We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

ask the elves

What was your best ever Christmas present? 6 people around Ireland share theirs

Bought or made, big or small: We asked people to share the Christmas presents they remember the most.

THE BEST PRESENTS aren’t always the biggest or most expensive. My dad maintains his best ever Yuletide gift was the Christmas morning when my husband and I told him we were expecting his first grandchild. Sometimes it’s the experience, the giving or the small things that bring the most pleasure.

Every week in our Ask the Elves series, we’ve been asking people around Ireland for the secrets and rituals that make up their best Christmases. From much-loved festive baubles to can’t miss Christmas flicks, we’ve loved hearing about your stars of the season.

This week our final question is: What was your best ever Christmas present?

From handmade gifts to memorable moments, you had a lot of memories.

Handmade and heartfelt: My favourite Christmas presents are always those that are made by my children. Last year, my daughter made us the most gorgeous present in her school carpentry class. It was a beautifully carved and painted bird that hangs from the ceiling and flaps its wings when you pull the long string that dangles from its chest. She couldn’t wait for us to unwrap it. The bird hangs from the ceiling beside my desk at home and is a constant reminder of the amount of effort kids often put in to creating gifts that cost nothing, but mean everything.

- Lisa Lynch

The gift of life (kind of): Best ever present? I could be cheesy and say that it was my daughter who was born on Christmas Eve, but actually it was the worst Christmas of my life (stuck in the Royal after a section that went wrong) and I’ve only just forgiven her!

- Sara Gunn-Smith

A question of timing: My best ever Christmas present was a marriage proposal! It happened at my sister’s house and I had no idea as Andrew, my boyfriend at the time, had bought me a lovely bag for Christmas so I thought that was my present.

Later in the evening as I was walking through my sister’s kitchen Andrew handed me a box, but there wasn’t a ring inside, instead it was a letter which he asked me to read. It talked about the night we first met and the time we’d spent together so far and at the end it said “and that’s why I have to ask you this question”. He then got down on one knee and proposed with a beautiful and unique ring which he had designed himself.

The best bit was that I then got to go and share the news with my family – including both my mum and dad, who have been divorced for 20 years but who were both there that Christmas Day! So to have them all there made it extra special. 

- Lauren Hampshire

Shutterstock / jazz3311 Shutterstock / jazz3311 / jazz3311

Well used: My favourite gift was a blue Power Ranger costume that I REFUSED to take off for most of my childhood. My best friend had the red one!

- Shane McGrattan

Better late than never: There were a couple of years when I didn’t get what I wanted from Santa (because maybe my parents left it too late) and I would get those presents for my birthday in March! One year the My Little Pony Paradise Estate came via my aunt in America in middle of March on two different postal deliveries three days apart and my parents told me it was from Santa because he knew it was my birthday. 

- Caitriona Gaffney

Desperate times: I don’t know if it’s the ‘best gift ever’ but our most infamous Christmas present is the Dragon House. My four-year-old had locked down his list months in advance and, at no point, had he mentioned a Dragon House… until bedtime on Christmas Eve, when he drifted off to sleep saying “I really hope Santa delivers my Dragon House tomorrow.”

Dragon House?! What Dragon House?!

Confused, but not to be beaten, my wife and I became two of those crazy parents in a toy shop at 10pm on Christmas Eve! We settled on My Little Pony stables, binned the Ponies and populated it with tiny Warcraft Dragon figurines. Ta-dah! DIY Dragon House! Our parental dignity was shattered but Christmas was saved!

- Andrew McMaster

Want to win a €100 Aldi voucher to help you celebrate in style? Enter this week’s Aldi Christmas Magazine competition right here.  

More: What’s the favourite Christmas decoration in your house? 8 people around Ireland share theirs>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel