Struggling to choose an appropriate gift for your best friend? Whether it’s their birthday, Christmas, or you are just feeling randomly generous, if they mean a lot to you then finding them the perfect present will be top on your agenda. Sometimes you can get stumped when thinking of what to get – you don’t want to overdo the classic bottle of wine gesture or resort to the pathetic last minute promise to buy them a few birthday drinks – yet it can seem so difficult to conjure up a unique idea. So, here are some suggestions to aid you in your present-picking mission. Considering all expenses (whether you are positively skint or marvellously mint) here are 25 personal prezzies for your bezzies…
1) Take the time to formulate a quirky scrapbook. I recommend Paperchase and House of Fraser for the scrapbook itself, as they have some really chic designs and quality material. Decorate pages with sequins and stickers to give it that spunky, original edge. The book could comprise of anything you think your buddy will like; poems, meaningful prose, photographs, pics of their favourite celebrities, uplifting quotes etc. This is a thoughtful present and will appeal to the arty types who like to get creative, but it will take time and effort to produce, so you have got to be pretty determined to see the product through.
2) Buy your mate an item of clothing. If you are close mates then you should know their style pretty well, so select a jumper to bring out their blue eyes, or a little black dress to add to their ever-expanding collection. After all, you can never have too many clothes!
3) Go back to basics. It’s so easy to under-appreciate the classic, traditional notion of a birthday cake. If you are skint, make one yourself – it will be enjoyable and pretty easy. Even with the simplest of tools, like an icing pipette, you can scrawl the most intricate designs or any message you want. Furnish with sweets or chocolate and there you have it – a (hopefully) tasty homemade treat. Or, if you have the money, pay a professional to make you a more complex and personal design – for instance, if your bezzie mate loves football, personalise the cake with colours and the logo of the team they support.
4) Get some theme park tickets. Adrenaline junkies will appreciate this gesture. Choose an off-peak time when it isn’t massively busy (when queues aren’t ridiculously long), so you can make full use of the theme park and have a go on plenty of the rides.
5) Purchase a pretty little photo frame. Then choose their favourite picture; it could be a close-up of the two of you squashed up in a photo booth pulling a funny face, or a group shot of your crowd all dolled up ready for a night out. Get it printed to fit the frame and voila – a cutesy and personal present which captures an unforgettable moment in your friendship.
6) Book out a V.I.P section at their favourite club or local bar. Forget standard evenings joining large queues and waiting ages for drinks – let them enjoy a little taste of luxury on a night out. Queue jumping, bottles of champagne, your own booth…not only will they love partying like a celebrity, you get to enjoy the perks of a V.I.P package too (result!).
7) Book a holiday! Depending on how much you value your friendship and how much you are willing to spend, book a break for the two of you to enjoy. Whether it’s a girly weekend shopping in London, a messy week partying in Magaluf or a few days roughing it on a camping trip, arrange something special so you can create more great memories together!
8) Tickets to their favourite gig or a festival. A ticket to see their favourite artist will undoubtedly make for a brilliant present.
9) Present them with an indulgent hamper. Fill it with their favourite things – a massive bar of their preferred chocolate, a bottle of their most-loved liqueur, a massive chunky ring in their favourite colour…the options are endless, and let’s be honest – you can’t go wrong with food and drink!
10) A voucher for their favourite shop. You know they can’t resist the nightwear in La Senza or the gaming gadgets in GAME, so get them a voucher you know they will make full use of.
11) Organise a limo ride. Ride around the town in a flashy vehicle drinking champers and getting lairy sticking your head out the window and shouting drunkenly at passersby. It’s all good fun.
12) Take them to a quality restaurant. No, I don’t mean a quick burger from McDonalds or a fish and chippy lunch; I’m talking a proper sit-down, wine-and-dine-me experience. Okay, you don’t have to go as far as ordering a bottle of vino, but treating them to a lovely cooked meal and drinks is a kind gesture. It also gives you the chance to have a proper chinwag and some great laughs whilst enjoying some good old-fashioned hospitality.
13) Throw them a surprise party. Just make sure they are the attention-loving sort. This won’t be an ideal gesture to anti-social types who will just end up getting embarrassed and irritated – your efforts will just be wasted.
14) Book them into a hairdressers or beauty salon. It’s always nice to be pampered, so book them a massage, manicure or haircut. Change is good, so you could maybe persuade them to dye their hair. Of course, this is expensive, so if you are on a tight budget you could offer to buy a packet dye and do it for them in the comfort of their own home!
15) Buy a photo album and fill it with photos. Imagine receiving a memory-filled keepsake laden with photographs from events over the years. It is sure to make them smile and will be great to flick through.
16) A poster of someone they like. It could be their favourite actor, a musician they fancy or someone they are inspired by (for instance, the iconic Marilyn Monroe or the legendary Noel Gallagher). A large, glossy, oversized image of their role model will make for an uplifting and thoughtful present.
17) Treat them to a day out. Whack out the ice-skates and take a trip to your local rink and have a giggle flailing around trying to keep your balance on the slippy ice, or pay a visit to the cinema and get creeped out watching a new horror flick. You can spend quality time together and have a genuinely good day out – and if you don’t get to do it often, then it will make for an even more enjoyable experience.
18) Bath smellies. Hygiene is important to everyone, and so bathing products always come in handy. A fizzy bath bomb will make bathing more colourful and inviting, or a novelty bar of soap would pretty up a boring bathroom sink. Or you could buy rich and creamy body butter or an indulgent gift set.
19) Fix up a unique goodie bag. Why should they be just for kids? Grab a gift bag and fill it with little treats specific to your bezzie’s personal taste. If they love pampering and girly glamour, buy her some sparkly earrings, a red lipstick and some fake eyelashes. Or mix it up a bit – if your pal has a cracking sense of humour, a jokey pair of socks or a plastic turd could go down a storm! It doesn’t have to be filled with expensive items – after all, it’s the thought that counts.
20) Make them a special card. Low on funds? Don’t let that dampen your efforts. Get creative and hand make a personal card, taking the time to write a thoughtful message inside. Decorate with artistic doodles or funny cartoons to liven it up, write down any funny experiences you have shared, or tell them why they are such a great friend. Cheesy it may be, but heart-warming and welcome nevertheless.
21) Get them a stack of DVD’s. This would be a perfect present for any film buffs. Buying your mate some films will boost their collection and could prompt you into having a movie night! Get a good selection of about 4 or 5 DVD’s appropriate to their preferred genre and wrap them up together. If you are worried about expense, then a viable option is to purchase cheap classics from markets or charity shops.
22) Think outside the box. Put down the box of chocolates and drop the teddy! Come on, you can do better than that! Be creative – they will love you for it. Is there anything your bestie really wants or needs? Maybe she has brought a new flat recently – a quirky cushion or cutlery set would be brilliant in aiding her domestic developments. Does she have a penchant for bohemian chic? Sift through market stalls and get the most quirky piece you could find. Take a moment to really think about your best mate’s interests and play on what you know.
23) Consider a seasonal gift. If it’s their birthday in the summer, buy them some cool Hawaiian shorts or a pretty print bikini. If it’s a Christmas gift you are after, get them a warming bottle of whisky and a fluffy winter hat – they will appreciate the thought and be able to use it straight away.
24) Utilise personal gift websites. www.gettingpersonal.co.uk has an expansive range of interesting gifts (from characterised mugs to individualised calendars) which you can personalise accordingly, so sift through the options to see what goodies you can find.
25) Utilise the skills of others. Get in contact with an artist and ask them to personally craft a painting for you. If your friend loves dance, ask a skilled painter to produce a picture of a pretty ballerina. Or give them a distinct photograph of the two of you and ask them to copy it. Or you could simply follow the age-old joke of booking them a surprise stripper…