Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

The Most Unusual Christmas Gift

Posted December 21, 2007
Updated December 23, 2007

What is the most unusual Christmas gift you have ever received?

My Godfather Henry Colton of Asheville once sent me a block of wood and instructions on how to carve a bear.  That was pretty unusual.  I could always count on Uncle Henry to send me something that I would never get from someone else.

There was also the Christmas of the woodpecker decoy.  This gift followed a tumultuous spring where my cedar sided house came under the persistent attack of neighborhood woodpeckers in search of a home.

Let us take this a few steps further.

What is the most generous gift you have received for the holidays?

What is the most unexpected gift?

What is the most heartfelt and meaningful gift?

And what is the most enduring gift who have received for the holidays over the years.

Let's have fun with this.


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  • fishnett5977 Dec 23, 2007

    It was the November of 1968 -my father bought me a beautiful bicycle for Christmas - purple, my favorite color, with streamers on the handle bars and all! On December 6th, he died suddenly of a massive heart attack. We lived in Greensboro and made a bus trip that year from there to my Grandma and Grandpa Stewart's home in Erwin. The young man in military uniform gave my Mama his seat and he took my brother -then 4 yrs old - and held him on his lap next to her. That kindness stuck with me throught the years. The purple bicycle was under the tree at Grandma's on Christmas morning and it was the most cherished item I've ever rec'd. I kept that bicycle until my boys were about 8,6, and 2 yrs old and the two older boys actually learned to ride on it. Finally had to put in a junk pile - was rusted beyond repair. I cried like it was yesterday!!! But the memory of my Daddy knowing how much I wanted it and the kindness of a stranger makes me smile even now!!!

  • Made In USA Dec 22, 2007

    Ok...most unusual gift...My mother gave me a ceramic black dog about 12" long. He stands on three legs, and the fourth is lifted up as though he is watering the ground. We people come over who've never seen it, they get a big laugh out of it.

  • Made In USA Dec 22, 2007

    In addition to my two posts below, let me add this...

    If you are not a member of the Golo community, then I recommend you join. We need you. Open the door and come on in. It's a free gift from WRAL, and the people are awesome. Well, most of us are! And once your there, you'll have all kind of opportunities to share the Christmas spirit throughout the entire year. Even the simple things like new friends, giving words of encouragement to people in need, or even helping others financially as a group those who have been hit with tragedy in their lives. The opportunities are endless. It's WRAL's gift to their community. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  • Made In USA Dec 22, 2007

    Ok...this year the best gift I have received is from WRAL. But before I tell you what it is, let me say this...

    I have had some powerful reality checks come along this Christmas season. And they have made me realize just how lucky I really am. They have also made me realize that the true Christmas spirit is not in getting material things, but rather in the giving of things...and not just to family and friends either. This year marked the 1st year in 18 that we didn't get a fat bonus from work. Everyone at work was quietly asking around, "You think we're going to get a bonus this year?" In their mind, they just knew they would, and was spending accordingly on Christmas gifts. The company had just finished collecting toys for Toys For Tots. Some gave and some didn't, but could have. Then this past Friday...NO bonus. Ok...that's lesson #1...there is a big difference between expectations and appreciation as well as don't count your chickens before they hatch

  • Made In USA Dec 22, 2007

    Ok...Lesson #2... Wral is the best at posting local news as it happens. We read many sad stories where a tragedy has ruined the holiday spirits of many. From murders to fatalities on our highways, tragedies have no holiday...even during Christmastime. People get robbed, shot, killed, injuried, and the list goes on and on. Lives are changed forever. A family's future is burdensome - mentally and financially. IF you're like me, sitting at your computer reading this post and very little worries on your mind, then count your blessings my friend. Consider yourself quiet lucky. Lesson 2 is realizing that the things we have and don't think about not having are a big blessing.

    So what has WRAL given me for Christmas? GOLO - where you will find some of the best people in the area socializing! A few of them have been very successful in giving to those in the news who have experienced tragedy in their lives. Many tears have turned from sadness to gladness. Good things happen in GOLO!

  • Travised Dec 22, 2007

    News I received last year almost a month before Christmas was quite a blessing. The "area of concern" first observed in 1989, has now as of the last MRI scan (2006), seemingly shrunk in size. This was the first time the size of the tumor had reduced in the years observed. Compared to the initial expected longterm outcome, this was great news!

    While not a gift really, but a newer family tradition... The day after Christmas, or close to pending weather and pilot conditions, I have been going up for a holiday flight the last few years. That has been a very enjoyable gift that we repeat every year. Even when the temp is frigid.

  • jakiret99 Dec 22, 2007

    I had a mascteomy ten days ago and the best gift ever was the doctor's report yesterday that there were no cancer cells found in the lymph nodes he removed. My family could not have a better Christmas gift!

  • kimwells Dec 22, 2007

    Most meaningful gift ever - last year 2006 - my dad had passed away Dec 29, 2005 - he was put in the hospital Christmas Eve and we spent Christmas there in 2005. While my mom was going through his things after his death, she found 50 cent pieces he had been collecting to give to all 4 of us girls - he was trying to get one for the year we were each born in. He didn't quiet succeed in this, but mom put the 50 cent piece in a picture frame with pictures of him as a little boy and then in his Army days. Not an expensive gift, but a very heartfelt gift and unusual all at the same time. I will never forget this.
    The gift that keeps giving - my 8 year old daughter - my husband and I found out Christmas Eve 1998 that we were expecting her - and it was the best Christmas present ever! Then in 2001, my son was born on December 6th - so 2 precious blessing during the Christmas season!
    Merry Christmas to ALL!

  • pwilliamson53 Dec 21, 2007

    On December 22, 1970 I had my first child (Son). We spent that Christmas in the hospital and all the babies that were borned on or before Christmas were sent home in a red stocking. But because we didn't get to go home until after Christmas he didn't get a stocking. Alittle disappointed, but oh so greatful and thankful I have a beautiful healthy 8lb 1 1/2 oz. baby boy. Tomorrow he will be 37 years old and he will be with me for his b-day. So that Christmas in the hospital, I felt the true meaning of being Thankful and Blessed...

  • Been there once Dec 21, 2007

    When my son was working his way thru college, his money was short(no existant usually). Not accepting any money from me to buy a few gifts, he instead spent what money he had on cards. The words in the cards were wonderful, but the words he added were music to my ears. I still have that card and will go back on occasion to read it again. The best present, the most unspected, and the most humbling all in one.




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Bill Leslie