Photo credit: BRIT+CO

Gifts we all secretly wish to receive

Here's to relieving the pain of brainstorming for gifts.

Angela Ouyang

Published: 12 December 2016, 5:33 PM

Picture this scenario: your birthday is drawing near and everybody has been asking what you want. You have something specific in mind, but you are too embarrassed to openly express it to your friends.

These ideal presents can only sit at the back of your mind as a secret little desire because they do not pass as “proper” gifts, especially in cordial contexts.

Well, now is the time to be honest and open about the things we secretly wish to receive.

1. Cash

Every year, we receive one or two gifts that end up sitting at a lonely corner of our rooms. Don’t get me mistaken – I do appreciate the effort put into buying these presents, but they usually do not fit me or I just cannot find an opportunity to use them.

Remember how you only thought of using your gifted vouchers when they’re past their expiry date?


Is it really “Not about the money, money, money”?


Save the trouble of shopping for the perfect present by giving us cash. I’m pretty sure most of your friends at the receiving end wouldn’t mind the liberty to choose what they could do with some extra cash in hand.

You can say it’s a win-win.

2. Practical daily necessities


I honestly wouldn’t mind receiving food as a gift.


It may be a pair of slippers, batteries, or even a particular brand of body wash. Whatever it is, we’ve surely entertained the thought of giving or receiving something over-the-top practical, before quickly eliminating the idea in our heads.

I get why practical gifts are unpopular though. Imagine ripping open your gift wrapper to find a deodorant…Well, that’s awkward.

3. Kiddy objects

Maybe you are obsessed with a particular cartoon, book, or character, and no one knows about it. The bad thing is, you went too far into the friendship keeping silent about it to reveal your secret.


Would you admit you want a Hello Kitty plush toy for your birthday?


Besides, it is rather embarrassing to tell your friends you want a Winnie the Pooh soft toy when the rest of your friends are acting their age, receiving leather bags and wallets.

4. Heartfelt handwritten letters

Birthday gifts are slowly losing their meaning year after year, especially when giving starts to feel like a chore. I have to admit; I am sometimes guilty of giving purely out of duty.


Handwritten notes show sincerity.


We may receive the most extravagant present, but if it has little or no meaning, its value cannot compare to that of a heartwarming note. The former comes from the wallet, while the latter comes from the heart.

It’s the little things that show you truly putting in effort.

5. Time

Some say time is money, but in reality, money cannot buy time.

We are often so caught up with our busy lives that we don’t even have the time to catch up with friends over a short meal.

So, if a friend is willing to sacrifice the gift of time to spend it with you, that friend actually just gave you the best present!

What are some other gifts that you often wish for in secret?

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