Heya GT! Hope everyone is getting their weekend started right. As I seem to do with some regularity, I turn to you again for some help with a gift idea. I sort of bluffed on a gift and real life called me on it (oops!). I need a back-up strategy.

Today is my brother’s 30th birthday. I had a plan for a birthday gift idea for him but have been suuuuuuuper busy with work for the past few weeks and failed to actually sit down to buy it until this afternoon. Was going to get my brother an airline gift card, since (1) we live far away from each other now and he’s never been to my new city, (2) my parents are moving to a different far away place in a few weeks and I know he will want to visit them from time to time. Before actually sitting down to buy the gift, in my birthday text to him, I told the small white lie that a gift to him that was “on its way” to me and would be sent to him. HOWEVER, I subsequently discovered that the airline I was planning to buy the gift card from (a favorite airline in our family, pretty much the only one he flies) has discontinued selling gift cards - bummer!

One of the reasons this gift seemed right for my bro is that I anticipate he will be going through some financial strain over the next few months. He’s actually been living with my parents, so them moving means he is in the process of getting a place of his own and will have to pay rent from here forward. I have funny feelings about giving him cash or the kind of gift card that would cover basics (groceries, gas, etc.). They both seem a little unexciting and he could perceive those kinds of gifts as insulting coming from me (we love each other but are not necessarily close - we butt heads a lot, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he would perceive a cash gift from me as some kind of twisted way of bragging about financial success or something). A flight seemed perfectly in between need and whimsy and not as much of a risk of being perceived as a slight. We also have different tastes, and when I try to pick out clothes or things for him, he’s not always into them, so I’m trying not to do that either.

Without knowing my brother’s tastes, and with those very particular limitations, any ideas for other gifts hat might be helpful without being straight cash? Or am I dreaming the impossible dream here by trying to walk all those lines at once?

Thank youuuuuuuuu.