Great Gifts for Your Gal Pals

By Debba Haupert

female friends enjoying a meal togetherDoesn’t it make you feel great to just make your girlfriend’s day?

Don’t you love it when you get to show a friend how much her friendship means to you?

Well, guess what?  August 1st was “National Girlfriend Day.”  Let me guess: you missed it, right?

No problem! I know it often makes me probably feel even better than it does my friend, when I really go out of my way to give a thoughtful, perfect present to my favorite BFF. Because, whether it’s her birthday, a “Happy Girlfriend Day” or she just needs cheering up a little – every day is a great day to celebrate female friendship.

It doesn’t take a lot of money or necessarily time to be a good girlfriend. Often it just takes a little effort and awareness of how you can make your favorite gal pal’s day. Life often is about the little moments and acts of kindness – which as girlfriends, we have the opportunity and honor to pass along to our favorite female friends through gifts and special times together.

That said, here are eight idea-starters for great girlfriend gifts that you can customize for your female friends:

1. A girl’s gotta have her hobbies!

Maybe she loves to knit or not. So, she likes to sew. Maybe her favorite pastime involves crafts, reading or gourmet cooking. Each of us have activities or hobbies that we love and that just make us happy and often relax and rejuvenate us. Give her a gift that supports her hobby habit.

Materials, books, magazine subscriptions all are wonderful when they’re about her favorite pastime activity. For a gourmet girlfriend, give her a bottle of fine wine with a recipe paired to serve it with. Know a knitter? Give her a gift certificate at her favorite yarn store. If she’s into yoga, running or walking, a certificate for new shoes or attire and a book or magazine on the topic would be wonderful gifts perfectly picked for her. Maybe her pastime is shopping. A gift certificate to her favorite store and a coupon from you to spend the day shopping with her could be her most favorite gift.

2. Share one of her favorite experiences.

Maybe, like in #1, you’re the knitter. Or do you love to bake, bead or batik? Do you have a craft area overflowing with scrapbook supplies?! Make her a gift – you know it will be her favorite and you don’t have to worry about her getting two of it! A mini-scrapbook with pictures of you two and your adventures, a necklace and matching earrings that you made or a cake decorated with her favorite team logo. This is a great way to combine your passion for your hobbies with your admiration of your friend. And she’ll appreciate the time and effort you made to make her day!

3. For clues, listen to what she says.

Everyone likes to feel special! Whenever you spend time with your girlfriend, keep a journal with notes of any gift hints she may have dropped or just some observations that give you ideas for future gifts. If she mentioned she likes a certain movie a lot, give her the DVD for her next birthday. If her favorite author just came out with a new book, give it to even if it isn’t her birthday or a holiday. Has she taken up golf or tennis? Have some attire or equipment personalized with her initials or name. Make it personal – she’ll love it and remember her thoughtful friend for giving it to her!

4. Make it a gift of your time.

Wacky schedules? Don’t get to spend as much time with your girlfriend as you’d love? Plan a day, night or weekend together. Here’s another chance to make and give her a ‘gift certificate’ for some ‘girlfriend time’ together. You’ll make memories, share laughs and reconnect by spending time together. Sure, we’re all busy but making time for each other is a wonderful way to show her how much her friendship means to you and, as a bonus for both of you, to be around the person who loves you just the way you are.

5. Send her a gift via mail.

Different zip codes, area codes, time zones or even countries? Even if you can’t pop over for a visit, you can find ways to make her day special. Plan ahead for special gifts to send that will surprise her. Send her favorite cake mix and candles for her birthday, or, like a girlfriend sent me once for a birthday, package up some microwave popcorn or her favorite movie snacks with a Blockbuster gift certificate. For a BIG birthday or celebration, send her a box with a lot of little gifts individually wrapped. Turning 30 and having 30 mini presents to open makes this day a lot more fun and memorable.

6. Play games, all sorts.

Does she like games? Are you up for a little adventure? Plan a scavenger hunt day with her. Plot out a route, clues and hidden treasures. Before cell phones with cameras we did this with a Polaroid camera – and had to capture all the clues on photos. Have her collect clues through photos she takes in order to get the next clue, then the next clue and eventually leads her to her gift or to a restaurant or venue for a celebration. Plus, just making her get her picture taken with the largest group of men in hats, walking backwards through a mall or trying on funny outfits in a thrift shop.

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