Chocolate Giveaway

December 25, 2010

It is Christmas day and I have come to a place I don’t visit often.  It is the “I don’t want to cook, bake, dirty a dish, wash a dish, put away a dish ever again” place.  I made an epic dinner for my parents last night.  Normally, I stretch a meal like this out so I am doing as much in advance as possible.  Over the years of cooking for my family, throwing many dinner parties, and cooking for clients, I have gotten to be a master of the do-ahead meal.  But I didn’t expect my house to be overrun by illness – stomach flu, colds, fevers, ear infections, and pneumonia to be exact.  And so, I had to cram a lot of cooking, baking, and cleaning into a very short amount of time.  For the record, dinner was great.  The following was the menu:

Chestnut Soup
Roasted Beet Salad with Ricotta Salata
Wild Mushroom, Wild Rice, and Root Vegetable Roulade
Celery Root Mash and Blasted Broccoli
No-Knead Bread (my first time making it and WOW, was it good)
Nutella Pound Cake
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

You may remember that I said I would post everyday last week.  Because of the sick house and this menu, that did not happen and I apologize.  To make up for it, I am doing a giveaway!  Chocolate!

My dad is a retired physican.  He had a private practice and every year at this time he would come home with lots of presents from patients.  They were mostly food-related and there was a lot of chocolate.  I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  Randy does not have the type of job where people give him treats and I have the type of job that, if someone gives me treats, it’s me who made them and I’m giving them to myself.  But imagine my surprise when Randy walked in one day last week with a giant box of Vosges chocolate.

I think I’ve made it clear, about 1,000 times, that I love chocolate.  But there is too much here for me to eat and it is of such high quality that some bars come with “best enjoyed by” dates.  And I love to share.  So, leave me a comment about the best gift you got this season, and I will pick two winners.  Each one will get 5 3-ounce bars of some funky flavors (curry, chipotle, etc), some chocolate covered nuts, and something involving marshmallows (I haven’t opened the box so I can’t be sure).  Deadline for entry is Wednesday, December 29th, noon PST.  Happy holidays to everyone.

UPDATE: This contest is now closed!  Winners will be announced Dec. 30th.  Thank you all!



101 Comments »

  1. The BEST gift I got (today, on Christmas Day) was SNOW. Where I live, it’s rare. I had told myself that I would consider it a sign from my late mother (who died the Friday before Thanksgiving) that she is watching over us. What a great gift.

    Comment by Ann C — December 25, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  2. Oh my heavens, Vosges! Chicago’s best.

    The best gift I got this holiday is a trio of cookbooks: Dorie Greenspan’s latest, Ina Garten’s latest & the new NY Times one.

    Comment by Emily — December 25, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

  3. not having to travel, having the family come to us, was my best gift this year :)

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — December 25, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  4. Epic dinner is right – you have two very lucky parents!

    Comment by Maris (In Good Taste) — December 25, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

  5. The best gift was a pair or running shoes to help me burn off all the delish meals and treats I’ve been enjoying this holiday season :)

    Comment by megan — December 25, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

  6. The best gift I got? HEALTH. After 12+ years of battling with anorexia, I can finally say that both my mind and my body are in a good enough place to enjoy the festivities! The journey to wellness is ongoing, of course, but I can honestly say this is the best I’ve felt in years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything :).

    Comment by vanessa — December 25, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

  7. The one that I can’t put down is a cookbook from my mother-in-law!!

    Comment by Fiona — December 25, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

  8. Best gift I’ve gotten was having my child. She is the the best thats ever happened to me. =)

    elgrandemich at hotmail dot com

    Comment by SaraJC — December 26, 2010 @ 12:01 am

  9. The best gift I got was a laminated doily placemat that my four year old son made in school, on which he drew an elaborate self portrait. It makes me smile, and it came from the heart. :)

    Comment by Justine — December 26, 2010 @ 12:02 am

  10. My husband got me a vacuum coffee pot. It’s like a magic trick and a good cup of coffee all in one :) Thanks for being willing to share- you are a bigger woman than I.

    Comment by Abi — December 26, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  11. The best gift was being able to spend it at home with family–the first time in four years!

    Comment by Rona Y — December 26, 2010 @ 2:16 am

  12. The best gift I got was to hear my 2 1/2 year old niece (several thousand miles away) say merry Christmas, Aunt Mel, I love you so much. Everything unwrapped paled in comparison.

    Comment by Melissa — December 26, 2010 @ 2:16 am

  13. A blanket that was my great grandmothers.

    Comment by Erika W. — December 26, 2010 @ 2:30 am

  14. The best gift… christmas with my family (we live interstate). And a giant heart box with a love note inside from my husband.

    Hope you had a wonderful christmas x

    Comment by Lis — December 26, 2010 @ 2:34 am

  15. The best gift I opened today was a snazzy headlamp for finding my way in the nighttime darkness in rural Minnesota.

    The best gift of the season is that after several months of too much business travel, my husband is home for a full month!

    Comment by Yafa — December 26, 2010 @ 2:38 am

  16. no christmas celebration this year at my house – so know “material” gifts. but i did get some time off of work & a chance to walk the dogs by a ice crusted stream which were both gifts.

    Comment by jacquie — December 26, 2010 @ 3:14 am

  17. My best gift I got today was that my good friend who was going into labor 3 months ahead of schedule with her twins is ok, as are the babies – the doctors were able to stop the labor and she was able to go home from the hospital — a huge relief.

    Comment by sara — December 26, 2010 @ 3:37 am

  18. Best gift today was the day – from the “wow – he’s been here!” from our almost 5 year old – at 8:15 this morning, through the gifts (lots of trucks, lego, books and candy for our boy, a new Nigella for me plus much needed wipers blades and some kitchen stuff, a snuggly pair of slipper booties and a fuzzy hot water bottle), to a Christmas feast that didn’t cause me to get ratty and was enjoyed by all our family here with conversation and bad kid jokes afterwards, to a hubby who cleans up the kitchen to the final pronouncement from our boy – “this was the Best Christmas Ever – stupendous!”

    Comment by Charlotte — December 26, 2010 @ 5:55 am

  19. Sorry to hear about all the sickness…my little family of 3 (including my 14 mo old) was down for the count this week, too, with a NASTY stomach bug (we think it was Norovirus). All better now and ready for chocolate ;) Greatest Christmas gift –seriously — was waking up this morning feeling 100%. I’ve never had anything that violent, ever! So grateful to have my old self (and appetite!) back.

    Comment by helen — December 26, 2010 @ 6:29 am

  20. The best gift I received was being able to spend Christmas with my family ! That’s all that mattered to me!

    Comment by Wendy White — December 26, 2010 @ 7:24 am

  21. The best gift I got was more time with my husband (known each other since we were 16, married at 28, married 5 1/2 years, and welcomed our second child this year)… he got us dancing lessons :)
    By the way, I LOVE your site and the opportunity to expand my vegetarian cooking! I am not a vegetarian, but would like to eat less meat.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Comment by Courtney Hans — December 26, 2010 @ 7:51 am

  22. My best Christmas gift was being with my family and enjoying each others company. I am glad everyone is healthy and happy.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Comment by Annika — December 26, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  23. The best gift I got this season was my dad being strong enough to travel home for hospice care near his family.

    Comment by Stacy (Little Blue Hen) — December 26, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  24. The best gift I received was a handmade calendar from my 7 year old son with pictures he had drawn for each month.

    Comment by Kelly — December 26, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  25. My mom gave me a Le Creuset 5-quart dutch oven! I can’t wait to use it!

    Comment by Rachel — December 26, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  26. Wow there are so many gifts to list, but I would say being able to spend time with family and have everyone happy and healthy is truly the greatest gift. That and the baby’s new books that he is loving. A happy baby makes for a happy Mommy :)

    Comment by Kelly N. — December 26, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  27. My best gift is a 2011 calendar my 3 year old godson made for me.

    Comment by LaDonna — December 26, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  28. The Ugg snowboots from my husband. They are soooo soft and warm. Looking forward to a snow day !

    Comment by Shawnee F — December 26, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  29. best gift (other than happy and healthy family) is a retro kitchen radio. now I can listen to NPR while I cook – or eat! :)

    Comment by Katemargaret — December 26, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  30. Well part of me wants to say that my best gift was chocolate because, coincidentally, this Christmas was the first time I ever had Vosges chocolate! It was delicious and I loved being able to cut pieces of different truffles (we got the exotic collection) to try a bunch of flavors. Certainly an out of this world experience.

    REALLY, though? My best gift was a ring from my best friend. It’s the stackable kind and it has her birthstone on it. She has one with my birthstone and they fit together but we wear each others. We have been friends since birth and our moms have been friends since the first day of college. They are celebrating 40 years of friendship so we thought we’d celebrate 20! This was her gift, in part, to celebrate that. I love it and I love that I have someone that special to celebrate in my life.

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

    Comment by Dana — December 26, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  31. I was able to spend time with my 20 month old niece who kept calling me Aunt Doni.

    Comment by Joni — December 26, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  32. I think my favorite was the newborn-sized nighties in rose and tiny leopard print for my baby girl on the way! This chocolate looks amazing, and apparently dark chocolate makes smiley babies (a scientific study said so! :) Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Janet — December 26, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  33. The best gift was attending “Black Nativity” with my 13 year old son. The performance was wonderful and uplifting and the fact that I got to share it with my son made it even more worthwhile.

    Comment by Lori — December 26, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  34. We kept our gifts very simple this year, I got a nice, ceramic paring knife from my husband, the thing is awesome!

    Happy Holidays, Dana…

    Comment by SallyBR — December 26, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  35. my best gift was coming home from work christmas morning and having my 9 month old baby boy greet me with a smile and an “uhmm-ma” (korean for mommy). being a resident working nights, i was just grateful to have my baby recognize me. that, and the uninterrupted few hours of sleep that day that my husband kindly let me have. :)

    Comment by esther — December 26, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  36. The best christmas gift I got this year was to have all three of my beautiful kids home, for a brief, but fantastic holiday!

    Comment by Bebe — December 26, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

  37. My two children being here for the Christmas holiday! Love having family together for a great meal!

    Comment by jenna — December 26, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  38. The best gift I got was that my two boys were, after two weeks of pretty serious illness, well enough to enjoy the magic of Christmas.

    The second best gift I got was my husband giving me some time to (a) bake an out-of-this-world carrot cake for dinner and (b) take a most luxurious hot shower, uninterrupted by toddler needs and wants.

    Comment by Jackie — December 26, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  39. The best gift was my husband staying up on Christmas Eve and cleaning our living room and kitchen while I was sleeping. I am pregnant, and not feeling great right now. He told me he was going to wrap my presents and come to bed, but I woke up the next morning to find a spotless house and presents under the tree! I got to enjoy the morning with my husband and sons without feeling like everything was a mess.

    Comment by Kathy — December 26, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  40. I got the Boozy Baker cookbook, it has some amazing sounding recipes in it for both desserts and cocktails. I think I will make a champagne cake for New Year’s!

    Comment by Jessica — December 26, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

  41. I am very excited about some spices sent to me by my sister. Growing up with a doctor stepfather we too were inundated with boxes of chocolates around the holidays, a very fond memory for me, too – although my older brother and sister always managed to get the best ones and leave me the chocolate cherries and other nasty things!

    Comment by Karen — December 26, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

  42. Best gift received was a cookbook in French that my sister toted home for me from her study-abroad year in Bordeaux. Now I get to cook her a meal from it!

    Comment by Robyn — December 26, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  43. My best gift is my family – all year round. My daughter gave me a Nikon coolpix camera – I had fun taking pictures of our family while opening gifts.

    Comment by Karen Downing — December 26, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  44. The best gift I got this year was something I actually “gave” to my husband… forgiveness. There was an affair and finally after 5 years, I gave him the amazing gift of forgiveness. The gift was really for me– I’m now happier than I’ve ever been because I was able to let go of all of those negative feelings. I had the word “Forgiveness” engraved into a river stone. He wept upon seeing it knowing just how hard that was to give. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Vanessa Griffith — December 26, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

  45. Going home with my fiancee to celebrate with our families in Wisconsin is all the gift I could ask for. Though chocolate wouldn’t hurt, too.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

    Comment by heather — December 26, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

  46. Beside this being the first Christmas celebrated as a wife and lots of time spent with family and friends, I’d have to say the art we purchased for our new place was one of the best gifts this year! Glad to hear you and your family is feeling better this week!

    Comment by Jacqui — December 26, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

  47. I was a lucky girl this year, must have been all those macarons I baked during the year. Santa decided to bring me a new lens for the “baby” – they are so happy together right now! Can’t wait to really play with them. The best gift was being with Lenny!

    Comment by Chez Us — December 26, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

  48. The best gift I got was from the flight attendant who let me change to a direct flight home for free! And of course seeing my family.

    Comment by Jessica — December 27, 2010 @ 12:01 am

  49. Ick… I hear you on the sickness scale – us too. Not necessarily in the same order as yours, but illness abounds!

    With that in mind, the best gift this year for me was a new juicer! Bring on liquid health!!

    Comment by Lisa Faley — December 27, 2010 @ 12:05 am

  50. the best gift i got this Christmas was an assortment of gifts from my best friend in dc (i live in ca) – we spent a week in LA this summer and she found 7 gifts that were memories of our short, but fun, time together! the next best gift was a box of vosges bacon chocolate pancake mix which i made for Christmas breakfast…soooooo yummy!! definitely a new tradition!

    Comment by kim — December 27, 2010 @ 12:15 am

  51. The best gift I got was some nice relaxing time with my family enjoying the outdoors- activity and a beautiful area. We moved from Chicago just this past May and I miss Vosges so much!

    Comment by Kristen — December 27, 2010 @ 12:17 am

  52. The best gift our family got this year was a raclette oven and raclette cheese. We had so much fun last night having a Raclette party with just the four of us. Our boys loved it! The funny thing is, usually I make a big dinner and I was really slacking as far as planning ahead! Stores had closed and I was unable to purchase baguettes, and other goodies. Somehow, it all came together. I ended up making challah bread and just used things I already had at home. It was such a fun way to spend the evening. It is definitely one of my favorite ways we have spent Christmas with our family!

    Comment by Lori H — December 27, 2010 @ 1:21 am

  53. My wonderful wasband gave me a new camera – light years better than the one I have now. Dave Romanelli does fun and inspiring “Yoga, Wine and Chocolate” seminars, and Vosges is the chocolate. YUM! I’m almost ashamed to admit that I keep my Vosges in my nightstand because there are too many kids running around here eating everything in sight:)

    Comment by Rie — December 27, 2010 @ 1:32 am

  54. The best gift was cooking for 20 family members. We have been waiting years to have a house for entertaining and finally hosted our first Christmas this year. I am also blessed to have have our little girl and be 8 months pregnant.

    Comment by Andrea — December 27, 2010 @ 1:39 am

  55. Best gift (and quite possibly the most unusual one mentioned here) was a hand-crafted, porcelain bunny smoking a cigarette from the amazing Seattle porcelain shop, {far 4}. Love you!

    Comment by ReganZee — December 27, 2010 @ 2:27 am

  56. This xmas I got some great goodies! A new pepper mill, new jeans, sweater. But the best is to come! My boyfriend booked a vacation for the whole family and we should be leaving soon! :D

    Comment by Thifa — December 27, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  57. My favorite gift has been spending time with my family and really having the chance to enjoy each other’s company. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the spa gift certificate I received; I can’t wait for a massage. Happy Holidays, and thanks for the giveaway!!

    Comment by Nicole L. — December 27, 2010 @ 3:23 am

  58. The best gift I got was a new pair of jeans! I needed them so badly. Happy Holidays!

    Comment by sara m — December 27, 2010 @ 3:39 am

  59. My best gift this holiday season was having the ability to take my mom out for a day. With school and a faraway internship I had not been home in almost seven months. To freely waste time going out for a delicious meal, then dessert, then a movie was the number one highlight this holiday season :)

    Comment by Alexa @ Sohdalex — December 27, 2010 @ 4:17 am

  60. My best gift was time with my ailing mother. Each year is more precious than the next. I savor our time together – especially our time cooking together!

    Comment by Emily Murphy — December 27, 2010 @ 4:27 am

  61. The best present I received was a sock monkey jack-in-the-box from my mommy! :D

    Comment by Sarah M. — December 27, 2010 @ 4:32 am

  62. The best gift I got this Christmas was Mulan on DVD from my sister, after one of her friends stole my VHS tape years ago.. I can finally watch my all time favorite childhood movie again!

    Comment by Melinda — December 27, 2010 @ 5:37 am

  63. So hard to pick just one, but I’ll have to go with the 3.5 qt le crueset that matches my red 7.25 qt version. It’s so pretty!

    Comment by Jen (She said. She said.) — December 27, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  64. The best gift-our new kitchen:) Santa was very nice this year!

    Comment by Maria — December 27, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  65. What a generous gift! Vosges chocolate bars are probably my favorite kind to eat straight out of the package. So delicious and surprising. My favorite gift this year was a pack of three new Global knives. It will likely be my most-used as well!

    Comment by Ellen — December 27, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  66. thats a heck of a lot of comments! My best gift was my vacuum… I know, not super exciting for most, but I am anal about things feeling clean, so it was a crucial item for our new place. Hope you and your family had a great one, despite all the sickness. The meal sounds great!

    Comment by Sara — December 27, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  67. best gift: new crock pot. we cooked our christmas pork roast in it and then the posole for day after christmas celebration with our family.

    Comment by annie — December 27, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  68. The best gift I have ever received was actually this year. I have been stuck at home waiting for my papers to clear after moving to France. It’s a bit lonely for me, but I didn’t realize my soon to be husband really understood how lonely I was until he showed up at the front door with the most adorable puppy in his arms. He had been visiting a vineyard when the owner showed him a litter of pups ready for new homes; my man couldn’t resist our tiny man’s face. We named him Watson and he has just split open our hearts.

    Comment by JAntoinette — December 27, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  69. I gave my daughter a salted caramel Vosges chocolate bar in her stocking! It is our favorite. We visit the store in Chicago whenever we are in the city.

    Comment by Jennifer — December 27, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  70. The best gifts were the little homemade ornaments the boys (8 and 6) brought home from school and the cards to go with them.

    Comment by EileenQ — December 27, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  71. The best gift I had was spending time with my family and the best material gift was a Vita Mix – I’m so excited to make smoothies, soups and sorbet!

    Comment by Emily — December 27, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  72. A trip to Victoria, BC with my beautiful wife.

    Comment by Jeff — December 27, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  73. My best gift this year was the set of vintage ball jars from my brother. I have been drooling over them for months on etsy and had no idea anyone knew I wanted them. I was so thrilled.

    Comment by laurel — December 27, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  74. My family all together in my home for the first time.

    Comment by Kat — December 27, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  75. The best gift of all this year was from our youngest son, The Boy Who Saved Christmas. It had been a season of the doldrums, not much spirit, and very little on the decorating/celebrating front when he put his foot down on Christmas Eve, and the two of us ramped up the jollies with music and a nostalgic box of decorations that put us all right into the middle of The Sprit. We were decorated, we were music-ed, and on Christmas afternoon we were fed with his terrific dinner. The presents turned out to be just right for everyone, and the day was truly perfect. The Boy Who Saved Christmas – at 23. What a joy he is.

    Comment by bookboxer — December 27, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  76. Strangely enough, my favorite gift is my new blender. I love it!

    Comment by Jenny — December 27, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  77. Lucky you with all that chocolate! I can’t believe you’re giving some away, but if you insist….

    The best gift I got this year was two back to back days( Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) of wonderful meals with family and friends.

    Comment by Clara — December 27, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

  78. The best gift I got this year was a proposal from my boyfriend of 8 years. He did it in front of my family and his on Christmas Eve. i don’t remember everything that he said, but the thing that stuck with me the most was when he said, “this candle symbolizes how much you light up my life and my heart” I of course said yes!

    Comment by Corina — December 27, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

  79. No gifts, but I received great joy from giving homemade cookies to a number of friends. :)

    Comment by June — December 28, 2010 @ 1:16 am

  80. My favorite gift was the original cookbook from my great-grandmother “Rie” (Marie), complete with magazine clippings and all of her handwritten pencil notes from as far back as 1938. My parents painstakingly protected each page in plastic sheet protectors – hundreds of pages. Amazing, amazing gift.

    Comment by Kelly — December 28, 2010 @ 2:49 am

  81. The best gift of the season for me was two-fold: time off from work (let me repeat – time off from work) [lol] and seeing my brother and new sister-in-law. They got married in June and haven’t been able to come home until Christmas vacation. It was wonderful to have my parents, my brother, SIL, and me all together for the holidays.

    Comment by Libby — December 28, 2010 @ 2:57 am

  82. My best gift was new cookie items to replace my old ones. Scoop, pans, measuring cups, and two teenagers who want to make cookies with me.

    Comment by Tina — December 28, 2010 @ 3:08 am

  83. My favourite Christmas gift so far has been having cousins here from Trinidad with their own two kids. Our kids get along great and we’ve had a wonderful, large family Christmas. Beautiful!!!

    Comment by Wanda Thorne — December 28, 2010 @ 3:17 am

  84. The best gift that I received has been the time I have spent with my husband during the month of December while he was laid off. I couldn’t have wished for anything better!

    Comment by TZel — December 28, 2010 @ 3:38 am

  85. The best gift I got was to see friends I hadn’t seen in a long time!

    Comment by Heather S — December 28, 2010 @ 4:11 am

  86. My best gift was getting to come home to my cat, Bilbo, after having been gone for two days. He didn’t even rip up the apartment!
    Happy holidays Dana! I always enjoy reading your blog! :)

    Comment by Sonnet — December 28, 2010 @ 6:13 am

  87. We were able to travel north to visit family that we don’t see often! It was great (and loud) being together! Happy new year!

    Comment by Kelly — December 28, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  88. I’m allergic to wool and made an off-hand comment about maybe trying cashmere since I had heard some people with wool allergies can wear it. I thought nothing of it after I said it, but it stuck with my mother – I opened up a gorgeous cahsmere sweater on Christmas morning. Leave it to my mother!

    Comment by Tracy — December 28, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  89. Glad I didn’t miss the chocolate giveaway! I have been down with the flu as well- yuck! The best gift I got this year was on my 30th ;)

    Comment by fresh365 — December 28, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  90. My husband bought me the jeans I have been dreaming about but wouldn’t spend the money on :-)

    Comment by Liz — December 28, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  91. We experienced a white christmas for the first time – pretty special.

    Comment by Kristie — December 28, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

  92. The best present I got this year was not just what I received but how I received it. I had asked my husband for an I-pod Shuffle. Since it’s very small he of course tried to disguise it and wrap it in a larger box. When shaken it obviously had a small package held inside so I of course assumed he got me my gift. Christmas morning I tore open the package and of course there was a smaller wrapped gift. I yelled out, “I knew it was an I-pod,” and proceded to rip open the package only to find 3 small candy bars. He later handed me a beautiful blue I-pod Nano.

    Comment by Dana T. — December 28, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  93. The best gift I received was our family vacation — 4 days away w/only the kids and my husband. While I love our extended family, it was really fabulous to have a bit of us time…..

    Comment by Robin Judd — December 28, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

  94. My best gift was to be able to come home the day after Christmas from the Mayo Clinic Hospital..actually St. Mary’s Hospital which deals with cardiac problems. I had contracted walking pneumonia and pericarditis. I told the doctors, I had the ‘walking pneumonia but no boogie woogie flu’. I had had a kidney transplant and open heart surgery 6 months ago and I just got sick. This slowed down my cooking and baking. My friends and family were so worried, but they also know I am a trooper and have a sunny disposition. I was so happy to come home to my partner, our Golden Retriever Lily, the red neck dog and Zsa Zsa, the Glamor Puss. Life is so good.

    I am sorry you had all sorts of ills in your home. And I am happy you are there and give so much to each and all. Thank you.

    Peace…Sharon

    Comment by sharon buffington — December 29, 2010 @ 1:16 am

  95. The best gift was one I gave myself – I’m 44 this year, and have never trusted that I was good enough, or worthwhile enough, to be a friend to anyone. I got diagnosed with breast cancer in January, and am just finished chemo. While cancer isn’t something I wanted, it did come with gifts. It woke me up, and made me reach out to a mom’s group. Hey, if I can face a mastecomy and chemo, I can risk trying to be someone’s friend, right? So that’s what I did. I was lucky enough to make several really good friends over this year, and I ended up actually organizing a cookie exchange, and 10 women came!!! And they all said they had a great time. I still have a hard time believing it’s going to last – I feel like Cinderella at the ball, and the clock has just struck midnight! But I’m learning to trust – myself, my new friends, and maybe that I will live to see my daughter graduate university – and she is just in grade 2! Here’s a big toast to a new year, and a huge thank you to every woman who has ever reached out to a new friend – sometimes, you don’t know what a huge difference an invitation to coffee can make!!!

    Comment by Sheri e-b — December 29, 2010 @ 1:35 am

  96. Best gift: seeing my brother for the first time in three months :)

    Comment by Denise — December 29, 2010 @ 4:21 am

  97. I got an iPad and I am so delighted!

    Comment by Mona — December 29, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

  98. My best gift this year was from my mom… she got me a massage ! I’m a new mom and haven’t been away from the baby much, so it was a very special treat. Not only did my mom give me the gift of relaxation, but she also watched the baby.

    Comment by tina — December 29, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  99. The best gift I received this year was a promise. That probably sounds a bit odd. I am the sole breadwinner with a stay-at-home husband and three little kiddos. With a very long commute every day, I rarely see my babies during the week. My husband gave me (or himself?) a videocamera and promised to videotape the kids regularly during my working hours, and then send me the videos while I am gone from home. A future where I will get to see my kiddos have fun doing their daily thing is a precious gift to me and makes my heart very happy.

    Comment by Stephanie — December 29, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  100. This Christmas I got the best present. My daughter lives abroad and she gave birth to our grandson. She came home from the hospital Christmas and we got to Skype with her and meet the little guy. I could not have received a better gift.

    Comment by Robbie — December 29, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  101. The best gift I was given for Christmas has left me smiling for days! I received my first set of professional cooking knives and new pans! I am thrilled! I have been cooking non stop for days it seems like and loving every moment!

    P.S. Vosges is one of my very favorite splurges!!!! Have you tried their hot chocolate? YUM!

    Comment by Julea Sanders — December 29, 2010 @ 6:58 pm



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