Birthday Gift Ideas for the Entire Year

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One of the topics that we used in this week's speaking assessment was gifts, and one of the prompts was "the idea that humans are selfish and only give gifts to receive some in return." I watched as my student, one of the sweetest girls in her grade, experienced the complete and utter realization that she may indeed be a bitch. I knew this because I experienced it at the same time. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I have always loved giving gifts to the people I care about because it is how I show them that they matter to me, so I always love giving gifts based on my observations of their daily routines, which, trust me, is not as creepy as it sounds. I have a friend who is constantly cold, and she loves Lord of the Rings. She even made a Tree of Gondor hoodie for herself, so for her birthday one year, I gave her a Tree of Gondor blanket to match her hoodie.

The point is that I think my student and I both do this, but we suddenly realized that we may only be doing it because we want it reciprocated, so take note, Men Who Are Lining Up Around the Block Just to Date Me.

Regardless of your reasons for gifting, be it birthdays or random occasions like Spaghetti Day (which is today, btw), here are some ideas.


Something For Their Home

If your recipient has recently moved, getting them something for their new home would be great. Just make sure it's something unobtrusive and out-of-the-way. Unpacking their own shit is stressful enough without more stuff to have to put away, so think small like wine glasses (because you can never have too many wine glasses) or one of those maps where you can scratch off countries you've visited.

Something For Their Hobbies

If your recipient has an obvious hobby that they either talk a lot about or have shared with more people than just you, a gift that they can use for that hobby is another option. Why I added that disclaimer about it being an obvious hobby is because you don't want to accidentally oust someone's secret hobby, like getting your niece luxury smoking accessories because you want to be the cool aunt, but then she gets in trouble, and you get called an enabler. ๐Ÿ‘€ Some safer bets are those collapsible water bottles for hiking enthusiasts or a sports fanny pack (or whatever they're called) for people who go running on a daily basis.

Something That Creates Memories

If your recipient is going through a Marie Kondo phase, and you don't want to give them more worldly possessions that don't spark joy, give them the gift of experience. Take them to a wine tasting or to a cozy afternoon tea, or go all-out and take them racing on a professional course or take them skydiving! The point is to do something you will both enjoy and remember for much longer than they'll keep a physical gift.


Something Personalized

Personalized gifts, I feel, are the best. It shows that thought and effort were put into the gift and that it didn't come from a last-minute dash through Target (although, let's be honest, it's impossible to dash through Target). The forever-cold friend I was talking about, when I was leaving for China, gave me a fridge magnet she designed herself that features one of the many inside jokes we share. To this day, it is still one of my favorite gifts, despite how simple it may seem on the surface. If that's too intense, you can go the route of getting an engraved thermos for a tea-obsessed friend or a custom eyeshadow palette for a makeup lover.

At the end of the day, regardless of your selfish or otherwise reasons for gifting, it's always nice to get free shit, am I right?

What birthday gifts do you like receiving?

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