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* When I was 7 years old, I got a box of 104 Crayola crayons. I don't know why, but I just remember being so happy about that gift. Perhaps it was because it gave free rein to my imagination." (Terri Ring of Cary, N.C.)

* When I was in the second grade, I really wanted a pair of go-go boots (hey it was 1970!) and my parents actually bought them for me. I looked so cool, strutting around in my jammies and go-go boots--even with them on the wrong feet!" (Cathy Donahue of Valley Park, Mo.)

* "A mother's ring from my husband and three sons. They gave it to me with my best friend and family all around me. They all got tears in their eyes as I cried when I saw it. It had taken all their savings and some hard work shoveling sidewalks. What a beautiful gift for a mom!" (Name withheld; Dunlap, Iowa)

* "The successful heart surgery of our infant daughter, in the 1950s when this surgery was still in its infancy." (Mrs. Joseph Gund of LaCrosse, Wis.)

* "A bear on a box with a love poem from my husband after we had gone through an annus horribilis." (Valerie Golembiewski of Tucson, Ariz.)

* "A charm bracelet from my dad that had one charm on it only--a circular charm that read `Julie' and the date imprinted on it." (Julie Osberger of South Bend, Ind.)

* "A baby doll, when I was about 6 years old. It was the one thing I really wanted." (Terri Hoshell of Warrenville, Ill.)

* A plant that was a bulb that bloomed as very fragrant white stars. It was so special because my friend carefully nurtured it so it bloomed right at Christmas." (Sister Julia Huelskamp of Donaldson, Ind.)

* "Always dogs--from my parents, from students--not for the love they bring but for the love they need." (Tom Kuk of High Point, N.C.)

* "Every year my sister gives me a scrapbook of all the memories from the year. She is the family photographer--the one who actually gets those rolls of film developed!" (Name withheld; Memphis, Tenn.)

* "My brother gave me as mall piece of the Berlin Wall. It symbolizes an international change for the better." (Jeanne Marx of Kansas City, Mo).

* "The ones made in school by kids who are 5 to 10 years old. They are so proud and make things with so much love--totally from the heart." (Nancy Rocha of Scappoose, Ore.)
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Publication:U.S. Catholic
Date:Dec 1, 1998
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