Gift suggestions for a new friend's birthday?
March 25, 2013 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I've been invited to a new (<3 months) friend's 40th birthday supper. What can I bring him?

He queried me about a topic I know a bit about at a venue I frequent. Later I attended a drop in class he taught. I'm grateful and happy to be included in his circle of quirky and eclectic friends. We're all doing Dutch treat at one of his favorite places. This is a platonic thing, but hey, nothing wrong with making more friends in this world, is there. What would you suggest as a surprising, thoughtful, not-too-terribly personal gift for a milestone birthday?
posted by Prairie to Human Relations (6 answers total)
A bottle of wine would be the usual gift in my circles. Not "surprising," but I think it meets the "thoughtful but somewhat-impersonal" requirements.
posted by belladonna at 7:27 PM on March 25, 2013

Without some further details, this is so incredibly vague as to be unanswerable. What was the topic he queried you about? What was the venue you frequented? What was the class he taught? Get him something related to how you know each other. This could really be anything because we have no clue who this guy is or what he likes. "Quirky and eclectic" by definition includes a vast array of possibilities.

General askme advice for gifts you're unsure about the reception of is to make it a consumable, like wine, candy or flowers, so the recipient never feels unduly obligated to trot out an unwanted gift in the future, and it doesn't take up any space they may not have.

But honestly? If you haven't known him for very long, and you're just meeting his friend group for the first or maybe second time, and this is a milestone birthday where you're all splitting the bill, I not only think you have no obligation to give a gift but that it might be kind of awkward, if you gave him something and his other friends traditionally just get dinner, or whatever their thing is. At most, I'd have a nice bottle of wine or spirits to share in case the place allows outside liquor, or to just hand over if they don't, and that's that.
posted by Mizu at 7:30 PM on March 25, 2013

A nice bottle of wine, or a more expensive big bottle of craft beer if he's more into that.
posted by Fig at 8:00 PM on March 25, 2013

Vagueness is kind of the point (since I don't know if this is among his reading material). I suppose I could have left out even more details. However, you've inspired me. Thanks.
posted by Prairie at 8:01 PM on March 25, 2013

If you know a place that has pretty cupcakes, you could bring him a birthday cupcake.

40's a big birthday and all, but since you haven't known this person very long, stick to something a little more on the token side. Definitely less than $20. Especially since there's a good chance that you'll be helping to pick up the tab for birthday boy's dinner.
posted by maryr at 8:07 PM on March 25, 2013

Around here a fancy bottle of olive oil or balsamic goes over well unless you know he doesn't cook.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:25 AM on March 26, 2013

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