Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to show our loved ones, not only how much we love them, but also how much we pay attention to them. Becoming aware of things your loved one notices and comments on will help you to come up with birthday gift ideas that are completely unexpected and that show just how much you have been paying attention. The key to coming up with birthday gifts that are extra special and that have a particularly powerful impact is thinking out of the box, and getting a little organized.

The first step is to set aside a notebook that you will use for your ideas. It is best to do this as early as possible before the birthday date, but even if you have left it to the last minute, this will help you to come up with ideas for birthday gifts that you would not have thought of otherwise. Start making notes in your notebook of all ideas that come into your head – even if they seem silly or impossible, write them down anyway. The interesting thing is that even ideas that seem outrageous or silly can lead to other ideas that are perfect but that would not have occurred to you if you hadn’t written down the silly ones!

While making these notes, write down everything you can think of that your loved one likes and is interested in – again, even the stuff that doesn’t seem viable as far as gifts go, write it down anyway as it may lead to other ideas. You could use one page per topic – this would make the notes more manageable, and will make it easier to find something specific. If this is a last minute gift, you’ll need to spend some time doing this all in one go. Get yourself a beverage, make yourself comfortable, and start going through the ideas.

If you have more than one day before you need to buy the gift, keep the notebook with you as much as possible so that whenever ideas occur to you, you can add the notes to the book. It is especially useful to keep it next to your bed at night – that is often when the best ideas come to us, and having the book next to your bed will save you having to get up to write it down or lose the idea completely by forgetting it before the next morning.

Once you have all of your ideas in the book, go through all of your notes, and think about combining different topics in order to come up with something that is unique. For example, if your loved one enjoys gardening and is also a fan of a particular sports team or musician, you could give them a pair of gardening gloves with tickets to a game or concert hidden inside one of the gloves. When they open the gift, you could ask them to try on the gloves to make sure they fit – and of course, they will then find the surprise gift of the tickets!

Another example: if your loved one likes cats, and you don’t want to get her yet another item with a cat printed on it, and you know she also likes a particular band, you could get her a USB flash drive in the shape of a cat; and before wrapping it, load fun and cute photos and videos of cats onto it, along with music from her favorite band. Once you start thinking creatively like this, you will be amazed at the ideas that you come up with that you would never have thought of before.