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Best Birthday Gifts When You Don’t Know What To Give

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oregon chapter.

Let’s get real here ladies, we’ve all had that moment when your bff’s bday is coming up and you have no clue what to get. It’s especially difficult when you’re also trying to stay on a college budget because sometimes, birthday gifts are spendy. For those struggling for that meaningful yet price friendly bff birthday gift, here are some fun ideas to consider.


Candles are always my go-to gift when I’m having trouble. They are pretty decorations and smell good; who wouldn’t want one?! If you know they like the beach or a certain flower, think about getting a candle that resembles its scent or theme and make it more personalized. Also, if you are more of a crafty person, you can even make your own. Pinterest has a ton of different examples of DIY candle ideas that will make your friend smile on their special day.

“A Day”

Okay ladies, I stole this idea from one of my sorority sisters, but it’s so smart! Instead of giving a physical gift, why not give your bff the gift of an entire “day” celebrating with you? During that day, you could eat at their favorite restaurants, go shopping, take Instagram-worthy pictures at lookouts, or leave it up to the birthday friend to decide what to do. The “gift” was spending the entire day together and making memories. If you’re trying to pick a more unique gift or if your friend is on the pickier side, this is a super fun bday gift option.

Face Mask

Lay down and relax with a refreshing face mask, which are generally price friendly if you’re looking for a gift on the cheaper side. Face masks are awesome because she can actually use it, and it’s always healthy to exfoliate. You could also invite your birthday bff over for a little spa night to put on those face masks, paint your nails or catch up on all the gossip.

Gift Card

Some people honestly just want a gift card so that they can pick their own gifts. It’s nothing against you, so don’t take it personally if your friend is more of a gift card kind of person. One of my friends from high school had a very specific style and would only wear clothes that she picked out herself. For her birthday, she wanted gift cards so that we could later go on a shopping spree and still show her some love and appreciation on her special day.

Food Basket

Two words: free food. Who wouldn’t want this? If your friend doesn’t want clothes, makeup or the more “cliche gifts,”  a food basket is a creative and yummy present idea. An edible fruit arrangement or a “movie themed” basket with all the screen-time necessities such as candy and popcorn will fill tummies and make your birthday bff’s day! I once got a watermelon themed basket for my birthday filled with fruit and watermelon flavored candy, and honestly it was the best gift ever.

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