Birthdays = complicated! You are either a birthday person or not. Presents can say so much to some people and nothing to others.

I am a birthday person, through and through. I look forward to it; think months ahead what I want to do for it and dream about the presents I will be getting. It’s about feeling appreciated. It is one day every year where your birth is celebrated. What a beautiful thing. And not just for my self glorification but I love thinking about what to get others for their birthday.

I think about the person, what they love, what they need and what would give them a pleasant surprise. I was shopping today for my friend’s birthday present. She’s a fun one to buy for because I know I could buy her something strange and she would love it; I didn’t by the way. According to me, presents are about digging into personal history, jokes, hobbies and past experiences.

It’s like putting together a huge puzzle; you know what you want it to look like in the end, you just need to find all the pieces and put them together. Matching a funny card with a meaningful present shows the person that you know them. This is a challenge I love.

I admit, there have been some present disasters. There have been times when I have thought and planned and had in my head what the other person may want and I have been totally wrong. For example, my dear brother. He had just moved out of home for the first time. So, I thought he may be lonely. For his birthday I bought him a couple of fish to keep him company. When I gave it to him he said, “This is the weirdest present I’ve ever got.” Ba bow! Misread that one!

Other presents I have bought have initially been received with a frozen smile and something like, “oh that’s nice”, spoken between smiling, gritted teeth. Later I found out that on reflection, the person grew to genuinely love it.

The perfect present. Surely it’s not too hard to look at your nearest and dearest and work out what they love… In the end, it comes down to how important it is to them. If presents aren’t important, I’ve learnt to (gulp) buy (gulp) gift vouchers… nothing wrong with that!