My 26th birthday is coming up and I have absolutely NO idea what to ask for.

I have a list of simple things I need. It seems like as an adult frames and functional items have taken preference to purses I don’t need. However, the list is just something to give an answer to those who ask me what I want. I honestly just want a new experience, but how do you ask for that?

One of my favorite birthday surprises to date is one that cost nothing at all. It was my 19th or 20th birthday and there was this weird situation where one of my guy friends was living with his friend in his friend’s dad’s house. The dad either didn’t live there or barely lived there so at you might guess at that age it was the designated party house. My best friend, Roxie, and I spent the whole day cleaning their house (it was all guys living there so do the math) so that we could throw me a birthday party the next day. Well, we were so proud of turning the home from a bachelor pad into a publicly acceptable gathering spot that we ended up drinking and one thing turned into another and it ended up being a house party. For the underage, word travels fast when there is a place to party, especially in the small town I grew up in. It was my birthday eve and close to midnight she told a mutual friend of ours to get everyone’s attention as soon as it was midnight. He just had one of those voices that carried well, and with no problem at all he got everyone’s attention at midnight and those two had the entire house party sing me Happy Birthday. I did everything I could to not let myself come to tears.

Such a small gesture meant so much and will mean more to me than anything anyone could get me. It wasn’t that I was the center attention for the span of the song because I certainly was a little scrub from cleaning all day. It was that they had been so thoughtful to surprise me with an experience I had never received before. It’s not like at a restaurant where a bunch of people you don’t know are singing “Happy Birthday”. It was a house full of all our friends from acquaintances to besties showing me they care with the simple sound of their voice.

Since then, I have always favored experiences for my birthday “gift” more than items.
So inspire me, what is your favorite birthday gift you’ve ever received?