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You can buy small presents for friends birthdays. The major NZ birthdays where you may get a formal invite to a party are 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60. These are where you would RSVP ("Répondez s'il vous plaît " or "Reservez s'il-vous-plait", a French phrase that translates to "Please respond" or "Please book your place". "Response Shall Verify Presence", an English substitute for the meaning of "R.S.V.P.") and usually buy a present unless asked not too.

Preschool and younger children's parties are usually held in the afternoon for a few hours. If your friends have children and you do not, you may not get an invite because these parties are for the children to make noise and eat lollies, cake and crisps. Don't be offended by not getting an invite, you friends might be doing you a favour. If you do get invited it is usual to buy a small gift.

Month Modern Birthstone Alternate Traditional Birthstone
January Garnet Rose Quartz Garnet
February Amethyst Onyx Amethyst
March Aquamarine Red Jasper (Bloodstone) Bloodstone, Jasper
April Diamond Rock Crystal (Quartz) Diamond, Sapphire
May Emerald Chrysoprase Emerald, Agate
June Pearl (the only non-mineral), Moonstone Alexandrite Alexandrite, Emerald
July Ruby Jade or Carnelian Ruby, Onyx
August Peridot Aventurine, Sardonyx, or Sapphire Sardonyx, Carnelian
September Sapphire Lapis lazuli Sapphire, Peridot
October Opal Pink Tourmaline Tourmaline, Aquamarine
November Yellow Topaz Citrine or Turquoise Citrine, Topaz
December Turquoise, Blue Topaz Lapis Lazuli or Tanzanite Zircon, Ruby

Birth flowers

Month Flower
January Carnation
February Violet
March Daffodil (Jonquil)
April Dahlia, Sweet Pea
May Sunflower, Lily of the Valley
June Honeysuckle, Rose
July Larkspur
August Lily, Gladiolus
September Forget-me-not, Aster
October Calendula (Marigold), Rose, Camellia
November Chrysanthemum
December Holly, Narcissus



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