an antique mantel clock from my husband for Christmas before we started our family. I hear it ticking away everyday and know that it has counted so many minutes of our lives to date and it will continue on for many, many years.

  98. Oh, how adorable! My most memorable gifts are from my husband, the Christmas we were broke college students, pregnant with our first, and had $6 between us to spend on Christmas gifts. Needless to say, we had to get really creative!

  99. Hmmmm… Best gift. Well, the one that first came to mind (besides the obvious ones like my husband and kids) is the ring my mother left me which I sold to pay for an AMAZING trip to Africa. She would have wholeheartedly approved.

  100. The best gift I ever received was from my grandmother. I was 12, and she gave me a necklace of hers– a beautiful pressed edelweiss in a pendant, on a slim black velvet choker band. I thought I lost it for many years and didn’t get to wear it to her funeral, but when I turned 30, my mom slipped it into a gift box for me and said she’d randomly found it in her jewelry box (I believe her, that box is massive and full to the brim). It was a wonderful gift both times I received it.

  101. That’s a precious print!

    My best gift was a honeysuckle vine. Every year my husband and daughter get me a plant for our garden. The honeysuckle has flourished the most and everyday I’m reminded of their love. And it smells nice… that’s always an important factor.

  102. The best gift I’ve received was three wild foraging classes and my first ever book on foraging wild mushrooms! Started me off on a gorgeous muddy path.

  103. Oh, that’s an easy one for me….my grandmother started giving me piece of her Guardian Cookware. I think of it as a collection and she just thinks of it as her everyday pots and pans.

  104. The BEST was when I surprised my girls with the return of their Father from military deployment. Their response was priceless!!!

  105. How beautiful! The best gift I ever gave was to my parents for their 25th wedding anniversary. I took pictures of them throughout their lives and made it into a mosaic that created a larger picture of their wedding portrait. The second best gift I ever gave was to create a cookbook for my friend’s bridal shower, made up of recipes submitted by her friends and family.

  106. Best gift I have ever given was when I was 7 to my mother for her birthday. I asked her for money to walk to the corner store and bought her a tiny wooden spoon and fork magnet set that each had a little bear and peach colored ribbon attached. I was SO proud of those things!!

    By the way the print is absolutely fabulous!!

  107. Early in my canning hobby days, my dad gave me a large All-Clad stockpot. It’s heavy enough to quickly and evenly heat jams, and it’s large enough for full canner loads of sauces and soups.

  108. The best gift I ever gave was at Christmas a couple of years ago. I made a combination photo album/cookbook for all our family members. It included 25 scrapbook pages I made on the computer, and about 50 of our favorite recipes with photos and notes. I also put in meal planners, a list of ingredient swaps, and a few other things. A lot of love went into that, and I still use our copy of it regularly!

  109. The best gift I ever gave was a scrapbook for each of my close friends, spanning the years (some even decades) of the fun and crazy stuff we’ve done together. Everyone loved theirs.

  110. Love the print! The best birthday gift I ever received was when I was about 7. My big brother made a scavenger hunt which ended with a 6-pack of the old fashioned pop bottles of Mountain Dew. My mother never let us drink pop so this was quite something. The accompanying card said “Happy Burp-day!”. 43 years later and this is the gift I still remember most fondly.

  111. The best gift is one from the heart. I love individual gifts, giving quilts or knitted hats for newborn babies, receiving a birthstone ring from my stepfather which used the gold from my father’s wedding ring, and the gift of friendship, either given or received. LOVE, LOVE THE PRINTS!

  112. A few years ago my mother in law gifted me my now beloved canning pot and canning tools, and offered to teach me how to make pickled beets. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

  113. Hummm. Best gift ever. That’s a tough one. I love presents and I’m pretty happy anytime someone thinks of me and gets me something, especially if it’s out of the blue and for no particular reason. Can’t go wrong with just a little something that says they are thinking about me.

  114. I’ve been very blessed over the years. My favorite gifts are always homemade, even if they are temporary (like food). Today is my birthday so I’m smack dab in the middle of receiving gifts but what I get most is the love and care of my family.

  115. Best gift? That’s tough. The best gift lately has been a set of Weck jars. But really, it’s a happy, healthy family. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

    Oh how I love that print! If I don’t win I may have to buy!

  116. I still maintain that the best gift I ever received was all nine seasons of “The X-Files” on DVD years ago. I know it makes me a huge dork, but, eh. πŸ™‚

  117. I have always been uncomfortable asking for gifts, but I LOVE giving them. I like picking out gifts because I am pretty good at it. That being said I think the best gift I have received recently was my fancy Nikon camera that my husband got me for my last birthday (even though I am just as excited about the new LeCreuset pot I got this year) becaue I have been able to use many of the pictures I have taken to create gifts for other people.

    Best given I think was what I gave my sister this year. I got her a kindle, but I found a cover on etsy that had a half naked cowboy on it. I happened to already have yards of matching material, so I made a matching pair of PJ pants, and two pillow cases. She hasn’t put the dang kindle down and hasn’t stopped using the pants and pillow cases. She is obsessed with cowboys and reads lots of cowboy romance novels…it was too perfect!

  118. The best gift I ever gave was also the best gift I ever received… our first Christmas together after we got married I was TDY to Puerto Rico and wasn’t scheduled to return home until the 2nd week of January or at least that is the way it was supposed to go. Instead we received updated orders two days before Christmas that we were going home the next day… can you imagine my surprise and elation to be at home with the one I loved for Christmas?! and no neither one of us had done any Christmas shopping as we were planning to hit the after Christmas sales but I didn’t care… I was HOME!

  119. The best gift ever received? Last Christmas my husband came home with two kittens he saved from the Humane Society. They’re crazy and exhausting and they make me laugh every day!

  120. The best gift I’m planning on giving this Christmas will go to my Mom. She’s a busy teacher so I’m going to plan her dinners for January, including some of my canned goods, quick bread and pancake mixes in jars, a couple spice blends and menu plans with grocery lists for fresh produce so she doesn’t have to worry about anything. I think she’s going to love it.

  121. Isn’t that the most wonderful print ever?! Wow!

    My best gift was a computer my husband (boyfriend then) bought me years ago while I was a single mom w/two girls and going to college

  122. Favorite gift? Last year I gave myself central heat for my 1904 house. Now it’s warm enough to have friends over for cooking projects in cold weather.

  123. My boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Paris in 2010. We got through airport security and to our gate before I even had a clue. He handed me some printed materials as a hint but I didn’t know french so that didn’t even give it away! It was an amazing trip, my first to Europe, and so memorable that I will never forget it. It was given with love. When I give love away, whether it is a knitted hat, canned veg, artwork, a ride, etc. it feels the best too. Giving is always better than receiving but but Paris was pretty sweet.

  124. I tried to think of the best gift ever, and got a total blank. And then my boys popped into my mind. I know it’s cheesy, but my 1.5 and 4yo sons are my best gift ever.

  125. So many….. My parents gave me a drum set for Christmas one year when I was a teenager. I just passed it on to my son who now has kids of his own!

  126. I always make an effort to give a gift that is home made or as a bonus to the purchased gift. The range goes from Painted Angel ornaments to bacon jam! The middle range includes homemade Kahula and apple butter. Giving is the BEST!

  127. When I was a teenager my mom made my a quilt for Christmas. That was definitely one of the best. I still have it and use it. πŸ™‚

  128. The best gift.. that’s a toughie! I don’t know if this really counts as a gift.. but the pots that I “inherited” when my Aunt passed away are pretty special to me. She was a Chef, and while at the time I absolutely hated cooking.. it is one of my favourite things to do now.

  129. The best gift I gave was my daughter’s gold pinky ring many, many years ago. The best gift I got? Probably my children!

  130. My well traveled father-in-law has kept all his license plates. He has some of mine too (from a different state). This Christmas we’re giving him a license plate from every state he’s ever visited! We are so excited about it. Don’t tell!!!!

  131. The best gift I gave was to my dad on his 50th birthday…Bruce Springstein tickets. My dad is a huge fan of “The Boss”, so it brought me much joy to give him tickets to go see him in concert.

  132. When I was a young girl, I loved Barbie dolls. For Christmas my mother crocheted and sewed an entire wardrobe for my Barbie family. I can recall how magical she seemed; imagine the talent to make such tiny clothing. I’m still amazed at all the things she makes.

  133. For my daughters birthday one year she asked for donated items that the Humane Society had on their wishlist then then she brought in a big box of needed items for the pets awaiting adoption.

  134. I think as I grow older, the best gifts I recieve are from my wife and children when they go to the trouble of picking something out for me. What the gift is isn’t so important as the love they actually gave to me.

  135. Best gift ever was my husband showing up at home on the day of our 10 year anniversary. He had been in Iraq for 2 years and I didn’t know he was coming.

  136. A bit cheesy but the best Christmas gift I ever received was three holidays ago when my husband & I were on a road-trip & on Christmas stayed in a little side-street hotel in the mountains of Colorado and for Christmas dinner went to the local market salad bar, loaded up and ate our of styrofoam containers on our bed as the snow fell outside.

  137. The best gift I ever gave was an out-of-print cookbook that I stumbled onto in an online bookstore– a replacement copy of my Mom’s favorite cookbook, as hers was tattered, worn and falling apart. She was so excited to have a new copy to use. πŸ™‚

  138. The best gift I ever received? No doubt about it…fall pears! I LOVE to can pears in a light syrup with a few cardamon pods added in. Not to mention… my dad’s spicy pear relish recipe – so good with field peas from the garden; jams made with other fruit combinations – raspberry pear or even better ginger pear jam; and of course we all love a pear cobbler. Oh my! I love pears and my friends who have trees and share them with me.

  139. The best gift I ever received is probably a hodge-podge of kitchen tools from my grandma. They are pretty old and worn, but they hold a lot of special meaning to me!

  140. The greatest gift I ever received was from my friend Twisty who took a car ride we had together and wrote a song about it and then recorded it for me. I still listen to it all the time.

  141. The best gift I ever gave was a surprise party for my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. They weren’t really surprised by the time we pulled it off, but it was fun to do, and they enjoyed it!

  142. For my 7th birthday, my mom gave me a 10 week old white kitten. She was sitting on my bed waiting for me. We named her bianca gato, Binkie for short. Imagine the delight of being only 7 years old and getting a kitten! It was truly magical.

  143. I love this print! I hope I win…. The best gift for me wasmy sweet granddaughter Amy who is now six months old. She’s beautiful, happy, healthy and such a good baby!

  144. The best gift I’ve ever given was to my wife when we where first dating I bought her plan tickets to see her sister. It had been two years the last time they saw each other. Still makes me happy to this day!

  145. The best gifts that I have ever gotten were my 2 children, born 2 years apart, both a few days before Christmas.
    I love the artwork – it would be so lovely with my tree themed decor.

  146. The best gifts to me, are home made from my children! I love the glued button frame with a picture of me & my son or the special ornaments made with love. As a teen, my grandmother would make angels or santas from folded readers digests or ceramic trees that lit up with multi colored lights. After her passing, those items were treasures to me. Every year when they are displayed all the wonderful memories of her come rushing back. Those are the kinda gifts I strive to give every year going forward!

  147. The print would look wonderful in my kitchen!

    The best gift I ever gave was hockey tickets for a Montreal Canadiens game to my son who had never seen them play live before. Maybe from a ‘world peace’ perspective, it wasn’t the most meaningful gift, but if I could base my answer solely on reaction?…. then I’d say definitely the hockey tickets.

    Best gift I’ve ever received honestly was my Townie bicycle with the little white basket. I haven’t ridden it yet but I will!

  148. The best gift(s) I’ve ever received have been holiday presents from my kids. Always hand-made, sincere and very much appreciated! They are true artists!

  149. The best gift I ever received was from my hubbs on my birthday. He had shopped forever and found a cookbook about wok cooking and a wok and tools to go with it. Never mind that I rarely use the cook book, I still am thrilled that he took so much time trying to find just the right thing. I may be hard to buy for but he’s a keeper.

  150. It may be cliche but my children are the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. After ten years of marriage, my first gift came and his brother joined us 4 years later. With my health problems and many other “things” that seemed to be in the way – they are truly miracles and the perfect presents!

  151. The best gift I ever gave was when I gave my heart to my husband. He in turn gave me his. Our life has beed crazy together and I still love my gift that I gave and received.

  152. This is so adorable. The best gifts I’ve ever given or received have been surprise visits. Years ago I surprised my best friend (who lives in Europe), and I was able to do that again this past August when she was home visiting her family. We both burst into tears πŸ™‚

  153. I wasn’t sure what to write for best gift given or received until I logged on. I’m going with the quilt I made my daughter when she was a teenager. OMG – she’s up there at comment #163! The great thing about the quilt is that we worked on the squares together and I like to think that it inspired her to quilt on her own, which she does indeed enjoy. We also can together when our schedules permit… Jam, baby~!

    Love that print!

  154. The best gift I’ve ever received as an adult was a Winnie The Pooh throw from my daughter embroidered with “Mommy” on it. It is always out in the living room even after 14 years. Nobody messes with Mommy’s blankie!

  155. Such a sweet print! I think that the best gift I have given was probably the basic brewing kit to my husband so he could start homebrewing beer. It’s given him a great hobby and has truly become the gift that keeps giving as we drink mostly all his creation and it makes a great gift for others.

  156. I got a Holly Hobby sleeping bag as a little girl and I remember loving it so much! I think I slept in it for at least 5 years!

  157. Oh my gosh I love that print! The best gift I’ve ever received was a few years ago when my mother gave me her mother’s journal from the 1940s. My grandmother died before I was born and it’s been wonderful getting to know her through the journal!

  158. My husband gave me a book rest thirty-odd years ago. Although it now needs rubber bands to keep from collapsing, I like it far more than others I’ve seen and keep using it.

  159. My stepmother is a particularly difficult person to shop for so when I gifted her a scrapbook of her youngest daughter (my adorable half sister) a few years ago, she actually teared up when she opened it! You really do feel like you’ve won the Olympic Gold when you’ve given someone exactly what they wanted.

  160. Once when I was sick my partner called from the grocery store and asked if I wanted anything. I was tired and he wouldn’t leave me alone, so I said I wanted a unicorn and hung up. He came home and had a stuffed unicorn in his bag. I couldn’t believe it.

  161. What an adorable print. I would love to give this to one of my two other canning friends. One of the most exciting birthday gifts I gave was a canning class for a friend who really wanted to get started. This summer she went to town canning veggies from farmers stands and her garden

  162. That’s a fabulous print. Back in the days before digital cameras, my best friend was really getting into photography, but her fancy, hand-me-down film camera broke. We were poor college kids and she didn’t have money to fix it, but I couldn’t stand how sad she was without it. So, after a few months I saved up the cash, swiped the camera from her house, had it fixed, and surprised her with it! I took a picture of her at the big reveal; she’s still got it. πŸ™‚

  163. The best gifts that I have given and received have been the various trips that my wife and I have taken over the years to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special events.

    Cheers!

  164. What an adorable picture! The best present I received were the homemade Christmas cards from my children when they were young. I would hang them on the Christmas tree every year and they would see what they did for me. That was priceless?

  165. What a lovely print! Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity. I just gave one of my best gifts ever–an entirely unexpected game, Carcassone, as a birthday present to my strategy nut spouse, who, immediately on unwrapping, pulled it open and started teaching himself to play. πŸ™‚ The other best gift I ever gave was in college. I found an amazing secondhand leather trenchcoat and gave it to my little brother for Christmas–at which point he promptly fell off his chair and wore it for years.

  166. I love this print. I don’t usually enter drawings too much, but I really liked this when I saw it! I have received many fine gifts in life, most of them kindnesses from others or the universe. But if I have to pick a tangible object I think I would say it was the Jerry Garcia print that my husband paid off for me (I had it on lay-away). He did this only about a month into our relationship. I figured that he was in it for good at that point.

  167. So, usually I am not at all about the techy gadgets, but 4 years ago, I received a Sony e-reader and I can not, would not and will not be without my book reader ever again.
    I have made up for the lack of reading in my younger years by reading everything I can get my hands on and am on my second e-reader because my first one called it quits and died on me last year.
    I have even went so far as to read the books I remembered liking, but never finished in high school πŸ™‚
    But if I had to pick something special and not as expensive as a e-reader, it would have to be a well tested recipe. Any recipe that someone is that proud of, that they have worked out all the kinks and thinks that I would like to try it myself, is one well received gift in my books πŸ˜‰ (punny, I know πŸ˜‰

  168. My favorite gift I ever got was when my grandmother gave me her canning pot. After I had the pressure tested, I have used this old pot for all my canning exploits and love it to death.

  169. No doubt hand made gifts are the BEST! Id say my most beloved gift was a hand made Valentine from my husband many many years ago. And second up was a wall hanging quilt my mom made me of my chickens πŸ™‚

  170. This is going to sound ridiculous because I’m 27 but I really love the crocheted afghan that my auntie gave me in high school. My childhood blanket had been lost by a pesky brother who swiped it an left it in a hotel in Mexico! When I got a new afghan in the mail, I was really excited. Unbeknownst to me, my aging auntie decided to use up all of her yarn to make afghans for family members as her arthritis was worsening. If I sleep somewhere other than home for more than 2 weeks, it has to come along.

  171. Hm. I think the most recent best gift I was given was when a friend offered me a place to live when I needed to move out of my apartment. I think the best gift I gave her was when I finally moved out! πŸ™‚

  172. I have three beautiful children that over the years have given me quite a few *favorite* presents but by far the best was them, they are the best gifts I was ever given!

  173. I made small accordian pocket folders with cards depicting the life story of my sister in laws grandparents using vintage photographs and ephemera. They were awesome.

  174. I think the best gift I ever gave was a wedding quilt made by myself and the wife of the groom’s other best friend. She and I had had a falling out years before, and to present them with a quilt made by the two of us (wives of the groom’s 2 best friends), with fabric from friends and family was a pretty special thing. It’s on their bed every time we visit.
    As a side note, if your husband’s lego collection fits in a jar, I’d venture to say you’ve got some crazy big jars, or his collection is not big enough! πŸ™‚

  175. I got a Baby Chrissy doll when I was a little girl. I wanted it so badly, as kids tend to do. When I got it I was so excited I could barely contain myself. I played with that doll night and day. It’s hard to forget how much getting that doll meant to me.

  176. What a great print! I would say my best present was on my birthday …9 months exactly after my birthday I gave birth to my first child, exactly on his due date! πŸ˜‰

  177. What a cute print – it would go perfect in my kitchen. I think the best gift I have received was a recent one – three fantastic knives to start replacing the junky ones I’ve had for years.

  178. Best gift given is an easy one — I gave my husband a set of bottles, some sarsparilla root extract, champagne yeast, and instructions to make his own root beer from scratch. : ) To this day, he states it was the best present ever!

  179. Last year I surprised one of my best friends (who lives about 3,000 miles away) on his birthday, and convinced several of his other far-flung best friends to join me. It was one of my all-time favorite birthday presents to give!

  180. I have a couple of favourites that come to mind. They each vie for first place for different reasons, but I think the one worth mentioning here is when I surprised my husband with a trip on his 40th birthday. He had no idea and the expression on his face when he put it all together was priceless

  181. The best gift I ever got was from my then-6-year-0ld who gave me a coupon book for all the chores and favors he would do around the house. I still have that book, and don’t think I ever redeemed one coupon!

  182. The best recent gift was recipe books my sister gave. She transposed a ton of my recipes onto new cards and created a cookbook and a baking book for my birthday last year.

  183. The best gift i ever received was my grandmothers hand written recipes in her recipe box right before she passed away. I remember making suppers (lunches) on the farm with her and although i may not cook with as much lard as she used to, those recipes have become a staple in my home.

  184. I *love* that print… sadly, the best gift I ever gave was to an ex boyfriend. He was moving across the country, coincidentally to the state that was home to his favorite hockey team. So just before he moved, I gave him a jersey- the home jersery for that team. I also showed him that I had bought myself one- the away jersery for that team. Very staid fellow, but he actually teared up.

  185. Sweet print! The best gift I gave was to my 3 grandchildren last year. Quite simple, just printed fleece with blanket binding, but they were so thrilled & cute when cuddled up underneath them πŸ™‚

  186. The best gift I ever received was salted caramel spread from a chocolatier in Paris. It was most divine eaten with a spoon:)

  187. When I was a young teenager I made my parents a handmade “quilt” depicting each of their 5 children. My mother still has it, and it’s pretty funny to reminisce.

  188. My most treasured gift will forever be my garnet necklace from my mom. It was the first piece of real jewelry I ever received, and I wear it almost everyday. It keeps me connected to her no matter where we are in the world.

  189. Being able to spend the Christmas holiday in Zurich, Switzerland was pretty darn fantastic! Thanks for turning me onto Joanna’s prints. Either way, I think I’ll get a few for some friends.

  190. Being able to stay home and not have to travel or drive around is always a great Christmas present to me. It’s great when family comes to our house then we/my wife can bake and cook up a storm for everyone. It’s lots of fun.

  191. So charming. My favorite gift that I have received has to be my cast iron Japanese tea pot, which was a gift from my mom in law last Christmas. I use it every day for my morning tea, and it’s a small, beautiful ritual that makes me so happy.

  192. best gift ever? tough one. I do love the china teapot my husband gave me for our first anniversary — perhaps because it was a total surprise. also, he gave me a really beautiful handmade bracelet when I had our first child. and my kids give me handmade bits and bobs all the time, which really can’t be beat. πŸ™‚

  193. The best gift I have ever given and received- a handmade baby quilt. So much hope and love and creativity in preparation for one of life’s greatest events!

  194. My husband gave me some gloves one year. I didn’t realize until then that he cared about my hands being warm. I thought it was very sweet, and so is he.

  195. First, this is the first time I have been to your site but I love it and will be back. I have to say that in the past few years I have begun a love affair with gardening and canning! I am thrilled I found your site.

    As for the best gift I have given, it would be the year I had no money, I was a newly single mom and made denim quilts for my kids, with their help. They each picked a top sheet to be the back. I told them the blankets were for my Dad’s Semi, he had two bunks. Shoulda seen the looks on their faces….

  196. One of the best gifts I ever gave was for my step-dad. I was over at my mom’s one night, and we were having take-out pizza for dinner. My step-dad headed out in the December cold to pick it up. When he came back with the pizza, he wasn’t wearing his jacket. Instead, he had wrapped it around the pizza box to keep the pizza hot, while he froze in the frosty air. That Christmas, I made him his first pizza bag, and he used it until it literally fell apart. Last Christmas, I made him another one and I think for this Christmas, I’ll make a third for him to take to Florida where they now spend the winter. It’s the one gift I’ve given that I know is well-used and well-loved!

    Thanks for the chance to win such a great print! It’ll even match my kitchen which is in lovely 70’s shades of orange and green πŸ™‚

  197. Best gift ever? Maybe the Baby Secret doll I got when I was 7 and slept with for more years than I’m willing to admit. Or the stuffed koala, a gift from my HS sweetheart; that koala is now in my daughter’s room, watching her sleep. Or the stuffed goose said HS sweetie left for me one morning when I was very sad over a HS team competition gone awry.

  198. I’ve been thinking about that perfect gift today, before I read your post . . . The perfect gift I received was a new 3-speed bicycle when I turned 13! It was the first new bike I ever had (i always got my sisters’ hand-me-down bikes. I was so shocked and surprised when Mom took me to the hardware store and came out the front door, smiling, wheeling out my “birthday bike”!

    My most favorite gift I gave was a Brussels Griffon pup, that cost all my secret savings. I bought it for our son, Benjamin when he was 7 years old.

  199. The best gift I ever received was the ability to learn new things. I taught myself to can by trial and error, taught myself to build bookshelves to store my canning products. If we can follow instructions and allow ourselves to learn in our mistakes, we can do almost anything!

  200. The print is so cute, I love it! I gave gifts bags at a progressive dinner via bicycle that my friends and I had. the bags consisted of home made herbed salts, lavender sugar, and hand painted dinnerware….so fun!

  201. Last year for my sister’s birthday I wrote her a silly, short play about her cats’ supposed inner lives. It was completely ridiculous and I didn’t know what she would think of it (I’d never given anyone a piece of my writing as a gift before), but she loved it despite its weirdness. I was pretty proud of it, in the end.

  202. One of my best gifts ever was a pair of socks. My sister, son, daughter and I took a vacation in Glacier N.P. in the summer of 2010. My daughter (who was 11) and I were in a gift shop and were laughing about this funny pair of socks with a moose on them. When my birthday rolled around in December, my daughter gave me the socks. I was overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness in noting something that I liked, secretly buying them with her vacation money, and then saving them for months to give to me!

  203. There is no one thing that I can think of. Mostly, just being together as a family and celebrating the birth of our savior is the best gift for me.

  204. my favorite gifts to give are recipes that are given in jars. i have several friends who are really difficult to buy for( they have everything), so i got brave a few christmases ago and gave jars of jam, tea, cookie makings. they were a great hit and i’m always trying new recipes to keep them excited. lol the print is way too cute to not be in my house, but i usually don’t win

  205. I even wrote an essay about squirreling away summer’s bounty…it makes me feel so *rich* to count jars of things I can dig into during the winter months (which are many in my part of the country). It may sound oozy and cliche, but I truly do appreciate the gift of a healthy child, and I got one right before Mother’s Day this year, so I’m still on that grateful plane.

  206. The best gift I ever gave: Last year I made Christmas cards for my daughter, a family photo card. In the spirit of our family who loves lots of humor…the picture of their holiday card was from the Halloween get-together, They were all dressed ridiculously funny. Oh, and I also sent them out for her…to hers and her hubbys co-workers and church friends. I wish I could include the photo here fr you to see. It was great!!!!

  207. The BEST gift I ever received was for Christmas several years ago from my friend. She gave me a gift certificate for a loaf of fresh baked bread every month, for an entire year. As a fabulous baker, she didn’t repeat any recipes, either; every month it was something different and absolutely delicious. I got to enjoy loaf breads, rolls, stromboli, bagels, batter breads, etc. It was lovely and yummy – a very heartfelt gift.

  208. One of the best things I’ve been given in the last few years was a vintage Ball blue canning jar with the glass lid and wire closure. It was from my Nana, who inspired me with her love for food preservation. I keep it on my counter with vanilla sugar in it…and everytime I look at it I think of her and her love for food and hospitality that she has passed on to me…

  209. The best gift I ever received was to be awoken by my young son on mothers day with a sheet spread out on the living room floor covered with pink baby rambler roses(sigh). Enough said.

  210. Hmmm…can I say that my best present was my iPhone without sounding ridiculous after these beautifully meaningful comments? I actually love the act of gifting more – and I’m pretty good at that. Especially for my kids – giant playmobil fire truck that he has played with daily – score one for mommy, uh, Santa.
    I know the perfect person on my list for this print!

  211. We tend to give gift baskets of homemade goodies – one of the best we’ve given I think is honey from our bees, homemade sparkling vanilla water, and raspberry jam made from berries on our bushes. All in jars of course :).

  212. I think the best gift I ever received was my American Girls Felicity doll from my mom for Christmas πŸ™‚ I was shocked to get her because even as a kid I knew they were so expensive. I also adore this little print!

  213. Best Gift Ever:
    At various times in my life, I’ve been given the opportunity to travel internationally at the spur of the moment and my sisters have watched my kids. AMAZING!!!

  214. A coworker gave me a gift certificate to a local cooking store earlier this year as a thank you for helping him with a project. I redeemed it for a canning class, and my new favorite hobby was born. The gift of canning — best gift ever! πŸ™‚

  215. Such a charming print!
    Best gift I ever received was a ukelele – it was a birthday present from my husband this past summer. Having not touched an instrument since the piano back in 1999 or so, I was surprised by how much I missed playing music!

    Love your blog – I’ve learned so much from you!

  216. The best gift I ever gave was taking my husband (bf at the time) on a trip to the Yucatan. We had a fabulous 12 days touring the peninsula, eating new and delicious foods, meeting generous people and experiencing once in a lifetime things.

  217. So hard to narrow this one down. My aunt gave me my grandmother’s wedding ring this weekend, and that currently tops the list. It is almost as beautifully understated as my grandmother was.

  218. The best gift I ever received was a horse for graduating from junior high with straight A’s. I rode that horse all over the BLM land around where we lived. A perfect gift for a horse crazy girl.

  219. The best gift I ever received was a care package for my 24th birthday/christmas which I spent in New Zealand. I had been overseas traveling solo for about 11 months at that point (with 6 to go). It came in a mandarin orange box and included a piece of my mum’s traditional dutch christmas marzipan shortbread called ‘boterkoek’, and from my dad a bag of cedar sawdust. While that sounds suspiciously like a lump of coal, my parents own a small sawmill which runs on their property and my dad is always covered with sawdust and the cedar smelled like home.

    I would give this print to my mum because on top of amazing boterkoek she taught me to can, and I have yet to find a match to her applesauce from the apples on our old tree back home.

  220. I learned to cook from my Mom and we shared many happy days in her kitchen. Even when I was a teenager…and a real pain…we worked things out in the kitchen as we put a meal together or tackled a cooking project. Over the years, her priced 70’s-era Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook began to fall apart. One day she gave it to me “before it falls apart, I want you to have it because I love you”. The ingredient stained pages and notes in the margin are mine forever…I was overwhelmed. Years later, I managed to find a pristine copy for her on E-bay to thank her and she cried when she opened it. This picture would look great in her kitchen beside that book.

  221. Food is such an important part of our family – farming, hunting, preserving, cooking, baking all have equal merit and when we were old enough to leave the nest, we were each given a “Fanny Farmer” cookbook to have us set up proper out in the world. It is something our kids have dog eared and will receive when they are ready to leave home.

  222. I just started canning this past Saturday! I am so loving it so far. I am excited to be giving canned cranberry apple butter and tomato jam this year as Christmas gifts.

  223. My mom gives me goodies that she has canned every year for Christmas. I love them more than any store bought gift.

  224. When I was in grade school, cutting out projects hurt my hand because I was a lefty, trying to use right-handed scissors. My grandfather, a mild-mannered gentleman, spent many hours going to various stores, trying to find me the perfect left-handed sissors. Grandma said he never showed this much passion on finding a gift in his life. I treasure these scissors and think about my “papaw” with love, every time I use them.

  225. I don’t know about the best gift ever, but I treasure everything I received from my grandprents when I was young.

  226. I love to make most of my gifts, and I think the best year was being able to make 3 different quilts for my Mom and siblings.

  227. The best gift? An engagement ring received from my husband on our (shared) birthday some 10 years ago. Just adore this print!

  228. Best gift I ever received was being able to spend time with my grandmother when I was younger. Being sent to fetch canned treats, which originated from her garden, down in the cold room via a small painted white door on the side of her house was amazing and mysterious! It is my earliest memory of this wonderful concept called canning.

  229. I often give my handmade jewelry away as gifts for almost any occasion. But, I am especially proud of the freshwater pearl necklace that I made for my grandmother. She is fairly simple in her style, so it was a challenge for me to make a necklace that reflected both of our tastes (with jewelry, I like chunky and ornate). It’s two colors of freshwater pearl with two carved leaves woven in. I know that she actually wears it a lot, which makes me really happy. She is like a mother to me, and is the one responsible for my own addiction to squirreling away jams and pickles and preserves!

  230. My in-laws were on the verge of bankrupcy last year, scrimping every penny they could just to get by as my father-in-law’s business of over 20 years disintegrated due to a shady business partner. They were at an all-time low in their lives, burnt out and not able to take a break from needing to work as much as possible to pay bills. When I saw a getaway for two to a romantic bed and breakfast on a river in a city several hours away for an amazing price on the internet, I seized the opportunity. My husband and I are struggling financially as well, but we joined forces with his brother and created a basket full of goodies ideal for the getaway, including breakfast goodies for breakfast in bed, relaxing spa essentials, tickets to a nearby movie theatre and a certificate for dinner at a nearby restaurant. The tears in their eyes when they realized what the gift was and what it meant was worth any price!

  231. At my baby shower 3 years ago one of my aunts gave me a quilt that my older sister and mom made for her infant daughter… 30 years ago! It was the best gift and I will cherish it forever πŸ™‚

  232. I don’t really get or give a lot of gifts that are surprises. My family believes in the “just ask what they want” method of gift giving (it saves the hassel of having to think of something for someone or that person having to return something they don’t want). But every once in a while, someone will see something that they know the other person will just love. So recently, for my birthday, my sister got me a copy of the annotated Phantom Tollbooth. It has history on the various expressions that get used as word play in the book and information about the drawings and all kind of things that a book/language nerd like me would appreciate.

  233. Hello, love your posts. Especially now that it’s getting cold and my mind wants to go back to the warm days of summer.
    Oddly enough, the best gifts I have ever received or given have been experiences. I grew up a middle child in a family of 7. Every summer, my mom would choose some gorgeous blue-sky day and invite me to go berry picking – just her and I. We’d tromp across the fields to the wild patches to pick black-raspberries – my all-time favorite fruit. We’d pick until our pails were full and the tips of our fingers stained purple with berry juice. Then we’d head home and make a cobbler for dessert that night. Life doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

  234. My finance arranged a multi phone facetime call on my 30th birthday because we had just moved really far away and I was missing my friends. Almost made me cry.

  235. A few years back a friend of mine gave me the gift of letting me have a long, hot bath in their squeeky-clean tub on my birthday. At the time, I was working hard on a farm and living up in a dusty loft in one of the farm buildings. Leaving the farm, soaking in that tub and feeling relaxation seep inside my skin was a wonderful gift that I was so thankful for.

  236. Best gift ever given? Probably mittens to my mom. I was an athletic kid, so the fact that I learned how to knit as an adult still blows her mind.

    Received? Surfing lessons from my husband.

  237. Best gift ever given – one year I made pajamas for each person in my family – I’ve haven’t managed to get organized enough to do handmade gifts since. Maybe this year…

    Best gift ever received – snowshoes from my husband

  238. the best give i ever gave was taking boxes of jumbled childhood photos and compiling them all into photo albums. my creative and devoted mom had kept meticulous albums until i was about 10, after that life got busy, we grew big and priorities shifted. i handcovered the albums with fabric, put all the photos in order with captions and presented them to her one christmas. (she didn’t even know i had taken the boxes of photos!) she was delighted. this was about the time my sister and i started having children who LOVED to pore over each and every page…which always lead to stories both hilarious and heartwarming! now that my mom is gone, my sister and i too love to slowly flip through each page, remembering that amazing woman that she was…

  239. Best present I ever received was from my husband two Christmas’s ago. He gave me a bottle of wine, a box of Belgian chocolates and a gift certificate to the spa. He totally indulged me. Living in a house full of men it was a nice change to get something girly.

  240. The truly best gift I ever gave was my time assisting an english challenged Chinese woman give birth to her child.
    Since then we became friends and I am teaching her to can and she is teaching me how to cook Chinese food. She is also a farmer and gives me fresh produce when they have leftovers from the farmers market.

  241. The best gift I ever gave, was an offer to give a specific dollar amount to the non-profit of the recipients choice. It was a pleasure to feel that we were both giving together in a way that might make a difference.

  242. My best recent gift was a homemade breakfast of scones and jam and hot coffee, prepared by my husband and two babies, and presented with colorful drawings (courtesy of the 5 year old), and lots of hugs and kisses from all.

  243. Gift received: every year my husband, a carpenter, makes me something for our home. Love him and all of my gifts!

    Gift given: a warm, down coat for my cold-blooded carpenter husband who works outside in the winter.

  244. best gift i ever received was my pressure canner from my mother in law…opened a whole new door of possibilities! πŸ™‚

  245. My best gift to someone was a handmade quilt. He had been badly injured and could not tolerate the cold – so it was just right for him. The fact that he rode motorcycles was not missed by me, because the print was motorcycles on a cream background. I quilted around each and every one with love, hope and good wishes. The backing was chocolate brown and the thread was bright red. It turned out nicely, probably because there was so much love put into it.

  246. The best gift I ever gave was a fig tree with folded money clipped to the leaves on Mother’s day. The money was a loan repayment to my mother. I had been putting her off every time she mentioned it because I was saving the cash up to give it to her all at one, rather than piecemeal. It was just in time too, because she was starting to wonder about my excuses.

  247. Best gift I ever received was my parents old car before I moved away. I thank them every month I don’t have a car payment and I’m hoping to buy their current one off of them so I can keep up the no car payment while actually paying them.

  248. Short time after my husband and I were married, I found his families ‘chilla sauce’ recipe in an old book. He said that no one every made it any longer because his aunts and uncles were too old to do the work. That fall, I decided to give it a try. For Christmas, each of his elderly aunts and uncles were given a quart jar. They were thrilled over the gift. When they told me it was exactly how they remembered and how much they appreciated it, it was a gift from them.

  249. My two best friends in high school threw a surprise party for my birthday, and wrapped hundreds of Starburst candies (my faves!) in inspirational/ funny quotes they knew I’d like. That was many years ago, but I still have the jar of quotes (and the friends)!

  250. My sister and I have swapped a few rad gifts over the last year and a bit. For her wedding two years ago the photographer didn’t show up, so the year after I got her a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot with a cool photographer in her city. This year she bought me a Sony eReader – for her birthday, not mine – along with a credit so I could buy a bunch of books!

  251. The best gift I ever received was a new pair of jeans…with a pair of tickets to see the Rolling Stones in the back pocket.

  252. The best gift traditions started the year 3 friends at university (one being me) decided we didn’t really have enough money to buy gifts. So, we pooled our resources, and spent an entire weekend baking. Everyone got home-made gift packs that year. More than 20 years later, we’re still at it, in 3 different cities, each of us with our own team of helpers now. My uncle would be crushed if I didn’t give him his mocha-hazelnut nanaimo bars, and chocolate-cherry-nut bark. I’m also a knitter, and my best friend always gets something purple and hand-knit (one of the somethings is always a dishcloth, so as hers wear out, she always has a new one ready to go).

    Best gift I’ve ever received? Tie between the spinning wheel and the electronic keyboard (both gifts from my husband). He knows me very, very well.

    It’s my birthday on the 12th, so I’m hoping that helps my luck!

  253. I was so proud and happy the first time I gave entirely handmade presents to everyone in my family for Christmas. That was 3 years ago and I’ve kept it up and everyone loves it!

  254. Tough question! When I was transitioning from elementary to high school my mom gave me my saxophone I’d been renting for band class. Turns out she’d worked out a rent-to-own deal with the music shop and I had no idea the whole time. That was the first time I got a big, expensive gift so it sticks out in my mind.

    Best gifts I give, I feel, are knitted and canned items. They take way more effort than ordering something online at the last minute and thankfully most people recognize the work and love that went into them.

  255. Best gift received: letters of reflection from my parents when I graduated from high school.
    Best gift given: Te clay “legless lizard” I made for a diorama in 4th grade and then gave to my mom. Must have been a great gift since she still has it displayed nearly 30 years later!

  256. Best gift I ever received was a quilt top that my deceased grandmother had made so that I would have something of hers. It was a selfless gift from an aunt of mine.

  257. The best gift I have ever received was from my Dad and Step Mom. They know how much I love to read and bought me a nook for Christmas the year they first came out. It’s one of the few things I’ve received that I use almost every day and I still love it.

  258. The best gifts I have given have been those from the heart, whether handmade baby clothes or a trip to Havana for my partner’s 40th. My favorite gifts are always heartfelt, too — a vegetarian cookbook, a beautiful framed photograph, a knitting book. I love when people know what I love.

  259. I think the my favorite present to give was last year making Christmas stockings for my son and I- to start off holiday traditions of our own. My favorite present to receive was a surprise 40th birthday party thrown by my family and including a delicious Thai feast prepared by everyone.

  260. My husband gave me an antique window with 4 panes. Each pane had a tree that represented the seasons. I have a slight tree obsession and a bit of a canning obsession so this would just be the best of both worlds!

  261. I don’t know if I could properly choose between all the lovely gifts I’ve gotten over the years! So I’ll just mention one I love a lot. My husband gave me a long fluffy down jacket one year after he noticed I was cold waiting for the bus to work. I couldn’t live without it!

  262. Last Christmas, my husband and I made several kinds of homemade ravioli, froze them, and gave them to friends. We enjoyed the process of making them probably even more than the eating!

  263. The best gift I ever received was our second son. Our first son was a struggle, hard to conceive, hard to carry, hard to deliver, and a very unhappy( though much loved) baby. Our second son was a surprise, a delightful pregnancy and is a deliriously happy baby. I always say our first son is like climbing K2 and our second is like a stroll around the lake. It was a huge gift to see that we were not in fact crappy parents but that our oldest was just a difficult baby.

    The best gift I ever gave hmmm. I guess that would be up to the recipient but I think the gift I put the most work into was the year I gave matching afghans to my grandmas. I had to start them in July to finish them by Christmas.

  264. Way back in the days before the internet and Craigslist, for my 11th birthday my Dad tracked down a used white 10 speed bike. I was so happy to get ride of my hot pink, flowerey banana seat, one speed!

  265. What stands out in my mind when I think of the best gift is a potholder that a really destitute neighbor of mine gave me when I was studying abroad in Russia almost 10 years ago. I think she gave it to me as a going away present when I was leaving to come back home, but I can’t quite remember. All I know is that I had to fight back tears when she gave it to me, and I still use it all the time and think of her whenever I see it.

  266. I would have to say that the best gift I ever given happened to be my last years homemade blueberry preserves. I gave them out to neighbors and a few weeks later one of them called me to tell me how delicious it was and even how they served it on their ice cream.

  267. Almost every year I give my mom a planner with a photo I’ve taken on the cover. I get it printed from Snapfish. It seems simple, but my mom’s planner is her lifesaver – everything is in there and it never leaves her side. She likes having a custom photo on the cover, she says people compliment it all the time ask where she got it. =)

  268. One of my favorite gifts was a hand made flower press. My friend Caitlin cut, sanded, and wood burned a quote onto it, it is beautiful! I pressed plants all summer and have so many beautiful pressed flowers because of my brithday present.

  269. The best give I ever received was my family spending money to fly me home for the holidays instead of buying me presents πŸ™‚

  270. i drew vegetables and fruit on tagboard, colored them with colored pencils and mounted them on popsicle sticks which i then ‘planted’ in the front yard of one of my besties early in the morning to surprise her. she still talks about it. so fun.

  271. Last December my husband and I went a little crazy at Penzeys.com. We decided to use our exess by making spice gift baskets for our family and friends. We got a bunch of little spice jars, filled them up and labeled them, then my husband, who is a great carpenter, made little gift boxes just big enough to hold 4 spice bottles. Everyone loved them.

  272. The best gift I’ve received thus far is my cat, Sophie. My best friend’s mother remarried and due to her husband’s allergies she needed to find a new home for her cat. Sophie was intended to be my birthday present but the timming worked out that way. We’ve been happy human-cat companions for almost 5 years now.

  273. When you are as old as we are there have been many wonderful gifts. But, the most expensive, and the one which perhaps left me the most speechless, was a few years ago. I was whining and getting somewhat weepy because the dearly beloved had forgotten about my birthday, and for some reason I really needed the acknowledgement that year. So, without batting an eye, he asked if getting me a new car would make up for it. After a very brief pause, I smiled and said, “Oh, I think so.”

  274. One of the best gifts I gave was for a White Elephant party. My girlfriends and I decided to have our “holiday”party in March, so our much needed dollars could go towards our family in December.
    A White Elephant is similar to polyanna, except you have no idea who you are buying for. Each person picks a gift from the pile. Then when all the gifts are picked, we set a timer for 5 minutes and we go around in a circle stealing and swapping gifts from each other. My gift was movie theater gift card with some candy and snacks. There was a bonus gift card of free babysitting to go along with the movie night. Since most of us are mommies with children under the age of 5, it was the most coveted gift of those 5 minutes. I managed to get a nice relaxing bag of bath products and was so amused to watch my friends friendly fight over a kid free night filled with chocolate. It was very rewarding to see my idea be so sought after.

  275. When I was in college, my mother surprised me with plane tickets to France. She said if I didn’t go then, it would be awhile before I had the chance again, and she was right! I’m so grateful to her for the experience I had there.

  276. The best gift I’ve given was how much my husband enjoyed a homemade cherry pie I made for him on his birthday. He ate the entire thing in ONE day! The best gift I’ve ever received has been a plane ticket home to visit my family for Thanksgiving.

  277. Best gift I have ever received was this year from my husband. For our 5th anniversary (the wood anniversary) he made me a necklace hanger mostly from found objects around the house. It is beautiful & functional & cost about $3!

    Best gift given would be the same anniversary I gave him a sign for his bike cave I made with a wood burner on a scrap piece of wood. Neither gift cost much, but meant the world.

  278. I am disturbingly practical, even when receiving gifts. Fortunately my husband understands this, and most of the gifts he gives me are useful. My most recent favorite was a swing-top trash can for my laundry room. I had been griping about having to carry big handfuls of dryer lint to the kitchen to throw away, and he surprised me with a trash can dedicated solely to the laundry. It proves he listens, and I use it every day.

    Of course, my all-time favorite gift is my engagement ring, but that goes without saying…

  279. My favourite gift that I have given was a hand woven blanket that I gave to a family member for their wedding. The colours were beautiful and I love giving handmade gifts. I also love receiving them as well.

  280. I LOVE IT!!!
    Pick me! Pick me!
    I’m pretty thrilled with the pressure canner I got for Christmas last year. It’s hard to pick, because I am lucky to be the recipient of many, many heartfelt gifts over the years!

  281. I think the best gift I ever gave was a sweater I knitted for my hard- to- please 9- year- old daughter. She wore it all the time until she outgrew it. It made me realize she would prefer something hand made over just about anything (except perhaps a horse!) How lucky!

  282. The best gift I have received was from one of my employees at work. What made it best was that it was entirely unexpected. The employee knew I collected pigs and found a wind chime with little pigs that hit the chimes.

  283. The best gift I had ever received was for my last birthday. Turning 26, I was a little scared and disheartened. The night of my birthday, my partner placed a poem that he had written on our notice board. That poem was a riddle, a part of a four-piece treasure hunt that sent me scurrying throughout my apartment building for the better part of an hour. At the end of it, I was in tears, my arms cradling the gifts I had always wanted: a miniature ship in a bottle, a vintage typewriter and a little stuffed editor monkey (the monkey was more of a joke, but it was nonetheless welcome). The thoughtfulness and love behind this invention overwhelmed me and made this the most memorable gift experience of my life.

  284. I admit that I am very lucky to have an incredibly generous family, but one of my favorite gifts came this summer from a friend. I was studying for an enormous test and feeling cranky and discouraged when there was a knock on my door. This friend lives an hour away drove down just to drop off 4 bags of my favorite ginger snaps to encourage me, before driving back again.

  285. When I snuck away with my niece on her second birthday and gave her ice cream (soft serve) for the first time in her life. I’ll never forget that look on her face…

  286. This isn’t touching or anything…but one Christmas I received a toy Robot from “Lost in Space.” It was my favorite show. The Robot glided along and warned “Danger Will Robinson” as one would expect! πŸ˜‰

  287. The tree canner is delightful. Whimsical.
    the best gift I was ever given was the gift my mother gave me. She spent time in the kitchen preserving her garden produce. While her garden fed us for much of the winter, the trip to our cold room (basement) was a fun responsibility, because not only did we get to scurry by the monster (gas furnace which would roar at about any time you didn’t expect it), but also we got to sniff out the best selection of fruit or vegetables to grace the meat and potatoes she was cooking upstairs. My most favorite preserved vegetable to choose was the pickled beets in pint jars, with the color resembling some necklaces of rich ladies, and the worst was the saurkraut. (sorry…it was just too long to get it prepared, and the whole house reeked of pickled cabbage. eeeew!) Sometimes I got to choose the kind of jam or jelly for breakfast. In the basement, our cold room had a special metal closet where we stored the sweet things we preserved. Choke cherry, crab apple and mint, currant, gooseberry, strawberry, peach jellies and jams. I felt honored to be the one who chose the toast toppers for the week. Can you guess what my favorite one to choose was? Rhubarb and strawberry. Second came the raspberry because my dad liked it so much.

    That kind of memory, treat or gift as it was, will last me a lifetime of cold winter nights. I love to follow in her footsteps, and have replaced my love for big batches to smaller ones (especially the pear and vanilla bean I made earlier this summer) and teach others in my area how to stuff their pantries with things that are good for you, while teaching them to be safe with the canners. Thanks for reminding me about her gift to me, and your great idea to preserve in smaller batches. Susan

  288. The best gift I ever received was a spinning wheel from my husband. He wasn’t good at hiding things like that, but there it was christmas morning. It was the best thing he gave me (other than my son).

  289. The best gift I ever got was for Mother’s Day when my kids were young and went to a ceramic painting store. My daughter painted me a plaque that said “Mom’s Office” that I still have hanging above my computer and my son painted a matching switch plate cover. Both have flowers and bees painted them.

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