OK, we’ll just come out and say it: We can’t help but get a little sentimental around the holidays. There’s just something about watching someone you love open a gift that you put extra care into finding. We asked our Madewell fam from near and far to share their stories of unforgettable gifts—and from an inflatable moose head to a Swiss family vacation, they didn’t disappoint.

“The best gift I ever received was from my husband: a white Epiphone Explorer to replace my first guitar with a broken high E string and a sad demeanor. I like to stand on my coffee table, play it loud and pretend I don’t have stage fright.”
White Plains, NY

“One Christmas, my brothers and I woke up to a single gift underneath the tree. Inside was a book, 100 Places to Visit in Your Lifetime, with page 142 (Switzerland) bookmarked. Later that year, we took a trip to the Swiss Alps as our family vacation.” —Rachel, Birmingham, AL 

“When I was in sixth grade, my sister got me floral Dr. Martens. Hundreds of shoes later and they’re still my all-time favorite. I keep them in my closet even though they don’t fit; just seeing them reminds me how much my sister supported my individuality.” —Moriah, Houston, TX

“The most memorable gift I’ve ever gotten was an inflatable moose head from my brother. It was completely ridiculous but it made me laugh and started a tradition. Now every year we compete to see who can give each other the funniest gift and it’s always the best part of Christmas.” —Pate, Santa Monica, CA

“Growing up, my twin sister and I had the same favorite ornament—one that belonged to my late father. Every year, we would fight over who would get it when we grew up. One year, she found the exact same ornament and gave it to me for Christmas. It was the only time I’ve ever cried over a present—she knew how special it was to me and now we don’t have to fight about who gets it!”
—Christine, Georgetown, DC

“Once while browsing in an art gallery, I fell in love with a bronze statue of a woman sitting with her legs crossed. She was way out of my budget. Every time I went into that gallery I commented to my husband about how much I loved her. I started calling her “My Lady.” After months of sitting there, she finally sold. Cut to later that year, my sister was visiting and we stopped by the gallery. I noticed there was a new “My Lady.” I opened the card tied around her neck and found a note: “Lisa, I would love to come home with you. Love, Tom.” He came in six months before and commissioned it for me! She is and will always be my favorite gift.” —Lisa, Alpharetta, GA

Ready to make new memories? Find something just right for everyone on your list in our Gift Well Guide.