As we grow older, our obligations to the people we love and care to expand. Birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings…phew! Just listing them all can be overwhelming! Keeping track of them is one hurdle. Finding the appropriate gift for a great price is another herculean feat altogether.
But don’t despair!
I’ve scoured the internet to find the perfect gift ideas for the 5 types of friends we all have in our friend groups. Hopefully, this will cut down on the time you spend searching for a present and maximize the time spent celebrating with your friends.
You’re constantly soothing her, finding new ways to put at ease the myriad of potential tragedies rushing through her mind. She doesn’t cross the street unless the crosswalk sign has changed, even when there are no cars coming. She has a savings account that can keep her afloat for years, but she is always pinching pennies to prepare for an emergency. There’s always something new to consult a doctor about.
You don’t want to indulge her anxieties to an unhealthy degree, but you know that there is little else you can do but wait out the storm. The best gift you can give her is a sympathetic ear. The second-best gift you can give her is a book to soothe her overworked imagination, one which explores the strangest and most outlandish “what ifs?” that she can concoct.
She’s got two degrees and is working towards her third. Did you have a question? Because she has an answer. She’s probably written a paper about it, in fact! A lot of her sentences start with “actually…”, and you love her for it (even if sometimes you just want to enjoy your sushi without hearing the intricacies of a pufferfish’s digestive system).
She is found in either the library or the lab. She hasn’t eaten in the last 12 hours, she’s running on coffee fumes, and she is always overly grateful for the food you’ve so thoughtfully delivered to her. You know better than to interrupt when she’s got that faraway look in her eyes: she’s thinking about her research, and, once she gets going, she can’t stop.
For the girl who maybe takes herself too seriously, consider introducing some levity into her life with a gag gift. A fake diploma with ridiculous credentials is a hilarious piece she may hang on her wall alongside her real diplomas—a small reminder not to lose sight of the important things, whenever she gets lost in the sauce of her work.
She’s sketching on napkins, she is at least ten minutes late to everything, and her hair is a different color each time you see her. Her apartment is the cutest, hottest mess on the planet. She is spontaneous and constantly on the move. There is no telling what her next project will be or how deeply it will consume her.
When you give the Artist a gift, your best bet is to get her something that also supports other artists. You don’t need to drop hundreds of dollars on a custom piece of artwork. A fun coloring book will do: while some artists may bristle at the thought of coloring on another artist’s art, your friend is good-humored and will likely be grateful for the peaceful distraction from the chaos of her own work.
Back in your college days, she was the one holding your hair back when you were hunched over a toilet. Nowadays, she may or may not be a literal mom to two or three toddlers causing trouble around the house, but she will always be your mom. Even though she’s perpetually on the go, she still feels responsible for the well-being and health of her pals.
When you’re giving the Mom a gift, you want to remind her that she’s not alone. You’re thinking of her as often as she’s thinking of you—even if she’s better at checking in. Babysitting her kids, so the Mom gets a night off is a great impromptu gift. Otherwise, a customized mug with a picture of the two of you is a daily reminder of your love for her.
She’s recently married or engaged, and, despite her best efforts, it’s probably all she can talk about. She’s excited and perpetually “pinning” to her Pinterest board. She can’t help but interrupt conversations to make calls to her wedding planner, arranging and then rearranging her seating chart or making last-minute changes to her guest list.
You don’t blame her for being excited, and you’re glad to share in her joy. If you’re her bridesmaid, however, her chronic Wedding High will put a lot of pressure on you to meet her expectations—especially when it comes time to give her a wedding gift.
Ignore your instinct to lean away from wedding-centric ideas. You definitely want to capitalize on the wedded bliss she’s sure to feel after the vows are shared when the rush of a newly-taken last name is still burning hot. Get her and her spouse anything matching and customized with their shared name. Robes are a low-effort, high-payoff option. They will get a lot of use out of them, and embroidering them shows that you put some thought into it (even if it wasn’t that much effort on your part).