On Present Giving

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A lot of people I know spend a lot of money on meaningless physical gifts, and while that’s fine, I personally feel that even if you do have the money and want to splash out, a present should be something special, something that wouldn’t make sense if you gave it to anyone else.

Now I can’t say i’ve always been a great present giver, i’ve always loved getting people gifts, and enjoyed organising surprise birthday parties for my friends, but I think it takes love to really inspire you.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that my gifts for my boyfriend will make him happy!

He’s half Chinese-Malaysian (from Malacca) and when I was over there recently I was told in a museum that a traditional birthday gift for Straits Malaysian people was a red box with eggs, candles, sugar and noodles inside – so that’s exactly what I got him!

Sugar – to ensure your life is always sweet

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Candles, to light up your life
(28 birthday candles to put on the cake after)


Noodles, for longevity
(It was seriously hard work finding some that fit into this tiny box!)


Eggs, to bless you with many children and grandchildren
(Chocolate eggs)

I nested the 4 boxes of gifts in a larger box (all bought from Paperchase) and had quite a bit of fun with the shredded tissue!


Underneath the four boxes and plentiful shredded paper was a slip of paper: a voucher for a full day woodworking lesson. It was something that he’s really been wanting to do and I know he’ll be amazing at it since he has an incredible eye for aesthetics. The course will show him how to make a planter pot which I hope will look great on his front porch, at the moment there’s just an assortment of tiny flower pots which don’t really match.

Birthday card:

I couldn’t decide between 2 birthday cards so I decided to get both and stick them together! I absolutely love Quentin Blake’s drawings so loved this card straight away. Also, my boyfriend has a giant dragon tattoo on his arm which I call Custard (after the Ogden Nash poem) so it seemed appropriate. The second card had a bunch of old men on with the line ‘have a right laugh with the lads on your birthday’. He’s going away with his friends for his birthday weekend, so equally appropriate!


And finally… the cake!

Chocolate (the first cake I have ever made!) with kaya as icing – which is a Malaysian coconut jam that we both really love 🙂


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