By Holly Barry, @HJBarry
Having great friends who pick you up when you’re down and celebrate you when you succeed is one of the most important and gratifying parts of life. They’re the people that you’ll share your biggest moments with including marriages, holidays, and break-ups. Finding a friend who is caring, genuine and who you can be yourself around is a rarity, so what better way to show your appreciation for the ones that enrich your life than by expressing how much you love and appreciate them on International Friendship day.
Make a Hamper
Making a hamper may initially sound like one of the more expensive options, however you don’t have to go overboard expense wise as it’s the thought that counts. If your friends going through a particularly stressful period in her life get her a spa themed CD, some tea lights and a few inspirational quotes put together to help her relax and get her in a more positive frame of mind; you could also make her a natural face scrub, from coffee and ground cocoa for example.
If she’s feeling under the weather a care package is sure to be appreciated. In addition to paracetamol and energy bars you may include eucalyptus scented candles or balms, a homemade bath salts mixture, homemade ginger tea to help with congestion, some comfort food and if she’s a smoker pop in an e-cigarette to help her kick the habit and feel even better.
Cook a Meal
After a long hard day at work cooking is often the last thing that you want to do when you get home. Therefore, one of the nicest things you could do for your friend is prepare them a gorgeous meal. You could make your friend their favorite dish or try something new and experiment. Rustle them up a comforting curry, or try your hand at easy to make homemade burgers. Most importantly don’t forget the bottle of wine! Your friend will appreciate all your hard graft as you catch up over dinner.
Sometimes all you and your friends need is some well-deserved downtime, and nothing says ‘relax’ more than a glass of wine, a good film, a duvet and some popcorn. A good film night is a perfect opportunity for you and your gal pal to spend some quality time together and catch each other up. If you feel like reminiscing why not choose a film that takes you for a trip down memory lane? Maybe it’s a chick flick you both watched when you were teenagers or maybe it’s a film that sums up your friendship. If you’re both feeling brave opt for one of the latest horror movies for a gripping watch.
If drawing just isn’t your forte don’t worry, arts and crafts just might be. Try decorating a photo frame to frame a picture of you both or make her a piece of jewelry. You could even make her a friendship zine that documents your friendship. It’s much easier than it sounds and your friend will appreciate the time and effort you took to make her something sentimental, unique and from scratch. It’s easy to buy something but much more rewarding to give your friend a once in a lifetime gift.
Photo Album and Disposable Camera
If you and your friend have been pals for years, you’re bound to have an abundance of photos that document all your adventures, laughs and best moments together. Whilst these photos might not all be Facebook approved they are definitely deserving of a friendship photo album! If you don’t have that many photos together, start the photo album and then give it to her with a disposable camera, as a camera is a silent promise that you’ll continue making amazing memories together for years to come! Once the album is finished you and your friends can flick through and reminisce whenever you like!
Write a Letter
In the digital age where we’re all just one tap away from a WhatsApp message, sending a letter or postcard to your friend may seem simply absurd. However, post is a really great way to show that you’ve taken time out of your day to really think about what you’re writing. Whether you’re vacationing for a long period of time, away for a long weekend or sending your congratulations for a promotion, sending your friends post in your own handwriting is a personal way to show you care. As well as this, post is a physical reminder and keepsake that your friends can treasure forever to remind them how much they mean to you.
If your friend is jetting off into the sunset you’re bound to miss her, but show her that you’re happy for her and that you love her dearly by getting her a travel guide for her destination of choice. You could also buy her some currency and section it into moneybags labelled for things like ice cream at the beach or cocktails at the bar. If that isn’t for you, think about getting her some major travel essentials that she wouldn’t necessarily get herself like a cute passport holder, fancy travel sun cream, luggage tags or an unusual beach towel. This way you’ll ensure you’re always with her.
It goes without saying that us girls love to be pampered! In the evenings sometimes all we want to do is scrape our hair back into a messy bun and get into our slouchy clothes with a facemask and a hot drink. To make sure your bestie makes the most of her down time, think about treating her to a pair of brand new slippers, a plush dressing gown or some really comfy bed socks. This way she’ll look forward to her evenings when she can wind down and relax.
Plan the Unplanned
This might be a difficult one to pull off if your friend is super busy with a hectic work schedule. But if it just so happens that you both have a weekend free, tell her that you’re both going on your usual shopping trip or coffee catch up and surprise her with something spontaneous! Take her further afield for a walk in the countryside or a day out at a National Trust site. You could also surprise her by booking you both in for life-drawing or pottery making classes. Sometimes friendships get put on the back burner when our lives are busy, but it’s important to make time for exciting and spontaneous activities as these are what memories are made of.
Bring the Booze
In the past, your go-to for a boozy catch up might have been buying your friend a bottle of wine or meeting up for drinks. But, to really mark a very special friendship why not invent a cocktail recipe named after your best friend? You could create the recipe using your friend’s favorite spirits and flavours and the cocktail even comes with your very own certificate to really demonstrate that you went the extra mile! This way there’ll never be another occasion where a boozy brunch isn’t tailored especially to your friendship.