Finding the right birthday gift for every friend can be a problem. Not every gift will suit their tastes and personalities, and sometimes we may not know them well enough to find what they would love to receive. These are some safer options for the cautious gift giver who wants to brighten their loved one’s special day.

Food and Drinks

Gifts of food and drinks may not last a day or two – but they can make celebrations more festive. Gift a younger loved one with a custom cake made to his likes and interests. Why not choose one in the likeness of a favorite animal or superhero? You can also design a cake that depicts their favorite sport or activity. Cakes are great because everyone can share in the joy and the wonder – while giving a small glimpse of the person’s personality.

Gifts of alcohol are suitable for older friends and relatives. Wine is always welcome in any gathering – however, choose to give a gift of champagne when celebrating a milestone (or when the celebrant’s age is divisible by five or ten). Go for tequila if you want to create a more festive atmosphere. If you are gifting someone older, scotch or rum are good options – just reserve those gifts for someone really important.

Trinkets, Tools, and Knickknacks

A single small item can be quite meaningful. Choose a gift that fits the person’s interests or opt for an item with a link to a memorable event. A little research should give you an idea of what item your friend or loved one might want. A small trinket to add to her collection, a game disc that he opted not to buy, a book to that’s tied to his/her hobby – your undue diligence won’t be left unnoticed with the right gifts.

A friend with a hobby is an easy read. Get a hand mixer for your baker friend, a tool belt for the carpenter, a gaming mouse for the gamer, or a foam cutter for the tabletop enthusiast. You probably won’t be spending more than 50 quid – but your gift will be more meaningful.

Big-Ticket Items

Reserve the really expensive gifts on milestones – a son or daughter turning 20, a parent turning 60, a grandchild turning seven. Spend a bit more on gifts that would be meaningful or useful to their lives. A paid-for vacation is nice – but a struggling graduate might be better off with a set of professional tools to use at work.

The opposite is true for an aging parent. While there may be things you deem they might need, a trip to a faraway place will do them wonders and add happy memories. Splurging on gifts should be rare and reserved for extremely special occasions. You wouldn’t want a loved one expecting the same level of gifts each and every year – burning a hole in your pocket or prompting a spate of disappointments.

Gifts shouldn’t be a problem – as long as you dedicate some time and effort. The most expensive gifts won’t necessarily be the most valued, and even small trinkets can have deep meanings with a bit of research.

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