As we approach the holidays, many of us are in search of the perfect gifts to buy for our loved ones. Good News Wants to Know… What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
“Caveat Emptor,” which means “buyer beware.” I don’t know about you, but I have had to learn this lesson several times. There she was on the cover of the magazine, a beautiful doll which would be a perfect birthday gift for our granddaughter. The purchase was made, the delivery date was given and so we waited. Upon arrival and to our disappointment, the doll did not look like what was advertised. The colors were faded, hair falling out and a big disappointment. There is always the uncertainty of any product that you may purchase on-line. Isn’t it wonderful that we can not only be certain but also comforted and assured of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Repent and believe and rest assured in Christ Jesus!
Ken Kerrigan, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Cornerstone Church
This is a great question, and both involve my beautiful wife. The best Christmas gift I ever bought was an antique pocket watch, which I gave her on our first Christmas together and which still hangs in a small glass dome in our family room. The worst “suggested gift” I didn’t buy was a car. I gave her an envelope where I suggested a particular car, and I totally missed the mark on her not wanting a car at all!
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott, PA
Best purchase of all-time: Bitcoin (at $3,900).
Worst purchase of all-time: Bitcoin at ($52,400).
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
There are a lot of contenders for the worst purchase I’ve made. Any one of the real-estate investments I made during the Great Recession would fit. The best is easy though, my wife’s engagement ring. I found what I thought was perfect online and took a leap of faith without seeing it in person. The ring and the band proved to be perfect. Most importantly, it led to marrying my best friend and the best wife ever.
I was at a men’s conference years ago in Dallas, Texas, and every time I traveled, I would bring my wife Wendy a gift back. I was running late, and I had to shop at the airport. I picked out some armadillo earrings – not a good move. We can laugh about it today but at the time, I got a lot of grief.
Chris Lane, President, First Priority South Florida
Over the years, we’ve come to really enjoy experiences over “things,” so one of the best gifts was, after two decades of parenting and ‘family trips,’ a weeklong couple’s getaway with my wife to Napa. One of the worst was the unintentional purchase of the exact same sweater for my mother that my brother had just gifted her for Christmas! Bless her, she was thrilled nonetheless!
Chris Simpson, President and CEO, CBMC International
My best purchase by far is my current house. It was close to my parents when they were living, and it provided a great place for our six children to grow up.
My worst purchase was a 1966 Mercedes 230 SL four-speed (a two-seater roadster) on the verge of having my fifth child. It was a fixer upper, had no a/c, and I had no time to devote to a restoration project. Shortly after I bought it in the dead of a hot Florida summer, I consigned it back to the dealer who had sold it to me. Live and learn!
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
The best purchase was made on my behalf by a Jewish carpenter, born of a virgin, resurrected from the dead, raised to heaven, and coming again to judge the living and the dead. Worst purchases… pet rock and decaf coffee.
Dennis DeMarois, Executive Director and CEO, Gathering Palm Beach County
The best Christmas purchases I ever made were anything I gave my mother, including any card I gave her with my handwritten expression of love for her. She was the most thrilled, appreciative receiver of any effort of love shown her, not just gifts. The worst Christmas purchase I ever made was a costly gift for a friend years ago who literally tossed it aside and said they had no use for it without an ounce of gratitude for the heart or sacrifice behind it, especially since they had just wished for that very item a few weeks prior.
Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio
Worst purchase: A preconstruction condo we bought in 2006.
Best Purchase: A silver heart necklace that my wife still wears 25 years later.
Doug Sauder, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
The worst gift I ever gave my wife for her birthday years ago was a Bullmastiff puppy. The dog was a real blessing as a puppy but grew to 200 lbs. almost overnight. It made no difference to her that I put a pretty ribbon on the puppy. No more doggies for her birthdays. 1 Peter 3:7 says I’m to love my wife with knowledge. I blew it big time on that birthday. However, God’s mercies are always new. Amen!!
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
My worst present of all time for any occasion was a vacuum cleaner for my wife one Christmas (it wasn’t a joke gift)! I purchased an expensive one thinking she would love it! My best gift is about to happen this Christmas. Two weeks in Colorado for this Christmas now that two of my grown kids and five grandchildren moved to Denver this year!
Christmas gifts are a special way to show someone how much you care. The best was a photo I framed of one of the best memories and to this day is cherished. Fortunately, if I did give the worst gift, I was never told!! Hopefully that’s a good sign!
Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
Best: One year my Father-In-Law’s beloved dog passed away. He was very sad. The whole family worked together to get him the perfect black labradoodle. It was a wonderful surprise and grew into a great dog.
Worst: I’m going with every toy that made loud and annoying noises when the kids were little.
James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
One of my best purchases I have made was a Blue Java Ice Cream Banana Tree (The bananas taste like vanilla ice cream). Worst purchases are when I buy the deal over quality.
Jesse Carroccio, Station Manager, Moody Radio South Florida
Gifting others is my source of joy, but I’ve only sometimes got it right. One of the best gifts I purchased was for my mom when I was 16. I bought her a promise ring and told her, “Will you be mine forever?” Through that special gift, we committed to being there for each other always despite it all. She wears it to this day. The worst gift made was an outfit purchased for one of my daughters. I thought, “She’ll love this…” Her response was, “Mom, what possessed you? This is so not me.” I’ve since learned not to assume I know people’s personal tastes in fashion.
Dr. Jessica Vera, President, Chief Executive Officer, Elite Foundation
It had been a particularly good business year, so I shopped for a piece of jewelry for my wife at Tiffany’s. I found the perfect stylized heart-shaped pendant necklace. My wife is wonderfully, blessedly frugal, and I knew she wouldn’t respond to ‘the little blue box’ with a smile, so I got another necklace from Costco, used that box, and ‘mistakenly’ left the receipt inside. Thankfully she loved it and didn’t try to return it to Costco! Wears it every day.
James ‘JT’ Taylor, Head of Automotive, Truist Securities
The gift I was most excited to give was a set of throwing knives to a buddy of mine. He is a lover of knives, and they were a complete surprise to him. I think they might have been one of the best gifts he received that Christmas.
The worst gift I ever gave was to my dad, and it was a gift I did not purchase. I received a small free book during my time at Bible college, and I gifted it to my dad that Christmas. Eventually that book somehow migrated back into my old bedroom… I don’t know if my dad ever read it. It became a lesson that I need to put more thought and effort into gift giving.
Justus Martin, Staff Photographer, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
The best purchase I’ve ever made was my car. Haven’t had any issues with it. Purchased it in 2017. The worst purchase I’ve made was a pair of shoes. I liked them.in the store. When I got home, things changed.
Larry Lacy, Pastor, The Answer Church
Best purchases: 1st edition / first printing and signed if possible, of one of their favorite books; An experience or event ticket; I bought my son an inflatable kayak, so he’d always have it in the car because he’s so spontaneous.
Worst purchase: I gave my son a stuffed animal black sheep because he used to say he was the black sheep of the family. He said he still needs therapy! lol
Lisa May, Executive Director, Live the Life South Florida
For Christmas my husband and I decided to start “making memories” with our grandchildren instead of purchasing toys that they will forget about by next year. So, we have special events that we go to such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Polar Express Train Ride, etc. Those are probably the best purchases we have made. I think it is a waste of money to purchase toys or items just so children have something to open on Christmas Day. I remember a story I heard one year that a minister did not have enough money to give their children gifts to open on Christmas, so instead he and his wife decided to share the gift of what they believed their calling was for their children. For instance, he believed his son had the gift of leadership, so they gave him items that related to the call of God. Those are the “true gifts” that God has given us.
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
Despite celebrating Christmas for over seven decades now, my worst and best gifts both occurred last Christmas. I like My Pillow products, and I thought my wife might enjoy the My Pillow Slippers as she tends to run around the house barefoot. That’s what I get for thinking! She absolutely hated everything about them! Sorry, Mike Lindell. Fortunately they have a great return policy, and I was able to send the slippers back and, with the proceeds, purchased two sets of bath towels and a throw blanket with which my wife and I are both extremely happy. It was the best of times right after it was the worst of times! Merry Christmas to all!
Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company
One of my best purchases I have ever made was purchasing the music book “Mastering Audio – The Art and the Science” for my oldest son. It inspired him go back to college and major in Music Engineering from which is he is graduating this December. For his Christmas wish list this year he has asked for the third edition of the same book. I enjoy giving gifts that inspire!
Oksana Horton, Artistic Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company
The best purchase I have ever made was the purchase of our home in 1995, which is located on a beautiful lake and near a golf course in a quiet and friendly community, which has tripled in value since we purchased it. The worst purchase that I ever made was when I purchased a Chrysler PT cruiser, which turned out to be a lemon, with several mechanical problems. Perhaps other purchasers with the same make and model had little to no problem with their purchase.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
The best gift I ever gave was when I gave my husband a 12-string guitar. He proceeded to master that like the banjo, and the flute I had bought him years before. He went on to lead worship at our church for 25 years with that guitar. The worst gift I ever gave was giving my 13-year-old daughter clothes. I learned quickly that she was at an age when she wanted to pick out her own clothes. Maybe that was topped by giving my son a Roomba to clean up the dog hair in his rooms. He was highly insulted that I would give him a cleaning product. We all laugh at those now.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
The worst/funniest Christmas gift I ever bought is when I was about 13-years-old, I mail-ordered personalized Christmas cards for my family and there was a typo in my last name and the cards read: instead of “from the Andreassen family” …they read, ”From the Andre Assen Family” (Needless to say I never mailed them out to anyone) lol…
The best Christmas gift I have you ever bought is the one I am buying my wife this year, as Faye and I celebrate our first Christmas as a married couple… It is a surprise!!!!
Of course we are ALL so grateful for God giving us the greatest gift of all, his precious son, Jesus Christ!!!
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder and President, SAINTS Homeschool P.E.
Although not much of a shopper, I made a great purchase when I bought my wife a replacement diamond for hers that was stolen. A client of our firm was a diamond broker, and he found the perfect “rock “at the right price for the perfect girl.
The worst purchase I ever made was a used computer that I bought for my kids when they were in elementary school. It was overpriced, and it broke down not too long after we brought it home!
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler, LLP
The best purchase that I have made in a long time (30 years) is Logos Bible Software (the best purchase ever was, of course, the engagement ring for my beautiful bride.) When I say that this program is light years ahead of other study programs, it is not an understatement. Every full-time student at Knox gets a copy of the program and we spend a lot of time learning to use it.
As to the worst, when Cindy and I had only been married for about a year and were living in a parsonage, it became obvious that we needed a clothes dryer because hanging the minister’s “drawers” out like an art exhibit was just not a good idea. As you might imagine, we had almost no money, so I purchased the least expensive used dryer I could find. It dried for all of 45 seconds. But “the Lord was with me” and a church member helped me, and we actually made money on the deal!
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
The best purchases that I have ever made is basically anything Apple. I am a big fan of the iPhone, Apple Watch, MacBook, iPad, Apple TV and AirPods Pro and how they all work together across devices. One of the worst purchases I have ever made was one of those background screens used for virtual meetings. During the pandemic I had to work out of one of my son’s rooms, and to avoid a rocket ship on the wall behind me, I bought the screen, and it was too small to cover the wall behind me. Thank God for virtual backgrounds!
Steve Daigle, Campus Pastor, Calvary Chapel Parkland
The best purchase my hubby and I made is our home. By God’s grace we were able to purchase our property before the market started convulsing and inflation hit the roof! We are very thankful. The worst purchase was the Cougar XR7 I leased before we were married. I was told it was the best deal yet. With a $450 a month payment, it was painful. After we were married, we decided that the vehicle was not worth the money. We turned it in and lost money. And, now I drive a 17-year-old vehicle that has been the most dependable car I’ve ever owned. God is a God of redemption. Amen.
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward County Right to Life
The best Christmas present was a family beach vacation. The worst was one of our first Christmas’ after we were married, when I got my wife, Linda, a vacuum cleaner (I returned it the next day).
Tom Lukasik, Vice President – Engagement, 4KIDS
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