Living, as we are, in constrained economic circumstances, when birthdays come around it might fill you with dread, especially if you can no longer afford the sorts of gifts you used to buy.
That needn’t mean that that we need to give up buying gifts altogether however. In fact, in austere times, it is an opportunity to use your imagination and think up birthday gifts that are original and well received, without breaking the bank.
Where it might have been easy to pop in to any department store and pick up the fanciest-looking gift on offer, having to be a bit more creative can lead to some really great gifts.
Here are five of the best:
1. Front page newspaper from day of birth
This is a fantastic and highly original gift idea, creating a high impact without costing a lot of money. There are companies who will frame these for you, making it a grand statement and something that the recipient can put up on their wall. It’s a great present to offer, and works particularly well with a mature birthday, as it’s also a historical artefact, though it will be delightful to whoever is receiving it, regardless of age.
2. Personalised birthday cake
Everyone loves birthday cake, at any age, and by personalising it makes it more of a gift than simply bringing round a cake to share. What’s more, the companies that sell these will deliver them to any home or office address, meaning that it can be kept a surprise. You can even get a cake that can be delivered through someone’s letterbox. So it’s great for last minute gifts too!
3. Home-made hamper
For a gourmet-lover you can easily create your own hamper for them, allowing you to cater for their particular tastes without forking out for a shop-bought one, which are often over priced. Buy a cheap wicker box (or cheaper still decorate a cardboard box!), and fill it with produce that you know will be well received. If you’re so minded you could make it more personal still by creating some of the things yourself, which will suit the budget conscious even more.
You can very cheaply buy a booklet of empty vouchers or tokens, in which you can create your own terms. This is a really fun way to give someone something without too much financial outlay; offering your time instead of money on goods. This can be anything you like from ‘I’ll buy you a drink in the pub’ to going round and making them dinner one evening, with the idea that they can be cashed in by the recipient any time. This makes for an especially good gift idea for your other half, as you can put all sort of saucy treats in there!
5. Workshop or Lesson
Rather than something that will take up your own time (this may be as limited as your funds) then consider getting a class as a present, as a really original gift idea, and also one that shows you’ve given a lot of thought to what the recipient’s likes are. This could be anything from a yoga lesson to a craft-making workshop, and will really delight.