I have become one of those slack people who wait for Facebook to alert me to the fact that someone in my life is having a birthday and then I take all of about 2 minutes of my time to post a quick happy birthday on their page. I don’t know when this became an acceptable thing to do, it’s definitely not the way I use to show the people I appreciate that I am thinking of them I their birthday& I’m grateful to have them in my life. I need a plan to lift my game in this area, to show the people I care about that I value them.
Kim Carruthers in her book Less is More: How to De-Clutter Your Life, she suggests you make a note in your diary of all birthdays & anniversaries that are coming up and put reminders a week out for any you need to buy cards or gifts for. Also make a note of any less than happy anniversaries that may require a comforting call, card or flowers for as well.
In Camilla Morton’s Book How to Walk in High Heels: The Girls Guide to Everything gives the following tips on navigating birthdays as a good friend;
- Write all friends birthdays in your address book to avoid forgetting the date when your diary gets updated.
- Don’t forget to call
- Cake & candles, whatever the age are essential.
- As a grown up the milestones that warrant big hoopla are, eighteen, twenty-one, thirty, forty, fifty & sixty.
- Whether you say it with flowers, cake or gift wrapped diamonds make sure you say it with meaning.
- Try to give something unique that reflects how you feel
- And no matter what, if you cant say something nice don’t say anything at all, tis the day to bite your tongue.
In Trinny & Susannah’s book The Survival Guide; A Woman’s Secret Weapon To Getting Through The Year they suggest building a gift drawer for when a random present is needed at short notice.
- Creating a dedicated drawer will act as incentive for you to think ahead & look out for great gifts on your travels.
- Keep a supply of gift tags, cards, Sellotape & paper in your gift drawer.
- Try to stock up on different gifts to suit all your various friends like a stylish business card holder for the Leader type, A spa, gym or restaurant voucher for the Go Getter type & some divine chocolates for the Softie.
- To avoid the shame of returning a gift to the original giver keep a list of who has given you what in your gift drawer.
They also have some great advice for when your feeling skint and the following list really does prove that sometimes the best presents really do cost next to nothing.
- Plant a planter a few days before with Happy Birthday written in mustard seeds should be nicely sprouted on the day
- A voucher offering to wash the car or watch the children
- Cook a delicious meal & clean up afterwards
- In a card write as many reasons they are special as how old they are going to be
- A lottery ticket keeps the hope alive
- Plant a window box and leave it on their windowsill for when they come home
- If you’ve known someone for a long time get an old photo or letter framed
- A copy of a newspaper from the day someone was born is an inexpensive winner
- Anything you have made yourself that shows how much you care will be treasured.