Sunday, 3 February 2013

What to get for a birthday?

I recently checked my diary for upcoming birthday/anniversary/special occasions in February so I could try, just this once, to be organised and have thoughtful cards or presents ready.

I counted 18. And that's when I stopped counting. What happened? I used to have my family (immediate only) and a couple of friends. Now my friends have significant others - and these other halves have the gall to have birthdays too. And that's not all. Many of my friends also now have offspring, whose birthdays have also had to go in the diary. To make it worse, some of my friends have had more than one kid, though luckily those with three or more are usually too busy to be sociable so they're off the list.

I've tried everything to get this under control. If I find a good card, I buy it in bulk (people tend to be too polite - or forgetful - to let me know it's the third time running they've got the same card).

If I see the perfect gift for someone, I buy it. Even if their birthday has just been, I'll keep it for the following year. This does sometimes backfire though as I often forget about the gift, so panic around the birthday and  buy them something else, only to find the first gift a week later. My husband says this is part of my charm. And then he pops another pill.

So I'm always on the lookout for 'easy' gifts, those that are thoughtful with a personal touch. Notonthehighstreet is an excellent place to find quirky personal gifts, but if you don't have time to trawl their website, here is another idea. Send the birthday boy or girl a cake. Through the post.

No, I have not been smoking tea leaves again, this is a genuine suggestion. Baker Days have devised beautiful cakes for every occasion that can be easily and safely posted through your letterbox. Genius.
And besides the usual designs for birthdays, Mothers' Day and new homes, there are New Baby cakes, Retirement cakes, Graduation cakes and even Driving Test cakes (maybe wait until you're sure they've passed before you post this one off). There are also Valentine's Day cakes if Tiffany's sold out of bracelets?

I chose a Happy 1st Birthday cake for my friend's little girl. The box arrived the very next day - though I have to admit I didn't open it until the following day as at first I thought it was my contact lens delivery...

Once opened though it was far more exciting than anything from Specsavers. Inside was a lovely little tin containing the cake, beautifully decorated with my chosen jungle motif and a personal message for the little birthday madam. And a lovely finishing touch were the pack of balloons, candles and whistles. The cake was very well packed and in perfect condition. I did have my doubts about a cake being sent through the post, but the box is very sturdy and as it's in a tin too, is well protected.

The cake is not massive. It's meant to be enough for 3-4...maybe I'm greedy but for me it would be more like 2-3)... It's more of a token though and a lovely treat for the recipient - and one or two others if they're in the mood to share. Being just one year old, this particular little birthday girl didn't have much of a choice about sharing as she has an older sister who is canny when it comes to chocolate and sibling equality.

So for me, it's a no brainer. Who doesn't like cake? No one. Who doesn't have time or inspiration? Me. Who wants a birthday present in February? Fine, you're getting a cake. Hope you don't have a greedy postman.

The driving test cake - not as great as a new car but still...

*Baker Days sent me a cake for review purposes but the words and opinion are my own.