'Best Christmas gift of my life': More readers share their favorite gifts

News-DemocratDecember 27, 2013 

A hand-made train, a surprise visit from a son stationed overseas and a baby girl born on Dec. 25.

The Belleville News-Democrat asked readers to share their favorite Christmas gifts.

We received an overwhelming response, so here are some more of the presents that brightened your holidays:

"My three children John (8), Tommy (6) and Madeline (4) Cook, received the best Christmas gift ever this year from my parents, Tom and Judie Payne. The children wanted a remote control train for Christmas. I had looked everywhere and could not find one. Eventually, I gave up looking and told my parents that I was going to focus on other gifts for the children. At the end of Christmas day, my parents told us they had one more surprise and we ran downstairs to find a large electric train table set up. I was just as surprised as the kids! My parents worked on building this train track along with their friend, Jack Moelmann, who is an experienced electric train collector, to build an amazing train setup. Jack built the entire table by hand and wired all of the electric pieces. The most special part about it is that my parents are going to take the kids to the train store and let them pick out some pieces for the track so that they can build it together. It was a Christmas present that we will always remember!"

Ashley Cook

"I received the best Christmas gift of my life this year. My first child, a little girl, arrived on Christmas morning, two weeks early and absolutely perfect."

Ryan Bortner

"My favorite gift this year was coming home from running errands two days before Christmas and walking in my house seeing my husband in his favorite chair, my daughters smiling at me, my son Austin and his girlfriend smiling at me from the couch. Looking over seeing my oldest sons fiance on the other couch, which really confused me since my oldest son Tyler is a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and couldn't come home for Christmas this year. I then saw Tyler sitting next to her! All I could do is cry! My knees buckled and I fell to the floor crying! My son wrapped me in his arms and held me! He asked me what was wrong and all I could say was that I was so happy to see him and why was he here. He said he was able to come home and wanted to surprise me. Well, that he did! That he did! That is the best gift ever! The gift of family! I am one happy Momma!"

Sue Priebe

"My son, Brenden, bought and wrapped Mizzou T-shirts for my husband, daughter and me to announce that he has made his selection for college next year! He is currently a senior at St. Louis University High School and will be attending Mizzou next year!"

Sue Haselhorst

"The most special gift is from my husband of 28 years, Jim Marks, a new wedding ring set. It's beautiful! All the gifts were special and much appreciated but one other was a gift card to my favorite Italian restaurant, Agostino's. We absolutely love this restaurant and the service and food is the best."

Elaine Marks

"My friend had a throw blanket made for me with all my family pictures embossed on it. She snuck my iPhone and downloaded all my pictures and then had it made. She managed to get a picture of all those special people in our lives. I just love it."

Lorraine McConnell Beaston

"I received a Keurig coffee maker from my son and my husband and my son bought me all types of K-cups to try. I just love it. I can have hot tea, cafe mocha, Starbucks coffee, and all kinds of hot drinks in just minutes."

Pamela Susan Carter

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