Birthday wish lists: are they a thing of the past?

It is my birthday soon. Next week. Its not something I am keen on focusing on as it will be my 42nd year. This means I am definitely on the way in my forty something life. Ok – enough focusing (depressively) on my age. Its not that bad, but I’ve never been that good at birthdays. So when asked the question (yes it comes every year from my sister) ‘What would you like for your birthday?’ I usually coil into a small ball and rock front to back (much more smoothly may I say now that I started yoga haha!).

Do I have a wish list?

I generally don’t have one. This in some weird way makes it easier for everyone. I have got some wonderful presents just by not having one. Take, for instance, last year. Me and my mum went for lunch to Chez Jules (fabulously french and cheap but cheerful) last year and then we drunkenly went to Stewart and Christie‘s on Queen street because I suggested that I had always wanted a good ‘tweed’ jacket. Stewart and Christie’s is the oldest tailor of this type of attire in Edinburgh and I knew (in a loose way from a few parties) one of the owners and one of the tailors. This was following a quick look in a few George Street shops who would never compare. Result – I got a tailored (not bespoke but only a bit of work done) tweed jacket. It will last a lifetime! It is beautiful. My mum, having forked out for my birthday on my one, went back a month later to order her own. This also resulted in a drunken lunch (Tiger Lilly) to celebrate. All events combined meant good bonding over good presents over quality attire. The one thing it didn’t mean was that we stuck within the unwritten budget rule that as a family we have on presents.

The budget

This, as noted above, is an unwritten rule. A good rule as lets face it we are in an age where we buy what we want when we want. So a pre-defined limit takes some thinking. Don’t be shocked but its basically £50 per person. So my mum and dad will spend £100, me and my sister will spend £50. Its not much at all nowadays but to re-emphasise the point – we are in a time where we already have what we want so presents are something that should be different. Times have changed. Im not that old (as I keep telling myself) – but when younger we used to keep a list for ages (for birthdays and of course Christmas). The only times we got those overly desired objects was on these special occasions. At some point this all changed. We spend, use and discard. We don’t keep lists because most things are immediate. Its kind of sad and also wonderfully gratifying. I don’t even think its an age thing. As a single 40 something living in Edinburgh you would expect that I can sensibly afford the things I want. But to have the excitement back of the present list, the waiting, the build up and even at times the disappointment (oh the trauma of not getting that specific Barbie I wanted) would be something! We don’t do this kind of excitement in 2019. Its kind of a shame.

Rebel against the age

So….I thought of a list. All the things I have fancied since the start of the year. When the text came through ‘what would you like…’ I jumped on it like a typical amazon prime member. Here is my wish list. A feet up trainer (or alternative product)…oooh yes please (although that as you might have already calculated would be a joint sister and parents present). Or pick from the rest: yoga wheel, Blackberry and something or other Jo Malone perfume (my daily go to scent), Jo Malone soap (can’t recommend highly enough and am never using any other soap in the bath or shower ever again), candles (of any variety as always a good thing), or my incense sticks (this is a new thing but makes me very relaxed of an evening). If this list doesn’t work for them then I will take any surprise at my age! Only thing missing is a good man (possibly only useful at this time of year to buy me another lovely present)….ok scratch that – they are more trouble than they are worth and never meet the wish list expectations 🙂


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