I generally do from family but not from friends.
Friends don't seem to ask but family sometimes do, and depending on who they are, I sometimes tell them if there is something in particular.
Like this birthday (today!!) I asked for a particular plant that I am having trouble finding - at first I said, buy nothing, but then remembered they live in a different area and may be able to get the plant in their area!
Never. It is mainly my brother and daughter and they are SO good at buying gifts for me that I could never complain . . . they get it right every time. We didn't grow up with birthdays so I am always a bit flustered at receiving gifts.
I don't ask, but I get asked by family. My friends and I don't generally by each other presents, we are more likely to catch up for a meal instead.
My mother has been asking me since 2 months before my birthday what I want, and she stipulated that it has to be something that she can make or something that she would enjoy shopping for. I have absolutely no ideas what would meet her criteria!
We don't buy family presents anymore, thank heavens, & my husband will pay for dresses I buy & keep them for my Birthdays or Christmas. He now has them until Christmas '19, so I hope I don't find anymore I want, as it will be a VERY long wait for them! My friends know I love the Eiffel Tower in Paris & flamingos, so they usually buy me something along those lines, or hand cream, which may seem boring, but I love it anyway. Now as we're getting older, I'd rather just go out for a meal together & skip the presents!
Family usually ask me what I would like for my birthday or Christmas. If there is a good book out that takes my fancy, then I will usually suggest that. I find that I usually have most things that I need. I often get cat related items as well. My son gave me a cushion with a cat on it for Mothers Day this year. Sometimes my daughter will get me a massage voucher for the local day spa . I can never have enough of those. My friends and I have an unwritten rule that we don't buy gifts. We usually go out for lunch somewhere instead. I am a bit strange in that I often buy my own gifts, if I see them when I am out shopping, and family pick one, and reimburse me the cost. That way, I know that I am getting what I want. It saves them going shopping for a gift, and running around all day looking for the right thing. Everyones a winner.
I would not do that at all.
My family have said 'Oh we do not know what to get you'.
I have said a small gift card (meaning it can be for even $10) is wonderful :)
It is easy for them, and great for me....