In most workplaces and team environments, I see a 'Birthday List' posted somewhere where everyone can see and depending on the team member; this is a time for great joy or secrecy and dread.
Often you'll hear whispers and see money and cards being passed discretely around the office; resulting in the mysterious call of 'Can you please come in here for a moment ' at either morning or afternoon tea time on the actual day, the Friday before or the Monday after.
And whilst it certainly is wonderful to see people wanting to make the day special for this person, there can be times, just like at Christmas when you open a family gift, when the forced smile and thank yous are top of the agenda because they now have another thing which they won't use or will take up space.
My writing mentor is Andrew Griffiths so I couldn't resist sharing the amazing recommendations from his Facebook page which was his response to the many people asking what he would like for his birthday.ANDREW GRIFFITH'S GIFT LIST....
1. Ring someone and tell them you were thinking of them and you wanted them to know how much they mean to you.
2. Send someone you really appreciate a hand written "thank you" note or card (I've had a few of late, I get a tear in my eye every time).
3. Give a meaningful donation to a charity that means something significant to you (my charity of choice is Sleepy burrows wombat sanctuary so yes, I would love you to donate to them but this is actually about you not me).
4. Stop and help someone somehow – especially if you haven't got the time.
5. Buy someone a book and give it to them with a lovely inscription explaining why this book is so perfect for them (and no, not one of my books).
6. Send someone flowers just to say "I love you and appreciate you".
7. Stop for 10 glorious minutes and just be. Take it all in and be grateful for everything you have in your life.
8. Forgive someone for something crappy that they did to you.
9. Set yourself a ridiculously audacious and hairy dream for the year ahead.
10. Give your children (human and four legged versions) an extra long and loving hug.
If everyone I know did one of these things for me as a gift for my birthday, and as a way to help me celebrate my birthday, I will remember this for a very long time! With love - Andrew
What amazing suggestions and as someone who is driven by service and helping people run a M.A.D.(Make A Difference) business, I felt this list of pure gold needed to be shared more openly.