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!
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....
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.