9 Birthday Gifts to Feel Good About Asking For


“Giving opens the way for receiving” – Florence Schovel Shinn

Every single year we have a birthday. Every single year so many people struggle what to say when their loved ones ask them what they want for it. I always hate when this happens, because I want to be able to tell them, since it is my birthday, and who would know better than me? But, if there isn’t something that has been a blatant want or need recently, I have no recommendations.

We live in this interesting culture where we get people gifts even when they say they don’t want or need anything.  It is a hard balance between not knowing what to get them, but having an intense desire to get them something either way. So know what we usually end up getting them? Something they don’t need and maybe don’t even want. I mean have you ever had to pick out a gift for someone that gave you no clues? Unless you know them really well, it’s typically pretty brutal and time consuming.


We also live in this time where people are trying to live more simple and minimal lifestyles. Trying to live with more intentionality in purchases especially. People want beautiful and practical pieces to make their life a little more lovely or a little bit easier, not just stuff.

So this is what we are going to do. We are going to change the dialogue when people ask us what we want for our birthday, and we are going to feel good about it. Because you know what? People love to give. It is good for the soul, and research shows that those who give more, are happier people. Let’s begin to make gift giving normal and enjoyable again, not mandatory and burdensome.


Here is a list of 10 things to feel good about asking for, for your birthday. I bet you’ll feel weird asking for one of these initially, but I promise you that your friend or brother will be happy to get your something that they know you will love and use all the time, as opposed to something that will end up in your Goodwill pile next spring.

There is this weird diversion to getting people “useful” gifts. It’s like they mean we don’t love one another as much? In my opinion, it means just the opposite. Ask for things that you would have to/would buy yourself, but instead ask for the $15 one as opposed to the $5 that you would probably buy yourself. Ask for things you wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself.


  1. Bouqs Floral Subscription – Subscriptions can be for either regular deliveries, or just a few times a year! But either way, you get new fresh flowers throughout the year to add warmth to your home. To me, this is the gift that keeps on giving.
  2. Mani/Pedi – Not just a color change, but the full service. Pamper yourself a little bit. We could probably all work a little better in the self care department now and then. Take a book, turn on the massage chair, and enjoy. I can’t think of a more useful gift card.
  3. Membership to something around the city – Whether it is the museum, the gardens, the zoo, aquarium, etc. Get a membership so that you can go all throughout the year.
  4. Indoor tree – Ask for that Fiddle Leaf Fig you’ve been dying to get your hands on.
  5. Essential Oils Diffuser – This is really a need in my opinion. For one, it greatly decreases on your need to buy candles throughout the year, but also, each oil does something different for the home.
  6. High quality clothing pieces – Go to your favorite store in the world. The one that usually you don’t shop at unless thing are on clearance, and pick a couple pieces of clothing that will be forever pieces. Pieces that will make your closet more complete, be a staple, and make you feel beautiful.
  7. Magnolia Journal – Joanna’s magazine subscription will never disappoint
  8. Beauty Products – We all have those beauty products that we eye every time we go to the store, but never make the splurge. Ask for those. If they are really expensive, just ask for one night cream, or one foundation. I bet it will be one of your favorite gifts.
  9. Buy yourself a really good cupcake – There’s just something about a cupcake.

Let’s change birthdays and how giving is viewed. Let’s make it fun to give and receive again by taking the guesswork and the excess out of it. Let’s not be afraid to give people suggestions when they ask, because in reality, they really want them. Let’s save time and money and give them something to feel good about buying you.


Now, do you have any good birthday suggestions? What’s one thing that you always want, but never buy for yourself? No matter how simple and practical it is!

Photography by Samantha Brooks

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