Birthday Gifts 11 Ways to Buy the Perfect Birthday Gift

  1. Keep an eye out ahead of time: Start listening up weeks in advance! If you go shopping together or if you hear your special someone complaining about an out-of-date or broken object—you might just have discovered the perfect gift!
  2. Make it personal: It’s okay to be nostalgic or sappy! Birthdays can also be significant anniversaries of friendships. One year, I made a flipbook for my friend chronicling our friendship with things we had done together, from ruining recipes to getting lost in our own hometown for two-and-a-half hours. It was a gift neither of us will ever forget.
  3. Be excited: it’s also okay to be just as excited about giving a gift as the birthday boy/girl is about receiving one. The positive attitude will spread and make the birthday even more enjoyable.
  4. Give the gift in pieces: No, I don’t mean break the gift and expect them to fix it. Give a gift with many parts and anonymously give it to them piece by piece, so that when their birthday finally arrives, they will have a completed gift. Yes, I stole the idea from The Office! Gosh, I miss that show…
  5. Think out of the box: a present doesn’t have to be something wrapped in paper. It can be a trip to an ice-skating rink, a hayride through the Tanglewood lights, or tickets to see Michael Bublé.
  6. Wrap it in an original way: maybe put one gift inside another; a designed water bottle stuffed with candy or football tickets inside winter gloves. Cover blank wrapping paper with inside jokes or sweet comments! I like to put small gifts like wireless headphones or earrings in mini-Milk Duds containers—to keep their expectations low.
  7. Make them work for it: Give them clues or put an alarm on the gift so that they have to run around the house looking for it. My parents made a scavenger hunt when I was little, so that we all had to follow clues to reach two bunnies, and they would always call our first phones while they were still wrapped up, before we realized what was inside.
  8. Don’t bash your gift: if you don’t feel confident about your gift, don’t harp on how bad it is or compare it to other gifts—that won’t make it better! As long as you put thought into it, they won’t really care what it is; let them enjoy the gift without your self-loathing…and step up your game next year.
  9. Don’t spend a fortune: everybody says this, but it is especially important when giving gifts to friends. Giving them an expensive gift will make them feel that they must return the favor, or feel uncomfortable about the last gift they gave you—in short, they will not feel the way they should on their birthday. Instead, it’s a great idea to give them something small and heartfelt, maybe even something related to an inside joke.
  10. Make something: this is an excellent way to show a friend or sibling you care about them. If you draw a blank, search Pinterest! I know that’s what everyone does, but give it a try and see if anything reminds you of the receiver. Spending time instead of money will show the person they are worthy of your thoughts and sacrifice.
  11. Be sneaky: don’t tell them too much about the gift; there is nothing more anticlimactic than having the gift discovered too soon. Also, it brings the attention to you and your thoughtfulness instead of to their special day! Though, it can be fun to drop hints, especially if they are misleading…but make sure they aren’t expecting something bigger than what you got. With the help of anticipation, the days leading up to the gift-giving day can be just as much fun as the birthday.