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Gifts that are unexpectedly a huge hit.


happysmileylady
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Several years go my mom got all of her grandkids a pillow pet for Christmas. She tried to match the pillow pet to the kid, like the dinosaur for my DS4, the unicorn for my brother's fantasy loving kid, etc.

These have been a bigger hit than anyone expected. My sister's 11yr old son won't pack for a sleepover without his. DS4 won't go to bed at night without his. My oldest is 21. She is the oldest grandchild. She has her own apartment and is in college, and comes down a few times a month, and brings hers each time. In fact what sparked this post is she sent me a text letting me know she was home and the next line was... "my panda is still there." Lol.

So my question is... even though we all try to give good gifts, what gifts have been unexpectedly BIG hits among the kids you give gifts to in your life?

Edited by happysmileylady
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Several years go my mom got all of her grandkids a pillow pet for Christmas. She tried to match the pillow pet to the kid, like the dinosaur for my DS4, the unicorn for my brother's fantasy loving kid, etc.

 

These have been a bigger hit than anyone expected. My sister's 11yr old son won't pack for a sleepover without his. DS4 won't go to bed at night without his. My oldest is 21. She is the oldest grandchild. She has her own apartment and is in college, and comes down a few times a month, and brings hers each time. In fact what sparked this post is she sent me a text letting me know suele was home and the next line was... "my panda is still there." Lol.

 

So my question is... even though we all try to give good gifts, what gifts have been unexpectedly BIG hits among the kids you give gifts to in your life?

 

It's funny you mention pillow pets; ds13 asked for (and I reluctantly got because it seemed silly) a Green Bay Packers pillow pet a few years ago.  I just noticed the other day that he still sleeps with it.

 

I'm drawing a blank on other gifts, but I wonder what's so magical about the Pillow Pets!

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It's funny you mention pillow pets; ds13 asked for (and I reluctantly got because it seemed silly) a Green Bay Packers pillow pet a few years ago. I just noticed the other day that he still sleeps with it.

 

I'm drawing a blank on other gifts, but I wonder what's so magical about the Pillow Pets!

A Packers Pillow Pet? Do I just Google this miraculous thing?

 

ETA: Yes, yes I do!

Edited by arctic_bunny
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My daughter also became instantly attached to a pillow pet she was gifted years ago and still takes it on every trip and to every sleep over. It's a zebra and she had no history of specifically favoring zebras or lovies of any type but now Zebra the pillow pet is a member of the family.  :huh:

 

 

 

 

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A hot water bottle when my daughter was four was THE hit gift for her that Christmas.

 

The most successful gift I've ever given was to my sister-in-law who treasured a falling apart cookbook that was her grandmother's.  I approached a used book store that was able to find a barely used copy for $50.00 which my husband and I gave to my sister-in-law that Christmas.  She was incredulous; she cried.   If you're curious, it was the Delineator Cook Book

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Ok, I know it doesn't help... but I am also a Pillow Pet fan. My 7yo had a pillow that was sort of also a book that was her lovie when she was young. But all her older siblings had used it and I think it was used before (I don't remember where it came from.) The poor thing had been patched and fixed and was absolutely done in. We made a date to shop together for a new pillow. We looked at lots of pillows at a few stores and I was almost in dispair when we went to one more store and there it was.... a Bee Pillow Pet. She still loves it. And then our dollar srore had mini pillow pets for $3.... all my kids have a few. They go to camps as the camp pillow and is generally played with.

 

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Every Easter my brother and I would get a little stuffed rabbit when we were children.  When we hit the teen years Mom asked if we still wanted stuffed rabbits.  We did.  When I left home I really didn't have the room so I no longer got stuffed rabbits (I still have the ones I got as a child) but my brother never stopped loving to get those rabbits and asked if they could continue the tradition.  Even though my brother is now in his 40s he STILL likes getting a rabbit at Easter, although they are now little statues or a rabbit themed plate or rabbit ears or something else along those lines.  He still has every.single.rabbit or rabbit themed item he ever got.

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Every Easter my brother and I would get a little stuffed rabbit when we were children. When we hit the teen years Mom asked if we still wanted stuffed rabbits. We did. When I left home I really didn't have the room so I no longer got stuffed rabbits (I still have the ones I got as a child) but my brother never stopped loving to get those rabbits and asked if they could continue the tradition. Even though my brother is now in his 40s he STILL likes getting a rabbit at Easter, although they are now little statues or a rabbit themed plate or rabbit ears or something else along those lines. He still has every.single.rabbit or rabbit themed item he ever got.

I think that is so cool!!!

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I have an old college friend that really seems to have a knack for selecting gifts for my kids. We would only see her every several years so it is not like she was close and knew them well.  Here are some of the hits over the years:

 

1. Duplo blocks.  These got much more play time than I ever imagined they would over more years than I thought possible.

2. A sno-cone maker.  Used only occasionally at first because of the heavy-sugar syrup. Many years later, still getting used but now to make frozen coffee drinks!

3. Large quality towels with their first name stitched into them. Perfect for any away-from-home water activity.

 

I'm still touched about a gift DH gave me when we were poor college students.  My bookbag was falling apart and he gave me a sturdy new red backpack for Valentine's Day.  He knew my practical self well and that gift was appreciated so much more than candy or flowers would have been.

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Several years go my mom got all of her grandkids a pillow pet for Christmas. She tried to match the pillow pet to the kid, like the dinosaur for my DS4, the unicorn for my brother's fantasy loving kid, etc.

 

These have been a bigger hit than anyone expected. My sister's 11yr old son won't pack for a sleepover without his. DS4 won't go to bed at night without his. My oldest is 21. She is the oldest grandchild. She has her own apartment and is in college, and comes down a few times a month, and brings hers each time. In fact what sparked this post is she sent me a text letting me know suele was home and the next line was... "my panda is still there." Lol.

 

So my question is... even though we all try to give good gifts, what gifts have been unexpectedly BIG hits among the kids you give gifts to in your life?

 

My daughter went off to college a few weeks ago and about five days in she texted me that she missed her Pillow Pet!  She's used it for her pillow for years and the silly girl decided it leave it behind because it didn't match the decor, seemed too babyish for college, etc.

 

Now that  Pillow Pet has been to camp, band trips, sleepovers, and needless to say, went into a box the very next day to head off to college. 

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It's funny you mention pillow pets; ds13 asked for (and I reluctantly got because it seemed silly) a Green Bay Packers pillow pet a few years ago.  I just noticed the other day that he still sleeps with it.

 

I'm drawing a blank on other gifts, but I wonder what's so magical about the Pillow Pets!

I SO want a Colts one for myself.  I keep telling everyone every Christmas and no one remembers lol

 

A hot water bottle when my daughter was four was THE hit gift for her that Christmas.

 

The most successful gift I've ever given was to my sister-in-law who treasured a falling apart cookbook that was her grandmother's.  I approached a used book store that was able to find a barely used copy for $50.00 which my husband and I gave to my sister-in-law that Christmas.  She was incredulous; she cried.   If you're curious, it was the Delineator Cook Book

 

Regards,

Kareni

A hot water bottle huh?  Interesting!  A few years ago my mom put together a cook book for all her kids of recipes she has made at home, cause we were always calling to have her email her lasagna recipe, or meatloaf of whatever.  unfortunately it seems I am the only one who uses it regularly.  And now it's falling apart, I might have to get a new binder for it.  I just made her meatloaf the other day.

 

My fil got my 7 year old a my Little pony hoodie that has ears, a mane, and wings on the back. He usually never strays from wish lists but he did with this one and she wears it constantly, even when it is too hot for a hoodie.

Ooooh, I know a kid or two that would love something like that. 

 

Every Easter my brother and I would get a little stuffed rabbit when we were children.  When we hit the teen years Mom asked if we still wanted stuffed rabbits.  We did.  When I left home I really didn't have the room so I no longer got stuffed rabbits (I still have the ones I got as a child) but my brother never stopped loving to get those rabbits and asked if they could continue the tradition.  Even though my brother is now in his 40s he STILL likes getting a rabbit at Easter, although they are now little statues or a rabbit themed plate or rabbit ears or something else along those lines.  He still has every.single.rabbit or rabbit themed item he ever got.

I used to get my oldest a stuffed bunny for each Easter too.  Unfortunately they were not the big hit with her that they were in your family lol.  Not that she hated them, just that she was never a big stuffed animal kind of kid.  Just the pillow pet really lol

 

Crazy Aaron's thinking putty. All four of our kids just loved it.

 

 

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I had to go look that stuff up.  Given that they have recommendations for getting the stuff out of hair/carpet/etc listed under their FAQ page, I am thinking this is not a good idea to bring into our house.  However, for DD21, I bet she would love that stuff. 

 

I have an old college friend that really seems to have a knack for selecting gifts for my kids. We would only see her every several years so it is not like she was close and knew them well.  Here are some of the hits over the years:

 

1. Duplo blocks.  These got much more play time than I ever imagined they would over more years than I thought possible.

2. A sno-cone maker.  Used only occasionally at first because of the heavy-sugar syrup. Many years later, still getting used but now to make frozen coffee drinks!

3. Large quality towels with their first name stitched into them. Perfect for any away-from-home water activity.

 

I'm still touched about a gift DH gave me when we were poor college students.  My bookbag was falling apart and he gave me a sturdy new red backpack for Valentine's Day.  He knew my practical self well and that gift was appreciated so much more than candy or flowers would have been.

Oh I love the idea of a big towel with their name on it. 

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This past Christmas, I grabbed a stocking stuffer for DD because I needed something and didn't know what to get. I grabbed Flow Rings. Well, I should've got some for my DS, niece, and nephew too. They are very popular amongst all the "kids" (11-17) and some adults too. They still get used on a regular basis.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Toroflux-Original-Kinetic-Spring-Toy/dp/B00A8PS25W

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=trYEubHEQXM

Edited by fraidycat
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Two things that have worked well across many ages are Taluuma Totes (www.carryacountry.com) and Yeti Tumblers. Everyone from my three year old niece to my 77 year old dad likes these. (My 101 year old grandmother liked her Yeti, too. She has since passed away and I gave it to one of the nurses who worked in her assisted living place.)

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I have a nice blanket that I was given sometime in middle school. It has been with me to college and has been on my bed ever since marriage. It is throw size and goes on top of our quilt and then I often take it down with me in the morning to use on the couch. Then back up with me at night. This has been going on for about 30 years. I am not a sentimental person or prone to comfort items. It is just the perfect blanket. My dd calls it "mom's special blankie."

 

My grandmother had 27 grandchildren and was short on funds so Christmas gifts were small tokens she made. She made the softest flannel pillowcases one year. That pillowcase was used for years and came to the hospital with me through four babies. It was just so soft.

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All three of my kids have Pillow Pets and my 23 year old dd and 12 year old ds sleep with them every night.   All three also have the fleece onesies - a unicorn for youngest dd and the other two both have Pikachu.  Those are a big hit as well and worn often.

 

The kids were given snackie cups for their birthdays.  These are the cups that you put a drink in the bottom and then the snack cup screws in over that and a straw goes down to the drink part.  I don't know why they were such a big hit but the kids have been using them every day since they got them.   

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So my question is... even though we all try to give good gifts, what gifts have been unexpectedly BIG hits among the kids you give gifts to in your life?

 

We got a wagon for our oldest grandson when he turned three. We knew it would be more for dss and ddil but we also thought he'd be able to use it for years. We hoped maybe he'd put stuff in it and cart it around the yard. It turned out to be one of the best gifts we've given to them as a family. Both of our grandsons use it to pull each other around as well as to put stuff in it (often action figures or stuffed animals). Both dss and ddil put the kids in it when they go someplace where walking might tire out one or both boys. Ddil used it when walking the oldest to preschool, putting the youngest in the wagon when they went to drop oldest off and pick him up. And - the best part - the boys were Batman and Robin last year for Halloween and the wagon became the Batmobile. :D

Edited by Lady Florida.
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A hot water bottle huh?  Interesting! 

 

We'd been using ours to heat her bed at bedtime thus our daughter's delight at getting one of her own.

 

 

 Large quality towels with their first name stitched into them. Perfect for any away-from-home water activity.

 

Personalized towels were also a hit here as well as with nephews and nieces and the children of good friends.  

 

When our daughter was in college majoring in Latin, we personalized a towel for her with a Latin saying.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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This past Christmas, I grabbed a stocking stuffer for DD because I needed something and didn't know what to get. I grabbed Flow Rings. Well, I should've got some for my DS, niece, and nephew too. They are very popular amongst all the "kids" (11-17) and some adults too. They still get used on a regular basis.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Toroflux-Original-Kinetic-Spring-Toy/dp/B00A8PS25W

 

 

Thanks--I know what my gang is getting this year. Even dh will like it.

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For the OP, one unexpected hit was the nylon utensil set--like they use for camping--that we got ds2. Actually, dh was the only one who was surprised. When I suggested we get it for ds2 he thought I was just being cheapo and weird. But ds2 was thrilled--he hates the feeling of metal in his mouth or touching his teeth so he uses the nylon utensils as much as possible. Now he has 2 sets and I'm thinking he might need another this year.

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Pillow pets were a huge hit in our house a few years ago too

 

Last year, blankets were a hit!  Youngest dd and I got nap blankets from Brookstone that are without a doubt the best blankets ever.  Oldest dd got a different type blanket, but she loves it and takes it with her.

 

In years past, bedroom slippers have been big hits.  Different kinds for each person, but still a much loved gift.  Socks too.  And "beddy bears," warmers that can be reheated in the microwave (althought our micro is broken at the moment). 

 

I think these gifts have been such long lasting and endearing gifts because they are cozy.  Nothing like a warm snuggle on a chilly night, or when you don't feel well.

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For the OP, one unexpected hit was the nylon utensil set--like they use for camping--that we got ds2.

 

If you want to branch out (no pun intended!), there is also bamboo cutlery.

 

My husband's aunt had water bottles made for all of the kids in the family.  They have their name all over them in different fonts.  They were a huge hit for kids (8-15).  

 

Oh, that is neat.  Do you have any idea where she purchased them?

 

Regards,

Kareni

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a toy wheelbarrow and a fisher price lawn mower (bubbleater - which was only fed bubbles once) - were huge hits with dudeling.  he was probably about 3 - 4.

 

dudeling actually found the wheelbarrow when we were at the nursery- and I was looking at some things.  he went to go play with it.  when it was time to go- he wouldn't let go.  he wouldn't let me get anywhere near him either.  after consulting with dh - I told him we'd buy it.   he still wouldn't let go of it.  but he'd push me while following.   that night - he slept with it in his bed.

he would later come out and "help" us do yard work with it.  he'd even put dirt/etc in it to move it around.

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If you want to branch out (no pun intended!), there is also bamboo cutlery.

 

 

Oh, that is neat. Do you have any idea where she purchased them?

 

Regards,

Kareni

We have some from that's my pan. Love them

 

https://www.thatsmypan.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=73_71&zenid=37e9c867c185f0b291e147489c7266c5

Edited by athomeontheprairie
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Mine kids got personalized Disney fleece throws/blankets for their 7th birthday (6 years ago) from a friend. They bring them on trips, make tents out of them, and use them at night. Perfect size and weight. And they loved it even more because of the personalization.

 

https://m.disneystore.com/transfer/179006/blankets-throws-bed-bath-home-disney-princess-fleece-throw-personalizable/mp/1435643/1000334/?CMP=KNC-DSSGoogle&s_kwcid=AL!5079!3!198761736899!!!!296303633664!&ef_id=WUHXpQAAAOOGqjBG:20170827215954:s

Edited by matrips
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In the same genre as a pillow pet, for Valentine's Day this year, I was choosing things to send in a care package for DD20 at college. I found at Walmart a round little pillow with a cat's face screen-printed on it. I thought it was one of those Is-This-Stupid-Or-Cute gifts and I dithered about it. But I said, "Oh, why not. Maybe she'll think it's funny." And I bought it. I put a little stickie coming out of it's mouth that said, "Meow Happy Valentine's Day! Hug me whenever you miss your kitties!" Well, she loved the pillow and she stuck the note on her bulletin board.

 

I just moved her into college for her Junior year and she brought the kitty pillow and the stickie note is still on her board. Only now, it rings with more meaning because one of our kitties died this summer.

 

So funny kitty pillow was an unexpected hit.

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Swingball. That was a last minute Christmas add-on, but it has been so well-used. Not so much around the house, but every camping trip or outdoor event where people are hanging out. I'm always surprised by how it's always a new thing to everyone, but always a hit.

(Sorry no link - on the phone)

 

Rice box - when my kids were preschoolers, I filled a large tub with rice and lots of scoops/cups/tools. They are 9 & 11 now...and they still play with that rice! There's just something soothing about the feel of rice running between one's fingers.

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