Author Topic: Birthday presents for a Mustachian  (Read 4116 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
I'm going to try and make this post as non-eyeroll inducing as possible.

My 30th birthday is coming up this fall, and my family has already begun asking what to get me. I'm terrible to buy gifts for because there's nothing that I want. Like a true mustachian, I don't desire any fancy gadgets or gizmos or designer clothes. My hobby of choice is writing, which only requires a computer or pen/paper, both of which I have. I don't know what to tell them. Have any Mustachians had this dilemma before, and if so, how have you handled it?


  • Bristles
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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 11:45:57 AM »
I guess it would depend on the attitude of the gift givers.  Are they on board with your frugal ways?  Would they be ok with giving you gift cards to a restaurant?  Or even better, the grocery store?  If you truly don't need anything, maybe suggest they instead give a gift to a charity you support, or buy a pet toy for the local animal shelter?  My family is generally pretty good about giving me useful things.  For my last birthday, my MIL asked what I wanted.  My stash of kitchen dish cloths was getting pretty worn out, so that is what I asked for.  MIL gave me enough dish rags and towels to last the rest of my life.  They get used constantly!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 12:30:20 PM »
I've generally asked for stuff that I genuinely need when it comes up - some small kitchen appliance, towels, bedding, a new winter coat. If I don't need anything, tickets to pretty much any sort of show are always welcome, or gift cards - my mom once gave me a gift card to a major department store that was closing down and having 50-80% off sales, which got me an entire office wardrobe and a lot of underwear!

Otherwise, I would suggest edible/drinkable things you like! Fancy chocolates are always a favourite in my books. I've gotten a few awesome fruit baskets in the past before as well.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 12:51:17 PM »
I'm expecting a check for my birthday next week from my dad. Just like every year.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 02:16:53 PM »
My personal favourite gifts:

MIL works at Macdonalds - I asked for free coffee coupons.  She peels the stickers off as she clears tables.  Free for her and I get to treat myself, I have a few in my wallet and I think of her every time I use one..
I also ask for gifts to my favourite charities, I'll accept money or volunteer time.
Sister in law gave me a coupon for babysitting and supper at her place.
My wife gave me a scarf she made, I love it.
I usually give large amounts of firewood (to use at outside get togethers), help with certain tasks like renos (all day of free labour), homemade wine to share etc.  If it's something I would like I try to give it out. To me mustachian gifts should be mustachian for both parties.

Maybe you can ask for short stories from them, would that appeal to the writer within? Is there any other gifts that would bring back good memories in coming years? Normally after a week I forget who gave me a gift card/sweater/consumer item.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 02:34:32 PM »
I usually ask for things I hate buying but are required....gas for the car, restaurant giftcards, things that need to be replaced...underwear/undershirts, occasional tools, the best gift I got from my MIL was an adjustable thermostat.


  • Stubble
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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 02:41:00 PM »
If there isn't anything "useful" that you need like a new bike helmet, shoes, tools, blender, etc.  I'd agree that gift cards are a good choice or anything edible.

Or you could have a potluck party and everyone could bring food.  I think I might be hungry... all my thoughts are food-related.

iris lily

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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 06:53:18 PM »
Dear young Mustaschian,

I am so sorry to say that it does not get better. I wish that I had better news.

I just turned 60. I had a party for myself because I wanted to keep it low key and here, in this neighborhood, if you don't Do Something for The Birthday then someone will do it for you. It happened to me at 50 and I didn't want a repeat. So DH and I hosted 10 friends and we had a nice dinner with lots of wine and the tab was completely Un-mustaschian, but that's fine because we can afford it.

On the invitations I wrote: Please, No Gifts. Seriously. And most people did not honor that. Sigh.

And I could write about a couple of the gifts that were ME, but in the end I still got pretty horrifying amounts of cheap crap from China which always depresses the hell out of me.

I have learned over the decades that I just have to smile, say "thank you" and put the crap in a pile for Goodwill. And fortunately, now DH does the same thing. At Christmas we just make a pile of it on the table and whisk it off to Goodwill within the week. Although some things are too crappy for even Goodwill, and I pitch those in the dumpster.


  • Guest
Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 07:44:56 PM »
Biking stuff or fancy alcohol are my current go-tos.

My 30th is coming later this year. I am shooting for cash. Not even gift cards, because if I can find a big ticket tool I'm saving for on Craigslist, all the better.

Weedy Acres

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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 08:36:13 PM »
Service.  Are they nearby?  Then see what skills they have that they can donate to you.  Even unskilled people could mow your lawn or clean your house. 


  • Stubble
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Re: Birthday presents for a Mustachian
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 10:13:12 PM »
    Happy birthday!

    If you like writing, could you use (even if you don't need):
    • a lovely leather journal or portfolio? seriously, only ask for this if you need it, people take this one and run with it and next thing you know it's parchment and leather-wrapped signatures out your ears
    • a really nice pen (classic for a 30th)
    • a reference book?
    • subscription to a reference resource that you can't get through your library?
    • a class or critique?
    • a voucher to get something professionally printed (even if it's just a draft - I've got a big printed version of my first big horrible draft with "Working Title: The Very First Draft Of It" writ large on the cover, just to prove I got that far)
    • coffee card (if, like me, you like to write in public)
    • membership to a writing convention?
    • voucher to a local business you'd like to support but haven't budgeted for?
    • a voucher for massage? (seriously, writing has some bad RSI side-effects)
    • hip flask? (mustachian, classic writerly accessory AND a good 30th gift
    It's brilliant to get utilitarian gifts, but many people express love/affection through giving things and don't understand people who don't. So if there's a slightly more luxurious/lighthearted version of something you could use anyway (if you wear cheap shirts and someone want to give you an unexpectedly beautiful Threadless one...), and spending that money on you makes them happy, then that could be a genuine compromise on your list.

    I just had my 34th this weekend. I asked for:
    • equipment I needed;
    • nice versions of things I'd have used anyway (I'd buy plain cupcake papers, so if my sister wants to spend a bit more to get me pretty frilly ones, I won't complain);
    • reference books - I suggested second-hand but got the full gorgeous boxed illustrated Folio Society edition so hey! score!;
    • gift certificates to local bookstores, so I can buy friends' books (I figure this makes many people happy, including the giver, me, anyone to whom I give books, the author, the publisher (often small), the bookstore owner and other patrons who are eager to keep the shop afloat);
    • unusual baking (I send my mother links to unusal jams and cookies on Pinterest and request them)
    • dinner out;
    • the garnishes and flourishes I enjoy but would otherwise avoid: more expensive wines, a selection of chutneys, etc.

    I find consumable luxuries, and slightly fancier versions of things I'd use anyway, are a great way to go. The giver is happy because they get to treat me, and I'm happy because it's all useful.

    For the general friendship group, I used to say, "Oh, why not treat me to coffee and cake"? They're relieved of shopping obligations but still get to "give" something. (I may modify that to "invite me over for coffee etc" in future).