This year for my birthday, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. I mean, I’m a sucker for pretty things like ferris wheel puzzles, CONSTELLATION POSTERS and a lifetime supply of matcha (or for a year) (hint hint hint), but I might as well just buy all those things myself.
And the thing is, the way my immediate group of friends do things are different from mine. They ask each other what they want for their birthday/ Christmas, which is nice, since everyone will end up getting something they like. But aside from being a sucker for the above list of things (hint hint), I also love homemade things and stuff from the heart (not literally. I don’t want your blood).
How I usually do things is I try to target their hobbies/ likes and maybe mash it up with something of mine. So in June, I got my friend airplane stamps, because I like stamps and he likes airplanes. In July, I drew my friend a longevity poster, because she didn’t know what she wanted either, and jokingly said long life and happiness, which I combined with my craft skills. (And if you just give your friend money and tell them to buy their own things… I can’t fathom why but no. Just… no.)
The point is, I’d much rather something special than a material good. (Economics reference: I’d much rather a service than a good)
So I asked for cake, because I was sure eating it with friends would be a lot more fun than just getting things, and it was! I asked people around me if they wanted cake (sharing is caring) and other people asked whose birthday it was when they saw that huge box, and I ended up getting a lot of attention. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
The most memorable part of my birthday ended up being the two times a group of people ended up singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me (thanks www) and getting miscellaneous gifts from people I didn’t know considered me as a close enough friend to get something for. (emphasis on surprise and NOT material goods) And sharing joy (and cake) with people.
In five to ten years’ time, what’ll stay with you most will be the memories. The material goods go through some wear and tear and end up broken or into dust, but memories stay with you forever. Which is why they’re so much more valuable and precious. So if you want to get me something special, just spend a day out with me at your/ my favourite place instead of buying me something.