Birthdays mean a lot of things. They represent someone turning one year older and wiser. A popular way of expressing love for the birthday person is to provide them with a gift. These presents are a kind gesture, and they help the person celebrate their birthday. Occasionally, someone will get a birthday gift so amazing, they never forget it.
People on Reddit talk about the best birthday gift they've ever gotten. Content has been edited for clarity.
"For my 30th birthday this year, my husband asked me if I wanted to have a big party. I said no, I just wanted to hang out with him and a few friends and maybe go to dinner and get drinks. Keep it on the down low.
We live in Michigan. My birthday is in January. The weather always sucks, but this year it was the Polar Vortex during my birthday week, and the weather was atrocious.
My husband told me six months before he had big plans for a surprise, and I needed to take Thursday and Friday off work.
On Wednesday of that week, he was real concerned about the weather—like, more so than you’d expect a normal human person to be.
That night, I got out of the shower and went downstairs where he told me he had drinks waiting.
He also had my best friend, whom he’d flown in from California. Her flight into Michigan had been cancelled, and she’d flown into Ohio, where some of our other friends lived. They had her spend the night there, and my cousin drove ten total hours in one day, during a snowstorm, to pick her up and bring her to me.
I’ve never felt so lucky to have people who loved me so much they’d leave warm places and safe houses and spend hundreds of dollars just to see me happy."
"I grew up poor, and always wanted to go to Disney on Ice but never got to go. I told my then boyfriend about it, and for my birthday he surprised me by taking me to Disney on Ice!
He didn't tell me until we pulled into the parking lot of the coliseum. I cried. And then he freaking bought me a shirt, light up princess crown and we took a picture with Ariel. Best. Gift. Ever. I was just as excited as all the screaming little girls around us."
"I grew up pretty poor and so never really got gifts from the fam after the age of 10. My friends knew I had a terrible MP3 player that held like 500mb. I loved music and so I would change out the songs daily. It was so tedious, but it was a huge upgrade from my CD player.
I never even dreamed of owning an iPod. But for my birthday, my friend gave me her iPod mini (she was going to get a new one soon) and I nearly cried out of excitement. There were 4 gigs on this bad boy! Truly one of the few times I was just so shocked by any gesture."
"My now Wife sent me a package with a hoodie that matched hers, birthday cake mix and candles with a few other things on my birthday. It was one of the worst years of my life. That single package brought me from ending my life to marrying her. We lived in different states at the time and were not dating. We had broken up a while before that and she moved away.
I got sent to her town for work training, it happened to be her birthday so I decided to say hi. We walked around a mall for a few hours talked and said goodbye. Got the package and decided in that moment as I cried I needed to spend my life with her. We are now married for 5 years and have a 7 month old. Life can be pretty awesome sometimes."
"I had an internship on the other side of the country and ended up making an incredible friend. I had to come back from the internship early and was struggling with grief and depression so my mom arranged for me to fly back across the country after coming home so I could spend close to a week with this new friend about 5 months after we parted ways for my birthday. That was 11 years ago and last year I stood next to her as she married the love of her life."
"One time, my cousin and girlfriend surprised me by wanting to paint. I said of course, and we walked to the barn where I immediately started to look for any sort of spray can with paint in it.
To my surprise, the first can I picked up was full; the second, third and fourth were, too! They had cleaned up the studio and got fresh paint. They laid the new cans around to look like the previous mess."
"I befriended a decently big Twitch streamer (who is also a decently big YouTuber), and he created a really awesome community with his Twitch streams.
So for his birthday, I organized a community-wide video present. I reached out to all of the main commenters on the Twitch stream, and had each of them make a picture in the style of his YouTube drawings, wishing him a happy birthday. I even got some of his real life friends involved! I collected like 45 of these pictures, and turned them all into a slideshow video.
For the music, I chose 3 songs that he loves and would always listen to on the stream and made a mashup of all three songs. I reached out to musicians in his Twitch community, and had them record a part of the song on their instrument and I mixed it all together.
I then told everyone the exact day and time to tune into the Twitch stream as I would premiere the video then. So the day comes, everyone shows up to the stream, I start commenting all this stuff basically thanking him for creating this great community, and we wanted to give something back to him. Then I linked the video and he watched it!
It was the first time that anyone else had seen the video, and it was a really really awesome moment for everyone. You know how when people talk and you can hear their smile in their voice? That’s exactly how it was for the streamer the entire time he was watching the video and for the rest of the stream that night. Honestly one of my favorite memories with him and the stream."
"I was very poor growing up. Like, sometimes the only reason we had a roof over our head was the generosity of others.
For my 6th birthday, we went to one if those free public water fountains you can play in. Little did I know that the reason we did that is because my mom spent all of her spare money (as in not bill money), and asked my Uncle for some money, and they bought me a gamecube and a copy of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
Since then I've received an Xbox, a laptop, a video camera, and a full on desktop computer for various birthdays. None of them have topped that GameCube and that Sonic game in how much it meant to me."
"May sound dumb, but the best gift I ever received was a few years ago when I was 15, a signed record. I’ve always been a fan of the Rock-afire explosion, an animatronic band from the 1980s, and Aaron Fechter- the guy who made them.
My mom took note of this and actually emailed him a few weeks before my birthday. He actually sent a signed and dated record ( The Fatz one ) wishing me a happy birthday. Still have it, and it’s probably one of my favorite pieces of my RAE collection to this day. Have talked to Aaron a few times since, he’s an extremely cool guy!"
"I was six years old and everyone at school started getting cellphones. I was really hoping I would get a Sony Ericsson W610i for my birthday because it had 2 whole freakin megapixels among other things. The more megapixels, the better the phone we thought.
My birthday came and I got a phone, when I opened the package I saw it wasn’t the exact model I had wished for (it was a T658c) and was kind of disappointed, but then, My God, what is this? 3.2 megapixels?! That’s like 1.2 megapixels more than the other kids phones.
I was mind blown and super happy."
"I had a small party when I was 17, and mostly I got gift cards but a few friends actually got me gifts. When I opened one from one of my friends, I almost broke down in tears because it was exactly what I had wanted. I have never felt like I fit in anywhere, so I always felt a kinship with the 'Island of Misfit Toys' from the old claymation Rudolph movie.
I wanted the pink polka dotted elephant so bad. I had asked for years, but never got it because it’s a collectors item now and expensive and not something you can really cuddle with. So I stopped asking at least TWO YEARS before my 17th birthday party. My friend thought I hated it because she had made one (yes, sewn one together!) and I thought it was stupid. It is made from a white towel and a pink towel that she bought and it is the most genuine gift that I own. I absolutely adore that she remembered when I hadn’t mentioned it."
"I started drinking socially a long time ago when I was 19, and notice the kids my age wouldn't drink at parties to enhance their good time but to instead get completely hammered and throw up as if that was the fun (or only) thing to do. I ranted about this to my core friend group, saying that it would be nice if social drinking were more refined, like a tea party. I mean, how cool would it be to drink Hennessy out of a teacup, right?
Fast-forward a year some change - I decide to move across the country for my 21st birthday. The night before I was set to leave, one of my dear friends from my core friend group gave me a bottle of Hennessy and a really tiny, glass teacup. I was just ranting about some nonsense YEARS AGO; I didn't realize that someone actually cared about what I was saying. That, someone, was listening.
Later that night my friends drove me back to my apartment. The song "Bring It! (Snakes On A Plane)" by Cobra Starship started playing on the radio, and I just lost it. I was leaving my best friends, especially this lovely woman who gave me such a touching gift. She and I dirty cried in the backseat for the duration of the trip.
I haven't seen her for some time, but I will love her for the rest of my life."
"I always hated my birthday growing up. Somehow being born in the summer meant that it was ignored. My friends didn't remember because it was the summer. Even my family passively pushed it to the side, and focused more on how my oldest brother was married on my birthday.
Last year I was moving away for grad school the day after my birthday. So I decided this one time that I was going to do it, I'm going to celebrate me. So I planned an entire day, invited people, did what I want. I was hoping my friends would help plan or seem excited, but they seemed uninterested and were going along with it for their love of me. They continued to ignore me up to my birthday, not really responding to plans or my questions.
My day came, and it was great but it felt off. At the end of the night, my best friend asks the group to politely shut up, and out of nowhere they bring a giant check out (that they had made themselves) with enough money for me to buy a new laptop. My friends had ignored me because they were actively working behind the scenes trying to contact every person I knew, and asking them to donate enough money to get me a new laptop. I guess everyone knew how broken my laptop was, how broke I've always been my entire life and how hard it was for me to move away for grad school. The only reason I didn't cry was because I was completely shock. I couldn't believe it. If I had any expectations, they clearly surpassed it."
"I befriended a girl last year when I started at college and mentioned to her in passing that I'd always wanted to ride a horse but had never gotten around to doing it.
A few months later, my birthday rolls around and she asks me if I'll go with her to a doctor's appointment in the town over. She's often sick and I like this girl a lot, so of course I say yes. I'm not big on birthdays, so I didn't have other plans, so a trip to the doctor's office with her seems like a fine way to spend my birthday.
I was pretty concerned when our taxi driver took us on a strange, winding route into the middle of the countryside, miles away from the nearest doctor. Eventually, transpired that she'd tricked me into going for horse-riding lessons with her, bless her heart.
I'd spent 28 years asking my family to take me horse riding and it never happened, not even once. Mentioned it in passing to this girl, she has it done as soon as possible. Honestly one of my favorite people walking this earth, she's so lovely."
"About a month before my birthday, my girlfriend and I were talking and she asked me if I liked iPhones. I told her I did, but I had never had one because I had cell phones that my parents could afford, or thought were of a reasonable price for a jobless teenager. Then, when I started working and could buy them myself, I bought a phone that I liked but it broke. I had to start using an average one that my dad had bought, but wasn’t using.
I’m not a person who loves receiving expensive gifts because I kind of feel bad when a person spends too much money on me, specially if I know they might need it for something more important. My girlfriend knows this, and we’ve talked about how I feel weird and sort of undeserving when I receive gifts too frequently or expensive ones (I’m not used to that).
So, several days later, she told me that she had already bought me something. I didn’t really know what to expect, since I hadn’t told her that I wanted/needed anything specific (hardly ever do). And when she told me she had bought a used iPhone, not an expensive one, it left me speechless. I would’ve usually said that it wasn’t necessary or something like that. I knew she had done it because she’d wanted me to have something nice, and I was genuinely excited. I know it’s not much but it really meant the world to me, and it’s the best birthday gift I’ve ever received."