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Creative Birthday Gift Ideas

Updated on September 6, 2012

It’s hard to tell which creeps up on you faster, your own birthday or someone else’s. It seems that just when you think you’re in the clear – the holidays are over, wedding season has passed, etc. – you flip your calendar to see that, dagnabit, you know three people who were born in the upcoming month. You could have sworn that their birthdays weren’t until February and then you realize, oh it is February.

It’s not that you don’t want to get them a birthday gift, it’s that aside from having no idea how their birthday month came up so quickly, you have no idea what to actually get them. So you start racking your brain for ideas for really cool birthday gifts. You think and you think and you think until you can practically hear the Jeopardy theme in your head warning you that time is running out and you need to come up with an answer.

Fortunately, unlike with Jeopardy, your gift does not have to be given in the form of a question. Furthermore, coming up with a creative birthday gift doesn’t have to be stressful. Here is a list of some creative birthday gift ideas that are perfect for a variety of recipients and a variety of budgets. (If you're looking for some creative ways to celebrate your birthday, click here.)

Personalized deck of playing cards

Got a great picture of one of your friends making a “poker face?” Why not create a whole poker card deck with it – is just one of the sites where you can customize a deck using one of your own pictures.

Monthly gift club

Is there some particular food, beverage, etc. that your friend absolutely loves? It’s likely there might just be a monthly gift club for it. Check out for a list of everything from the Fragrance of the Month Club to the Beef Jerky of the Month Club.

Homemade 12-month calendar

If your friend’s birthday is toward the end or beginning of the year, why not create a calendar using pictures that chronicle your time together. You don’t even need a sophisticated graphics program to do this. Microsoft Word has a number of 12-month calendar templates you can use and customize yourself.

25 days of gifts

Or 26, 27, 30, 32, or whatever their age happens to be. Mail a gift to your friend once a day for however many years old they are. So if they’re turning 25, mail a gift once a day for 25 days. Not all gifts have to be big and they don’t all have to be different ($1 lottery tickets are a great, inexpensive gift that could turn into a big win). Also, don’t worry about making sure a gift arrives each and every day – you can’t control how quickly or slowly the mail is delivered. The point is to give them an extended celebration of their birthday, not to mention something other than bills and catalogs to look forward to in the mail.

An experience

Maybe your friend is one of those people who “has everything” or simply doesn’t like material gifts. Why not get them a lesson in pizza making or NASCAR driving, or a snorkeling trip or luxury dinner cruise – is a great website where you can purchase any number of activities in any number of states.


Even the friend who “has everything” could probably use a little more time. How can you give it to them? You can’t bottle it up, but you can give some of it back to them by cooking a week’s worth of their favorite dinner foods that they can quickly heat and enjoy or possibly even freeze for future use.

Customized bumper stickers

Does your friend have a classic catch-phrase they’re always repeating? Why not put it on a bumper sticker for them. You can create your own design at

Personalized pillow

Is there a particular celebrity your friend just can’t get enough of? Give them a chance to snuggle up with their crush every night by having their image printed on a pillowcase – is one site where you can do this (it actually offers a wide variety of customizable products).

Singing telegram

Yes these really do exist and if your friend wouldn’t mind a birthday greeting from Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, or even a pink gorilla, this might just be a hilarious way to kick start their birthday celebration. One site that offers these services is

Have you ever received a really creative birthday gift? What was it and who gave it to you?

Birthday Cake

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    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I like reading about gift ideas. Whenever a birthday or holiday comes up, I like to browse all over online for a great gift. You have mentioned several good ones, and you even provided links.

      I like Cafepress. I have ordered from them before.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks twila!

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 5 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Another wonderfully written Hub. You take something we think about daily and with your writing style you give us something useful, interesting and fun to read. Your Hub is full of fantastic and creative ideas. Thank you for sharing your ideas with HubPages and have an enjoyable day.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks Donna! I agree - memories last much longer than toys.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I love the experience gift idea, especially for kids. I took my nephew to Howe Caverns for his birthday a couple years ago, and it was a great day out for him with his aunt and uncle. We had fun and created a great memory. That goes much further than a toy that he will outgrow. Great ideas here. Voted up.