With every year that goes by, it seems to get harder and harder to find gifts for the people we love. Everyone buys the newest iPhone the minute it hits the market, dinners in trendy restaurants have become a regular thing and we all strive for at least one holiday abroad a year. It’s great that if we have the money, we treat ourselves and practice self-care, but it makes it so much harder when it comes to gifting birthday presents for our loved ones.
What do you give a person who has no problem treating themselves all year round? Or people who just don’t seem to want anything and are happy with whatever they have (which is, again, an amazing quality to have)?
That’s where your creativity needs to kick into high gear. But don’t worry, we asked a number of bloggers for their perfect birthday gift ideas to get your engines started.
Get them a flower bouquet as beauitful as they are
Something that everyone cherishes is the feeling of being loved, respected and cared for. There is nothing more satisfying than waking up in the morning to the smiling face of a partner, child or even a best friend. But a way you can provide that feeling on a birthday is through a carefully selected bouquet of fresh flowers especially chosen just for them. This way, even when you’re not around, your birthday boy/girl will get that warm, tingly feeling in their stomach that someone is thinking about them everytime they look across at their beautiful blooms.
When buying flowers think about what it is about your birthday boy/girl that is the most prominent. Are they goofy and love to joke around? Are they classy and sophisticated? Do they appreciate the small pleasures in life? Thankfully there’s a stem for every type of person. For those who are young and bubbly consider sending a colourful arrangement like Vibrant Celebration, whereas for someone older and more dignified the pale pastel tones of Ornate Charm will probably be more to their liking.
Put their personality into a hamper
Just as with Birthday Flowers it’s important to think about the person you’re sending your gift too. There are as many hampers as there are types of people and it’s easy to add your own finishing touches to create the perfect personalised hamper just for them! Hampers make a great gift because let’s face it, multiple presents are so much better than just one!
You can find a selection of pre-made birthday hampers that may fit what you’re looking for, which will save you time and will also look professionally done. Take for example, the Breakfast Treats hamper, which is filled with classy treats for a birthday brunch: from orange marmalade, to butter croissants, smoked salmon and Bucks Fizz to toast the birthday boy/girl. If you’re feeling extravagant, why not splash out on The Ultimate Feast Gift Basket for that special someone with a refined pallet?
And if you know the birthday person extremely well, Victoria Sully, from the lifestyle blog Lylia Rose, suggests that you add “all their favourite treats so they are guaranteed to love it!”
Another twist you could try is what Tracey Tripp, who runs lifestyle blog Inspired by T, calls “movie night in a box”.
“Last year I made this for my Daughter's Gran who can't really leave the house and doesn't need any gift items,” says Tracey. “It was a couple of good movies, treats, a bit of gin, etc. It went down really well.”
"Add all their favourite treats so they are guaranteed to love it!"
- Victoria Sully
- Tracey Tripp
Give the gift of time
Most people nowadays are rushing from one place to the other, trying to catch their breath in between the office, picking up the kids from daycare, meeting their parents for dinner, doctor's appointments, shopping… it feels we only stop to make more to-do lists.
As Jen Mellor, from Just Average Jen, puts it, “time can't be bought, but helping to make more time is lovely.” The idea for this gift is to make a list for your friend, partner or family member, which contains all of the things you can do for them, in order to give them more time. It can be doing their grocery shopping for a month, prepping meals and freezing them for future use, several loads of laundry, walking their dog a few times a week, or even watching their kids for a few nights so they can have some alone time. The possibilities are endless.
But since this is still a gift, try and think of a pretty way to present it. If your loved one receives their coupon as a personal message or card bundled with their favourite flower or plant, it’ll feel more tangible. “I had a friend who used to give her hubby an IOU,” Emma Lannarilli adds, “A favour for your loved one to cash in at any time can be a really lovely idea.
"Time can't be bought, but helping to make more time is lovely."
- Jen Mellor
"A favour for your loved one to cash in at anytime can be a really lovely idea."
- Emma Lannarilli
Send them a good night's sleep
On top of sending your loved one birthday flowers and balloons, you can also provide them with all the essentials for a good night’s sleep, for years to come.
This “survival kit” can include a number of items from a soft eye mask with a cooling pad to quality earplugs (ones that adjust themselves to the ear and don’t hurt). Essential oils that promote the release of melatonin and bath salts they can use right before bedtime are a great addition. And the best part, the most luxurious pillow and bedding you can find, one with such a high thread count that you’d want to wrap yourself inside it forever.
Why not hit two birds with one stone and invest in an air purifying plant? Poor air quality can often lead to restless nights as odours and molds in the atmosphere can make it difficult for us to breath properly. Plants like Peace Lilies, Orchids and Aloe have been proven to help purify the air and as you drift off. Not to mention the fact that simply having a plant around the house can help to reduce stress levels.
Most people will not invest in those things for themselves but will be more than happy to receive such a box, and crawl into it at night.
Gift them an experience they'll never forget
It is mostly said that we should collect experiences more than we collect things, and there’s a lot to be said about that notion. When we are sat by ourselves, on a Sunday afternoon, just sipping on a cup of tea, we rarely reminisce about the time we looked at Instagram on our amazing phone. But we almost always think back to that incredible trip we took with our best friend. What a better birthday present than to create new memories for later years?
Nicola Scoon gives the great idea of tailoring a day filled with experiences your loved one will enjoy. “Like a 'keeper for a day' experience if they love animals, a behind the scenes tour of a museum, or the opportunity to fulfil a dream like skydiving.” More ideas can be the opportunity to drive a race car on a professional course, cook alongside a top-chef, or book a private burlesque dance class for the entire friendship group. It’s all about doing something they’ve never tried before but will also potentially enjoy.
"Give them an experience, like a 'keeper for the day' experience if they love animals, a behind the scenes tour of a museum, or the opportunity to fulfil a dream like skydiving."
- Nicola Scoon
The downside to a gift like skydiving is that it can often be very expensive. But experiences don’t have to involve large amounts of money. An unexpected flower delivery can be a cheap alternative that help to create the same sort of lasting memory for your birthday boy/girl. Just remember, the key element of gifting an experience is not the financial value but the sentiment and surprise.
Take them on a trip back in time
Have you ever wondered where your ancestors come from? Discovering this can provide a person with a whole new background story they never knew existed. How about building a family tree as a birthday gift for your parent, partner or loved one? You can sign up for one of the online services at ancestry, and start going back in time. This can turn into a birthday gift they will never forget! Mummy blogger Jennifer Dixon adds that this year she asked for a DNA kit for her birthday “to find out more about where I’m from is the sort of thing that fascinates me. I can’t wait to get the results!"
"Finding out more about where i'm from is the sort of thing that fascinates me."
- Jennifer Dixon
If your birthday boy/girl already has some idea as to where their ancestors come from or even has a whole family tree built, a great gift can be planning a trip to visit those roots. If possible, this can include visiting towns where great-grandparents were raised, taking a trip to your local library to go back through the public records or laying some flowers at the grave of a long forgotten ancestor!
What links all of these together is the sentiment. Birthday gifting is about more than sending presents, it’s about sending smiles. It’s not enough just to be creative. People love to feel like you’ve truly thought about their gift and finding the right sentiment can make it all the more special.
If you’ve received or sent thoughtful and unusual gifts, we’d love to see them! Share your images and ideas with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.