Actually, nowadays, you must be very careful. We had a female coworker drop hints and complain to us that no one ever remembered her birthday for months before her birthday (or every time a birthday was celebrated in our office). So, I got her card and couple of non-personal gifts (she liked a particular football team, so I got her a mug and a magnet and a pennant) a day or so before her birthday. She got beyond angry. I got the rudest email ever from her about how it was not appropriate to give a coworker a "gift" at work and how it starts rumors in the office and how to never do it again or decorate her cube (I didn't do anything to her cube).
On the day of her birthday, no one did anything but wish her a happy birthday here and there. Two days later, another coworker had a birthday and everyone decorated her cube and the coworker who chastised me for giving her a gift went back to whining how no one remembered her birthday again in the office this year and how it must be nice.
Be careful about gifts and the people you give them to, even though they drop hints. The person may just like complaining and in reality, doesn't want anyone to do anything for them.