While the majority of our friends and family members already seem to have it all, searching for the perfect birthday gift can become an impossible task as we grow older. Many people are left wondering what item to choose that will be both thoughtful and useful. If you’re looking for gift ideas that won’t wind up collecting dust, why not give them something they can put to good use?
Here are 5 practical birthday gift ideas that keep on giving.
What better way to show a child or relative that you love them than by giving the gift of a higher education. In the U.S., you can choose to open and contribute to a 529 savings plan; and in Canada, a registered education savings plan (RESP) through companies such as Children’s Education Funds Inc. (CEFI) is not only a practical gift but one that can continue to grow over the years until the recipient is ready to embark on a university or college. Anyone can contribute money to education savings plans, and it truly is a gift that will pay off in the future.
Sentimental gifts that reference a shared memory or a personal story are much more meaningful than going the traditional gift-buying route. Did your dad use a film recorder to capture your childhood growing up? Why not transfer the film to digital files and present them to him on his birthday. An added bonus is that the whole family can enjoy watching the videos together, further deepening your bond.
Giving friends and family experiences, like tickets to a sporting event or concert, can be more meaningful than a tangible item. Experiences can also bring out strong emotions versus how we tend to feel about material objects.
If your sister is a working mom or your brother isn’t the best at maintaining his lawn, spending money on a cleaning or lawn service may be the perfect gift for them. This gift can also buy them more time to spend on an activity they truly enjoy, like reading a book or going to the movies.
The gift of your time
As adults, sometimes life and obligations get in the way of spending quality time with friends and loved ones. As a solution to the perfect birthday gift make some extra time to plan an outing together, or simply go and visit a friend whom you haven’t gotten to catch up with in a long time.
The art and science of gift giving isn’t as difficult as we make it out to be. With a little thought and some sentiment, you can take the stress out of gift buying and give your loved one something they will remember for years to come.