I've come to the conclusion that the price we all pay to feel more special once a year is very high.
-It's a lose-lose situation. The other person would usually know how to spend the money you spent on the gift for him much better than you, and vice-versa when your birthday arrives.
-Imbalances are frequent. Sometimes you give someone a $80 gift on his/her birthday but the person gives you a $20 one. Btw, this doesn't mean it won't remain a lose-lose situation, since his/her reputation in the group will likely be affected.
-We spend a lot of time wondering about what we should buy, with traffic, waiting for our turn to pay, etc. We could use this time to do a lot of important things.
-As soon as you forget that a given day is someone's birthday, they start thinking you don't care about them as much as they care about you.
What do you think?