It can be hard to buy someone a present, especially if they are the type of person who already has everything they need. Your best bet is to get them something that makes them feel good, rather than something practical or with a definite use. I think the easiest way of achieving this is to ask your friends some questions. Sneakily! NOT the week before their birthday! Try asking them things like…

What are your favourite colours?
What scents do you like? (Vanilla, musk, rose, jasmine, chocolate, etc.)
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
Who do you secretly want to look like?
Do you have a favourite era or time period?
What do you like to do when you’re alone?
What do you wish you were really good at?

Gift ideas (to jog the imagination):

Buy them a notebook, some good pens, stickers, personalised stationery, bracelets, stripey socks, silk scarves, a copy of your favourite book, a mix CD, lip balm, a makeup voucher, fancy candles, a pretty teacup & saucer, a bird’s nest, vitamins, a string of fairy lights, helium balloons, vintage postcards, a stack of magazines, a pirate eyepatch, an engraved hipflask, a bottle of champagne, bubble mixture, a collection of old clocks, a typewriter, slippers of animal feet, a huge block of chocolate, a foot-spa, nailpolish, rollerskates, an umbrella, records, a dictaphone, an adult education course, zines, crystals, cute underpants, a makeover, a framed print, a button (or badge) making machine, or a nameplate necklace…

Give them a photograph of the two of you framed, a Polaroid camera & some film, dollhouse miniatures of things they wish they owned, vintage sunglasses, a bowtie, an orchid, anything you no longer use & have upgraded (laptop, camera, mp3 player, cellphone, etc.), a box of macarons, a plate of cupcakes, a wonderful chocolate cake with a huge candle on the top, ballet lessons, Jem dolls or other childhood relics, a quilt, a wig, or perfume…

Hire — on their behalf — the services of a stylist, a hairdresser, a masseuse, a makeup artist, an interior decorator, a manicurist, a beauty therapist, a personal trainer or a psychic…

Organise a surprise party, a picnic, a tea-party, a museum outing, an aquarium visit, a treasure hunt, a photoshoot, or an amusement park visit…

What’s the best present you’ve ever received?


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