Best Gift I Ever Received...

As a gift blogger, I am often asked "What is the best gift you ever received?"  Though I have several favorites from childhood, the best gift I ever received as an adult was a Reed & Barton silver bell ornament at Christmas.

My grandmother had passed away in November of 2008 at the age of 97, and I was grieving her loss as she had been a huge part of my life.  My dear friend, Meg G., had heard my many stories about my grandmother, and knew how important she was to me.

For Christmas that year, Meg presented me with a Reed & Barton silver bell ornament engraved with "In Loving Memory of Nana" and the year "2008."  What took my breath away was the note she enclosed.  Borrowing from that much beloved Christmas movie, It's A Wonderful Life, she wrote:

"Every time a bell rings an angel gets its' wings."

Though I have seen that movie at least 30 times, that simple sweet phrase is timeless.  The sentiment combined with an actual bell perfectly captured my grief and joy for my grandmother's well lived life.  Needless to say, I sobbed and smiled as I admired the beauty of this gift.

It was truly the most complete gift I have ever received as it comforted me, and honored the memory of my grandmother.

Each year, I place this ornament on a prominent limb on our Christmas tree.  When I pass by the tree, I smile knowing my grandmother is remembered and (hopefully) present in spirit during our Christmas celebrations.  Of course, I also think of Meg G., and how lucky I am to have such a thoughtful friend.

I confess I loved this gift so much, that I copied the idea and gave it to two friends who are sisters and had recently lost their mother.  They loved the bell for "Kiki," and treasure it at Christmas.

If you plan to use this gift idea, be sure you know your recipient well to determine if it is appropriate for them at that time and that their loss is not too big/nor unexpected.

Where to Buy:
Silver Ornaments - These special ornaments tend to sell out quickly as they are marked for the year or the special edition.  Though you can purchase the sterling silver ornaments, they are very expensive.  I recommend the silver plated ornaments as they are just as beautiful and more affordable.

I like to order mine online/catalog at Coopers or the Silver Superstore which allow you to order engraving. $25.00 silverplated without engraving

If you are short on time, Macy's, Dillards and other department stores carry the silver ornaments.  For engraving, take it to Things Remembered in the mall or to a local engraver.

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