This si the year that I learn to adult. No joke, that was my exact resolution. To me, one of the things that makes you adult is giving birthday presents to your nearest and dearest. While my family has been treated since I joined the workforce, now I’m trying to expand the gifting love to my closest mates, and TBH after so long dealing with me they totally deserve it.

The only problem is I’m not rich, and a lot of them were rudely born in the same month. Also as much as I love these mates it’s purely platonic, so anything along the lines of *one free back massage* would confuse rather then delight. So how do I adult and gift, without blowing my budget or freaking anyone out? That question is exactly what lead to this article.

If I had to narrow it down, I would say, if you put more thought into a gift you’ll be surprised how often that results in less money being spent. Don’t believe me? Carry on reading:

Get Cookin’

I literally hate to cook, so if I put in the effort for you, you know I think you’re amazing. But also I’m so sorry, because I will probably accidentally set it on fire.

But on the flip side, if literally anyone cooks for me, even when the meal is mediocre but full of love, it is just the best thing ever. If they’ve gone to the effort of making my fave meal? That wins you a million brownie points. Throw in a bottle of wine and no-one will even notice the slightly singed edges.

D.I.Y

I’m such a huge fan of D.I.Y. presents, both making and receiving. They cost so little, but with a bit of thought they are better than anything you’ll buy off a shelf. One year I made everyone a big photo display from driftwood and rope, photos of their life included, and they went down a treat.

A sister of a friend of mine had a baby aka. could not afford presents for everyone anymore. She kept coming up with amazing jars full D.I.Y. food or homemade chai tea jars. They looked just like they’d come off the top shelf at a fancy grocer and were filled with love.

You can knit, if you can draw then draw, if you can build then build. Essentially, think outside the box, but make it relevant to the person you’re gifting, and they’ll love it.

Plan Ahead

You know that last minute ‘oh what do I get’ rush where you just grab any old thing and probably spend way too much for it. Yeah those presents tend to suck, that’s when you end up with an empty photo frame and one of those goofy quote calendars.

If you plan ahead, you have more time to discover a present that will actually be personal to and therefore enjoyed by the person you’re buying for. Plus you can either spread out purchases to avoid budget blowing and maybe even take advantage of a sale or 10.

Book It

A lot of the time, regifting is kind of tacky. Mostly because it’s just getting rid of something you don’t like, not because the person you’re giving it to will love it, but just so it’s not your issue anymore.

You know what gets better after being loved by more people though? Books. Not just any old book. A book that touched your soul. I’ll admit this is only going to be appreciated by your bookworm friends but believe me, if wrap up your favourite book with a note of why it brought you joy and why you wanted to share it, that is a super touching present to my fellow book nerds.

Always Picnic

Picnics are just awesome, I can’t explain why. A few bits and bods from the deli, a bottle of vino, and a well planned location and you have yourself a birthday gift to be proud of. Plus they get the pleasure of your/ all your mates’ company, so you know, lucky them.

Dig Up The Past

If you have a long history with this person, you also have a whole bunch of shared memories that you like to reminisce together. Turn it into a gift.

I have a bunch of mates from when we were 12, back when going on school excursions and writing notes to each other the whole way seemed super cool. It wasn’t, but still, every time those notes get brought out now it’s amazing. Throw them into a frame and you have a truly heartfelt gift.

It doesn’t have to be notes. Maybe you it’s photos from a trip, or a piece of clothing you both had an loved, or a gig you both went to. If you ahve anything left over from it, display it thoughtfully and gift it with love.

Image: Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone