My birthday was about two months ago and one of my friends sent me a present in the mail. One of the worst things about my apartment (and one of the reasons I’m glad I’m moving) is that they never tell me when I have a package. I guess they just assume I’ll know to go pick up a surprise birthday present in the mail.

I realized this package was waiting for me weeks after my birthday, but it was kinda cool to get a birthday present so long after the celebration was supposed to be over. I was expecting a video game or a book, but the package was way too big and heavy for that. Curiosity got the best of me and I tore into the box. It was way better than a stupid video game.

I got two jars of CHUNKY APPLESAUCE!!!

Chunky Applesauce for my Birthday

That’s right. When I opened the package, I immediately started laughing, followed by grabbing a spoon and digging into one of my most favorite, delicious treats.

Chunky Applesauce

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

If you are a Dallas native, you may not even know that chunky applesauce exists. Seeing as how regular applesauce tastes like baby food, you are really missing out Dallas.

One day I went to five different supermarkets (Kroger, Tom Thumb, Walmart, Target, and Sprouts) looking for this delectable side dish only to find that Dallas doesn’t carry chunky applesauce. I needed it for my family’s special Thanksgiving stuffing recipe and was horribly disappointed.

I was so frustrated that I called my best friend from St. Louis and told him about my debacle. I had pretty much given up hope as I drove all the way across town and to a sixth grocery store, Albertson’s. Amazingly, they had my chunky applesauce, and I bought six jars.

Seven months later, my friend literally spent more money to ship the applesauce than it cost him to buy it. He said the guy at the FedEx store gave him a really weird look, but it was one of the coolest presents I have ever received.

St. Louis Style Pizza and Dr. Pepper Gifts

This reminded me of some other incredible gifts I have received in the last few years. Also for my birthday this year, my parents sent me a homemade St. Louis Style Pizza kit, filled with Provel Cheese, Imo’s Pizza Sauce, and thin crust pizza shells. My parents know very well that St. Louis style pizza would be my last meal if I were on death row, so there’s really no better gift.

Speaking of pizza, every year one of my friends here in Dallas that drives me to the one restaurant in Dallas that sells St. Louis style pizza every year around my birthday. It’s really nice of him because this restaurant is about a 45 minute drive from where we live, and the pizza is not cheap. Which actually reminds me, I owe him a birthday dinner.

Another awesome gift I got was a case of Dr. Pepper made with real sugar. My girlfriend Tag and I had only been dating for a few months, but she knew I loved Dr. Pepper, so for some occasion (I think it was Valentine’s Day?) she ordered Dr. Pepper made with real cane sugar from the oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant in the world. She’s a pretty great girlfriend.

Making Someone Happy Isn’t Usually Expensive

Why are these the best gifts? First of all because they are so freaking delicious. But more importantly it’s because it lets me know that my friends and family who give me these gifts really know what makes me happy. It’s not like everyone in the world know that I love these certain foods; when my friends and family remind me how well they know me, it’s pretty awesome.

So the next time you are looking to buy someone a gift, think about what really makes them happy. Don’t get caught up in spending a lot of money on gifts that they might not like.

Do they love a specific kind of food or drink that they don’t get to eat often? Maybe your mom loves a certain kind of flower, or your dad is a softy and really loves homemade cards. Even if they have a super expensive hobby like buying Apple products, you can get them a subscription to MacWorld Magazine on the cheap.

Or food. I suggest buying awesome food.