This Story About The Nicest Christmas Present Ever Received Has The Internet In Tears

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Dear friends, ’tis once again the season. That time of the year when people gather together in remembrance of those things most important to the American psyche – family, friends, and sheer, unmitigated capitalism. Christmas is the multinational corporation’s most favored holiday, and for good reason. Americans spend more during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve than they do any other time of the year.

Even before Thanksgiving has wiped the cold turkey grease off its lips, businesses begin advertising specials, offerings and other cold-blooded ploys to get you into their stores or online platforms so they can wring the very last dollar out your hide

But all this capitalism with a capital C isn’t all what Christmas is about. Sometimes, its the little things.

Most people can remember theirs almost immediately. Odds are, it isn’t the most expensive gift you’ve even received, or the impressive. It’s the one that spoke to your heart and made you feel most loved.

The ones that are most precious to us are the ones that invoke the most feelings. Maybe they remind us of a special time or a place we once went to. Oftentimes, they remind us that the person who gave us the gift really cared, because they found or bought this precious item knowing specially what you loved.

Even after you’ve worn all the fuzziness off that prized bear, or sipped the last drop of that merlot – you know, the one your hubby had to go all the way to France for – you can always remember what it felt, smelled or tasted like.

Depending on the particular poignancy of the gift, it can even bring tears to your eyes and make you go back to the exact place you were when you first got that gift. It’s like smelling your favorite fragrance – just one whiff can take you back.

She spoke about the best gift she’d ever gotten, the details surrounding which had most of the internet (and us) grabbing a tissue and crying along.

As of this posting, the thread has over 50,000 likes, and for good reason. It brought us all back to a time when Christmas meant a whole much more.

I’m going to write a thread about the nicest Christmas gift I ever received. I was nine years old. I think it cost the person who gave it to me about £1.50.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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My sister was nearly five. We lived with my dad. My mum lived the other side of town with her boyfriend. Her and my dad were Not In A Good Place. She still had a key to the house and would sometimes use it, unexpectedly.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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My dad had a girlfriend I really liked. She was a teacher. She drove a green 2CV. She took us orienteering. She had let us make make menus for Christmas dinner in Black and blue and silver.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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(I wasn’t keen on this colour scheme, but I didn’t say anything, because she was really trying)

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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She didn’t live with us, though. It was the year the Snowman was really big. I loved that film, and the music and had to be a ‘snowman at the dance’ in the school play.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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Anyway, we didn’t see my mum for chunks of time. It wasn’t a great time. This girlfriend turned up and made things nice, little gestures, little noticings.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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I made my sister a card every day from Santa’s elves and hid little gifts about the house, little glitter footprints, bought beautiful soaps from the gift shop in town in the shape of sea shells, and bells and apples using my savings, and wrapped them for her.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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I made my sister a card every day from Santa’s elves and hid little gifts about the house, little glitter footprints, bought beautiful soaps from the gift shop in town in the shape of sea shells, and bells and apples using my savings, and wrapped them for her.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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I put tinsel around the spoon for her yoghurt in her lunchbox. I made and cut her sandwiches into snowflakes or stars. When I put her to bed at night I made up stories about two girls called Hayley and Jodie who went to live with the elves.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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(One night my mum turned up and she and my dad were drinking. I could hear them downstairs shouting and crying. One of them was sick on my school bag. My mum had hit a bollard and they went out to clear it up.)

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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I was always told not to tell his girlfriend if Mum had come over, but I found that hard. She was so nice, honestly. The sort of person who actually remembered to do the things she said she would, and she was so clean and nice.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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One weekend, just before Christmas, she said to me, ‘You’ve made Christmas reallly magical for your sister, you really have.’ And I puffed up, all proud and happy. Then she said, ‘It seems such a shame nobody does that for you.’ I didn’t really understand what she was saying.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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That week, one morning, I came downstairs ready to make breakfast (porridge with LOADS of demerara sugar that soaked down to to the bottom. Recreate it. It’s perfect). On the door mat was an A4 envelope with glitter on it.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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It just said, ‘To Hayley. Have a lovely Christmas. Thank you for all your help. Lots of love from Santa’s elves xxx’

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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When I opened it, it was the piano sheet music for We’re Walking In The Air.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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I had been working out how to play it myself, but I couldn’t get it quite right. And there it was, in an envelope, just for me. I played it and played it and played it. It felt like the first time somebody had actually SEEN me.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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It was the nicest thing, the loveliest, kindest, small, lovely thing. It made a difference to me, a huge difference. I remember it every year, every single year.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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That Christmas went on to be quite odd. A drunken Christmas morning thing between my parents – my mum giving me and my sister Grease and Mary Poppins and leaving. Other things. But that gift, that one small thing, taught me what it means to be noticed for who you are.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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That Christmas went on to be quite odd. A drunken Christmas morning thing between my parents – my mum giving me and my sister Grease and Mary Poppins and leaving. Other things. But that gift, that one small thing, taught me what it means to be noticed for who you are.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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It’s something I try to do, not with gifts, but with actions. She taught me Christmas, is nothing to do with showing people you love them with big money spends. For me, it will always be about giving people what they need; attention, kindness, love.

— Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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And when that happens to me, when people do that for me, it literally lasts as warmth my whole life. Notice people. Show them they matter. It’s the best advice I could ever give anyone. Not just at Christmas.

*cue the cheesy inspirational music* — Hayley Webster (@bookshaped) December 3, 2017
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The parents, at a close reading, are caricatures of every callous, removed parent in a children’s book you ever read. There’s the absenteeism – posh seeming British-isms aside, a close read of this illuminates the fact that the mother isn’t necessarily there for her children.

She makes lunch and breakfast for her sister and ensures that her sister has an amazing Christmas complete with “elves.” And the father is just as bad as the mother, because where is he while his daughter is doing all this?

What kind of parents get drunk together and vomit or get “sick” on their child’s school bag? There’s multiple layers of wrong happening here.

For her to notice that this little girl is going through all this, and to make sure she let’s her know that she’s appreciated– *Oh, God, there we go, crying again.* But if there’s one thing this thread does, is it reminds us – the spirit of Christmas is not about buying expensive things and giving the most enormous gifts. It’s being there for the ones you love and showing that you care.