Travel Channel Hosts: Best Holiday Gifts Ever
What were the best gifts our Travel Channel hosts ever received for the holidays? From hand-written notes to family time in the mountains of Costa Rica, discover their most cherished holiday gifts.
"On my 12th Christmas my mother finally gave me -- after 3 years of begging -- an 80cc Yamaha mini bike!"
"I really don’t get gifts for Christmas much. I usually give the gifts. My family gives gag gifts most of the time. My favorite gift, though, so far was when my niece sent me a box of garbage. LOL. Let’s just say I got her back good."
"Annabelle Groff, born Dec. 7, 2010. Spending our first Christmas together with Annabelle."
"I thought about this for a while, I've gotten so many things. But as I scanned my faulty memory banks, I realized it didn't matter, all the stuff didn't matter. What is precious to me is the love, time, sacrifice and faith my parents gave to me, this is the greatest gift, and it is most memorable around the holidays.
"I would imagine that when people come up with a better answer like, “The red motorized mini car our parents bought us when I was 9,” (which my parents did), behind that answer is really, the love, time and sacrifice it took to get the thing. (I also have film of me driving that car.)
"I also have the memory about these stuffed animal puppet paddle things they bought one Christmas, which I was gravely disappointed in (I wanted marionettes). I kept up a brave front and sickly smile, hoping they wouldn't notice. (Ha! I also have this film clip!)"
"Best Christmas gift I ever received was, when I was 16, my parents bought me a full race chassis go-kart. We soon raced several seasons and it expanded my knowledge of mechanics, racing and competition. It took years of practice and determination to finally drive it in the victory lane."
"Seven years ago, on Xmas Eve, we visited with our soon-to-be adopted son for the first time -- how does anything beat that?"
Steve Di Schiavi
The Dead Files
"The Dremel Multi-Max tool, it's the best multi-task tool ever made. I love it!"
Mysteries at the Museum
"My Bobby Hull Hockey Tabletop Hockey game! Back in pre-video days, when controls meant actually controlling something. In this case, decal’ed, plastic figures who yearned to skate out of their singular tracks and score. I've never played with more passion in anything than against my Dad that Xmas vacation."
“I guess it's a lot easier to say something that I have received on the material level. But nowadays, because of my occupation (truck driver), I will have to say the best gift I've ever receive around the holidays is the opportunity to be home for the holidays … to spend time with my family.”
“Hand-written cards from my children.”
“The best gift ever, hands down, is the vacation time I get with my wife and 4 rug rats. We spend it in the mountains of Costa Rica -- where we play like there's no tomorrow. That is simply the best gift I have ever received.”
Man v. Food Nation
“The best give I've received recently had to be a great messenger bag that I got from my manager before my very first trip to Asia. I wanted something that evoked travel, adventure, Hemingway, Indiana Jones -- something polished, yet beaten. Stylish, but REAL. She absolutely kicked ass with her choice of a killer Marc Jacobs bag. It has ample pockets (some hidden), looks better the more you wear it, and was perfect for every climate and every function that I encountered on the trip I took through Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.”
“I just love Christmas ... and so many memorable gifts! But one really stands out: In 1993, my Mom was in the hospital, gravely ill and on the heart transplant waiting list. She went into the hospital in August and received her new heart in October. There were complications and we almost lost her, but thankfully she recovered and was able to be with us that Christmas! Truly a Christmas miracle! She is still with us after almost 20 years, healthy and such a blessing!”
Marianela’s Top 10 California Beaches
“When I was 10, my dad bought me a Panasonic VHS camcorder -- and to this day I don't think I've enjoyed a gift more than that. I’ll save myself the embarrassment of releasing any of the colorful ’80s music videos that I created with my friends, but let’s just say I reenacted every Michael Jackson video ever made and sang every Whitney Houston song imaginable.
“There was also a lot of set designing on my part to recreate The Tales from the Crypt; I turned the basement into a cemetery -- my poor mom! Haha. In some ways I think it was the greatest gift ever because it gave me the creative freedom to express myself and to create. That camcorder paved the way for my journey into the world of television and helped me realize my dream -- to entertain.”
“The best gift that I can recall in recent years was when my brother and his family traveled literally across the globe to be with my family during the holidays. My twin, yes I'm a twin, works for a large automobile corporation in Sweden. I see him perhaps once a year, if that. Our hectic schedules make it nearly impossible to get time to meet up, so we speak by phone or over email.
“Five years ago, as a surprise to my family, my brother showed up Christmas Eve with his kids and wife. Unknown to us, he had meetings scheduled on the East Coast early in the New Year ... and had decided to spend the holidays in New Jersey prior. He had kept the entire trip a secret.
“It was incredible to show up Christmas morning at my parents’ house, and see the look on their faces as they were greeted by not 2, but all 4 grandkids! It was the last time we spent the holidays together, but we're trying to do it again as soon as we can!”
Made in America
“By FAR the greatest gift I've ever received was from my wife. My rock band Toss had broken up years ago and she managed to surprise me and get the band back together for one big gig at the Knitting Factory in NYC. A truly amazing feat!”
“My Weeble Wobble Treehouse. I loved the Weeble Wobbles. Their treehouse had an elevator in the trunk of the tree which I thought was so cool. You would push a button on top of the plastic arbor and it would lift to reveal their house. It was like a secret place. It's also the first Christmas I really remember -- I was very young -- maybe 6. So I was truly understanding the magic of Christmas, which to a six year old means toys!”