Life Hacks
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Life Hacks

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.

custom photo book
shutterfly.com
Custom Printed Birthday Book

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 year old booze
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30 Year Old Booze

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.

Countertop Snow Cone Machine
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Countertop Snow Cone Machine

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.

Grow the F*ck Up
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Grow the F*ck Up

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.

small gifts
DIY
30 Small Gifts

Any schmuck can find one, big, perfect 30th birthday gift. That’s easy. What’s tough is finding thirty small, but no less perfect gifts, all individually wrapped and each one better than the last. You probably aren’t up for the challenge, though, you’ll probably take the easy way out and just get one gift. Oh well.

Stockpile Stock Gift Cards
StockPile.com
Stock Gift Cards

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.

1 year amazon prime membership
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1 Year Of Amazon Prime

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.

Costco Membership
Costco.com
Costco Membership

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.

PancakeBot
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PancakeBot

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.

The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You
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The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You

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.

First Edition Of Favorite Book
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First Edition Of Favorite Book

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.

Smart Luggage
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Smart Luggage

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.

360 Degree Mirror
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360 Degree Mirror

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.

Wine Making Kit
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Wine Making Kit

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.

Tetris Stackable LED Desk Lamp
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Tetris Stackable LED Desk Lamp

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.

3D Printer
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3D Printer

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.

Bluetooth Food Freshness and Safety Detector
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Food Freshness Detector

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.

10950 days old mug
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10,950 Days Old Mug

Five digits, yo. Now we’re talking! The last big milestone, get-a-mug-as-a-gift type birthday was still in the four digits range (a quarter century is only 9,125 days, after all). Thirty years old is the big leagues. Also, nobody in their twenties wants a coffee mug for a birthday gift anyway.

Time Capsule
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Time Capsule

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.

DIY Cell Phone Kit
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DIY Cell Phone Kit

Having a cell phone is cool, but you know what’s cooler? Making a cell phone. Give them a gift that lets them sort of do that with the RePhone DIY Cell Phone kit. It’s not from scratch obviously, the kit contains all the parts, but anyone with the tech chops will be able to do some fun things with this.

The New York Times Of Your Birthday Front Page
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The New York Times Of Your Birthday Front Page

The years seem to start to speed up by the time a person’s thirtieth birthday rolls around. Thirty years might not seem like so long. This framed reproduction of the New York Times front page from the day they were born will remind them that 30 years is actually a pretty long time ago.

birthstones
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Birthstone Jewelry

The birthstone for the month of April is diamond. Other months have ruby, or emerald, or sapphire, and the list goes on. What we’re really talking about here is getting someone a very nice piece of jewelry. Don’t think you can cheap out just because it’s a birthstone.

charity-gift-cards
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Charity Gift Card

One reason it can be hard to find the perfect gift for a 30th birthday is that people at that age already have plenty of stuff as it is. Nobody needs another trinket, right? A charity gift card let’s them give instead of getting, and is a far more meaningful gift than any other piece of plastic you could buy.

Giant Legos
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Giant Legos

If you know someone who never stopped physically growing while also remaining a kid at heart, we’ve got the perfect 30th birthday present. They’ll be able to build things with their freakishly large and ever-expanding hands just like they used to do with regular Legos back when they were still normal sized.

Flameless Candle Lighter
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Flameless Candle Lighter

We think the 30th birthday is about as young as we’d recommend for this gift. It looks like a magic wand, and operates pretty much like one, as an electric blue, 2,012° F arc erupts from the tip to light candles. Or light everything in the whole house playing wizard, if the younger kids get hold of it.

30th birthday milestone
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30th Birthday Milestone

Even a person who has everything probably doesn’t have a rock with their age stenciled on it in weatherproof paint. Confound their expectations with a 30th birthday milestone. It’s cheap, easy, and can be displayed anywhere that you might put a painted rock.

Gold Or Silver Coins
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Gold Or Silver Coins

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.

23andme Genetic Testing Kit
23andme.com
Genetic Testing Kit

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.

travel plans
DIY
Travel Plans

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.

Beginner’s Guide To Investing
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Beginner’s Guide To Investing

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.

extreme sandbox
extremesandbox.com
Extreme Sandbox Lets You Play With Heavy Equipment

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.

Sous Vide Cooker
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Sous Vide Cooker

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.

The Big Top Calliope
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The Big Top Calliope

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.

Brain Controlled Helicopter
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Brain Controlled Helicopter

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.

Portable Air Pollution Monitor
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Portable Air Pollution Monitor

Even if you know they’re just going be excited at first about using this to sniff their own flatulence, this Portable 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.