I am lucky enough to have incredibly thoughtful people in my life, so when it comes round to my birthday and Christmas, I am thoroughly spoilt.
Thoughtful presents can be something really simple or an elaborate gift that took hours and hours. Either are perfect and can be given any time of year – I always think having an occasion is optional.
- A Handmade Book
These are one of my favourite presents to receive, and I love making them too. The best one (if I say so myself) was my sister’s 18th birthday present – “HOW TO BE AN ADULT”
I basically included advice about everything from boys, friends, and dealing with alcohol, to smoothie recipes, to my favourite quotes from Pinterest. She loved it, and says she actually goes to it for advice, which worries me slightly as the advice probably wasn’t that good…
Paperchase is my go-to for the actual book, and then I print stuff from the internet to stick in, get photos printed, trace fancy quote lettering if you’re not that artistic, just make it your own really. Writing funny or cute captions for photos also makes it more personal.
2. The Ongoing Present
This is a continuation of the present above. My little sister is studying in Australia right now (so her Instagram is AMAZING), so as a good-bye present, I made the “HOW TO BE AN ADULT – Travel Edition”. The plan is to send her a postcard from wherever I am to wherever she is with, like before, advice, quotes, funny stories, whatever I can think of really. I got a ringbinder clip and hole punched the corners of the few postcards I gave her to start it off. This way she can add more postcards as I send them over the months and years.
3. Little Details
I make no secret that I have the most amazing boyfriend, so when on the morning of my birthday, he had flowers delivered for me, I couldn’t believe it. Then I opened them and realised he had specifically got me flowers in my FAVOURITE COLOUR, and I was tearing up to be honest with you. As beautiful as the flowers were, the fact he had gone to that extra effort meant the world to me.
It doesn’t have to be flowers that you do this with, and it doesn’t have to be their favourite colour that you make the detail. This is one of the things that you really don’t need an occasion for. It could be buying your bestie their fave doughnut from Krispie Kreme, it could be buying your Mum her favourite body lotion that you saw she was about to run out of. Anything really.
This is becoming more and more of a ‘present trend’ now, but instead of buying someone a material object, I think buying them an experience is such a nice touch. It could be an afternoon tea voucher, or organising to take them on a picnic or to the theatre. You could even save up and take them on holiday, which would be an unforgettable way to spend a birthday.
This is one that is especially good for people you don’t see that often. I know that my grandmother way prefers presents like this so that she can see her family and do something exciting and different. It makes everything more personal, and while it can be expensive, going for afternoon tea (can you tell I love afternoon tea) at Browns, for example, is £13.50 each. If you live locally to one then this is great value for a couple of hours quality time with your bestie, mum or grandma (and you get to benefit from their present too).
Depending on their interests, some things you could think of are strawberry picking, a gin distillery tour, cocktail making, concert tickets, spa days, all-you-can-drink-brunch (I went to a GREAT one here), and check out AirBnb experiences in your city to find something completely different.
5. A Save-up Present
Sometimes you will know that there is something your recipient has wanted for AGES. For me it was a Fujifilm camera (see my review of the Polaroid one I got instead here). For someone else it might be an Urban Decay Naked Palette, a YSL card holder, or a Pandora necklace.
It might mean you have to save for a little while, but spending that little bit extra (if you can of course) could really make their day, and every time they use it they would think of you – which is always nice.
HOW TO KNOW WHAT TO BUY
- Check out what they’ve been liking on Instagram (Go on to notifications and at the top switch on to following)
- If they have Pinterest, look for common themes in what they pin to find something they didn’t even know about
- If they mention something when you’re out shopping – even if it’s months before – note it down in your phone so you have options when the present buying time comes
- Research different options of what to buy them. I like to look on notonthehighstreet.com, spacenk.com, or who I’m following on Instagram to find new brands and stores.