If you never know what to get a certain someone for their birthday try this fun birthday gift idea: get them a gift for every year of their life. I know, at first glance it sounds complicated, it sounds expensive but it really does not have to be. The result is a pile of gifts the recipient will never forget. There are not many fun birthday gifts ideas that result in more joy than this one.
The idea is to get a gift for every year of their life that represents that year in some way. Wrapping each gift individually and explaining them as you go makes for an evening of fun. Here's an example for a guy who's turning 20:
Year 1: Baby card filling him in on what is to come.
Year 2: Phrase fridge magnets for when he learned to talk.
Year 3: Find his old baby blanket or favorite toy when he was three.
Year 4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure. His favorite hero of the time.
Year 5: A pen set to signify his first day of school.
Year 6: A soccer ball because he played soccer.
Year 7: Tabletop pizza cooker for his favorite food then and now.
Year 8: A gross gag gift to show off the potty humor of an 8 year old.
Year 9: Sheet music to commemorate his first guitar lesson.
Year 10: "Simon Says" hand held game. A favorite as a child.
Year 11: Cookie in the shape of his 6th grade GPA.
Year 12: Will Smith CD, with his favorite song of that year.
Year 13: Mickey Mouse ears to remember the trip to Disneyland.
Year 14: Bag of taffy and caramels for the year his braces were removed.
Year 15: New climbing harness to show the year he took up sport climbing.
Year 16: Model car much like his first car.
Year 17: Coffee cup to signify that he met his first serious girlfriend in a coffee shop.
Year 18: Scratch off lottery tickets.
Year 19: GI Joe because this is the year he joined the military.
Year 20: A graphic tee shirt he's been wanting.
As you search for results, keep in mind important things that happened in this person's life as well as important world events. Did your dad see the first moon landing? Incorporate that. Did he break his leg skiing in '82? Add something for that. This birthday gift idea is less about the individual gifts and more about the fact that you are showing the recipient you love them and you actually did listen to all those stories they've told you.
Be sure to really mix the gifts up as well. Give them a few things that are good for laughs and a few things that they will really like. Also, do not forget the nostalgic touches. Anything you can find from their childhood and youth is a huge bonus. Their old baby blanket, their first report card, an old drawing, these things are often the most special.
This idea works really well for anyone 13 or older. The older the recipient the more practical it may be to incorporate others in the giving. Siblings, aunts, cousins, parents and friends can all help put this together. Delegate a set of years to each person and head to the mall or set out online. You'll find that not only will the birthday boy / girl enjoy their day; you will also really enjoy putting the whole thing together.
Moms and dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents, boys, girlfriends, older children, everyone loves getting this sort of gift. The laughs are contagious and the joy someone gets in their eye when they see a pile of gifts, all for them, has a certain whimsical mystique that will be embedded in your memory forever.