Great thread! For the first several Christmases after dd joined team, her "big" Christmas present was some sort of gymnastics equipment. First was the 4x8 panel mat, then the low beam, then the parallet bar. Two years ago we found a great 10 x 16 panel mat on Craigs List for $100, and though not strictly a Christmas present, it was our big gymnastics purchase that year. This was the first Christmas in a long time that she did not get any gymnastics equipment, though this summer someone gave us a mini-tramp. I guess the idea of the original purchase was for practicing at home, which doesn't happen--nor do I want it to anymore with the number of hours she spends at the gym. But the equipment is used all the time to "play" gymnastics in the same way that kids play school. She is constantly making up floor and beam routines for various levels and often has mock gymnastics meets with her friends. The mats have been especially worthwhile as many have mentioned because they are great for sleepovers and playtime. The big mat on its side makes a great room divider/ fort. Last summer, one of the local college girls held a little gymnastics camp out of her backyard. She borrowed all our equipment for it and asked if we would be willing to sell it to her. I didn't want to sell-I could definitely see my daughter some day wanting to be the one holding the camp and needing it all.