Ted Hickman

Your guide to finding the perfect birthday gift



Some people just make your life miserable, simply by not having specific birthday wishes. No distinct hobbies or an outspoken opinion to go from, just the don’t-bother-getting-anything argument. But that’s not how birthdays work. So here’s your guide to finding the impossible; the right gift for people who already have everything.

The evergreen gifts

Some gifts are always a good pick. Not extremely original but still nice to have. Think of a bottle of wine, some beers from the local brewery or a self-care package. Yet even with the evergreen gifts you can add a personal touch. Try selecting beers that reflect their taste, pick self-care products in their favourite scent or choose a wine from their preferred grape.

The experience gifts

Thinking of something other than material? Surprise them with an experience. This can be anything from driving a race car to bungee jumping to skydiving to a cooking class. Are they feeling lucky? Treat them to a deposit that’s free to spend. Not sure what experience to give? Make an experience voucher for them to return at any time. Bonus points if you offer to make it a co-experience; join the experience to create some shared memories.

The novelty gifts

Something quirky but useful, that’s the novelty gift. Oftentimes these gifts combine two or more utensils into one object. Think of a bottle opener that doubles as a magnifying glass or a mug with chalk coating to write on. Think of a combination of things, and it probably exists. Online is the way to go if you’re searching for novelties, so get googling!

The personal gifts

Personal gifts can’t be returned, so that’s a safe choice. Of course, it wouldn’t be necessary to return your personal gift in the first place, because it’s been chosen with thought and care. There are many kinds of personalised gifts that you can give a person. If you are not in a rush and have a bit of time in your hands, you can try to create a short video for them including all their beautiful memories with you. You can use video capture software from the likes of Loom or similar companies to record Skype conversations with them on your Mac, or pick out other memories that you might have captured over the course of your friendship, and put them all together in one long dedication. Such a gift would surely bring out an emotional response from your close one. You can go with something customizable like a t-shirt, mug or even a personalized name necklace. Make it sweet, cheesy, or silly, and enjoy the reaction upon unwrapping.

The eco gifts

The ritual of birthday gifts is probably one of the biggest manifestations of our consumer society. If this is not your way to go, choose an eco-friendly gift! Whether it concerns a biodegradable object or sustainable design, your gesture will in any case be appreciated just for thoughtfulness.

Beggars can’t be choosers

After all, a gift is a gift and you’ll probably never be confronted with a friend returning the gift in your knowledge. So remember: try your best to find the perfect gift but don’t stress if you end up with the same gift you gave last time. Better luck next year.

Take another look