The Worst Birthday Gift of All Time
The worst birthday gift I ever received was a box. Now, don't get me wrong - it came wrapped in sparkly paper and it had ballerinas on it, and for a 10-year-old girl, this would usually equate to a 10/10 present. But as I carefully unwrapped my new possession in front of my friends and family at the local Chinese restaurant, I still held my breath, anxious to find out what was under that wrapping paper. It was a box. A beautiful, black, wicker box - but still, just a box.
The benefit of birthday hindsight
With the wisdom of age, I now know that the gift was purchased for me by my great aunt as a decorative keepsake. It was intended as a treasure chest for me to store all of my worldly possessions. But at 10 years old, I thought there might be something in the box. I rattled it around, pried it open it, and then, I realised that was it. The box was the gift. I know I turned on my best "oh, wow!" smile, and I'm sure I thanked my great aunt profusely. But she knew. She knew I wanted something to be in that box.
The art of good gift giving
Gift giving is a hard job. Some of us are innately good at it - we pick up hints as the year goes by, storing them away or making advanced purchases we know the recipient will love. Others are not so great - these are the people you see at 6am on Mother's Day, standing at a petrol station and clutching the very last, wilted gerberas in their hands. Our top tip for successful gift giving: don't make it hard for yourself. Add a personal touch to a practical gift that echoes the personality of your gift recipient and you're certain to find a unique present that even the fussiest birthday girl or guy will be thrilled to receive.
Personalise your birthday gifts
For milestone birthdays, you can't go past an engraved scotch glass, champagne glass or beer mug. Whether they've just turned 18 and are savouring their first drink, or it's a 30th and they're reclaiming their wilder days, it's the ideal memento for every milestone birthday, that can be reused again and again after the big day is done.
For the morning after, when the party guy or gal in question might be ready for some rehydration, present them with a 500ml metal water bottle with their name engraved - these top-notch bottles are stainless steel, double walled and insulated, so they'll keep the liquid hot or cold for six hours. Then, plaster them with liquid gold: coffee. Pop it in a laser engraved bamboo travel mug and send them on their way (and don't worry, it has a leak-proof lid). And as a bonus: with name engraving, no one in the staff kitchen at work will be able to 'borrow' it on Monday.
But what about the other end of the age spectrum - the newborns, or those celebrating their very first birthdays? A bamboo wall plaque is a unique décor gift that can be mounted on a wall and treasured forever - it'll certainly last longer than the newborn onesies and singlets.
For some, the birthday of a four-legged friend is treated with as much reverence as any other member of the family. If you've got a pup that's prone to 'wandering', get them an engraved wooden collar tag to ensure they make it safely back home. And to show Rover that he's the top dog in your house, display an engraved wooden pet sign proudly on your wall.
Lastly, we all have that one person in our life who is just impossible to buy for. For those people, we say - keep it fun. They're probably not into sentimental gifts, so choose a unique pressie that speaks to their personality. For the TV geek who spends most of their time binging the day away on Netflix, a Breaking Bad-inspired chopping board might even inspire them to get up and get 'cooking'. A healthy meal, that is.
Personalised gifts for every kind of birthday
So, next time you're searching for the perfect gift, think outside the (wicker) box - because it's what's inside that counts. And if it comes personally inscribed and custom-designed, you know you've picked a birthday winner.
Find customised gifts to suit every birthday in the new-look Personalised Favours birthday range.
Team PF. X