We've all been there. Or at least we're all getting there, in time. We have at least one friend older than us and their 21st birthday is coming up and we're straight stuck.
What do you buy your friend who's turning 21 (or older), when you're not even 21 yet? Especially when they're a good friend to you. Believe me, I know that gifts aren't always everything, but I'm someone who loves giving gifts especially on my friends birthdays, especially on their 21st.
I'm the literal baby amongst all my friends. By the time I turned 20, two of my very good friends were already 21. Now, five months before my birthday, I'm still the baby and even more of my friends are turning 21. At this point, I'd like to think I've gotten pretty clever as to what to get your friends who are turning 21 when you're not quite there yet.
Let me be clear in advance, I am in no way condoning the need or necessity to drink once you turn 21! These are gifts that I found myself gravitating towards getting my friends once they reached this fun age. OK, carry on.
1. A wine glass or beer glass.
Obviously, you can't get your 21-year-old friend alcohol when you're not even there yet. But you can contribute to something they may or may not be partaking in. Finding a funny glass or decorative bottle is something that can be used and is also a good memory for them to look back on when using. Steam? Stemless? Plastic? Glass? One of each? I'll take it!
2. Expensive chocolate.
For your food loving, sweet eating friend, this is for you. Obviously, any price range of chocolate will suffice just fine. I just find that spending a little extra something on some fancy, expensive chocolate is never a bad idea. And these chocolate bars and quite literally to die for. Packaging and flavor. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, flavored chocolate? The world of chocolate is your oyster.
3. Wine saver or pump.
My family had one of these while I was growing up, and having friends who are avid wine lovers, I felt that this was perfect for some people. Wine pump savers (is there a proper name for these?) are typically used when you don't finish a bottle of wine and can help to keep it from going flat as quick. They can range in price depending on whatever type you're looking for. Search around, read reviews, and hopefully, you'll end up with one that suits your fancy.
4. "Buy" them a drink on their first night out!
Obviously, if you're under the age, you cannot partake in their first night out as a legal to drink person. But a fun way to feel involved or for them to know you're "there" when you're not is to buy them a drink! In this day in age, you can transfer the money through Paypal, Venmo, and probably more than I'm forgetting. Give them a nice $10 bill in a cute card and you can call yourself good to go.
5. Wine and cheese pairing books.
I think I may be going on a trend here, but I'm not gonna apologize for that. For your wine-loving friends, finding a book that has wine and cheese pairings can be priceless. Especially for that friend who's willing to try new and different things, this could be perfect. Look around, I can guarantee you'll find them in the most knick-knack stores, and any friend (who's not dairy free) would be happy to receive this gift.
6. Make a fancy or not so fancy dinner.
Any friend that cooks for me, I automatically love even more. When it comes to food, it can be very easy to please certain people. Be super romantic and whip up whatever five-course meal you can, or be super romantic and order a pizza! Both are highly appreciated and neither will disappoint.
7. A flask!
Again! Not trying to condone drinking! And to be completely honest, I don't know of anyone who uses a flask these days, but it's still a fun gift. Find a super tacky one from your local dollar store and completely personalize one. Or find the most ridiculously sized one and call it a good day.
8. Anything (and I mean anything) for the kitchen.
As I've gotten older, I've fallen in love with the idea behind practical gifts. And by practical, I mean any and everything I can use around my apartment. If you have any college friends who are living on their own for the first time, they would probably agree. Coffee mug, dish towel, placemats, cleaning supplies, reusable straws, pizza cutter, literally I mean anything!
9. The "Hungover Cookbook."
Now that they have a practice use for this book, it's finally time to gift it to them. Filled to the brim with recipes that any college student would love, especially ones that just reached the ripe age of 21. Have a morning and offer to cook them brunch or choose random recipes to indulge with throughout the year. A timeless gift.
Obviously, at the end of it all, birthday's are never about gifts! One of the biggest things I've learned and picked up on while growing up is how much less I ask for things let alone need things. I'm someone that loves seeing the look on peoples faces when I give them a well thought out gift that cost me $10, but I know they'll love it anyway.
At the end of the day, a birthday and celebration are all of what you make it out to be. Happy birthday! Happy celebration! And please be safe when it comes to the big celebrating of turning 21!