8 typical presents when you don’t know what to give someone

We all know this, it is someone’s birthday and you have absolutely NO IDEA what to get them. So what to do? Well, we all go back to the typical clicheéd gift ideas since we tend to be uncreative in our most urgent times. If you need to get a present for someone and have no idea what to get them? You can take this post as advice or as warning because these presents can either be awesome or be a total flop. Take the risk or be save, that is the question ;D

Side note: I do consider myself a perfect present giver. I may sometimes give random stuff but everyone likes it, so…I guess I’m good at that. Yes, this side note is just some self-praise I needed =P

No 8. A card


Yes, seriously. There are really people who think that giving someone just a card (and nothing else) is enough. As long as there is no money or a voucher or some amazing poem or message inside, it is the crappiest present ever. This is what you give the person at the office you always forget the name of but you didn’t want to leave her/him out when giving out the presents. It’s what you give someone when you’re too lazy or busy to look for a present or when you couldn’t care less and you just want to be polite and never hear from that person again.

Of course, in some countries it means more than in others. Like sending a christmas card with family photos to relatives or colleagues…yea, that’s ok, but as far as I know that’s not common. The only reason why I would just give a card to someone? If someone lives far away and I don’t have the money to send more than a card. That’s it. For me that is the only reason why I would send just a card. Otherwise I would find it very strange or sometimes even rude. Just imagine how you would feel to get a card as a present which just says: Happy Birthday. Greetings, Esmeralda. (no idea why I chose that name right now) I would feel like “That’s it? At least write something inspiring or nice and not just Happy Birthday”

An inspiring message is the least you could do.

No 7. Dinner


I don’t mean the candlelight dinner someone gives their lover or future fiancé or something like that. Also not the dinner someone makes for the partner at a special anniversary. No, I mean the dinner you plan to make for your friend when you say “Hey, Happy Birthday. How about we meet on your birthday and I’ll make you some yummy dinner?” That’s the dinner I am talking about. It’s different if you say I’ll bake you a cake for your party but this dinner is just plain laziness. Or more like stinginess. You don’t wanna buy anything so you propose making a meal for the other person. Sure, it seems like a lot of effort (which is why it is often used as a present, because it looks good and like you actually DID something), but it’s mostly just you being too lazy or stingy to buy a present so you’d rather spend an evening with the birthday person so you’re done with the presents. I mean it can be nice in some cases but with many it’s not. And who said the person wants to spend time with you? XD

No 6. Something for someone else


You know that thing that happens when you have kids or pets or you are in a special group of some kind? I can tell you. People tend to give you things which are not exactly for you. Like giving you presents that are for your children or something for your pet or there is also the case where they invite all of your teammates to some lunch/dinner in the next fast food restaurant. And overall it’s a very nice gesture but not rea~~~~lly a present for you (except when your kid is a small little baby – then it’s cute – or your pet is your best buddy – then it’s sweet). So maybe think of something more personal.

No 5. Sweets


This is such a typical present I can’t even think of anything to write about it. Sweets are great if it’s premium chocolate from switzerland or your friend really wanted to try a specific kind of candy and you bought exactly that but otherwise? Sweets are something most people can use, since it’s something to eat and you don’t have to be on the look out for sizes or something. In the last few years it’s become a little bit harder since there are more people who don’t like sweets (really whyyyy???) and/or are allergic to something (example, chocolate. Many people can’t have chocolate because of the milk, because of lactose intolerance).

Lucky for me, I live in a city where we have a special sweets shop. It’s expensive and has many interesting flavours you don’t normally get, so it’s always nice to give something from there as a present to someone not living here ^.^ If you have something like that sweet are a great idea, if not…well, maybe think a little bit more.

No 4. Beauty products


Soap, shampoo, perfume or similar stuff is often the content of a present for women. Interestingly enough it is mostly a present from women to women and sometimes from women to men. Of course, there are exceptions, especially since nowadays you can just walk into a beauty shop and say you need a present and they will put a basket of things together and decorate it nicely. Present done!

With beauty products…I wish I could say something bad about it but as long as it’s something special and not like a message “Clean yourself up a bit” it’s actually a great present. There are so many interesting things there: special bath soaps and cremes, perfumes, special shampoo and so on and so on, so I can’t really say it’s without any thought, although it does kind of say you ran out of other ideas.

No 3. Candles

Beautiful candles with flowers on wooden background

With this one you have to be careful …to not burn yourself, ha! See what I did there? Okay, let’s be serious. Candles, normal ones but also the scented candles are a number one gift with many people. I think this is something that started like 5 years ago and the trend is still going strong since candles come in so many different shapes and with so many different scents nowadays that you have a ton to choose from. The reason why I said to be careful? There are people who absolutely adore candles (like me, I have like 20 to 30 scented candles and I’d love to have more) and there are people who think it’s a waste of time and space (like my mum. She doesn’t really have anything against candles but she does think it’s a present that definitely says you had no idea what to get her). So normally it goes either like this: “Oh my god, this smells delicious and it looks so cute, oh my…wow” or like this “oh wow, thanks so much, it’s really nice” As you may be able to guess (or not) the second version was a person being sarcastic and trying to be polite. So as long as you don’t know whether the person likes candles or not, I wouldn’t recommend buying that for them.

No 2. Flowers


And here we are with the most classic of classic present. Flowers. With flowers you have to make the distinction between pot flowers, garden flowers or a bouquet of flowers. Here a short list of when to get what:

  • Pot flowers: when the person absolutely adores flowers / when it’s a special kind of flower and the person is known for being good with them / when it’s a relative or friend living in the dorms or somewhere in a small room, so flowers will make the room brighter and more enjoyable
  • Garden flowers: when the person loves gardening / when the person loves flowers and likes to go and work outside / when the person looked for a flower like that for a long time and knows just the right place for it
  • Bouquet: when you want to wish someone “get well soon” / when you want to get someone to date you / when you pick someone up for a date / when you meet your partners parents for the 1st time

And here a short list when you should NOT get someone these flowers:

  • Pot flowers: When the person is known for killing flowers with negligence or the unability to take care of them (like me, I’m horrible with flowers and great with cacti) / when that person has pets who love to dig in flower pots
  • Garden flowers: when there is no garden (duh!) / when the person hates to go outside / when you live in a country where that specific flower wouldn’t last a week outside / when you have pets who like to dig out flowers in the garden
  • Bouquet: when the other person is a kid / when the other person hates bouquets (like my mum, she says: the flowers are only gonna die after a few days, so why?) / your best buddy (the ONLY exception to that would be at a wedding but that’s it)

No 1. Gift certificate / cards


The new typical thing to get someone: gift cards. They are easy and can never really be wrong. Gift cards are great as a present because you don’t have to decide what to get someone, you only have to know their shop preference. And sometimes even that isn’t that hard if you just get a gift card for amazon or other online shopping sites. They are like multiple shops in one so it’s more than just a little bit easy.

In my opinion gift cards are not so great if you are someone really close since you should know what that person likes while it is a perfect present if you only have a vague idea what someone likes and you don’t wanna mess it up. Better give someone a gift card, then something they don’t really like or use.


So this is my list of things you can get someone but sometimes shouldn’t get someone. Like I said you can use it as advice or as a warning what to get or what not to get. I hope you liked the list and it helped you choose a present for someone dear to you (or not)

G’bye and c u soon (or not, depending on my mood and yours)


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