When our family first started the pledge to buy nothing new for a year, one of the first things we worried about was birthday gifts. However, I had a large stash of clearance-bought toys and gift items for just that purpose, and once those ran out I figured I could always give gift cards. I also thought that I would have plenty of time to learn some sort of skill, such as jewelry-making, and be able to give personalized homemade gifts. Well, the gift stash is gone. I was able to buy from my daughter a few gifts she got at her birthday party that she figured she wouldn't use, and that got us through another couple of months. Now that those are gone, I have just purchased my second gift card and have yet to learn a new skill. I'm thinking I'd better get going on that, as gift cards will eat us alive at this rate.
I'll be the first to say that I am not a crafty person. Its not that I wouldn't LIKE to be--I just seem to lack that 'big picture" vision that others are blessed with, and when my projects are finished they never turn out like I wanted them to. I guess that's why I've dragged my feet somewhat on learning a new skill. This summer, with my daughter home, I hope to break that psychological barrier and solve the birthday-gift problem once and for all.
I did manage to come by a large stash of gift wrap, gift bags, and ribbon/bows from a freecycler, and a friend gave me a big box of greeting cards she didn't have use for, so that porion of gift-giving is covered. That helps alot!