The decorations are taken down, the Christmas tree is lying in the backyard and your wallets are empty, but your best friend’s birthday is February 15th and expectations are high.
The after-holiday birthday crowd has a major chip on their shoulder due to years of family and friends combining two of the greatest days of the year. As college students, free stuff is a rarity and anything that we do not have to count the pennies under the mini-fridge to buy is welcomed with open arms. However, when all of the present budget was spent on your distant cousin’s personalized ear muffs, shelling out a grand sum on loved ones after-holiday birthdays is not an option. In past years, you’ve wrapped up old candles from the guest room and attempted to pass them off with a smile, but those days are no more with a few simple tricks.
Getting a huge smile as the bow is undone does not have to mean writing a huge check. A great gift for a dear friend, family member or even significant other is a personalized photo book. Putting together a keep sake filled with memories of good times and silly moments will be treasured forever, not to mention cost less than ten cents per photo. The labor of putting the book together might be a bit daunting, but something personalized is always worth the effort.
After spending $200 on your significant other’s imported Italian wallet, buying yet another expensive present can seem excessive. Simple solution: do not buy anything. Start with finding a cool, vintage vase around the house. A fun mug would even do the trick. Next, attach a little tag onto a ribbon that says “100 things I love about you” and get writing. Cut up 100 strips of paper and write short, thoughtful comments on them. Not only will this undoubtedly be one of the most thoughtful presents your loved one has ever received, but it will not cost you a penny.
Every year, dad says that he does not want anything for his birthday, but everyone knows that this is code for “you’re only a little bit of a horrible child if you do not get me something.” This year, impress your parents with a classic family recipe straight from Grandma, with your own twist. Not only will your parents appreciate the two-hour conversation about knitting tea cozies you had to listen to attain the recipe, but the blast from the past will bring back great memories as well.
With the new semester’s workload picking up, time is of the essence and you may not have the time to spend hours on a present. Never fear, that is why the world created birthday cards. Instead of buying the standard Hallmark, make your own. A little “Happy Birthday” by snail mail trumps a text any time and shows the person that you truly care.
Instead of handing your after-holiday birthday buddies a rain check that will never be cashed, try out one of these inspiring ideas and become more popular than Santa.