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We asked, you answered: Here are 15 of the best gifts you've ever given.

'My gift to them ended up being one of the best gifts I ever got too.'

What's the best gift you've ever given someone?

It doesn't have to be a tangible thing or something life-changing. As long as it made a difference to that person in the moment they received it, it counts.

Image via iStock.


Giving a gift is always a wonderful thing to do, whether it's Christmas or someone's birthday or just your average Wednesday. It not only makes the person you're giving it to feel good, it makes you, the giver, happier too. In fact, studies have shown giving a gift has a greater positive impact overall on a person than receiving one.

We asked you — our readers — about the best gifts you've ever given. Your answers did not disappoint.

Here are 15 of the best gifts Upworthy readers said they have ever given:

Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

1. A prosthetic eye for a soon-to-be teacher

Image via iStock.

Kim Dahill was a member of wish-granting website Wish Upon a Hero and read a wish from a man with a prosthetic eye who was studying to be a teacher. The eye didn't fit well and caused him a lot of discomfort and anxiety, but he didn't have money to buy a new one.

"I was able to contact a prosthetic clinic in his area and they agreed to give him a new eye free of charge," Dahill wrote on Facebook. "He was so moved by this that he reached out to me to thank me and we have been friends ever since. It cost me nothing but my time, but it made a huge change in both of our lives. He is a very successful teacher now."

2. The gift of being able to buy gifts

Deborah Cook wants families to have the opportunity to be gift-givers even if they don't have the means.

"We find out what stores they could use gift cards from, including grocery stores, and we give them an envelope full of them," explained Cook. "... We like the idea of families having the ability to enjoy the holiday season in the same manner as the fortunate among us."

3. Carrying a child for a couple that had miscarried

Photo by Loic Venance/Getty Images.

"I carried a baby for a couple who would otherwise be childless. It was hell on my body, particularly my booty with all the shots, but worth every second to see their family complete." — Amy Donahue

4. A wine box full of gratitude

"A few years ago, I was hospitalized twice within 8 months for suicidal ideation. One of my safe places was my best friends house and one time he said I wasn't allowed to kill myself until I bought him one last drink, but that he would never accept it. (At this point I think I already owed him three or four). I finally found the right combinations of meds that helped me to start thriving in life so for his birthday, I wanted to do something special. He is an avid wine drinker so I decided to buy him a wine box and I had it engraved with 'the last drink' and filled it with index cards of all these words and adjectives to describe all that he has done an meant for me. He said it was one of the best gifts he's ever gotten." — Jeremy Morgan.

5. An escape to a dog-friendly hotel

Photo by Dan Kittwood/Getty Images.

When Shanon Arm's friend had no place to stay, Arm found a dog-friendly hotel and put up her friend and her canine companion for a few nights until she could get back on her feet.

"I lost my own beloved dog a few months ago," wrote Arm. "... I am still somewhat lost without him, and it was such a privilege to be able to help someone else who loves their dog as much as I loved (and still love) mine."

6. Kind words to a stranger

"I reached out to a stranger on a forum on the internet [who] had commented just two little words, but those words made me want to brighten their day a bit, lift a bit of weight off of their shoulders by being kind and offer to listen. Nothing more. Just an act of kindness from one stranger to another, who and where ever they were on this earth.

"We kept talking. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. We really got along and I found myself really enjoying this anonymous and platonic contact.

"However, one day we decided to tell each other who we were. Up to this point we had stayed away from this, but we felt it was time. It had been long enough and we felt comfortable. I told him I was a 22 yr old female living in Europe. He told me he was a 33 yr old male, living in the US. Fast forward 5 years, we have been married for 3 years now, and he is the love of my life. All because I said; 'Care to share with a stranger?'"Willemijn van Rijn-McGhee

7. A photo a loved one thought was lost

Image via iStock.

Ashley Johnson had an old photo of her as a baby sitting on her great-grandmother's lap with her aunt standing next to her. Her mother swore there was another photo with a similar pose where she's in the photo instead of her sister, but it wasn't in the album. No one had ever seen it.

"Jump forward to about 2000 ... all of the old bags of photos and negatives are out ... I'm sitting in the couch and I'm haphazardly looking through them and I find the negative strip for the photo of my aunt and the first negative was the one of my mother. The film had an extra exposure and the picture was never developed. I had the photo print[ed] and bought a pretty frame and gave it to my mom for Christmas that year. It's the most meaningful gift I have given anyone so far. It was a wonderful surprise for her (lots of happy tears!). I was so happy to give her a memory."

8. 365 memories in a jar from Target

On the surface, Danielle Auretto gave both her sisters 365 strips of paper and a jar, but it's what she wrote on the paper that made the gift so special:

"Each had a quote, family memory, the name of a family member to think about, or a wish for them. Each day that year they drew a new paper. Sometimes they would call me when they found one particularly funny or thought provoking. The next Christmas they each made a collage of their favorites with answers to some of the questions or thoughts when reading it. ... [M]y gift to them ended up being one of the best gifts I ever got too."

9. A special blanket that would've never been finished otherwise

"[My best friend] once told me his mom had started to crochet a blanket, but passed away before finishing it (five years ago, and he still never got rid of the yarn). While house-sitting, I took the bag of yarn and small swatch of blanket. I had a friend finish the blanket with a different pattern, so he could always see the part his mom's did — her final project. It is hands down the most special gift I've ever given — to see the man I admire most hold that blanket that his mom worked so hard on, finally finished." — Amanda Fliflet

10. 200 raincoats

"Last winter, my 10yr old and I crowdfunded to buy 200 high quality rain ponchos for the residents of skid row. Every time it rains, I remind her that 200 people are dry and grateful. This last Valentines Day, her and my son (4) made 300 valentines with lollipops for them too. They wanted to shine a little light where it may otherwise not." — Lisset Gutierrez

11. Tickets to a Bulls vs. Magic basketball game on Christmas Day

"I had 4 tickets to a Bulls vs Magic (Jordan Shaq) Christmas Day game while visiting in-laws in Chicago. Due to family constraints, [we] could not go. Standing on the L, I spotted a lady [with] 3 children all in bulls clothing and walked up to her and asked her if she'd like to take her children to the game tomorrow. She couldn't speak. Handing her the tickets, tears rolled down her face. A total stranger. It still warms my heart today." — Brian Kelly

12. The gift of mentorship

"[We] signed up to be a Big Couple 10 years ago on December 19th," wrote Kelly Malquist of a gift she and her husband gave. "We got so much more than we ever imagined. They are both young men now and we couldn't be more proud of both of them. It started with an hour a week and turned into family, love, patience and laughter and so much more."

13. A red scooter for an elderly neighbor

"An elderly lady, Mrs. Yates, lived next door to us. She told me that she always wanted a shiny red scooter when she was little, but Santa never brought one to her. So we got her one and placed it on her porch right outside her front door with a big bow on it and a card from Santa saying he was sorry for being late with her scooter! She was ecstatic!!" — Jennifer Inman

14. The gift of life

"I donate blood regularly," Whittney Williams wrote. "Every time, I hope it saves someone's life, or [makes their] life a little easier."

15. Letters from students, friends, and loved ones

Photo by Warenski/Flickr.

Denise Helen Norwood spent a year collecting letters from people who loved, respected, and admired her husband, then she tied the letters to balloons and invited all the letter writers to a surprise PJ party at their house.

"Our doorbell rang, and my husband opened the door to see our entire front lawn filled with his friends each holding their letter balloon," she wrote. "We all came into the house and enjoyed hot chocolate, pastries and mugs of tomato soup. The PJ's provided endless photo ops and laughter and a sweet sense of coziness. It took my husband an entire year to read all of his beautiful letters. ❤"

The "best gift ever" can be anything. It's not so much what it is but why it matters to the receiver and the thought that the giver put into it that makes it special.

Next time you're looking to give someone something, think about them and what they've been missing. Maybe it's an airline ticket so they can see their family. Maybe it's as simple as a note that says "I'm here to talk whenever you want."

It doesn't need to cost a fortune for it to mean everything.  

We also asked you about the best gift you ever received (spoiler alert: Your answers were equally beautiful). You can read that article here.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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