More Concerning Types of Birthday Presents
Now, it has been touched on in another place as to the types of presents to give on the occasion of your birthday [see Concerning Proper Birthday Gifts and the Giving Thereof ] but some expansion is in order.
Unfortunately, Professor Tolkien and his wonderful books THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS raised a great deal of expectation in the minds of Halflings everywhere by detailing the lavish presents dispensed by Bilbo at his infamous Birthday Party. It must be kept in mind that most Halflings do NOT have a dragon hoard to back up their gift giving, and therefore must be slightly more practical.
It is perfectly reasonable and proper to give a nodding acquaintance a newly composed Birthday Song for their birthday. It still counts as a gift--especially if you pen it nicely by hand onto a parchment scroll and tie it with a ribbon attached to a nice birthday greeting. This is a simple, yet elegant gift--and the parchment can be got wholesale down at Percival Took's stationary store in Bree.
For the younger relations and children of friends, give them something from your own childhood. Don't pretend that there aren't boxes of toy trains and stuffed animals hidden away in the back of a closet--everyone has them. The children will think that they are getting a marvelous treasure, and their parents will feel that they are valuable antiques and put them away for safe-keeping. But they will be out of YOUR house--which is a plus.
Their parents, and other relatives and friends of that generation, will be happy with that book you finished reading a year ago Thursday but hadn't gotten around to dispensing yet. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" better than a book ö particularly if it is inscribed with the date of the gift. Of course, if there are too many prior gift dates listed, you might want to see if you can change the numbers of a pre-existing date to save space. Halflings love to read--and the gift of a book is always welcome.
Your closest relations need more thought. Anything that you own that is over the age of 20 is a good gift, as it will appear that you are giving them an heirloom. It really doesn't matter terribly what the gift is. It is the age that counts. However, clothing is not recommended.
Finally, your spouse or sweetheart. This person must get a new gift. One that is chosen with great care. If you do not spend another coin on gifts all year long, make sure this one is a good gift. Remember: the gift you give this person for your birthday will have results for the rest of the year. If they love it, you will reap the benefits. If they don't--well, you can see the possibilities·.