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Birthdays are the perfect occasions to show someone that you care about them. What you do can be tailored specifically to that one special person. Although giving gifts is a standard practice among many cultures, and is a lovely way to show you care, there are also many other ways you can make someone’s birthday extra special.

How you do this, is of course dependent on your circumstances – including, but not limited to, proximity, money, whether the birthday is a milestone or not and so on. So take a peek at my list below of 10 ways to make someone’s birthday special. I hope it gives you some inspiration to brighten their day!

Discover birthday quotes and messages here for friends or here for a partner to get you feeling inspired.

Making their birthday special without money or on a low budget

Time is more precious than money, so spend some time with the birthday boy or girl. You can do something free or that costs very little and still have a wonderful time together. Here are some ideas!

#1 Go for a picnic in a local beauty spot.

A couple sit on a rug having a picnic

This can be made up from grocery items you already have in your house and be as simple or sophisticated as you like. Make sandwiches and bring chips and bottled water, or bake a quiché, whip up a salad and bring wine (or their favorite drink!). For extra birthday vibes (and brownie points) get hold of a cake or cupcake and candle for them to make their birthday wish.

#2 Host a movie night

A group of 3 sit on a rug in front of a projection in front of a car

You can spend a couple of bucks on some microwave popcorn, and print out cute paper movie tickets to put in a card for the birthday boy / girl. Turn out the lights, stick on a classic DVD or stream something new that you know they’ll like.

#3 Write a poem

You don’t need to be William Wordsworth to write a poem to make someone feel special. It doesn’t have to be an epic, 60-line masterpiece. It doesn’t even need to rhyme! Just write down a few lines about them, maybe about things they have done or things you admire about their personality. The effort you go to will be evident to them and make them feel extra special on their day.

Want to share your love for this person on social media? Check out 21 awesome caption ideas here.

Celebrating a long distance birthday online?

Friends, family and loved ones living apart from each other is becoming more and more common in our modern world. So it is not unusual to find yourself in a situation where you want to make someone feel special who lives hundreds or thousands of miles away from you. Thankfully there are many ways to do this… Here are a few ideas:

#1 Video call surprise party

Two women video call a couple on the laptop, showing how to make someones birthday special

If you live far away from the person whose birthday it is, a nice way to surprise them is to arrange a video call. One way to do this, but still have it organized, is to go under the pretense that it will just be you and the birthday celebrant, and to then secretly invite other friends / family members to join as well. To maximize the surprise, you could all enter the call before the birthday boy/girl so that when they finally join, you can all burst into song at the same time to welcome them. Bonus points if you can get everyone to dress up and wear party hats or have balloons/streamers in the background too.

#2 Gaming celebrations

I actually experienced this myself during the lockdowns in 2021, and it is definitely a birthday celebration I will remember forever. I was living alone on my birthday that year and due to the restrictions I was not allowed to go visit anyone at that time. A few of my friends arranged for us all to play online games together online the night before, and as the clock struck 12, they all (virtually) gathered around me to play instruments and sing. The sight of three pirates playing hurdy gurdys and banjos on a beach while singing happy birthday is not a sight to forget in a hurry!

#3 Sending something unexpected

A woman receives a cake with a lit sparkler

You can get totally creative with this, but try to make it something very personal to the birthday boy/girl. Depending on how far away they live, you could bake them their favorite cookies and send them. You could have a framed photo printed of you and them the last time you were together. You could even arrange for a singing telegram!

#4 Make a birthday wishes video

This can be done alone or also include other people who know the birthday celebrant. Film in different locations in your local area that are special to your relationship. Get each person to record a short birthday message and make a kind of compilation to be sent on the birthday. You’ll need to be organized to get it done on time, but it will be worth it for the recipient.

Tip: With MyPostcard app, you can actually send a video inside a printed card personalized with your own photo. When it arrives, the recipient can scan the QR code to view it!

#5 Turn up

A man and woman greet eachother when someone turns up to make the other's birthday special

The best and most surprising way to make your long distance friend’s day, is to show up on their birthday. Of course this totally depends on your situations, may require some extensive planning on your part (and possibly the help of some co-conspirators), but if it is an option for you, it would definitely give them a birthday to remember!

Making milestone birthdays special

Any of the previous ideas could also work for milestone birthdays, but below are a couple of extra special things you could consider for a milestone birthday.

By the way, if you still need to write your birthday card, check out this article on what to write in a 18th…21st…30th+ (etc.) milestone birthday card.

Make a birthday box gift

The birthday girl opens a package sent to make her birthday special

This idea is similar to a memory box, put in things that remind you of the person at different ages in their life. These can be candies they liked as a child, DVDs of movies they used to watch, framed photos of them from their awkward teenage years, a bottle of wine from a vineyard you visited, anything that reminds you of them through the ages.

This way for a cute DIY photo explosion box to go with your theme.

Get a celebrity birthday message

These can be a little expensive, which is why they’re in this section, but if your friend has a celebrity idol, this could be a great gift for them. There are several websites that allow you to book video messages or sometimes even calls with a multitude of celebrities from across the globe, the more famous the more expensive in general, but take a look. Getting a personal video birthday message from your teen TV crush is sure to be one for the books!

Need more tips for making your friend’s birthday special?

Check out the following articles for more ways to make their birthday ultra special!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. If you haven’t organized anything to celebrate with your own mother yet and are looking for inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place! I’ve put together a carefully curated list of cheap or even free ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day to the max. Some take a little preparation, but most take hardly any and none more than a couple of hours. So no matter how much time you have to plan celebrating Mother’s Day, peruse my list and make your mom happy 🙂

Days out to celebrate Mother’s Day

Window shopping

A mom and daughter window shopping while celebrating Mother's Day

If your mom is more of a material girl, why not take her window shopping? You can go try on outfits together and see what you would buy if you had unlimited funds. Maybe choose each other’s outfits as a way to see how well you know each other’s style (or just to laugh at each other when you end up wearing something ridiculous!). If you like you could also offer to pay for lunch while you are out or even just a coffee and cake to keep your stamina up.

Go hiking

This is a lovely, active way to celebrate and guarantees some quality time spent with you and your mother (and any other family members/friends who might want to join). Make sure to be aware of everyone’s physical capabilities and base your walk around the least active member so that no one is struggling and you can all enjoy being in nature together. Ideas for where to walk include parks, forests, nature reserves, along beaches or just in general countryside.

Go for a drive somewhere pretty

A mom putting on lipstick in preparation for a celebratory Mother's Day roadtrip!

If your mom is not so active, a nice way of celebrating Mother’s Day is to spend a day out with her could be to drive around somewhere pretty. This could be to a nearby beauty spot or just around the countryside. You can take a picnic to eat together at a place you choose to stop off too.

Mother’s Day celebrations for foodies

Bake a cake

A mom and daughter bake together celebrating Mother's Day

Who doesn’t love cake?

Baking a cake doesn’t cost the earth and is a great way to show your mom that you thought of her and spent time making something delicious (and perfectly celebratory) for her on Mothers’ Day. Find out (if you don’t already know) what kind of cake she prefers and get a recipe online. Cake baking is more of a science than an art and so as long as you find a fairly simple recipe, just follow the instructions precisely and you should be good to go! Regarding decoration you can go as wild and wacky or plain and simple as you like. For the most simple just hold a sieve around 15 inches above the cake and put in a tablespoon of powdered sugar, shake it around a bit and the sugar should fall down and create a cute snowy looking layer across the top of the cake.

Alternatively, try celebrating Mother’s Day by suggesting you do it together! People love to be asked for advice, and this way you get some quality time tofet

Cook her a meal that reminds you of her

This one requires a little more creativity and possibly some more technical knowledge, but is great for anyone who likes to cook. Think a little about what foods remind you of your mom and create a meal from some of it. It can be meals she used to cook you, meals you have heard her talk about or meals you shared together. Get creative and wow her with your culinary prowess!

Gift ideas to celebrate mom

Photo collage

A poster collage of photos as a gift for Mother's Day

A photo collage of your family is a great gift/memento for your mom. You can make it simple, filling a rectangle/square shape with photos to fit in a frame, or go wild and try for a “Mom” shaped outline. This can be easily made using digital photos and printed at home or at a specific photo printing facility for a more polished look.

Recreate an old photo

Another photo idea that can be fairly easily created but needs a little more advance preparation is the recreation of an old photo. Choose one of your mother’s favorites, find clothes as similar as possible and recreate those poses! Bonus points for accurate recreation of hairstyles 🙂 

Playlist. A totally free gift that you can give your mom and that you can enjoy together, is making her a playlist. You can use any number of streaming services to create a list of songs that remind you of her.

Experiences

At home disco

A small gathering celebrating Mother's Day viewed from above.

One that works better at night but also doable with blackout blinds is to turn your living room into a disco party to celebrate! If your mum is a dancing queen she’ll love this idea. You can turn out the lights, play music through speakers and use your tv for a cool light display. Buy glowsticks for extra authenticity and maybe mix up a few cocktails to boogie with.

At home spa day.

Pamper your mom this Mothers’ Day by setting up an at home spa for her. Use aromatherapy and calming music to set the scene. Apply face masks, foot soaks, paint her nails, whatever you think she will like to make her feel special.

At home movie theater experience

Turn your home into a movie theater for the day by closing all curtains/blinds, getting a copy of one of her favorite movies on the tv, and popular theater snacks such as popcorn, nachos and ice cream.

Long Distance Mothers

Family video call

A family on video call chatting, two people sitting on the bed with the laptop in front.

Many people are unable to physically be with their mothers on Mothers’ Day, in which case a video call is the next best thing. You can arrange this to include other members of the family too in which you could eat together or even play some games.

Order her a food delivery

Flowers are nice, chocolates are great, but both are a little cliche. If you really want to earn brownie points this year, think about having your mom’s favorite takeaway delivered to her for lunch or dinner! Just make sure she will be in to receive it and know she will appreciate the thought of buying her meal 🙂

We’ve got a whole host of other ideas for long-distance mothers and kids. Make sure to check it out!

Need more Mother’s Day inspiration?

Whether you’re looking for ways to spend mom-child quality time, lovely compliments and words to shower mom with, or perhaps some homemade Mother’s Day gift ideas, we’ve got the article for you.

Browse our Celebrating Mother’s Day section here.

Or go ahead and order your personalized Mother’s Day card! We print and send for you!

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