The Best Gifts

person s holds brown gift box
Photo by Kim Stiver on

A month before my birthday, I was sharing insights as to what I would like to receive as presents or gifts, with my friends and family.

It is funny, but I remembered that when I was younger, my closest friends and my parents knew exactly what to give me on my birthday. My friends didn’t earn money, and my parents have always been earning moderately. And yet, the gifts I received then on my birthday, were special. Like a hand made card, or my first doll, or that book I really wanted, or a mix tape. They didn’t cost a lot, but they were so special.

Almost two decades later, I find that my family however, are the only ones who know what to present to me and make me feel special. I also learned, that if I didn’t give hints to the people I loved, they had no clue what I really liked or wanted. Some of them didn’t even think I would like a gift or a present on my birthday 🙂 So, instead of having secret expectations and feeling dejected or confused after receiving some really strange gifts or no presents over the last few years, I decided to take matters into my own hands and tell everyone what I would like. Some family members and friends asked exactly what I would like, some asked me just to give them subtle hints. And it worked like a charm! This birthday, was by far the best birthday I had in terms of how it was celebrated and what I received.

And I can’t say I’m any better in the gift giving department either. For some, I know exactly what to give, but for others, especially my husband, who I have known for 14 years and been married to for 9 years, I’m always at a loss. Except for the first two birthdays when I knew exactly what he wanted and could afford it and surprise him with the gifts- those were two good years, I must say- in the gift giving department 😉 But over the past few years, this is how my conversation around trying to fish for clues on ‘what-would-you-like-for-a-birthday-present’ goes like:

Me: You know what I would really like someone to give me one day? <XYZ> book, or books! Or the entire set! If you had to get a book as a gift, what is one that comes at the top of your mind?

Him: Nothing as such, you know I read non fiction. But I don’t read just non fiction too. I sometimes like fiction- thrillers, fast paced mystery as well. But I don’t want to read fiction now. I read the last Dan Brown, and wasn’t so impressed. And after Sapiens, I don’t think any other book can compare. So, I don’t really have a book on the top of my mind

Me: (Thinking silently)- That was super vague and not helpful at all

Me: Hmm, yeah. Not everyone has a TBR like mine, so makes sense. What about clothes? I’d love a Harry Potter T-Shirt! Or something cute and funny! What about you?

Him: What? Why? You have all those T shirts that you only wear at home. And then you complain that you don’t have anything to wear for work. Please don’t buy any more T-Shirts, you’re not a teenager anymore.

Me: Yes, sure, but what about you? (Also, my clothes was not the topic of discussion, me thinking to myself)

Him: What about me?

Me: What would you like to wear?

Him: What kind of a silly question is that? I have enough clothes anyway.

Me: (Screaming silently)…

This goes on for a while, when he probably gets the hang of what I’m trying to achieve and says,

Him: I think I have everything I want or need right now, to be frank. I am a man of little needs and desires. I’m just saving money to buy that car I really want- yeah, that’s the next thing I really want.

Me: Oh, yeah right..good (thinking, I will probably have to sell my lungs to be able to afford buying that car for you) Clearly, he has not got any clue as to what I was trying to achieve here..:D

And so, I end up buying him, and wonder, do all men want gifts that are just super expensive?

Then I sat thinking one day, what were my favourite gifts really? Things that gave me real joy, other than books? Joy that warmed my heart, or made me tear up with joy, or marked that moment in my life forever? And I realised, those gifts were not made of things. But of gestures. Gestures of love and of kindness and of thoughtfulness. And that, is what the best gifts are really made of, don’t you think? 🙂 So, here is a list of my actual favourite gifts:

  1. Hugs! I love getting hugs from my daughter, my parents, my sister, my husband, my friends, and even strangers (as long as it is not someone who is trying to be creepy or molest me, ahem). But don’t hugs seem to be the best present? They always say, you are special. Lighten up your day, or your moment, and fill your heart with something soft and mushy
  2. Giving and receiving a goodnight or a morning kiss from my partner, or even my daughter- bliss, again, more mushy feelings
  3. Doing something for someone without their asking for it. Or when someone does something for me, to make my day easier, without me asking for it. Like when my husband stays up at night on toddler duty, since he knows how much I love my night sleep. Or, like when my mom makes my favourite dinner after I’ve told her I had a hard day at work, or when my sister finds a song and shares it with me because she knows I’ll love it. Or when my best friend plans a surprise trip to visit me when I was feeling very low. Small gestures, and yet, they have such an impact! 🙂

So, these are some of my favourite gifts, what are yours?

Also, guys out there, could you give me tips on what to present my husband for his next birthday? That are not books and do not include me transforming into Scarlett Johansson for one day? Lol 😀

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