A few creative birthday gifts that make giving presents fun


A collage including gifts I’ve received from friends, and also one of the calendars I gifted to my friend.

The universe has ensured for nearly five straight years that I would be broke in the month of January. This has been an ongoing joke in my friend group, as three of my closest friends were all born within the first three weeks of January.  

This chaotic yet incredibly fun time period leaves me brainstorming birthday gift ideas for nearly a month straight, and also ensures that I get creative for every gift I give. I always adore this time of year, because giving gifts can be so incredibly fun once I let it be. 

“The Calendar”

I’ve made a tradition of gifting one of my friends a calendar plastered with ugly photos of myself every year for her birthday. This idea is one I’ve seen many variations of on social media. A cute approach can be created by filling the calendar with photos together throughout the year, however, in my friendship, it seemed more appropriate to take a more comedic approach. 

Throughout the years, I’ve made my calendar on Shutterfly, however, there are many sites that allow you to customize text and photos in a calendar. Although this gift is most appropriate for people born in January, you can customize a calendar to begin at any month of the year. No matter what, it’s a present that makes it easy to get creative and personal. 

“Open me on page blank”

Last year, I read a book by one of my friend’s favorite author and annotated it along the way. Additionally, I marked pages that correlated with cute small gifts. For example, when the characters were in a coffee shop on page five, I marked a wrapped Starbucks gift card with “Open me on page five.”

The friend I gifted this to is an avid reader, so the idea seemed to suit her perfectly. Although it took a bit more planning in advance to execute this concept, it was incredibly fun for me to read the book for her, and having a gift that fit her so well was very worthwhile. 

Open me when letters

Open me when letters are truly an age-old concept, but they’re so often gifted because of their fun and heartfelt concept. They can be sincere such as, “Open me when you’re sad” or they can be as simple and gimmicky as you make them such as, “Open me when you’re hungry and don’t know what to eat.”

I’ve gifted these to my friends, grandma, and others, proving how versatile they are. These letters can truly be a perfect gift for anyone and allow the gifter to be very personal. With hardly costing anything, and being such a long-lasting gift, they’re a perfect solution to not knowing what to give someone for any holiday. 

Gifts don’t always have to be meaningful and creative, but giving a gift I’m proud of and put thought into has always been a fun outlet for me, especially during the month of January.

These options are only a few of my favorite gifts that have allowed birthdays to not be such a stressful occasion of budgeting and deciding gifts, but rather an exciting opportunity to celebrate my loved ones.