Birthdays. As we get older we’re supposed to care less about our birthday. “It’s just another day.” “Oh I hardly even realized it was this week.” “It’s no big deal, just another year.”
Birthdays are little slices of magic. It’s a day where all your closest friends & family tell you how much they love you. So here’s a question, how do you show someone in physical gifts how much they mean to you?
I start with balloons. Go to your nearest Party Store (Cincinnatians – I suggest The Party Source in Newport) & pick up a boatload of colorful balloons. They are seriously $1 a piece & it’s the perfect way to inform every person your friend encounters (at work, at the restaurant, at wherever you are) that “Why actually, yes! It is my birthday!” thus spreading the birthday love as far as the eye can see. Also, I know from experience that it’s really fun to tow around a bunch of balloons.
The card: There’s not much better than a hand written card. Am I right? & you know what makes it even better? Attaching it to,
The baked good: So for me, it’s easy. I drop hints to people all year about the kind of desserts I like. (S’mores!) (Icecream!) (Dark Chocolate + Peanut Butter!) (& it’s actually not hint dropping, I guess . Sweets are just always on my mind, heart & tongue). If this is your good friend, then you probably know what makes their heart skip a beat. If you’re having a brain freeze (no pun intended) (but kinda because I wanted to go make myself some ice cream after I started writing this section), go with something neutral & easy, like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (my secret recipe coming soon). But let’s be serious: no one is going to be mad when you give them any plate full of baked goods, no matter what kind. Plus: birthdays are the one day a year where calories all equal out to zero. Soo….
P.S. Don’t worry about decorating the packaging– the balloons help brighten up the scene :)
The Beverages: As a good friend, you’re probably A) going to see this lucky lass or lad first thing in the morning (before work or at work). If that’s the case, you should greet them with their favorite coffee beverage (Ask the barista to write “Happy Birthday!” on the cup... they won’t mind!) (I know because I used to be a barista.) But if you’re not going to see them til lunch or dinner – you better believe its time to put a drink on your tab! Also – try to hint to the waiter that it’s their birthday. You’ll probably get a free dessert or embarrassing song out of it.
The Bill: On your birthday, you shouldn’t have to pull out your credit card ever. I’ve found the best way to ensure this is to divide the guest of honor’s meal amongst everyone who is with you celebrating. It’s easy to do for the server (take it from a former waitress) & it only adds a few bucks to each other ticket.
Sometimes you might want to add a gift: I’m trying this new thing that as people mention items during the year that they like, I write them down in a note on my phone. I.E. Jake: Set of kitchen knives. Courtney: Be Proud Ohio T Shirt. Annie: Sunflower wine glasses. It makes it a whole lot easier when gifting time comes around. But if you’re late to the party, I also like the "let me treat you to a pedicure!" route.. because then you can benefit too.
& that’s my advice! Take it or leave it. Take one, take some, take none if you wish. Because, honestly, the truest friends will just appreciate that you remembered their birthday at all :)
& finally, to you, my two best friends who turned 24 this week & brought my mind to this topic… Have the happiest, most magical, most fabulous amazing year. I love you entirely.