I spy a birthday gift: tips and quirks

It’s already May and that means someone’s birthday is coming up. So I wrote this little piece on tips for ideas on a good birthday gift. I know, it’s a little different from my usual entries. Just consider this as a gift to fellow gift-givers.


Gift-giving is probably the oldest tradition there is. In fact, it’s the tradition of all traditions. It’s safe to assume that whatever idea you have has probably been done before. So don’t strain yourself trying to come up with a new idea for a gift, just have fun and be personal with what you have in mind. Here are seven more ideas to choose from which you could give to surprise the lucky birthday celebrant.

Get the worst gift ever

Purchase one thing that the celebrant absolutely hates, wrap it up, give it, enjoy the reaction when it is opened and help tear the item apart. This works great if the celebrant is having a bad day. So try opening it together at the lowest point of the day.

Don’t be age appropriate

One of the first things you consider when you decide on a birthday gift is age, or the general age group the celebrant belongs to. If you’re intention is to be unexpected, why constrain yourself to such considerations? Be weird and choose something that shouts “not-for-your-age”; the more opposite in the spectrum it is, the better. Just be sure you get a laugh out of it and not quizzical looks because they miss the point of your gift. This goes without saying, but don’t even think about doing this with children celebrators.

Customize something useful

Picture the first thing that comes to mind when you think of tools that the celebrant regularly uses like a T-square for an architect or a paintbrush for a painter. Then try to tweak it with the craziest things you can. Try to have it painted with neon colors or bejewel it. Or engrave a hilarious comment about the tool like how it would rather go to the bar than work with the celebrant all day.

Be year-specific

No, this is not a contradiction of the previous gift idea. Give a relevant gift by taking in consideration the milestones or events that the celebrant went through for the past year; and be sensitive about it as much as you should be smart. If the celebrant moved, give something from their previous town with a message that says “Thanks for making the town a better place” with a footnote that exclaims “Now that you’re gone!”; again, only if the circumstances for the move isn’t heavy.

Perishable gifts

A good gift doesn’t necessarily have to last long. It could be something as fleeting as a candy bar, just make sure it’s a really good candy bar. Or try to recall the biggest craving you’ve heard the celebrant whine about and deliver it gift-wrapped and all. Food should never be left out when deciding for the best gift.

The ‘best’ tweet

Convince one or as many of the celebrant’s biggest idols to tweet a shout-out. Or maybe tease a little by asking the last celebrity or big name the celebrant wants to hear from (or absolutely dislikes) to do this by saying how much of a fan he or she is; watch him or her go ballistic! You can do a version of this in other platforms too.


Having said all of these, I still haven’t actually decided on what to give that special someone. haha

Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter.com / CC BY

3 thoughts on “I spy a birthday gift: tips and quirks

      1. I’m sure your effort will show through in your gift.
        I always have trouble with gift-ideas but I think it’s cause I tend to give things I would like to receive.

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