Sometimes, it’s a real headache showing your love through a gift. You put so much pressure on yourself to “get it right;” to buy a gift that encapsulates all the affection you had, have, and will have for someone. It’s nearly paralyzing. You constantly wonder if they won’t like your gift. Here’s a better question: why put so much pressure on yourself? Luckily, we have a guide on how to find the perfect birthday gift. Take a seat, relax, read through these considerations, and use this as a springboard for your own gift ideas.
Decide on Your Budget
First, determine how much you’ll pay for a gift. This ranges depending on who you’re buying for. If you’re getting your spouse a milestone 50th birthday present, you’ll likely spend more than you would for a nephew’s sweet 16th. This is helpful because it provides a natural limit to what you can and cannot buy. Filter your online shopping searches accordingly.
That said, allow yourself the freedom to break your budget a bit if a gift inspires you to spend more. Know your tendencies—maybe reign this impulse in if you constantly go over budget. If you rarely stray from your budget spreadsheet, though, showing your loved one you’re willing to spend more will be especially touching.
What Do They Need?
If you know of a current need they have, it’s nice to get your loved one something that addresses it. Maybe your daughter just got married or your parents recently moved into a new condo. Life changes like these come with pretty predictable expenses, such as interior decorating or kitchenware costs. After finding out what they need, strive to get a high-quality version. People too often avoid buying top-of-the-line necessities for themselves—for their birthday, gift them with something that will simplify their life and last awhile.
Find Ways to Combine Their Interests
If you’re putting in the effort to find the perfect birthday gift, you likely know the person you’re buying for pretty well. If not, take notes on how they spend their free time. But if you do know what they love, try to find gifts that combine their interests in creative ways. Do they really love reading and started avidly watching Star Trek recently? Scour the internet for an original set of Star Trek novels. Do they often decorate with wood pieces and care about reducing their environmental footprint? Consider buying them a reclaimed door table to incorporate into their home. Your birthday gift isn’t only valuable because someone will use it—you can also illustrate how well you know them by giving according to their unique interests.
Make Sure Your Gift Fits Their Style
Another consideration is their personal style. Whether you’re buying clothes or furniture, you can also narrow down your search by tailoring it to certain features. If they stay away from warmer colored clothes such as red or yellow, you know to go for cooler blue or green tones. And if they want to have the ultimate modern living space, maybe don’t gift them with vintage décor. Being specific to their tastes poses its own challenges, though.
Instead of searching through a department store, you may want to look at an artisan shop. An artisan gift shop has unique products that you won’t find anywhere else because artists design and handcraft items only for limited sale. Quinn’s Mercantile is one of the most unique artisan-driven gift shops in Murfreesboro, TN, and offers hundreds of handcrafted items in-store and online—these make for incredible potential birthday gifts.
If you want a DIY challenge instead, personalizing your gift shows the person you’ve invested your time rather than your money. Some people respond really positively to a personalized gift. Don’t worry about it looking too professional—the effort you put in makes it incredibly meaningful.
A simple tip is to be attentive to what excites your loved one when they’re speaking. They may mention something they want offhand and forget it later, but if you remember, you can pleasantly surprise them. Like dictating your gift according to interest, this shows your thoughtfulness and care. This is more natural than asking them what they want and ruining gift giving’s inherent mystery.
Make the Present an Activity
It’s quite possible the person you’re buying for would prefer an activity over a tangible gift. If they enjoy special family outings with the kids, maybe you could buy them tickets to the circus or zoo. Perhaps they never get one-on-one time with their significant other. That’s a perfect opportunity to babysit their kids and buy the lovebirds concert tickets for a beloved band. You can also include yourself in the fun and make new memories doing something exciting.
Travel Back in Time
Another route to pursue is the sentimental one. If you’ve shared years with someone, you have material to inspire a gift that hearkens back to the past. Get them something that commemorates their time in college, the first year they were married, or that goes all the way back to their childhood. A reminder of the past is sure to stick with them emotionally.
Sentimental gifts are perfect for making them laugh, too. For example, you can stuff all the ingredients to that unsavory pasta bolognese they served years ago into a box and gift them the opportunity to try cooking it again. They’ll appreciate the thought put into a funny gift and that will likely prompt an in-depth retelling of the story.
Help Them Pursue a Dream or Hobby
You can also help them look to the future by giving them a birthday gift that supports a dream or hobby. Buy them a college art class so they can finally refine their pottery skills or an English class so they don’t have to deal with their boring book club anymore. If they enjoy woodworking, buy them that nice saw they can’t bring themselves to splurge on. An initial class or tool may spur them on to further skills and help them find more fulfillment in activities they love. Enabling their interests is deeply meaningful and will stick with them longer than many tangible gifts.