Perhaps you’ve noticed by now that fully everyone you’ve ever met in your entire life was born between June and September. Oh, sure, there’s an odd Aries at your office, or a poor sap you know from the gym whose birthday gets drowned out by Christmas, but for the most part, summer birthdays. They are a plague and a menace. Worst of all, they sometimes require presents.
Option 1: Experiences over things! When you give the gift of an experience, you get not merely the experience itself — the trip to the water park, the theater, the spa — but the memories of said experience, which endure, unbreakable, gathering neither dust nor mold, forever, til death do you part, or Alzheimer’s.
Option 2: Things over experiences! When you give the gift of something the individual truly wants and has not yet managed to wrangle for themselves — like, say, a vintage 70′s Swiss wrist-watch that you lovingly picked out for them from a old-school midtown jewelry store, encouraged by an Indian salesman named Moses — you demonstrate that you have listened to them when they have expressed their preferences in the past. You have put in attention and time as well as money. Whenever they look at their wrist they will swell with affection for you.
Option 3: Things that include experiences! Like, say, the Star Wars (TM) LEGO set that, when built, becomes a nearly life-sized R2-D2, for your 30-year-old son to remind him he is still a kid at heart. The thing is great; the experience of building the thing is even greater; and the having of the thing, ideally in your new office in Vegas, that you have the memory of building, is greatest of all.
Winner: My mom, for buying my little brother the R2-D2, which he put together in a grand total of two days. Well played, Mother.