What Should I Get My Cousin for Her Birthday?

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It's not unusual to feel that a cousin is more like a sister, particularly if you've been close since you were kids. Celebrating your birthdays is often a big deal -- no matter your ages. Big deal or not, an appropriate birthday gift can let your cousin know that you think she's special and has a place in your heart.

The Gift of Experience

Maybe you know for a fact that your cousin would like to learn something new or have a certain experience because she's mentioned it in your conversations. A birthday gift of a new experience can allow her to check an item off her bucket list. For example, if one of her dreams is to go skydiving, or learn how to sew, pay her way for a few beginner class sessions. Or, maybe she expressed an interest in seeing a certain Broadway show or someone in concert. If this is the case, surprise her with tickets. Experiential gifts create better memories and are more fun to discuss than material gifts, explains psychologist Ryan T. Howell in the Psychology Today article, "Holiday Gift Giving Tip 2012: Give Experiential Gifts."

Gifts that Pamper

If your cousin is a busy mother or just has a hectic schedule, she'll likely appreciate some pampering on her special day to feel like a queen. Give her a gift card to receive a single or several services at a day spa, like a massage, facial or mani-pedi to allow her to relax. You can also simply purchase a gift basket filled with bath salts, facial scrubs and other bathing products as a less expensive alternative. Another option is to give her a gift certificate with a hairstylist. You might also volunteer to watch her kids while she's getting pampered.

Hobby-Related Gifts

Find inspiration for your gift from the activities that your cousin enjoys in her spare time. Create a gift basket or package filled with items that she can use in relation to her hobby or interest. For example, if your cousin is an artist, you might give her a gift basket filled with items for her painting such as a sketchpad, canvas paper and paints. If she likes to garden, fill a canvas tote with a new gardening tool set and packets of seed, or, if she's a baker, you might want to give her a mixing bowl filled with gourmet baking products and supplies.

Gifts for Your Family Relationship

Give your cousin a birthday present that signifies your close bond and celebrates the fact that you come from the same family tree. Consider gifting her a T-shirt or sweatshirt with a family-related phrase such as, "I'm Someone's Favorite Cousin." Additional personalized cousin items, such as coffee mugs, picture frames and wall plaques, can also work as gifts. Alternatively, gift her items that can bring back childhood memories that you shared. Perhaps you can prepare her a tin of the cookies that you enjoyed baking together when you were kids, or buy her a vintage toy or doll that you both had.