We all have that one friend. You know the one that I mean. The overly suave guy or girl that just oozes coolness. They are so confident, well-dressed and always jetting off somewhere. They will introduce you to many new experiences as well as just being the standard great pal. The only problem with this friend is when their birthday is approaching. I say problem, but it isn't even a problem more of a challenge. To start with, if they decide to host a party it will rival Great Gatsby, and showing up there with a Toblerone for a gift won't exactly make you feel great. So it makes you wonder, what could you possibly buy them? Of course, you start by straight up asking what they would like and get the usual 'whatever' response. You'll press a bit further and then they will just say that anything is fine (how helpful). Then you'll reference a cd or item they said they wanted, like a pair of trainers and they'll say they already bought them. This brings you right back to square one and begs the question, what do you buy the friend who has everything?
Do I need to get them something?
Possibly the most common question in adult friendships. The answer depends on you both as individuals and the friendship itself. In short, if it's not a big birthday (that's one ending in 0), you haven't been invited to a party and you are over the age of 21, then the answer is probably no. However, getting a gift is a lovely gesture to show someone your appreciation so I can understand why we often get stuck when trying to get gifts.
The parents and older relatives
If the friend described above happens to be a relative, which is normally a Dad or surprisingly rich Auntie, we can answer this question a bit more easily, as the answer is something from the heart. I know this must be hard for some of you to hear and difficult for you to tap into, as often we don't show our affection as adults. Also, I shall state the obvious here too, I am not for one minute suggesting to write them some sort of mushy gushy love note. Cringe. What I mean is do a nice or helpful gesture for a present. For example, if they have a pet get the pet a new toy. This will make them know they are appreciated by you, but not drown them out with more crap they don't need. Or if you aren't an animal lover you could do a gesture to make their life easier as a gift, for example, take that pile of rubbish to the tip that has been sitting in their garden for months, which they just haven't gotten around to.
Not a favourite of mine, as most of you may know, but gift cards are an easy option here. You can get gift cards for almost anywhere these days and there is always something to suit everyone's taste. That friend who has everything would probably have brought a new pair of trainers from the trainer shop anyway so your gift card is just a nice little discount for them.
Everyone has a niche interest or even a normal interest that they are forever having to buy various small items for. For example, with running, the number of gels, water bottles, t-shirts etc I go through, I am always forever grateful for new ones. Does your friend who has everything have a hobby like that? Or as I said sometimes it could be a more specific interest. They might like painting figurines in their spare time. My trick here is to look around their house, as they will always have on display items relating to their favourite interests. People aren't aware that they do this, but we all subconsciously do. As soon as you walk into my apartment you are greeted by several pairs of running shoes. So what do you see when you go in theirs? A Friends poster, figurines or a gaming suite? A gift relating to whatever is displayed in their home should always impress.
This one is good for if you are on a budget and don't know the friend that well or have drifted in recent years. Life basics are always an easy win. By basics I mean items we wear or use every day, like a coffee mug or a pair of socks. No awkward sizing questions are involved and it saves them from having to buy the everyday object for a while.
But what if it's a big birthday?
If it's a big birthday, and especially if they are throwing a party, chances are this is the easiest scenario. They will have decided what they want or need to stock up on using the list creator on thingstogetme. What is great about this is the fact that you won't only be given the name of the gift but also a handy link to the website to buy it from. So if it turns out your friend is into abstract paintings, that you wouldn't know where to find or what to get, you know you will be getting the right thing. A nice pleaser all around. But what if they haven't been proactive and created a list? In this case, simply ask what they would like as they will have something in mind with it being a big birthday, and if they don't just use the tips above.
Let's be honest whatever you buy your friends they will be grateful for as you guys are friends even if they don't particularly need or want it. I've shown up with a bar of chocolate before because I couldn't think of anything else. The fact is the gift doesn't even matter it's the thought behind it that shows your true care and appreciation. I know you may be thinking that I have just given you a way to get around using the original thought above, however, I've only given starting points for you to bounce off of. If we are being honest even in my reading this article you are actively putting thought into what to get your friends.