How to Create the Perfect Birthday Wish List

50 Expert Tips

While you may think a gift registry or wish list is only for baby showers or weddings, their popularity has spread in recent years, particularly into birthdays. And why not? When it comes to kids' parties, in particular, parents often struggle to come up with good gift ideas, especially for classmates they may not know that well. The same is true for adults – how many times have you stressed over coming up with a gift for that person who already has everything? A wish list simply makes it easier for everyone, gift givers and receivers alike.

Wish lists are also useful for parents who have preferences about the types of toys and games they allow their child to play with (or how much noise they're willing to tolerate in their homes). By creating a wish list, you can politely direct party-goers in the right direction, ensuring that the gifts your child receives are appropriate while avoiding potentially awkward situations. If you have gifts in mind that you don't want your child getting, a registry may be the classiest way to impart that message on guests. In fact, the wish list and registry for a child's birthday may even provide the opportunity to impart a valuable lesson on being a gracious gift receiver to your child. And you may just need the reminder, as well.

So if you're ready to start creating a birthday wish list, there are a few things you should know. First, it's not something you should just fill out without a thought. You want to make sure you're getting the most out of your registry and asking for things that you really need and want, not just in the moment but for the long term. We've compiled a list of tips and considerations for creating a birthday wish list (as well as some birthday party etiquette tips to remember) to make the process simple and stress-free.

Browse tips by category by clicking a link below:

Benefits of a Birthday Wish List

Shopping online for friends and family is simpler with wish list functions. - Big Commerce

1. It’s the easiest way to get what you want. “Shopping online for friends and family is simpler with wish list functions. Once a wish list is complete, the creator can send it to friends and family in anticipation of holidays, birthdays or life events. If a consumer is unfamiliar with an ecommerce store's products and would like to buy an item as a gift, he or she may not know where to start. Rather than walking into a brick-and-mortar store and discussing options with a sales representative, these buyers can refer to wish lists on ecommerce sites to better understand what items they should be purchasing.” - What are wish lists and why are they important?, Big Commerce; Twitter: @BigCommerce

2. You can share a list with loved ones and then back away. “Wish lists are the obvious way to let people know what you want for the holidays and where to get it, but they come with a few problems. If you share a list via email, gift-givers have to constantly communicate who's getting what to avoid duplicating each other, and if you have a public wish list (like on Amazon), the recipient can see when someone has bought a gift, ruining the surprise. Here's how you can put together a wish list using Google Docs that your loved ones can use to track the gifts they get you, you can add new items to your wish list at any time, but you'll never see what people are getting you.” - Adam Dachis, How to Make a Private Wish List So Your Friends and Family Can Get You What You Want Without You Knowing, Life Hacker; Twitter: @lifehacker

The truth is that not all of us are mind-readers, nor do we have infinite amounts of free time […] to search high and low for the exquisitely tailored gift—we’d actually love to know exactly what you want, to save ourselves from the stress of risky guesswork. - Aisha Harris

3. You don’t have to be coy. “Sometime around young adulthood, however, things begin to change. When your parents or friend or significant other asks what they should get you, you demur and say, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ And you frequently find yourself on the receiving end of such irksome coyness: ‘I don’t really need anything,’ they hem and haw to you in turn. Well, it’s time to stop all of that! Perhaps you’ve been convinced that asking for a gift past your youthful years makes you appear greedy. […] the truth is that not all of us are mind-readers, nor do we have infinite amounts of free time […] to search high and low for the exquisitely tailored gift—we’d actually love to know exactly what you want, to save ourselves from the stress of risky guesswork.” - Aisha Harris, My Grown-Up Christmas List, Slate; Twitter: @Slate

4. You can let your aunt be the cool aunt. “[F]amily and friends appreciated the help. ‘Especially if the older aunts and uncles [who] are maybe not so in touch with the clothing or the toys, they want to know what to get,’ Kaplan said. Another mom who uses online registries for her kids, Darline MacEwan of Hillside, New Jersey, added that ‘anything that can save us a little bit of time, we’re all in for.’" - Emily Windram, Trend Watch: Gift Registries For Kids’ Birthday Parties, The Bump; Twitter: @thebump

“Once you have registered, give the information to immediate family […], and let them spread the word. - Martha Stewart Weddings

5. Just pass it on to close friends and family. You'll only need to share it with those closest to you and then they can pass that information along. “Once you have registered, give the information to immediate family […], and let them spread the word.” - The Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Registries, Martha Stewart Weddings; Twitter: @MarthaWeddings

6. If you don't ask for it, you won't get it. "Don’t be afraid to splurge! It’s easy to feel guilt about adding pricey items to the registry list, thinking that maybe your guests will be offended or put-off. The truth is that this is one of those few times when people want to spend money on you and are happy to do it, so feel free to add some more expensive items to the list." - Shelby Girard, These Registry Tips From a Professional Designer Are Priceless, Brides; Twitter: @bridesmag

As with all registries, information is only offered after a guest inquires, never before. - Jodi R.R. Smith

7. You can do it without offending anyone. You don’t want them to feel pressured to buy a gift, or to spend a certain amount of money. “The bottom line, says Smith, is timing. ‘As with all registries, information is only offered after a guest inquires, never before.’ In other words, never ever include this info on the invite.” - Jodi R.R. Smith, as quoted by Jenna McCarthy, Obnoxious or awesome? Registering for kids' birthday gifts, Today; Twitter: @TODAYshow

8. It can potentially rid your life of waste. "Wish lists are imminently practical. We’ve all been the recipient of a sweater that would look better on a dog, when we really wanted a coffee maker. And if you're in the giving position, wish lists could be a lifesaver if you don't know the person that well. Which brings us to another point: gift giving is a lovely and meaningful practice, but in practicality it can also be hugely wasteful. Think of all the gifts exchanged every year that end up going to waste (unused, tossed, donated, regifted) because the recipient doesn't like or use them. All that money could have gone toward things that would be truly useful and appreciated." - Maria Lin, Holiday Wish Lists: Practical or Tacky?, LearnVest; Twitter: @LearnVest

If you have no idea what to buy for someone but it’s a given you’re getting them a gift each year (ie: nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc.), there’s no harm in asking for a wishlist. - Anna Emilia

9. It will help when you don't know a person very well. Your cousin across the country may want to get you something, but has no idea what you'd like. "If you have no idea what to buy for someone but it’s a given you’re getting them a gift each year (ie: nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc.), there’s no harm in asking for a wishlist. Especially when it comes to people you don’t have direct contact with often (or children who can be hard to buy for at certain ages), feel free to ask people what they’d like. I did this for years with my cousins when they were young and they didn’t feel like talking to an older cousin like me (oh, teenagers) and if it ensures they’re happy with what they get, there’s no harm. But if it’s for someone you should know well (ie: your spouse, best friend, etc.) consider paying closer attention to the things they talk about rather than requesting a list each year." - Anna Emilia, Modern Etiquette: Gift The Right Gift (And Dealing With the Wrong Ones), Design Sponge; Twitter: @designsponge

10. It works for everyone in the whole family. “Create one for each of your kids and make birthdays and holidays less stressful for relatives. They'll know exactly what you or your child wants, so no one will be disappointed, and the gift-giving process becomes easier for everyone.” - Christy Matte, Make Wish Lists for Free Online, The Spruce; Twitter: @QuirkyFusion

Gift givers can then be certain they are purchasing items the receiver will appreciate. - Wikipedia

11. It's a simple but indirect way to politely communicate your wants. There is no simpler way to answer the question' What do you want for your birthday?' than by providing registry details. "It facilitates communication between gift givers and receivers. Recipients can compile a gift registry and make it available to anyone who will present them with a gift. Gift givers can then be certain they are purchasing items the receiver will appreciate." - Gift registry, Wikipedia; Twitter: @Wikipedia

12. Add things all year long. You don't have to wait for the birthday to approach to add to your list. "If you notice that your kids will be needing new snow pants next winter, you can add it to their lists. Anytime you see something you think would like, you can add it to your own list." - Katie, Why You Should Make a Gift Wish List, Organizing Moms; Twitter: @organizingmoms

Birthday Party Etiquette to Remember

You don't need to invite everyone in your child's class to the party. In fact, it's usually a bad idea to have too many guests. You should, however, be considerate of others' feelings. - PBS Parents

13. For school age kids, don't invite the whole class. "You don't need to invite everyone in your child's class to the party. In fact, it's usually a bad idea to have too many guests. You should, however, be considerate of others' feelings. This means not handing out invitations at the playground or on the school bus. It's better to send invitations in the mail or make a few phone calls. Discourage your child from talking about the party at school." - Birthday Party Etiquette, PBS Parents; Twitter: @pbsparents

14. But don't ignore School Policy if you send the invites to school. "If you send invitations to school, you have to invite everyone in the class. Full stop, not negotiable. Even if the class is 30 kids. Sure, you’re perfectly free NOT to send invitations to school and invite the kids of your choosing directly, via mail or email, but good luck getting that information out of the school." - Amalah, The Politics of Birthday Parties, Alpha Mom; Twitter: @alphamom

Opt for paper instead and you can let your child help pick out and write (or decorate, if he’s too young to write) the invitations. - Andrea Pyros

15. Avoid sending (just) electronic invites for kid parties. "Though electronic invites can be convenient and budget-friendly, Post believes they lack one big benefit: They don’t allow your child to be part of the process. Opt for paper instead and you can let your child help pick out and write (or decorate, if he’s too young to write) the invitations. Feel free to use email to send out a party reminder." - Andrea Pyros, Party Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts of Kid Birthday Parties, LearnVest; Twitter: @LearnVest

16. Getting gifts may not be typical if your party is in a public place. "If the birthday boy or girl is hosting their party at a restaurant, then gifts – particularly large gifts – are not typically required. They probably hate the idea of lugging around bulky packages just as much as you do. But it is still nice (and semi-expected) to gift them something. A good gift idea would be to tuck a gift card to their favorite establishment inside a thoughtful greeting card. Other options include buying their meal that evening, or a few drinks after the restaurant if the evening extends beyond dinner." - Samantha Chan, Adult Birthday Gift Giving Etiquette: Ideas and Expectations Explained, Beau Coup; Twitter: @BeaucoupFavors

A great group of people will make any party a success, even if it rains on the picnic or the food is a flop. - The Emily Post Institute

17. Hosts need to meet certain expectations. Birthday parties are no exception. If you're hosting, you're the organizer and that means you have a few responsibilities; so plan ahead! "Take care creating your guest list. A great group of people will make any party a success, even if it rains on the picnic or the food is a flop. Get everything ready—your meal prepped, the table set, your party space tidy, refreshments ready—well before your guests arrive, so you’ll feel relaxed from the very beginning." Party Etiquette Tips for Hosts and Guests, The Emily Post Institute; Twitter: @EmilyPostInst

18. Hosting means paying. "When birthday parties are held in locations like a local bar or pub it is usually assumed that everyone will pay their own bill. As long as the location is a place where party-goers can drop in and out then having people cover their own bill won't seem rude. If you are planning to go to the type of place that will only seat you if your full party has arrived, then asking your friends to pay their share of the bill would seem rude." - Donna Pilato, Is It Okay to Host a Party and Ask the Guests to Pay?, The Spruce; Twitter: @DonnaPilato

For smaller parties, it’s usually acceptable to make your reservations just a few days in advance, or even show up without a reservation and simply wait for a table. - SuperPages

19. Plan ahead for dinner parties. "For smaller parties, it’s usually acceptable to make your reservations just a few days in advance, or even show up without a reservation and simply wait for a table. However, if you’re planning on a large guest list, you should make your reservation as early as possible (at least a week or two in advance, or more for a particularly popular restaurant). Not only will this ensure that you get to celebrate at the restaurant of your choice, but the staff will have plenty of time to help you organize and plan for the birthday party." - Dining Out ‐ Birthday Dinner Ideas, SuperPages; Twitter: @Superpages

20. Send kids home with a little something. "Although you and your child will send a gracious thank you card and maybe even a photo within days, it is customary to thank guests with a goody bag at the end of the party. Again, it’s the thought that counts. The goody bag doesn’t have to include personalized T-shirts or video games. Children like the simplest things best anyway. Hit the dollar store, and stock up on simple toys like pinwheels, bubbles, balloons or coloring books. Buy candy or treats in bulk. Even the bag itself can be homemade—buy plain paper lunch sacks and let your child hand-decorate each one." - Jennifer Santiago, Birthday Party Etiquette for the 21st Century, Babble; Twitter: @BabbleEditors

Since adult birthday parties are not typically gift-giving events, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to host their own party. - Alaina McGann

21. You can (but don't have to) host your own party. "Since adult birthday parties are not typically gift-giving events, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to host their own party. Although, it is a nice gesture to host your friend or someone in your families birthday party for them. Many single people want to celebrate their birthday with their friends and families and hosting their own party may be something they look forward to each year to get everyone together. A married couple may host each other’s birthday parties at their house or restaurant/bar." - Alaina McGann, How to Invite Friends to Your Adult Birthday Party, Nu Expression; Twitter: @nuexpressionws

22. Keep in mind gift giving isn't required for any adult party. "Giving gifts at adult birthday parties is not mandatory — even on milestone birthdays. You can, however, bring a gift if you wish. If in doubt over what to bring, flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine are always appreciated. If you plan to host the party and don’t want people to feel compelled to bring gifts, state this fact on the invitations." - Elizabeth Burns, Etiquette for a 40th Birthday, Our Everyday Life

Once considered a manners no-no because it assumed the guest of honor was expecting you to bring a gift to his or her birthday party, it’s now perfectly fine to let your wishes be known. - Marlee McKee

23. You can say no to gifts. "Once considered a manners no-no because it assumed the guest of honor was expecting you to bring a gift to his or her birthday party, it’s now perfectly fine to let your wishes be known. (Manners evolve to meet our current sensibilities.) Besides, while a gift isn’t “a must” for an adult birthday party (it is for children’s or teens’ parties), 99.9 percent of people usually bring a gift. So if no gifts are expected at your party, it’s pretty much necessary to say so." - Marlee McKee, Does, “No Gifts, Please” Really Mean I Shouldn’t Bring a Present?, Manners Mentor; Twitter: @MannersMentor

24. Not every year justifies a big party. "One editor shares her feelings about birthdays by quoting Don Draper: 'You’re twenty-something years old, it’s time to get over birthdays.' We’re not saying you shouldn’t celebrate your birthday once you reach your twenties, but don’t expect people to get excited year after year for yet another extravaganza. 'You get one big party every ten years or so,' says another editor. If you had a big dance fete for your 29th to bid goodbye to your twenties, don’t plan on having another one the day you turn 30." - Patricia Garcia, The Birthday Dinner: Where to Go, Who to Invite, and Faux Pas to Avoid, Vogue; Twitter: @voguemagazine

General Tips for Creating a Birthday Wish List

No one knows you like you do. And that isn’t about not loving you enough or paying too little attention. It’s about the simple fact that only you have access to the inside of your head. - Brit Reints

25. Don't expect your family to read your mind. A Registry will prevent you from hurt feelings if your family doesn't know your wants as well as you expected and it can save them the disappointment of not nailing it. "No one knows you like you do. And that isn’t about not loving you enough or paying too little attention. It’s about the simple fact that only you have access to the inside of your head." - Brit Reints, How to Get Exactly What You Want for Your Birthday, in Pursuit of Happiness; Twitter: @missbritt

26. Don’t write off a registry for a kid’s party too quickly. “It’s hard to know what to buy a 6-year-old or a 10-year-old, for that matter. I have no idea what the kids are into these days. I would regard a birthday registry for children of very close friends as a God-send. Why? I am always stumped at what I should buy them.” - Quentin Fottrell, I was Invited to a Child’s Birthday with a Gift Registry. Is that Normal?, MarketWatch; Twitter: @MarketWatch

While the self-imposed mystery of giving surprise gifts can be fun, it often results in lame gifts.- Eric Ravenscraft

27. You may get bamboozled by your own reactions. Just because something is exciting in the surprise of opening it doesn't mean it will stand the test of time. "While the self-imposed mystery of giving surprise gifts can be fun, it often results in lame gifts. Sometimes that’s as simple as getting a gift that the person doesn’t really want. However, there’s a more sinister trap you can fall into: getting a gift that has maximum wow-factor when they unwrap it, but doesn’t make them very happy in the long run." - Eric Ravenscraft, Just Ask People What Gifts They Want, Life Hacker; Twitter: @lifehacker

28. Giving a wish list is customer loyalty. If you know for a fact that one store does something better than another, including that specific store, item and/or link will give that company your business, even if it’s second hand loyalty. “This list helps those who will be giving him gifts. It provides the list of things he’d appreciate as gifts for his birthday. It’s highly likely that these people may purchase one or more of those products from your store.” - Immad Uddin Khan, Why You Should Include The Wishlist Feature On Ecommerce Websites, Cloudways; Twitter: @Cloudways

It can be hard finding gifts that are out-of-the-box and just unique enough to be special. - Dodoburd

29. Stumped? Look for inspiration. "It can be hard finding gifts that are out-of-the-box and just unique enough to be special. If you know which sites to visit, you can be presented with dozens and even hundreds of great gifts that not everyone in the world has." - 11 Best Websites to Find Unique & Unusual Christmas Gifts, Dodoburd; Twitter: @dodoburdstuff

30. Include the practical, too. “To get the most out of [your wish list] (and minimise your useless-gift-storing space) don't skip out on padding your wish list with items that would actually make your day-to-day life easier.” - Chelsea Pippin, 19 Practical Things You Should Actually Ask For For Christmas, BuzzFeed; Twitter: @BuzzFeed

The bottom line: Registries should not be tied to guilt. - Richie Trieman

31. Don't make yourself feel guilty. "The bottom line: Registries should not be tied to guilt. If you feel guilty registering, you will feel guilty receiving the gifts, which will ruin the entire process. If you don’t want to do one because of guilt, then don’t do it. However, don’t be upset when you have to spend an entire week returning all the items people gave you that you didn’t want. Trust me, people would rather give a gift they know you will enjoy, than one that will be a burden." - Richie Frieman, Gift Registry Etiquette, Quick and Dirty Tips; Twitter: @quickdirtytips

32. Include things that make sense. Don't bother putting spoons on a child's registry, even if they've lost all their kid spoons. That's not a gift that makes sense as a gift for the child. "Don’t register for everything you may possibly ever want – stick to the basics that make sense for the present." - Gift Registry Etiquette, Giftypedia; Twitter: @Giftypedia

We opted towards stores with solid return polices, completion discounts, and stores that offered sales and discounts for people purchasing gifts as well. - Stephanie Barlow

33. Look for the best deals. Just because it isn't your money doesn't mean you shouldn't try to find the best deal. If you can find a store that offers good sales and perks for the buyer and you, all the better. "This was a big decision point in going with a traditional registry for us. We opted towards stores with solid return polices, completion discounts, and stores that offered sales and discounts for people purchasing gifts as well." - Stephanie Barlow, The Advice I Took and the Advice I Ignored When Setting Up My Wedding Registry, Kitchn; Twitter: @thekitchn

34. If the wish list is for your child, make sure they show gratitude, no matter what they get. "Mitchell encourages parents to provide ideas on what to buy — if asked. She says it’s even acceptable to throw together a wish list, enabling your child to give close family members a few ideas to go on when they hit the stores. Mitchell says the most important “gift” given to your kids is the ability to be gracious." -  Jeanne Sagar, Are Gift Requests Polite?, Metro Kids; Twitter: @metrokidsmag

Before writing out your final list, write down everything that you want. - wikiHow

35. Make your list with yourself in mind. "Before writing out your final list, write down everything that you want. That means every single thing you would want. Even if you only want it a little, write it down. Once you cannot think of anything else that you could possibly want, move on to step two. Think of your interests. Do you like sports? Then put a soccer ball, or some sort of sports equipment on your list. Do you love fashion? Then write down clothes, or be more specific (shirts, a scarf, etc.) If you like music, Put CDs, radio, or an iPod on your Christmas list. Think of what you need. Do you need some more T-shirts? If so, put them on your list. Or are you short on headbands and hair accessories? Put them on the list. Think about what you want. Do you so desperately want the latest makeup palette? If so, put that on your list." - Making Your Own Christmas Wish List, wikiHow; Twitter: @wikiHow

Gifts for Every Budget

36. Don’t shoot for the stars. “[T]he girls place relatively low-cost items on their registry, such as stickers, headbands and the occasional fancy T-shirt. ‘If anyone asks, we tell friends and family to stop by Stoopher & Boots, because the owner [Stephanie Goldstein] knows what they love and what’s on their list,’ she adds.” - Jane Ridley, Registries for Kids’ Parties are a Thing Now, The New York Post; Twitter: @nypost

You want to show you care without breaking the bank. - Amy Levin-Epstein

37. Make sure you include more mid-range priced gifts than either extreme. “It's a […] guest's gift-giving nightmare. You open the […] registry, looking for something in the middle range. You want to show you care without breaking the bank. And you don't want to appear cheap by giving something seriously small. Unfortunately, unlucky guests may find their […] friends or family members have very expensive taste, or that they've logged on too late and only incredibly inexpensive items are left.” - Amy Levin-Epstein, What To Do If The Registry Has Only Expensive Or Budget Gifts, The Knot; Twitter: @theknot

38. Hit all Price points. “As much as you may be hankering for that gorgeous silver that costs $350 a place setting, be sure to register for items in a wide range of price points: under $50, under $75, under $100, under $200 and beyond. That way, all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford. You don't want your college friend feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he can't find a single gift in his budget, and you don't want your parents' closest friends to have to buy you a multitude of smaller items to make up one generous gift.” - 10 Registry Tips That'll Make Your Wedding Gifts So Much Better, The Knot; Twitter: @theknot

Think of your guests—you may want to choose stores that are low-, medium-, and high-end, so guests have gifts in a variety of price ranges to choose from -  Martha Stewart Weddings

39. Don’t go overboard. “When registering, stick to two or three stores you love. Choose a national department store or chain that has lots of household basics; and you may also want a local specialty store to add to your registry. Think of your guests—you may want to choose stores that are low-, medium-, and high-end, so guests have gifts in a variety of price ranges to choose from.” - The Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Registries, Martha Stewart Weddings; Twitter: @MarthaWeddings

40. There is apparently a formula for budgeting your birthday gifts. "As we grow up, there’ll come a time when we ask ourselves: 'am I spending too much on my friends? Is there a limit as to how much should go into a birthday gift?' Thankfully, famous Chinese businessman Li Ka Shing has a formula: Your Salary x 20% = How much you should spend on friends. So, if you make $500 a week, then you should be spending $100 of that on friends. That’s a lot! Truth is, Li Ka Shing (being a businessman) is treating that $100 like an investment. He goes on to say that, 'you should spend on people who are more knowledgeable that you, richer than you, or who helped you in your career.'" - Aloysa, How Much Money Are We Supposed to Spend on Friends?, My Broken Coin; Twitter: @my_Broken_Coin

The important thing is to stay within your budget – and feel free to opt out of gift exchanges and scale back whenever you need to. - Susannah Snider

41. Keep in mind there are no rules that trump a person's financial situation, though. It doesn't matter if a person is your best friend, if they are on hard times, you can't expect an expensive gift. "These dollar amounts are spending guidelines – not rules etched in stone. The important thing is to stay within your budget – and feel free to opt out of gift exchanges and scale back whenever you need to." - Susannah Snider, How Much Do You Really Need to Spend on That Holiday Gift?, US News; Twitter: @usnews

Think Outside the Box

42. Ask for experiences, not material items. Bonus points if you ask for an experience the giver can enjoy with you. “Did you recently see a musical that you really liked? The musical might not be playing anymore by the time your birthday rolls around, but there could be another one that you might enjoy. Visit the theater company's website and see what is coming up that interests you. Tickets to performances, such as operas, plays, and musicals, make great, memorable gifts.” - How to Decide What You Want for Your Birthday, wikiHow; Twitter: @wikiHow

Every holiday season we try and get a unique gift for our loved ones. Only to realize that finding super niche and specific gifts is a difficult task. - Amanda Pena

43. Don't make them give you a boring gift. They don't want to give you it, and you won't enjoy getting it. "Every holiday season we try and get a unique gift for our loved ones. Only to realize that finding super niche and specific gifts is a difficult task. So we panic and retreat back to our old ways, gifting a boring candle, body lotion, or scarf." - Amanda Pena, The Best Websites For Unique Gifts, Stocking Stuffers And More, Huffington Post; Twitter: @HuffPost

44. You don't have to decide now. Remember you can register for gift cards. "You get to pick what you want, and since the gift cards don't expire, you can use them as an emergency fund down the line, which is slightly more practical than a purple KitchenAid mixer." - Peggy Wang, 13 Unconventional Registry Ideas For The Modern Wedding, BuzzFeed; Twitter: @BuzzFeed

Gift giving shouldn't be a guessing game. - BnBFinder

45. Travel gifts buy you memories.  Registering for gift certificate at a bed and breakfast keeps your options open but will allow you to start a fund for a vacation. "Gift giving shouldn't be a guessing game. Make a personal statement when you give a gift that's worth a lifetime of memories with a Travel Gift Certificate. Since no two B&Bs are alike, it is a sure bet that your recipient will find the right inn of his or her choice. Adventurous explorers can mountain bike down a high peak, curious minds can sign up for a cheese making or beer brewing class, romance-seeking lovebirds can enjoy a picnic on the beach and so much more!" - Easy to Order Travel Gift Certificates, BnBFinder; Twitter: @BnBFinder

46. Register for a craft and you'll get a heartfelt gift. If your registry includes a plaster kit and picture frame, you'll likely be able to drop the hint that you want your grand baby's footprints immortalized without ever having to say a word. "Making gifts centered on your baby's handprint or footprint isn't just for the uber crafty. Crafters, would-be crafters and novices alike can churn out beautiful, inexpensive gifts that are sure to be treasured by each and every recipient." - Gina Roberts-Grey, How to create a memorable gift using your baby's handprints and footprints, SheKnows; Twitter: @SheKnows

When celebrating is your main goal, the gifts may not be your prime focus. - Kathryn Hatter

47. If you have a charity that's important to you, consider asking for donations in lieu of gifts. "When celebrating is your main goal, the gifts may not be your prime focus. Use this opportunity to raise money for your favorite charity instead. A simple note on the invitations can request donations instead of birthday gifts so your guests know your wishes." - Kathryn Hatter, How to Request Donations Instead of Birthday Gifts, Our Everyday Life

48. Steer away from more toys for a kid's birthday. "By highlighting items a child really needs or suggesting alternative ideas such as an experience or activity, parents can guide loved ones toward making more meaningful gift choices without coming off as too restrictive. For those who are stuck on toys, Jennifer Porter, an etiquette coach and owner of Satsuma Kids Shop in Seattle, advises that parents gently suggest an item that will challenge their child's imagination such as those that focus on arts and crafts." - Andrea Woroch, No More Toys, Please: How to Request Alternative Gifts for Your Kids, US News; Twitter: @usnews

The College Savings Foundation reports 27 percent of parents this year -- up from 22 percent in 2008 -- are willing to ask for contributions to college instead of toys and other material items. - Lori Johnston

49. A child's college fund needs filled somehow. "Trading toys for tuition is gaining in popularity, according to the College Savings Foundation, but you may still find it difficult to ask relatives and friends to donate to your child's education instead of buying toys and games. The College Savings Foundation reports 27 percent of parents this year -- up from 22 percent in 2008 -- are willing to ask for contributions to college instead of toys and other material items." - Lori Johnston, How to suggest trading toys for tuition, Saving for College; Twitter: @saving4collge

50. Consider book swaps. "I think book swaps are also an easy way to avoid gift madness. Just ask each guest to bring a freshly wrapped new book. Then do a book exchange. Each guest goes home with a new book so there is no need to provide a parting gift/favor either." - Kelcey Kinter, I Love My Children’s Birthdays But Not All the Gifts! So I Decided To Try Something Different, Alpha Mom; Twitter: @alphamom