It depends, sometimes we ask for things we need rather than things we want. This year for my birthday he gave me a set of matching license plates from 1981 that I can put on my Cadillac this year since where I live, if you have a vehicle registered as an antique, you can run year of manufacturer plates, rather than the antique vehicle plates. I had spent some time looking for these a few years ago, he spent 6 months actively searching for them. It meant a lot to me.
For his birthday, he doesn't ever want to do anything to celebrate, saying it's just another day. But I still try to get him something nice and do something to let him know that I remember and want to do something special.
We don't place a ton of emphasis on making sure we do something special for birthdays or other holidays, since giving things to make each other feel special shouldn't be limited to a few days a year.