We all have those friends that are a relic of a different time in our lives. They are still fun, wonderful people, whose company we enjoy – but we’re not quite as involved in their lives as we once were. Often, they are friends from school who we have been able to keep in touch with thanks to social media, or our old dorm roommates from university who we have kept friendly with.
These friendships might not be the strongest or closest that we have, but they once were. Honouring that history is important; acknowledging the fact they have had a huge impact on your life. So when you see them for big occasions or celebrations, it’s still a big deal – and it’s still a problem when it comes to gifts.
When we buy gifts for people, we tend to relate it to their existing life. Got a friend who loves golf? Then you have the perfect set of golf balls in mind. How about the friend who you know is renovating their house? It might not sound particularly thrilling, but you know that wallpaper is going to go down a treat.
With old friends, who are important without being a huge part of our lives, this aspect is non-existent. Apart from the occasional glimpse on social media, we don’t know a lot about them and what they might need. So how on earth can you choose what to buy?
#1 – Honour Your History
The most reliable method of buying for the old friends in your life is with something that honours what you have shared together. It might be a Spotify playlist of all the songs that remind you of the childhood you shared, retro sweets to bring back memories, or even just a framed photograph of a moment in time you bonded over. These are sweet, pleasant gifts that you don’t need much up-to-date knowledge to consider. It’s all about the days gone by.
#2 – Make It Personal
When in doubt with gifts for anyone, making it personal is a good idea. Take a standard item like a mug. It’s a pretty boring gift in isolation, but if you add something personal – such as their name or a quote from a past conversation? Well, then it’s a special, exciting gift. With the advent of internet shopping, there’s more scope for personalised gifts than ever before. How about an LED light in the shape of the first letter of their name? Or a piece of typographic wall art displaying an old saying you used to laugh over?
#3 – Flowers
Flowers might be a default gift for when you don’t know what else to buy, but flowers are also really lovely. Obviously, don’t go for a cheap bloom from the petrol station. Head to an independent florist and put together something you’re confident they will like, even using flowers you know they have loved in the past or have a special meaning. Freesias, for example, signify friendship. You might not have right up-to-date knowledge of their preferences, but who doesn’t like receiving a gift that’s full of nostalgia? It shows you thought about it, at least.