During Winter Break, my family and I spend ten days in Scandinavia doing touristy activities like dogsledding and ice fishing. At the end of the day, as I was gazing up at the star-studded night sky, I felt extremely grateful for the gifts I have received throughout my life, including this trip.

Although gifts come in all shapes and sizes –– jewelry, books, trips, technology –– I truly treasure the ones that are personal and that hold a special meaning. Here are a just a few of the most thoughtful gifts I've received.

Gift: Placemat

From: Roommate

Significance: I've grown up with pretty much the same group of people, so it was hard making completely new connections when I moved to college. My roommate now was my suitemate last year, and our relationship has come a long way. The placemat composed of photos of our fondest memories together shows that she also appreciates our friendship and values all that we have been through.

Gift: Riding boots

From: Parents

Significance: This pair of boots is important to me because it represents the support that I have always wanted from my parents. Attending university has been a stressful transition for me, but even more so for my parents. That's why they initially didn't support my decision of joining the Equestrian Team on campus. Once I proved to them that I'm passionate about riding and I can handle academics, they began to loosen up the reins. But it was when they bought me this pair of riding boots that I really knew they wanted me to be a part of the team and that they supported me.

Gift: Decorative cards

From: Sister

Significance: This simple present made up of six pieces of paper is easily my favorite. Printed on the front of each card is a collage of art from a Studio Ghibli film, and on the back is written virtues of the main character that relates to my personality. Not only did she pick six of my favorite Ghibli films, she also wrote descriptions of me that encourages me to this day. Example: (for the film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) "Like Nausicaa, You have a irrefutable love for life and an insatiable curiosity that will take you into places unknown..."

This list does not indicate that I don't appreciate other gifts that I've received. These are just the gifts that I think are unique to me and testifies to the relationship I have with the giver. Maybe these can help you think of creative presents to give to special people in your life.