How to Buy the Perfect Birthday Gift for a Friend

Buying a friend a birthday present is an extremely daunting task for the average human being. As the important date with the big crimson “X” sketched onto it in their calendars rapidly approaches, some people do not know where to start at all. The more determined of them decide to craft lengthy wish lists based on what their friends have liked since childhood, and choose the most appropriate option from there.

The procrastinators, on the other hand, decide to spend a very long and stressful day at the mall a few days before the party date, consulting magazines or popular Internet blogs for some last-minute inspiration. Both of these groups are terribly wrong in going about this process. Purchasing a friend the ideal gift should be a simple and effortless task. Yes, birthdays are meant to be exciting events, filled with multi-colored party streamers and large butter cream cakes. But, it is clear that society has put too much of an emphasis on birthdays in general.After all, they do come once every year, so they aren’t exactly special or rare.

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Also, celebrating the fact that people are aging and are one step closer to death is slightly strange and does not call for an extravagant gift with a bow on top.Essentially, people should not overthink or overanalyze the process of finding a suitable gift for a friend. In fact, the next time a friend’s birthday party is approaching, you should probably just purchase a gift card or put some money in an envelope and call it a day. Everyone in the world loves spending money, so why not give your friend a twenty-dollar bill for his or her next birthday? It may seem a little thoughtless and inconsiderate, but since we live in a money-obsessed world that is largely based on consumerism, it probably is the smartest thing to do.If a gift like this seems too impersonal, consider scribbling “Happy Birthday [insert name here]” on the front of the envelope.

Draw some hearts and smiley faces if they’re into that kind of thing. It’s not a big deal. Trying to find a gift with sentimental value is not a good idea either. Those kinds of gifts are pretty much useless in the end if one really thinks about it. What is someone going to do with an excessively decorated scrapbook that contains old pictures of their angsty teenage selves with braces and a bad haircut? Post a picture of it on Facebook or Instagram to brag about their friendship and to see how many likes they get?No, that would be a very bad idea.

Money is more useful. They can use the twenty or so dollars given to them to buy something that won’t embarrass them and cause them to relive a very awkward and dark phase of their lives. Buying a birthday present should be an easy task. No one has the time or energy to roam the many aisles of a shopping mall to find the “perfect” gift because nothing like that actually exists. Thinking of the things your friend likes and dislikes is time consuming and a little unnecessary.

Gifting them money is a pretty smart move and is definitely better then trying to be thoughtful and buying them a gift that has a lot of sentimental value but little practical value.