It’s my little sister’s birthday this coming weekend and I’ve been struggling to find something. She is hard to shop for, and finding a good present is just HARD in general. I’m HORRIBLE at finding birthday presents (or even giving options for myself — sorry family!) I never have the slightest clue where to start, and then, when I come up with THE PERFECT BIRTHDAY CONCEPT, it’s impossible to find because I made it up in my head and it doesn’t exist, so it either takes me 200 years to make it or I find something similar but not quite what I KNOW I could find SOMEWHERE and I end up frustrated.
Gift-Giving Over the Years:
When I was in elementary school, every year seemed to have a go-to item. One year, I “supervised” and added tiny/easy details to personalized clipboards my mom would decorate for my friends. We were really craftsy when I was younger, so there were a lot of personalized/self-decorated things. First clipboards, then another year all my friends got jewelry boxes and so on, only venturing away from the go-to item if I was good enough friends with them that I knew they REALLY wanted something different. In the age of invite-everyone-in-your-class-to-your-birthday-party it’s tricky maneuvering that many parties!
Middle school was, for people I knew anyway, the age of Bath and Body Works. Don’t know what to get someone (which I usually didn’t)? What’s their favorite scent at Bath and Body Works then because there are ENDLESS soap/lotion/candle combinations. Scented candles or lotions are still a pretty good bet, come to think of it. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I received enough B&BW over a 3 year period to last me decades.
In college the only really EASY birthday is 21, because as a fall back you can always buy them wine glasses/shot glasses/promises of taking them to the ABC store so they can buy their first bottle of alcohol on your dime. Other than that? Headache.
When I worked in Disney it was pretty easy too, simply because living in the Disney-bubble meant that everyone got something Disney related at all gift-giving holidays for about a year. Tailored to personal taste there were Disney movies, books, clothing, stuffed animals (for the kid in all of us) or household decorations. Sparkly mouse ears and Finding Nemo DVDs for all!
Lately though, I’ve been a fan of the birthday “concept”. The 21st birthday is the most commonly known variation of that motif, and as I mentioned it can take me 200 years to figure out what to get and then actually FIND what I’m thinking of, but it has seemed to turn out pretty well for all parties involved lately. For example: A year ago my sister went to Paris and London with some classmates for Spring Break, so the Christmas before hand I got her European-travel themed things — a travel folio, calendar of Paris for the New Year, a couple of sightseeing books. Fun yet functional (at least that’s my attempted goal) and it’s really cool to get a few things that all go together in a unique way. I wish I had a picture of how I wrapped everything together because that’s half the fun for me — Christmas is the best because I’m a wrapping paper addict, no lie.
I would post a pic of the awesome concept gift I’m getting my sister THIS year, but 1) she hasn’t gotten it yet and that would ruin the surprise and I’m not going to be a party pooper on my own party and 2) the way I got things this year, they’re actually going in two separate packages so I didn’t really wrap it up in a fun way anyway.
But it is AWESOME, let me tell you.
Even if I had to give myself a few gray hairs to work it out.