Birthday gifts are a great time to celebrate loved-ones, but in today's consumer society it can also lead to stressful clutter. While the recipient is likely to be grateful for any thoughtful gift you might give them, consider a gift that is consumable or is not a "thing" but rather an experience. Unlike tangible items, experiences will not clutter-up a closet and will encourage the recipient to try new things, get out of the house and socialize. Here are some ideas for birthday gifts that aren't things to consider when trying to find the perfect gift for a loved one.
Tickets & Memberships
Great birthday gifts that aren't things are tickets. Tickets are a great gift idea because you can provide a whole evening or even a whole day of fun for the birthday boy or girl. Brainstorm the recipient's interests and look for experience gifts that might fit the individual personality of the birthday boy or girl. If the birthday boy is a thrill seeker, consider tickets to a local amusement park. If the birthday girl is a history buff, consider buying tickets to a local history tour. Other ideas include tickets to a sporting event, movies or a live performance such as a play or comedy show.
A membership to a local attraction might also be a good gift. Treat the entire family to a year-long membership to a nearby science center or art museum. Children might also enjoy a season pass to a water-slide park or children's museum. Other memberships that would make for memorable birthday gifts might include season passes to sporting events, memberships to a gym or athletic club.
Gift Certificates for Services
Busy parents might welcome the idea of a gift certificate for a night of free babysitting. Allow the birthday girl to spend some quality one-on-one time with her significant other by babysitting their child or children for a night or even a weekend.
If the birthday person is not a parent, consider creating a gift certificate for an afternoon of lawn work, pet-sitting, housecleaning or another chore that they have been wanting to complete. If they own a car, create a gift certificate that they can redeem with you for a free car wash or detail.
Other possible services you could offer include cooking a meal, chauffeuring their children around, running errands, a foot or shoulder massage or window washing.
Food Related Gifts
Consumable gifts are also a great way to help reduce clutter. Baked brownies and other goodies can make for very special birthday gifts. Add a few pretty sprinkles on top and you have a lovely homemade gift that will be greatly appreciated.
A ready-to-bake lasagna or other meal can be a lifesaver for a busy mom or dad, a shut-in or a college student. Ingredients to make special meals and an offer to make it together can also make for unique birthday gifts.
With all food-related gifts, be sure to be mindful of food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Customized and Personalized Gifts
Nothing lets the birthday person know that you understand them more than a personalized gift. Give them memorable birthday gifts by creating customized reading lists. Not only is this free for you to give, but it will show that avid reader that you appreciate their love of books. Figure out their favorite genres of books and make a list of items from each category for them to check-out at the library or order online. If you're stumped, go to your local librarian or bookseller for recommendations.
Great birthday gifts that aren't things could be a personalized gift. Personalized playlists can make for special birthday gifts. Create one playlist for their work-out and another for their daily commute. You might also consider creating a bedtime playlist of soft melodies or an inspirational one for when they might be feeling down.
Another great idea for unique birthday gifts is personalized art. If you are artistically inclined, draw a picture or a create a painting for the recipient. If you aren't comfortable with your drawing or painting abilities, find an appropriate printable online and color it before putting it in a pretty frame.
If the birthday person is socially conscious, donate your time or talents in their name. Help at a local food bank, donate blood or volunteer your time at the humane society on their behalf. You can also make a monetary donation to their favorite charity in their name. These types of birthday gifts not only give you and the recipient a good feeling, but they help those less fortunate.
Picnic, Party or Ice Cream Social
For many people, the ultimate birthday present would be spending time with those they love. In our fast-paced world, social times can often be overlooked and are always cherished.
Consider throwing your loved-one a surprise party. Ask guests to bring a dish to share and purchase some cupcakes. Add some balloons, festive music and you will have a memorable and special day that the birthday boy or girl will not soon forget.
If the weather is nice, consider hosting a birthday picnic. Decide whether you want to surprise the guest-of-honor or if you want their input. Then reserve a nice covered picnic area and have fun sharing good food and creating memories.
Want something unique? An old-fashioned ice cream social is the perfect gift for just about anyone. Forget the cake and invite close friends and family to partake in inventing their own unique ice cream topping creation. All About Gifts and Baskets has an easy and fun option for the host. The Ice Cream Sundae Basket provides everything you need except for the bowls, spoons and ice cream. This basket includes items such as ice cream cones, a variety of cookies, syrups, and sauces, along with other toppings. This is a quick an easy option for the host.
Another way to use this amazing basket is to simply give it to the birthday boy or girl to use in their own home. Every ice cream lover would love to have this basket of goodies at their disposal when late night munchies hit!
Don't be stumped about what to give your favorite people for their birthdays this year. Consider some of these unique ideas and cherish the smiles they bring.