Your girlfriend’s birthday is coming up and you are scratching your head for some birthday gift ideas. Depending on your commitment level to the relationship, your gifts might be a bit different. And also you should use your judgment to select the right gifts for her since there is no one size fits all. A practical woman might frown on a romantic gift; you should know better.
However, there are some general guidelines for selecting a birthday gift for your girlfriend if she is over 30 years old. Stuff animals, theme park and heart-shaped jewelries no longer apply (with a few exceptions out there, of course—my friend of 45 still loves Hello Kitty! Use your judgment!). If she has a good career, the chance is that she can afford to buy anything she wants. Thoughtfulness is always well appreciated. Women generally just want you to pay her attention. If she knows that the birthday gift comes from your heart, it could be small or big, then she will love it.
Here are some tips to get the perfect birthday gifts for your girlfriend:
- Pay attentions—Did she mention that she loved something? Certain music? Band? Sports team? Restaurants she wanted to try? Places she wants to go? Items she always wanted to get but couldn’t justify it? Then what you are waiting for? Get that concert/game tickets, take her to one of those restaurants or get that item for her.
- Research—To get more ideas, you can put on your investigator hat. There are a lot of websites out there that offer public wish list. If you know your woman is a regular customer of any of them, you can check to see if she tagged something. For example, Amazon has a wish list; all you have to do it to put in her email address to see if she has one. Also, you can go to her Facebook or Pinterest to see if she mentioned/pinned anything that she likes. Heck, you can even ask her friends. However, only talk to the tight-lipped ones.
- Togetherness—Plan on doing something fun together. Taking a cooking/calligraphy/painting/scuba diving/cocktail mixing/beer/wine class together are good birthday gifts and will enhance your relationship. If your girlfriend is the travel type, why not plan a trip together? There are certainly plenty of places you can look for travel ideas.
- Jewelry—If your woman is the type who likes jewelry (you should be able to tell by now! Does she wear jewelry?), then get her something unique and meaningful. Get some ideas by reading people’s reviews on sites like Zappos and Amazon. You can even get one with her birthstone on it. There is one caveat though, do not give her a ring. All hell could break lose if she wants an engagement ring and you are not giving her one. It’s just too close to home.
- Flower and envy—flowers still steal women’s hearts. It’s old school, but it works! Maybe you are the perfect boyfriend who gives her flowers all the time anyway. But this time, play it big and send the flowers (and chocolate if appropriate) to her office. Secretly women want to announce to the world, and especially her friends, that they have amazing boyfriends. Then let her have the spotlight for the day. Even if her birthday doesn’t fall on a workday, arrange the delivery so it arrives the workday before her birthday. Make sure she is going to be at work and find out the right address to deliver. You will get to have the honor of wearing the “most amazing boyfriend” badge.
- Indulgence—I don’t know any woman who doesn’t like a good spa day. Give her the gift of relaxation and pamper with a gift certificate to any spa she wants. You can also arrange gourmet dinners to be delivered periodically, so that she can enjoy your gifts even months after her birthday. If you are the do-it-yourself kind of guy, maybe you should even try your hands on making the deluxe dinner on your own. Don’t know how? Go get a special occasion cookbook.
- Personalized items—Talking about creating one of a kind, you can make any gift unique by putting a special touch on it. For example, a jewelry box might be too ordinary, but if you have it monogrammed, then it becomes something special. You can personalize lots of stuff—scarf, leather bag, gloves or cell phone case, etc. You can transform her favorite photograph of you two into pop art a la Warhol style, so she can hang this artwork on her wall.
- Practical items—I usually warn any guys about getting any appliances for their women, whether girlfriends or wives, unless they specifically request it. I cannot picture some woman being thrilled about getting a vacuum cleaner, lawn mower or rice cooker. However, one except I make personally is a good coffee maker. You are giving her the birthday gift of comfort every morning. Combine it with a personalized coffee mug, then you are all set.
- Surprise!—If it’s her milestone birthday (30, 40, 50 and so on), you are on the hook even more for better birthday gifts. Surprise party is a good way to go. The topic of how to throw a good surprise birthday party warrants a whole separate post, but a few key points are: you can achieve secrecy better if you are doing it at her favorite restaurant or her best friend’s house, rather than doing it at home. Also be sure to schedule it before her birthday. Doing it right on her birthday is too much of a giveaway. In addition, don’t forget to tell the invitees that it is a surprise party, so they don’t leak it out. Better yet, even tell them the story you are making up so that they are on it with you.
- Collective gift—One idea for you is to involve her friends and family in creating a memory scrapbook as a birthday gift. Get a scrapbook with removable pages like this. Be sure to get the refill inserts too. Then ask her best friends and family members to use their creativity to decorate their perspective pages. They can create whatever they want on that page; using images, color, words and drawing to tell the birthday girl how much she means to them and record the good times they have together. When you mail the blank inserts to the friends and family, be sure to include return envelopes to make it easy for the friends and family to mail them back to you. Also you have to do it way in advance (like two months before the birthday) to allow everyone enough time to create his or her page. There are certainly a few people who you won’t hear back from, so be sure to ask more people than you need to fill the book. I guarantee that the result is worth all the effort. It will be her most treasured birthday gifts of all times.
Comments? Any suggestions? Tell us your experience? Do share!