It’s your birthday and your loved ones want to know what gift to buy for you. You have everything you need and most of what you want. They are going to get you something whether you like it or not, but they would most like to give you something you really could use, but might not treat yourself to. So if someone asks, help them out with some suggestions. Your birthday gift doesn’t have to break the bank to make you smile. There are ideas for every price range.
If you have a car, it needs washing -- maybe not today, but soon… and often. This gift can range in price from free to very expensive. Anyone with access to a hose and a bucket can wash your car. Of course, a thorough vacuuming is also included. A more elaborate gift involves a thorough cleaning from a local detailer. In the moderate price range, ask your gift-giver to purchase a car-wash gift card. These are available in small to large denominations.
Wardrobe or Image Consultant
A wardrobe consultant will come to your home and go through your closet with you to help you put together flattering outfits and determine what works and what doesn’t. The consultant can also go shopping with you to help you purchase anything from an anchor piece to a special occasion outfit. Alternatively, your goal is to improve your overall presentation and not just your style -- for business or for your dating life, for example -- an image consultant may be the birthday gift to ask for instead.
Closet Remodeling or Organization
Professional closet redesign can set you back hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. But there are less expensive alternatives to using professional or do-it-yourself services. A visit to the local hardware or container store should spur some ideas. An inventive gift-giver could revamp your closet in an afternoon using a simple toolbox. Even a child armed with inexpensive tiered hangers and shelf dividers could deliver a more functional closet for your birthday.
Cooking lessons are not only instructional, but useful as well. Your birthday gift could include one lesson or an entire series. Whether you are an experienced cook or a true beginner, your gift giver can find something that works for you. Ask at gourmet stores and community centers for classes nearby. There are bargain weekend and weeklong cooking retreats and vacation packages, as well. Online cooking classes using video communication services such as Skype are also available.
Who doesn’t want a whiter, brighter smile? Coffee, wine, cola and age all contribute to dimming your pearly whites. Even if you have had your teeth whitened in the past, the effect is not permanent. At approximately $650 for a single in-office session, this is one thing you may want to add to your birthday gift list. A more affordable option to ask for is an in-home whitening kit.
Pamela Fay has been a business writer for more than 15 years, with work appearing in publications such as "Legal Times." She has also worked in the consulting arena since the 1990s, specializing in leadership development, human resources, change management and diversity. Fay holds an M.B.A. from Dartmouth College.