The Best Gift Ever

Gifts can be big or small.

Inexpensive or extravagant.

Homemade or store-bought.

Gifts can be given that last a lifetime or just last a moment.

Gifts can be experiences or physical objects.

I love gifts.  I love GIVING gifts.   When our family decided years ago to forego the gift exchange for the Brown side I was the last hold out because I loved to find the perfect gift but it was getting to be far too much with too many grandchildren and great grandchildren being added. The simple answer was to pick a charity and donate collectively to that and we have done that for probably 10 years now and it was absolutely the best thing we could have done.

However—I still love to give gifts and several posts I have read this year have featured the best gift you have given or been given and it was easy for me to figure out what that was.

I have worn glasses since I was in 1st grade.  I started out with bifocals and those nifty blue cat eyed glasses as a fashionable first grader and moved on to other styles over the years.  When I was in college and dating Mr. Diamond he realized how much I hated wearing glasses especially when we attended college on “the tundra” where your glasses fogged over every chance they got.   So for Christmas one year he paid for me to go to his eye doctor and get fitted for contacts.   Quite simply it was THE greatest gift ever given and I love my contacts some 32 years later.

Chris and I "before" !

Chris and I “before” !

My college senior picture after contacts!

My college senior picture after contacts!

For some reason those glasses were holding me back. The sheer size of them alone was amazing but seriously—-without them I became a much more confident and outgoing person which kind of amazes me to this day.  Perhaps I was hiding behind them?

What was the best gift you ever received or gave?  I would love to hear all about it!



  1. hilaryfeelingbeachie says:

    I love the picture of you guys! Getting contacts is the best gift (although getting lasik is even better 🙂

    • Yes, it was wonderful. I am not ready for lasik yet for some reason. Chris did it last year but I just am wimpy or something. Wearing contacts is not an issue at all for me so I am not going to do it…yet.

  2. What a memorable and thoughtful gift! Love both your before and after photos and love that you have been together 32 years!
    So many years later, I still remember my grandmother’s Christmas “crumbs.” Several shoeboxes of her Christmas baked cookies used to arrive 3000+ miles from Alaska to TX packed in popcorn. They were lovingly called crumbs, because well you know…being mailed that distance in shoeboxes…they arrived crumbly.

    • Oh I bet they were delicious crumbs and what a wonderful thing that she did for you! In my family we always tried to trick the other kids into taking the broken cookies because our phrase was “crumbs are more”. 🙂 Well you had a lot of cookies if that was true!

  3. Allison Spruill says:

    You can see the confidence in your eyes in the “after” picture! For my Valentine’s birthday before we were married, Kevin purchased two settings of our china pattern and served a wonderful birthday meal on them! He even marked the china with two small dots on the bottom so we’d know which plates they were after our wedding. Such a romantic, thoughtful gift!

    • That is a very sweet story!!! I love that he did that–no small thing to get those ahead of time, I am sure, and what a sweet thing to make them so that years later you knew which ones they were! Love that story. That Kevin is quite the romantic! Merry Christmas, Allison!

  4. That is such a romantic gift. You look great before and after but after your eyes sparkle brighter. I love presents too! Giving and receiving. I’ll have to think about a favorite one tho—it’s a big question,

    • It is a big question, isn’t it??? Chris was amazed when he read my post today that I considered that the best gift. But I do! He knew that it was something that was somehow “holding me back” and wanted to help me get over that. Plus it made it easier to kiss……hehee.

  5. OMG Beth Ann I swear I had those same glasses! Different color but same shape and BIG.. 🙂 Such a sweet thoughtful gift! I started wearing contacts in high school but I sometimes still wear glasses. Especially when just goofing off at home. The best gift I ever received was a kitty. CH gave me Holly for Christmas and CH and I were married the next month. She was with us 18 wonderful years!

    • Aw….you and I have even more in common! Glasses style!!! I have a kitty named Holly, too!!! Sister to Buddy. 🙂 That is a wonderful present—there is nothing better than a cat!

  6. That is such a lovely gift and I love your photos. Merry Christmas to you all!

    • Thanks, Jeni!!! I appreciate it!!! Chris has always been so good to me and for me–always encouraging and supporting me in whatever I do. This was just another example of that. Merry Christmas to you !!!!!

  7. I keep thinking about giving contacts a try again – the last time I did, it was not a very pleasant experience but they’ve made such strides. Ash has been wearing a contact in her “bad” eye for the past year or so and she loves it… Merry Christmas!!! xoxo

    • I have never had any issues wearing them–the only thing now is that I have basically mono vision –one eye corrected for distance and one eye corrected for up close but it works! I have really bad eyes, obviously!

  8. You two are so adorable, then and now.

    I owned a pair of 80s glasses just like yours, I think. Practically drown the face. I’ve worn eyeglasses since I was four and would feel naked without a pair. I had surgery to correct crossed eyes at that young age and thank God my parents scraped together enough money to have that done.

    I love the idea of your family donating money to a charity. If only I could convince my extended family to do that…

    • Well I am sure that that surgery was a life changer indeed and how wonderful that your folks were able to make that happen for you. That is definitely something that would have been a huge obstacle to overcome. Glasses are no big deal, really, but I do love contacts for just not having to worry about something on my face all the time. Adorable??? Well, maybe not so much but I appreciate the kind words. 🙂

  9. Aw, this is too sweet, Beth Ann. What a loving, thoughtful gift — contact lenses. Every time you put them in, I’ll bet you were ecstatic at NOT having to put on glasses! Love the photo of the two of you, too! As for my most memorable gift? Gee, I’d hate to have to pick — I’ve gotten some lovely gifts over my lifetime!

  10. I love my contacts too. my husband can’t stand to wear his for more than a few hours….but when we go camping, I keep mine in the entire time – even sleeping in them and they never bother me. At home I definitely take them out before bed though.
    A friend just recently gave me a really large Amazon gift card. Hubby and I struggled about accepting because no way could we reciprocate in kind. But someone told me: don’t deny someone else the chance to be a blessing. So…..I got a new camera! A real grown up camera – not my phone camera or those ones you toss after they are developed. I’m amazingly blessed to have such a good friend – who is also generous.

  11. I gave birth to my daughter on December 15, 1974 and that was the best Christmas gift ever! I even dressed her up and put her under the tree for a photograph. When she was three she was looking through the family album and said “Look, someone got a dolly for Christmas.” I said, “It was me, and you were the dolly sweetie!”

  12. I had to thick a long time and decided it would have to be more than one. They are in order–my husband Paul, my children Paula,Christopher, Mark and Beth. They all were wonderful gifts.

  13. After 5 eye operations & all the accompanying tests, it’s like wrangling cats for Kelvin to even get eye drops in my eyes. I would never be able to work contacs. Have you considered laser surgery Beth Ann? I know Kelvin has always wanted it, but we could never afford it.

  14. How thoughtful of Mr. Diamond! I also prefer contacts to glasses.

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