October 23, 2018 | Carl Wyndham

People Share The Most Heartwarming Gifts They've Received

“We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.”—John Lennon

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”—Kahlil Gibran

There is nothing in life quite like receiving a thoughtful, generous gift from someone. It can fill the soul with warmth and inspire people to live with more kindness in their lives. The gift doesn’t have to be much—we should never confuse the monetary cost of things for their value—it is about the thought behind it, the intent, that makes gifts special. That is the key to giving, so here are some of the most heartwarming gifts the users of Reddit have received, as inspiration.

Heartwarming Gifts facts Kennolyn Camps

42. Investing for the Family

My grandmother has shown me a bank account that was linked with a trading portfolio, current worth is 100k, she says that she will maintain control till I have a family. My grandmother worked for RJ Reynolds along with my grandfather back in the heyday, when she retired she invested both of their retirement packages and tripled it. She has already done the 100k thing for my Aunt's kids, I'm the last one without a family.

Heartwarming Gifts factsFamily Friend Poems

40. Sweet and Sad

Mine is more of a series of gifts, and I have a little story. When I was really young, we would go visit my grandparents occasionally. I remember my grandpa always giving me coloring books and markers/colored pencils. It may not seem significant, but it meant a lot to me. After he passed away, I would always get excited about going to grandma's, only to remember that my favorite drawing partner wouldn't be there.

Heartwarming Gifts facts Getty Images

38. Transplanted Love

A kidney from my dad.

Heartwarming Gifts facts

37. The Gift of Education

Unlimited free education from my grandpa. His funeral is tomorrow—I will forever be thankful.

Heartwarming Gifts factsGetty Images

36. Box of Joy

I got pretty sad as a teenager and one of my best friends gave me a box filled with all these tiny home-made envelopes. The instructions were to open one whenever I was sad. Inside the envelopes where things to make me laugh. For example, one was an article she'd cut out of a magazine and whited out a bunch of keywords and replaced them with the word "penis." Another was a picture of Peter Russell Clarke. I still have it 14 years later and it still has a heap of unopened envelopes. Just in case.

Heartwarming Gifts factsGplusnick

35. Little Brother Love

When I was 13 years old I was going through chemotherapy for a fairly curable form of lymphoma. My little brothers (11 and 9 at the time) saved up weeks of allowance money to buy me a Game Boy Color and Tetris to play during my chemotherapy infusions.

I didn’t even play video games before that, but it was so sweet that they got me exactly what they would have wanted. I played it for hours and hours during treatment and hospitalizations. At 31 I still break it out occasionally when I can’t sleep and feel loved. I remain the best Tetris player I know. And even better, my brothers are still this awesome as adults.

Heartwarming Gifts factsPixabay

34. Updated Diaries

For my 21st birthday, my Mom went through all her old diaries and copied every entry having to do with me since the day she found out she was pregnant. It turned out to be five volumes and they're the most precious thing I own. She did the same for my three younger siblings. It took her about a year to do that for each one of us.

Heartwarming Gifts factsThe Organic Prepper

33. The Favorite Book

My favorite book in high school was a paperback that had been passed around and read (and underlined, and highlighted, and signed) by 20-30 friends. By the time I reached college, the cover was gone and it was in pretty bad shape. For our first Valentine's together, my college boyfriend bought a new copy of the book, removed the cover, reinforced it, and used it to re-bind my copy of it. It meant so, so much, and I knew he heard me when I talked about what was important to me. We were together for four years.

Heartwarming Gifts factsMantasticpursuits

32. T-Shirt Blanket

I made an offhand comment to my mom a few years ago that I would love to make a t-shirt blanket out of all my old t-shirts, but I am too busy and not good with a sewing machine.

Last Christmas she got me one and picked the absolute perfect t-shirts for it—ones from high school, college, summer camp, other memorable activities, nerdy shirts, etc. I made a huge clothing donation to Goodwill the previous summer, and she had gone through everything beforehand to pick out the shirts and save them for my blanket.

It was so thoughtful, I cried. I love my mom.

Heartwarming Gifts factsDrzech

31. The Charitable Millionaire

My "uncle" (grandmother’s cousin) bought me and my girlfriend a flat. He heard how expensive our rent would be so he said for us to find somewhere and he would pay for it and then just charged us half rent. This meant we could afford to live together in a flat there was no way we would have ever have been able to afford otherwise with much more security.

He is a self-made millionaire and thinks that young people have it much harder now and wants to help out where he can. He has also recently bought a house for the homeless and built a cancer wing at a hospital. He is a very generous man.

Heartwarming Gifts factsMashvisor

30. Family Chips In

I went through some really rough times after I got out of the Army. I was broke.

I got a job offer 2,000 miles from home and everyone in my family gave me money on loan to make it work.

$5,000 they gave me. Due to the nature of the job I had everyone paid back in the first month.

I love my family.

Heartwarming Gifts factsHelping minds

29. Comic Relations

My boyfriend once created a custom crossword puzzle with questions about our relationship like the first movie we watched together, the first nickname he gave me and much more personal stuff, some of which I even had a hard time remembering but apparently he didn't forget a thing I ever said to him.

The resolution of the puzzle turned out to be an email address and a password. Logging in to the account I discovered a cute birthday card telling me how much he loved me and a ridiculously poorly drawn comic with the both of us as cats telling a story about how he burst into my room while I was embarrassing myself singing into a dildo in my hands/paws, ending with us making out. He drew it in MS Paint, I loved it.

It was just so cute, genuine and funny, I'll never forget it. And of course I still have the crossword puzzle and the comic.

Heartwarming Gifts factsRD

28. Being Kind in Honor of Vonnegut

I've always been a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut. One summer my then boyfriend now husband and I were in a bookstore and I saw a signed KV book behind a glass case that was like $500.00, and I casually said: "Someday when I'm rich, I'm going to buy that book."

That Christmas, we were living together and when I opened my gift that morning I immediately started crying. It was that exact signed copy. It wasn't the book so much that made me cry, it was just the first moment I felt with confidence that someone really did love me.

Heartwarming Gifts factsPcrevue

27. It’s The Little Things in Life

When I was a kid, my sister was dating the guy across the street. He and my sister would watch movies every Friday in our living room but I wasn’t allowed to watch because the movies would be too scary, inappropriate, etc.

One day he came over to watch a movie and I snuck in and watched a little. That movie scared the ever loving crap out of me and I got kicked out when they found out I was there. They never told me the name of the movie. Ever since then I had tried explaining the parts I saw to everyone I was friends with (before I could just Google it) and could never find out what it was. Classic "tip of my tongue" situation.

The last time I tried explaining it was to my high school girlfriend right when we started dating, when I was a sophomore. Still nothing, oh well.

For my 18th birthday, she gives me the DVD. She had done her own investigating and found out for me. It meant so much, probably the best present I’ve ever gotten. The movie was The Gate, which is still rad. I still own it!

Heartwarming Gifts factsGetty Images

26. The Shirt Off His Back

I loved this band "Asking Alexandria" in high school years ago. It was my birthday and it was a bad day. My friend Odarius had an Asking Alexandria shirt on and we were waiting outside to be picked up. He knew it was my birthday and that it was not a good day. I casually mentioned I like his shirt and the band, and he literally took his shirt off right there and gave it to me.

Most thoughtful gift I've ever received.

Heartwarming Gifts factsResusleadershipac ademy

25. They’re Minerals Marie

A couple.

My dad was a geophysicist and a rock collector. He loved his rocks. He would go on a crystal dig every fall with his twin brother—World Championship Crystal dig in Mount Ida, Arkansas. They won most years. And he'd come back with five-gallon buckets full of quartz clusters and points. He also discovered eBay and our already impressive rock collection around the house grew. Every available flat surface seemed to have rocks on it. Where wine normally is held—rocks. China cabinet—rocks. Entertainment center—TV and rocks. You get the picture. They were beautiful and well displayed, but everywhere.

One time I came home from college and he'd gotten a new specimen. A cathedral geode, but instead of the normal amethyst this one was citrine. It was gorgeous—orange crystals with a dark rock outside and a white lining. I thought it was so cool and commented on it. That Christmas I opened up a very heavy package to find my own. He'd remembered that one comment and jumped on it. I have that geode in my home today—my most prized possession.

The other gift that means a lot came from my grandma. My grandma has lived in the same house for more than 50 years. She has SO MUCH stuff. Not a hoarder—her house is very neat—but she just has a ton of stuff. For birthdays and Christmas, she will usually go into her spare room and select something to give to you (along with a check- the actual present). For one of my birthdays recently she gave me a carved wooden duck. On the bottom are my dad's initials and his age at the time—14. He had loved woodworking and this was one of his first projects. It was so sweet of her to find and give me that. I know it must have meant a lot to her—he was her baby boy. But she gave it to me to have anyway.

Heartwarming Gifts factsMuddy water decoys

24. It All Comes Around

When I was growing up my mom had a collection of little blown glass animals, including a little horse that I loved. One day I really, really didn’t want to go to school and my mom bribed me with that tiny horse to go. Eventually, she gave me the rest of her collection, which I still have. The horse I had up until last year when I bribed my daughter to go to school with it.

Heartwarming Gifts factsOodles and oodles

23. Kids Who Pay Attention

My kids prepared a meal yesterday for mine and the wife's anniversary. They themed everything in our wedding colors and had everything ready when we got home from work. It was very kind. Balloons, cake, pudding. Everything made at home with the help of their Grandma.

I was never so thoughtful as a child and felt somewhat guilty for being such a pain in the ass to my parents when I was a kid.

Heartwarming Gifts factsPlentiful Pantry

22. Books Which Shaped Her Future

I'm an autistic woman who loves animals, and I have had zoology as a special interest ever since I can remember. When I was 14 or so, my aunt sent me a book by Temple Grandin titled Animals Make Us Human.

I had no idea who that was or why she sent me the book, but I read it. I quickly realized it was written by a woman who is autistic just like me and loves animals, just like me. The book itself went into depth about animal behaviors and how it relates to human behavior, but I was hooked mostly because of who the author is.

I quickly finished it and my aunt sent me another book by her. I read that, too. The main takeaway for me was that there is a person a lot like me out there, living a successful adult life, and thus it's possible for me to live and be successful. I am not doomed by autism, and, in fact, it can actually help me, such as with the razor-sharp focus I gain on my subjects of interest.

I'm now a biology major focusing primarily on epidemiology and wildlife biology a year away from getting my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Those books really helped shape my future, and I am grateful to my aunt for knowing how to encourage me. Also, Temple Grandin is my hero, and so is my aunt.

Heartwarming Gifts factsThe lost biologist

21. The Importance of Knowing One’s Roots

I’m Native American married to a white man, I’m secretly so worried about my kids not appreciating & loving their Native roots. My best friend (who’s not Native) knows of my worries and my son recently started reading. So, for Christmas, she bought him about 20 books of Native American stories/adventures/history for kids. He genuinely loves reading them before bed and her gift has meant the world to me. She helped plant a seed.

Heartwarming Gifts factsMashable

20. Painted Memories

My sister gave me a painting of my friend and me. He died when we were young and we never got to take a picture together. To this day that painting stands next to a set of Hot Wheels cars he gifted me the year he died.

Heartwarming Gifts factsKnow Your Meme

19. The Beatles Gift

I was given an “Old Brown Shoe” Beatles album signed by John Lennon from my ex. Her dad was an old celebrity photographer so she had it lying around. I’m a giant Beatles fan so it really meant a ton.

Heartwarming Gifts factsMercado Livre

18. Special Recipes

My mom made my sister and I each a kitchen towel printed with scans of six family recipes in her handwriting. Some of them are very dirty, hard to read, but it's very special to me.

Heartwarming Gifts factsIt

17. A Golden Friend

I have a chronic illness, and after I've been active, I need a LOT of recovery time.

I have a friend who understands it and brought me a blanket. Not just any blanket, but a hand-woven cashmere blanket. This is the friend who also sends me random food parcels whenever she knows I can't cook, would call around for five minutes whenever she knows I haven't seen anyone except my husband for a few days, and generally supports me. We don't see each often, but she's my oldest friend.

Heartwarming Gifts factsCashmerewool

16. Seeing in Colors

In my early 20s, I would always go for walks with my mom because I was teaching her about counting calories and how a calorie deficit would help her to lose the weight she had been trying to get off for years and years. Since I have colorblindness, I would constantly have to ask her what color certain flowers were, or what color a bird or car was, stuff like that.

I also have a 2000 Honda Civic that my dad pitched in to help me buy when I was 15. It was still the car I had been driving through high school and college, all the way up to where I am today working full time out of college. The one problem with the car is that the radio doesn't work and neither does the cd player, but even with those issues I am happy with it and would love to drive it until it no longer works.

Fast forward to earlier this year. My parents, who both were unemployed at the time, threw me a very unexpected surprise birthday party on my 25th birthday with all my closest friends and a lot of extended family. The next day when it was just me, my parents, and two brothers celebrating on my actual birthday as a small family get together, they gave me cake and gifts. My unemployed parents went out of their way to get me colorblind glasses and fixed the entire radio system and speakers in my car.

Now, I rarely cry and never do in front of people, but I couldn't help it at that point. It wasn't really the gifts, but just the thought that I meant so much to them, especially in a time where spending that kind of money wasn't possible; I know they didn't have the money for it. I was in tears as I walked around with my dad with my new glasses on, seeing some colors for the first time among the things that I had looked at millions of times before.

But really, I could've done without the gifts at that point because I knew how much they really loved me. I made sure to pay for their groceries for a few months just in appreciation of them since they weren't working, and I took them out to dinner at their favorite places every other weekend or so, and I wouldn't let them ever pay. When my mom told me I needed to stop, I told her that money comes and goes, but family is forever.

Heartwarming Gifts factsAll About Vision

15. The Generous Crystal

I was hanging out with a well-known rock musician I'd grown close to when out of the blue he placed a pink heart-shaped rose crystal into my palm and said it connected us on a cosmic level—that any time I needed to talk I should just hold it in my hand and think of him and he'd know.

I laughed it off because he'd recently started to believe in some weird New Age stuff that I couldn't fathom and it was really out of character. He was usually just a chill guy with a great sense of humor.

Anyway, we were in California at the time (of course!) and he went back to his country soon afterward and I returned to mine. Kept in touch as usual, but one day on a whim I decided to "try" the crystal and he phoned me IMMEDIATELY. No joke. Six-hour time difference too, and it was late. He teased me about not believing his promise but I chalked it up to coincidence...

Until it happened again. I was in the bathtub playing with the crystal and I thought of him, mentally asked him to call, and the phone rang. Got out, answered, yep, it's him. After the third time it freaked me out and I never used it that way again, but for years after he died, holding it was the only thing that could pull me out of my darkest depression. I'd just feel such love and comfort emanating from the crystal every time.

These incidents occurred in the late '80s/early '90s and I still have the crystal. What's crazy is that he was battling his own demons that would eventually consume him, and I was just a typical teenage girl with typical teen angst, ten years his junior, yet he gave me a gift that probably saved my life, though he was powerless to save his own. To this day I still don't know if it's all been a wild coincidence or if he managed to discover something beyond our understanding...

Heartwarming Gifts factsSo Good Mojo Co.

14. Magical DVD

It's small but meant the world to me. My family wasn't really into documenting things growing up and my dad died when I was a kid so I had just a few pictures and an old home movie from Christmas '91. Every year or so I'd pop in the tape and watch the 5ish minutes of my dad and I'd remember his expressions and his voice and it helped when I felt down about it.

It's a nearly 30-year-old tape and the quality has been dropping over the years. I popped it in this past November (anniversary of his death) and the tape was grainy and the sound was spotty and crackly to the point I couldn't hear his voice at all. I was crushed. I was bummed about it for a month and on Christmas morning my wife hands me a card and inside it was an unlabeled DVD. She had it transferred over and the guy who did it did some magic and the sound was back and perfect. I watched it, cried my eyes out and my sons got to clearly hear their grandfather's voice for the first time.

Heartwarming Gifts factsGetty Images

13. Leave Your Troubles at the Tree

I came home from work one day to find my dad in my front yard planting a mini pine tree. It's still only like three feet tall to this day. I asked him what was up as I walked up to my door, wondering why he and my girlfriend were covered in sweat and dirt in the Florida heat. He pointed to the tree I hadn't noticed yet and said "I bought you a trouble tree."

My whole life, my parents kept a tree near the front door, and they always said that when you get home, you leave all your troubles from the outside at the tree, so you're at peace in your house. It's always served as a reminder to let yourself be at ease when you are at home.

Heartwarming Gifts factsTurpin Landscaping

12. Student Reciprocation

A music box from a former student with an engraved plate on the top that reads: "Thank you for giving me the gift of music. Now I give it back to you."

Heartwarming Gifts factsNidec-sankyo

11. Feeding the Homeless

To give you some context: I’m homeless and ended up out of my house after coming out as trans.

December, my savings were starting to run out, and slowly but surely I could afford to feed myself less and less. On the day before winter break, my friend showed up and says she has a Christmas present for me, but we have to walk there. She takes me to the university’s market.

She holds out her ID and says, “This has $174 dining dollars left on it. Buy as much as you can. Merry Christmas.” I bought so much, I could feed myself for a month. I’ll never forget it.

Heartwarming Gifts factsHomeTimes

10. Handmade Wedding Dress

My mom made my wedding dress. She made something that fit my personality and fashion tastes beautifully. She recently made my sister’s wedding dress and it was even more beautiful.

Heartwarming Gifts factsPinterest

9. Cousinly Love

When I was growing up my cousin, who is 11 years older than I, would give me attention. I was highly abused so this meant everything to me. We are still very close (I'm 58, she's 69) and for a real treat, we exchange Christmas boxes. Last year, she sent me a beautiful bed quilt that she had made for me. I was deeply moved by this as it means now that she's constantly with me. She keeps me warm and taken care of. I love you, Janet.

Heartwarming Gifts factsThom haus handmade

8. Meaningful Valentine’s Day

Back in elementary and middle school, I was the real unpopular nerdy kid who always was carrying a different thick book every couple of days. I think I practically lived in the library. As an unwanted side effect, I got bullied pretty hard and was never really the object of any attention from the opposite gender, so when Valentine's day would roll around I never got any of the “school-sanctioned” carnations or candy and never received any gifts.

As one can imagine this really killed any self-confidence I might have had and (on top of other things that were going on in my life) made my then depression a lot worse.

Fast forward a couple years to eighth grade and my best friend at the time gives me a gift bag with a heart-shaped box of chocolate and a Siamese cat stuffed animal. It was totally platonic and I guess she just thought I deserved something to look forward to and enjoy like other people on Valentine's.

I’m now 26 and we aren’t in contact anymore but I still have that stuffed Siamese cat sitting on my bedside table.

Heartwarming Gifts factsWild Republic

7. An Incredible Daughter

When my wife and I got married in 2004, we adopted a petite black lab mix female from a dog pound in Japan. She traveled the world with us, was there for us when my wife and I went through two back to back miscarriages, and was my best friend. She died in 2015.

For the holidays in 2016, my daughter (11 at the time) spent her lunch money the previous February (the anniversary of our dog's death) on a small figurine of a black lab puppy that looked just like ours, wrapped it up, and gave it to me on the morning of December 25th. She told me that since I always miss my dog, she wanted me to have something to remind me of her.

I spent most of the day in tears, because at 37 years old, it's the most meaningful thing anyone has ever given me (other than my wife giving me two amazing ankle biters who grew up to be smarter than I ever will be).

Heartwarming Gifts factsPicClick

6. Souvenirs

I married my wife in Bermuda on a beautiful pink sand beach. My brother was my best man and was great all throughout the day. But the cherry on the cake was at the end of the evening when all the proceedings were done and everyone was pretty drunk and having a nice time. He comes over and hands me two glass bottles full of pink sand. My face was one of confusion. He tells me it's the exact same sand my wife and I stood on when we got married.

Total cost? Probably $2. But I'll be damned if I didn't bawl like a damn baby. It's one of the greatest gifts I've ever received and thanks to him, my wife and I now have the exact spot we married sitting with us in our front room as a decoration.

Heartwarming Gifts factsImgur

5. The Butterfly Effect

For Christmas two years ago, my mother had sent my grandmother a butterfly necklace. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away on Christmas Eve so she was never able to open the gift. My aunt sent the necklace back and my mother kept it in her jewelry box.

This year when I was getting ready for graduation, my mother told me to turn around. Pretty commonplace since I never wear jewelry and she's always insisting I wear something. When I looked in the mirror, it was my grandmother's butterfly necklace. One of my grandmother's final wishes was to see me graduate college, and this was my mother's way of making sure she could see it.

I cried. A lot.

Heartwarming Gifts factsShop with a Mission

4. Rekindling the Passion

Used to do B&W photography when I was young ... even managed a few solo shows. Then I move to a different province, hit tough times, and end up having to sell all of my gear. Canon A1, ZoneXI field camera, a dozen lenses, 4x5 darkroom enlarger and all the darkroom goodies ... everything.

Moved back home, got my life back on track, and then meet my future wife. I tell her my photography past and its unfortunate outcome, and think nothing more of it. My birthday arrives many months later and I open a tall cylindrical tin from her. Inside is a mint condition Canon A1 camera body, and tickets to see David Bowie.

I literally cried.

Did I mention I also told her I didn't think I would ever get to see Bowie live?

I asked her to marry me a month later.

Heartwarming Gifts facts

3. Cool Dad

A rock.

Seriously. When I was growing up, I had a special boulder I would sit on. There was a tree growing right next to it, providing perfect shade, and the slope of the rock was just right for leaning against. I spent half my childhood/early teenage years out there reading and daydreaming with my dog; it was where people knew to look for me if they couldn't find me in the house.

When my parents got divorced and had to sell the property, my dad took a sledgehammer out to the rock, broke a big chunk off, and gave it to me so I would have a piece of it wherever I go. I cried like a baby.

Heartwarming Gifts facts Wol Hawaii

2. Anonymous Angel

One Christmas time was lean for me and the family. Was recently out of work and really had no way of getting the kids anything decent for Christmas.

Out of the blue, this guy shows up on my door, confirms my name, and hands me a gift bag and a GARBAGE bag full of wrapped toys, even a couple things for me and the missus. Also a $200 gift card to Fred Meyer.

To this day, don't know who my secret angel was, but it was just the best gift ever.

Heartwarming Gifts factsLinkedin

1. Always Check the Bag

A friend gave me a stuffed bear during the toughest part of my life, and naturally, I kept it on a shelf.

Over a year later, I discovered there was a piece of paper in the bag she gave it to me in and it was folded in half and had writing on all sides. I cried like a baby.

Heartwarming Gifts factsTime

Sources: , , 

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