Birthday Gifts that are Cheap Don't Have to Be Tacky

by Ben
(Portland, ME)

The chocolates

The chocolates

As I sit writing this, my financial situation is dubious, to say the least. My wife has had to take a pay cut, and I’m now having to travel further to work, which is costing a small fortune in gas. This means that our birthday presents to each other recently have been cheap, or free.


Fortunately, both of us are quite artistic, and I’m a big fan of cooking, so coming up with cheap presents for each other has been more fun than going out to the mall and spending lots of money on things we don’t actually need.

For example, for my last birthday, which is 22nd December, my wife decided to make both of us stockings. She got the idea from her family, who had the same stockings since she was around 3, when her grandmother knitted them for the family. It was a slightly ironic gift of something to put other gifts in, but it still made me smile. I’ve added a picture of them hanging up above our fireplace. The home made ones are the ones on the edge, the middle ones belong to our cats and were shop bought when we first got our cats.

In return, I’ve pulled out all the stops for her birthday this year. I got a book for Christmas from my father in law all about how to make your own chocolates, and I’ve been working on them in secret during January, including one famous evening when my wife’s friends took her out for some drinks, and I got my guy friends round to sample the chocolates – talk about a role reversal! Anyway, I’ve made two dozen, some of which I know she’ll like, such as mint ganache or toffee center, and some that I’m experimenting with, including my personal favorite of Turkish Delight filling. I’ve created a simple but beautiful box to put them in and attached a fake label so she thinks that I’ve spoiled her. One of my friends came up with that idea, and works at a design company, so I’m hoping that she’ll find it funny. There’s enough little in jokes on the label that she should work out that I made them for her.

They were a huge hit and it got us both thinking that birthday gift ideas don't have a price tag or a limit of how much you have to spend but really should be a simple thought or gesture to show someone that you thought of them and that you care.

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