Few events have the potential to inspire as much existential angst as the 30th birthday. But that’s no reason not to celebrate. Reaching 30 only means they’re finally leaving that haphazard, ever-dangerous, dizzying phase of pretend adulthood. Now it’s for real. Welcome them over to the dark side the right way.
A thirty year-old should have learned a thing or two about how to do stuff the best, cleverest, or most efficient ways, but some people aren’t as quick on the uptake as others. For them, there’s this book. They can learn all the tips and tricks their quicker cohorts have figured out for themselves.
It’s not always good news when someone says they made you a book. It can be wonderful, of course, but things can get pretty cringe-worthy pretty quickly as the recipient pages through it with growing embarrassment for the both themselves and the giver. So take your time and do a good job with this, OK? Don’t make it weird.
30 is not too old to get hammered once in awhile, but it is too old to get hammered drinking inferior booze. Get their sophisticated adult drinking life started right with a bottle of top shelf liquor that has been aging for as long as they’ve been breathing. They’ll see the light.
Help the 30-year-old in your life focus more on their health…or at least tell people they do. “Yes, I only need 200 more steps before I reach my goal. Oh, you don’t keep track—yeah, I used to be like that, but now I know better.” Just make sure to shove plenty of candies in their direction, or they’ll flip their health speech on to you.
Most people would buy these to experiment with cooking, but any cooking is good if it’s free and it’s for you. Use this gift as an excuse to mooch off the 30-year-old in your life. “Have you tried my gift yet? Why don’t I come over and we can use it together?” Using that excuse too much can be dicey though and it may end up with your friend purposefully cooking questionable cuisine.
Keep trying to cling to your grandpa’s paper money, and in due time its only use will be as kindling for your dinner fire over in hobo town. The future is digital, and that extends to the currency that you’re going to use to buy other theoretical digital property. Give someone the gift of future solvency.
If the thirtieth birthday is a time to take stock of one’s financial health, why not make the stock-taking literal as well as figurative? With a gift of stock, you can set someone on a path of investment that can make all the difference when they want to retire a lifetime from now.
We think the word is out on how great an Amazon Prime membership is. The free shipping on millions of products? That giant video library? Sign us up! No, seriously, sign us up. Please? And you should sign someone you love up as a 30th birthday gift too while you’re at it.
There comes a time in every young person’s life when they realize that they are more excited about getting a great deal on a jumbo pack of toilet paper than they are about getting tickets to an upcoming music festival. That time usually comes right around their 30th birthday.
Some people might ask if anyone really wants to have a special piece of kitchen equipment just to make weirdly shaped pancakes. To those people we say this: How do you explain the existence of waffle irons? Aren’t waffles just pancakes with a shape, basically? Rhetorical question. No emails please.
Does your friend still seem to think they’re invincible even as their 30th birthday approaches? Give them the gift of a creeping sense of their own mortality with this book that can trigger existential crisis and gales of laughter in equal measure.
It doesn’t have to be a first edition. Maybe a special edition, or a signed version. The point is that you know enough about them to know what book would be special enough to give them on their 30th birthday.
We love that it has the GPS tracking, the built in scale, the 3G connectivity, and the TSA-approved remote lock, but the thing that makes this a perfect gift for a jet-setting 30 year-old’s birthday gift is that it has a built in battery that can can recharge a cell phone up to six times.
This present is sure to knock your gift giving reputation out of the park and score you a home run. Whether you’re buying it for a baseball buff or a wine connoisseur, it’s a brilliant centerpiece that is guaranteed to start conversations for years to come. You can even pick their home team to make sure it’s a guaranteed hit.
This is a great gift to give to someone who gets invited to a lot of Christmas parties, as it will save them the hassle of trying to pick out the best White Elephant gift to bring to the inevitable exchange. Oh, they’ll be excited to make wine when you first give it to them, but let’s be honest here, nobody will ever actually use this.
Giving someone a 3D printer makes giving a gift made out of plastic the equivalent of giving someone a fish instead of teaching them how to fish for themselves. Rather than buying all their plastic trinkets, they will instead print up whatever they need. It will be like metaphorically owning a pond.
This birthday, why not give them a bouquet of something they actually want – like the chance to win the lottery and retire early to travel the world in a super yacht! Plus, if they win, they’re sure to share their millions with you, right? Right?? Jon, can you hear me, you seem to be sailing in the other direction…?
Breaking down and having to call your dad for help is bad enough at 16 – by 30, you’ve outgrown that drama. The gift of an AAA Membership will mean they don’t even need to admit they had an auto-related problem – allowing them to retain the aura of cool, calm and collected adult, who has their s**t together. Ha!
They may be the world record holder for moo goo gai pan take-out orders, but that doesn’t mean they can’t apply that same ambition to a more progressive enterprise on the culinary scene. These boxed meals feature fresh, nutritious ingredients that will inspire healthier eating and put a lid on that MSG consumption. Award their starved taste buds and support responsible land stewardship while you’re at it!
Well, they’ve spent 30 years in this reality, they’ve probably had enough – we didn’t invent a whole new one for no reason. Give them a virtual reality headset and allow them to come face to face with dinosaurs, dance on the moon, meet their idol… you’ll probably never see them in the real world again.
Legal in all 50 states, this herb garden smokes the competition! The aroma of fresh herbs will bring serenity and well-being to their home and some much needed flavor to their cooking. Rosemary, thyme, dill, sage, oregano, the options are limitless! Green thumbs not required for this low-maintenance nursery. Sprigs of yummy goodness direct from Mother Nature.
Why are they still struggling to light a charcoal fire when there’s a 90 billion megaton flaming ball hanging above us? Help them learn to be more resourceful with this reflective solar cooker, then let daylight do the rest. Does NOT double as a tanning device.
Years ago, we were all told not to play with our food. Now the highest paid, most famous chefs in the world are doing just that, and nobody thinks to slap the gelified calcium chloride out of their hands. This is the food the Jetsons would have been eating if they were more sophisticated.
For the person who still hasn’t found that special someone and is living alone, figuring out if food from the back of the fridge is still OK to eat without someone to answer when they ask, “Honey, does this smell off to you?” can be a challenge, so this gift will be well appreciated.
We love this gift idea for the person turning 30 who has put down some roots and is planning to stay put for a while. Fill it with anything - pictures, words, a bottle of something, whatever - and bury it together in a place they’ll be in 30 more years. It will be an even better gift the year you dig it back up together.
We’re not saying you should buy someone a South African Gold Krugerrand for 1300 bucks or whatever it is - though that would be an incredible 30th birthday gift, holy crap - just that precious metal coins are fun to have. You can get an American Silver Eagle for like $20, and it’s almost as cool.
It’s amazing to think that the idea giving someone a kit to take a sample of their own DNA, that will then be sent off and analyzed, resulting in a detailed personalized genetic analysis, would have seemed like total science fiction just a few decades ago. But here we are.
Pack up your cares and woes, and head out into the wider world by making plans and delivering them to your favorite 30 year old as a present. Then jet, or drive, or cruise off into the sunset, leaving all your worries behind. The best part is that there’s to need to overthink the destination, just go anywhere. It’ll be great.
There are a lot of people at this age who are just starting to make a little money but who went to school for things that have nothing to do with business or money management. Give someone like that this book, which will bring them up to speed on how to smartly invest their new wealth.
If they are not living out their childhood sandbox dreams of operating a bulldozer or a backhoe at this age, chances are it’s not going to happen. Tough luck, kid. At least you can let them live that dream for a day by buying them a trip to Extreme Sandbox.
Thirty is exactly the sort of age where a person finds themselves wanting to go the extra mile to impress a special dinner guest with their cooking skills. Help them have all the right kitchen moves by giving them a the means to make their cooking outrageously tender and juicy.
You might remember that snow cone maker from when you were a kid with the crank and Snoopy on top. It was disappointing; it was hard to turn and it made tiny snow cones. This thing, though. This makes real deal snow cones and uses electricity. This is not for kids.
We shouldn’t have to even sell you on this. If you can afford to give someone a The Big Top Calliope for their birthday, and they can afford to have one, and would actually want one (this is key), then it really makes no sense that you haven’t already bought this by the time you get to the end of this sentence.
Somebody’s got to say it. We all know the one whose 30th birthday is looming right on the horizon, but who for whatever reason refuses completely to get their sh*t in order and start behaving like a grown-*ss adult. You just want to tell them to Grow the F*ck up! Well that’s the title of this book.
You’d think we would recommend this gift for people who are brainy, but you’d be wrong. No, we worry that a smart enough person could turn one of these mind-controlled helicopters into a swarm of mind-controlled helicopters. Give this to someone unlikely to set their sights on world domination.
Even if you know they’re just going be excited at first about using this to sniff their own flatulence, this Air Pollution Monitor will become a well used tool detecting the presence of CO, VOCs, and and other gas they might not like breathing. Which may include farts.
Tetris was released in 1984. Someone who is thirty years old has definitely wasted invested some time stacking these shapes, struggling to flip that L that never fits anywhere. Now they are the puppet masters in this real world version of the iconic game. Tetris suddenly got a whole lot easier.
Whether they’re shaving their face, doing their makeup, or styling their hair, they’ll wonder where this 360° Mirror has been all their life. They will feel like an all-seeing eye as they primp and preen in front of five folding panels that display their head from every angle.
You care about the 30-year-old in your life: that’s why you’re giving them an excuse to talk—or in some cases, yell—to themselves. “Alexa, stop music. I SAID STOP MUSIC.” When it’s working properly, it will be helpful though, which is why they’ll be sure to thank you—if the Amazon Echo understands to text you correctly.
Nothing says, “congratulations on getting older” like helping them relive childhood memories and wonder when they got too old for them. Questions like: “Was this always so fast?” and “Are we sure this is secure?” really help to put the 30-year-old in your life back in their place.
Sure, we lived for hundreds of thousands of years without electricity, but that’s not the point. The next time they’re in the middle of baking a casserole and a squirrel falls in the wires at the power plant, don’t make them resort to eating lettuce and raw cookie dough for dinner.
A loaded toolbox: helpful, considerate, and a great way of watching the 30-year-old in your life wonder what they’re going to do with three different sizes of wrenches. Bonus points if they don’t know what a tool is. Double bonus points if everyone else knows what the tool does except for them. Loaded toolboxes: a great way to be kind to your friend while being a tool all at the same time.
Encouraging literacy, supporting authors…and watching as your friend helplessly pushes buttons hoping to open the application. Nothing says, “I care about you” quite like watching someone helplessly read through a manual. Hey, at least they’ll be reading something thanks to you.
Supporting technology and educating people about aerodynamics…and let’s be honest; the real reason to buy this is to obstruct people’s paths. “Oh, what’s that? You wanted to open the fridge? Well, Flounder here didn’t get them memo.” This gift’s also great for circling people, but be careful or their revenge might go just as swimmingly.
Let’s be real: you want an ice cream machine, but you don’t want to look like you eat enough ice cream to actually invest in a machine for yourself. We get it. Hopefully, the 30-year-old in your life will get it too, when you invite yourself over for ice cream — again.
If you need to find a gift for someone that helps them to relax and take it easy on their own terms, this is it. The bath bomb making kit lets them choose their favorite essential oils and create their own unique gift to sit back, relax and enjoy. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t have time to get to the spa or who likes to mix their chill out time with their creative side.
Geography’s great and drinks are better, but owning a secret compartment like an overdramatic super villain is the best. Give your friend an excuse—not that they need one—to practice their evil laugh as they talk about world domination while looking at a globe. Besides, if the villain act gets to be too much for you, at least you’ll have the bar to tide you over.
Yes, a backpack vacuum keeps the house clean, but it also helps with pretending to be a Ghostbuster. Any excuse to sing a catchy theme song while cleaning is a good gift. While they ain’t afraid of no ghost, dust bunnies are a different story and they’ll definitely appreciate a gift to help fight them.
Exercise is great for everyone’s health, and what better way to promote a good lifestyle than scaring your friend into cycling for their life. Who needs a personal trainer when zombies are running after you? Even if they don’t exercise, this gift’s sure to increase their heart rate and they’ll thank you for it—assuming they live.
Donut pans. Donuts…. All the time… At any time. Is there anything more to be said? It gives you a perfect excuse to hang out with them more and both go for the world record of obesity, and if that’s not “bonding” personified, then we don’t know what is.
The keyword to pay attention to here is “appear”. You may not be able to help them actually be smart in meetings, but at least with these tricks they can look the part. Hopefully their coworkers and their boss haven’t read the book.
Everyone should have a survival kit for their vehicle—not for safety, but because the people who own them are the only ones that survive the zombie apocalypse. How can they fend off a hoard of monsters without a knife? How can they disinfect zombie bites without medical supplies? It’s their job to protect you now, so they should know.
What better way to wish the 30-year-old in your life happy birthday than by making them your guinea pig? Simply give them these tablets and let the food tests begin! We’re talking vinegar, peppers, lemons, and any other food you’d like to see your friend eat.
Help your friend stop wasting time talking when they could be drinking by getting them these sandals. Don’t forget to make fun of them for it: “Hey, look, I found you in flipflop form.” They’ll thank you for helping them make the process of getting beer more efficient — if they’re not wasted, that is.
Flying can be scary: the turbulence, the fact that their lives are dependent on a giant piece of metal they don’t understand, and worst of all, the chance they might end up sitting next to a baby. Help them make it through the experience with a Tom Collins, Bloody Mary, or Moscow Mule.
Fire pits sure look inviting, but let’s face it, who wants to smell like charred charcoal and smoldering soot when they crawl into bed at night? Experience the beauty of fire with this classy, odor-free design that can complement any extracurricular activity or intimate affair. Toss the pokers and the bellows and clear the table … this stunning centerpiece is on fire!
30 is the age some people settle down and start to have kids, so give the gift of a power play. “Kids, I told you if you don’t clean up your toys, you won’t get them back.” If the kids still don’t listen, they get to watch their parent eat edible LEGOs in front of them. While maintaining eye-contact. Life lessons and trauma in one perfect gift.
You want your friend to be healthy and safe just in case…but, let’s be honest: you also want to tease them. Joking about needing bandages because they have to be careful in their “old age” or flu medicine for all your sick jokes. It’s sure to leave them in stitches—or you in need of a first aid kit—either way, it works.
These might look like strange sea creatures or spindly metal spiders, but these spine-tingling scalp massagers will be adored by even your most arachnophobic friend. The perfect gift to take the stress out of their day – just make it clear from the offset that you won’t be the one operating it for them!
Some people have man-caves, but not the 30-year-old in your life: oh no, they have a bowl. Bonus points if you fill it with traditionally feminine things like flowers or jewelry. Double bonus points if every birthday afterwards you give something to go along with it like a man spoon or a man cup. Hey, it’s not a man-cave, but at least it’s a start.
Sure, they’re good for visibility and warning cars, but honestly: these things are like a disco on their feet. Give the 30-year-old in your life a chance to dance in their very own light show. Or, you know, give them these shoe headlights to keep them safe or whatever. But it’s totally for the light show.
As considerate as this gift may appear, the real reason you’d get them a compact fire extinguisher is to make fun of them. “I’ve seen your cooking and thought I should bring this just in case.” They’ll probably laugh it off, but if the time ever comes when they need it, your “told you so” will burn more than the flames ever could.
Give your friend the gift of mild terror as they go from: “aww it’s an animal” to “AHH IT’S AN ANIMAL.” Plus, once the shock wears off, they’ll have a subtle and cuddly prank for other hopeful and naïve friends. Just be sure to carefully inspect any box they give you in the future, because this is kicking off a dangerous and horrifying prank war. Godspeed.
Introduce the 30-year-old in your life to their first robot in their soon-to-be robot empire. Give them control over a new form of technology and let them watch while it does their bidding—well, their vacuuming. Then as more birthdays are gained, they can slowly upgrade it to more nefarious – and helpful – tasks. Like fetching slippers.
Celebrate another year of living by putting their life in jeopardy with a CIA Survival Training Course. Now, they can kick open doors while humming the Mission Impossible theme song and actually feel justified. That, and they’ll learn valuable survival skills—but come on: pretending to be Ethan Hunt.
Yes, you want the 30-year-old in your life to have a heated whirlpool, but more importantly, you want to have access to a whirlpool without having to maintain it. “What do you mean I can’t hang out in your whirlpool today? You wouldn’t have that if it weren’t for me.” That’ll put them in hot water or, preferably – put you in hot, bubbly water.
Fondue’s one of the classier cuisines and, as lovely as a fondue party sounds, the real reason anyone buys a fondue maker is to go overboard with food experiments. Give the 30-year-old in your life the gift of wondering: “Does this go with cheese?” Along with all the happiness— *cough* *cough* stomach aches—that follow.
Drinking coffee is for amateurs: give the gift of intense doses of caffeine. Help them run marathons, finish difficult projects, and—if they eat too many—question if their eye is supposed to be twitching. As a gift to you, if you ever need to paint your house, get them on board – they can see way more colors than you can now.
This one’s a subtle yet completely in-their-face way of saying, “I want to drink with you, but you make terrible cocktails.” They might get offended at first, but give them a cocktail or three and they’ll change their mind—you might even get an “I love you, man” in the mix.
Some things are just inherently adult: finishing taxes a month in advance, owning more than one spare tire, and now this. Show the 30-year-old in your life you care by reminding them how old they are and how, yes, they absolutely do need a separate machine to clean their jewelry. They’ll thank you—right after they pay their bills a month early or whatever other adult things they do.
What’s better than bubble wrap and hamster balls? How about a human-sized bubble ball to roll around in or bounce off every surface in sight? Nothing says, “congratulations on turning 30 years old” like judgmental looks from neighbors and concern from everyone else.
Beanbags: the dream furniture of broke college kids and now the 30-year-old in your life. Give them an excuse to connect with their younger self by lounging on a large lump in their living room. Be warned: this gift may provoke outbursts like: “I want a taco wrapped in a pizza” and “can you spot me five bucks,” but there’s sure to be a thank-you lost somewhere in the beanbag as well.