They say 40 is the new 30. Whatever that means, it sure sounds nice. And maybe you shouldn’t scoff when they say they’re just hitting their stride, just starting to gain momentum. After all, they should have accumulated enough wisdom by now to start figuring this thing out. Anyway, they’re still old, so you should buy for them accordingly. But don’t buy really old person gifts, you know? We think we’ve hit the sweet spot on this list of creative 40th birthday gifts. Just don’t tell them that feeling of momentum only means they’ve started rolling down the other side of the hill. Let them figure that out on their own.
Help them open a new decade of biological existence by cracking open a cold beer (or a warm one if that’s their thing) that’s tailor made for the occasion. After all, you’re not celebrating “Miller Lite.” You’re celebrating their entrance into the world, even if it happened so long ago that hardly anyone remembers. Your 40s are a time when you finally have the maturity to look back at what you’ve done with some level of comprehension. But they’ve got a whole decade to do that. Here’s to spending this night in a pleasant stupor.
Forty used to be the standard age to judge someone as being over the hill. Now, with our breakthroughs in medical science, improved understanding of nutrition and exercise, and advances in collective denial, we all know that 40 is young as hell. But in case they insist on having a mid-life crisis, here are 40 expert-selected ways to distract themselves from their dark night of the soul. Help them go boldly into middle age.
When you were a kid, your mom probably told you not to sit so close to the TV — at least, if you were born way back before parents gave up on that sort of thing. Well, here is the Oculus Go, designed to be the ultimate in sticking it to your parents. It’s also the perfect gift for someone who loves big screen movies but hates sitting next to other people. Pretty much the most immersive personal entertainment system available, designed for people who want to be in the movie, not just watch it.
There are very few people who don’t have something that they’ve always wanted to do but haven’t quite got around to doing. We don’t want to encourage you to send them onto a direct path to a mid-life crisis, but 40 seems an appropriate age to get started on the bucket list. Whether they’re after adrenaline-fueled action or absolute relaxation, make their birthday unforgettable.
They might not be feeling particularly lucky to be waving their thirties goodbye but they will have hit the jackpot with a hand-crafted bouquet of lottery tickets. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but they could prove the old adage wrong. Just make sure they don’t forget who bought them the golden ticket when they become a multimillionaire.
People who get into studying their family’s genealogy can get really into it. The simple family tree keeps expanding, with every branch having a story to tell, and it can take decades of research to learn about it all. Why not give them the gift of a start on that journey while they are young enough to complete it someday?
Just give it to them. Don’t make a big deal about it, or give them diet books or a lecture or anything like that. They know. They have figured out for themselves that their body is not quite the well-tuned machine that it once was. Just give the Fitbit, and leave the rest to them.
They’re bound to have a lot of questions as they turn 40 and however existential they turn out to be, we’re sure that Alexa will do her best to answer them. The Amazon Echo is a clever household helper that can tell you what the weather is going to be like tomorrow or the baseball score. It probably won’t be able to give them the secret to eternal youth, though it may be worth a shot.
If they’re turning 40, they’ll have spent enough time in supermarkets to last a lifetime. Buy them a Costco membership and not only will you save them money, you’ll also be saving them time so they can start doing other exciting old people things instead, like gardening and bridge club. In fact, you might get really lucky with a jumbo pack of toilet roll as a thank you.
This ingenious shirt tricks kids into giving back massages to their parents. It has a cartoon network of roads printed on the back so kids playing with a toy car driving around the town will secretly be loosening tight muscles and soothing back pain while they play. It’s brilliant!
They might be getting older and waving goodbye to their youth but everyone is still a big kid at heart, at least to some extent. Satisfy their inner child by gifting them some giant candy. It’s quite hard to sugarcoat waving goodbye to their younger years but this still makes a sweet gift for your favorite 40-year-old.
The thought of turning 40 may leave a bad taste in their mouth so they’ll be incredibly grateful for a gift that will make them a little less bitter about getting old. These clever little tablets make even the sourest of foods taste sweeter, though we can’t make any promises over whether or not this will sweeten their mood.
By their 40th birthday, a person has probably had the chance to go a few places, and has definitely had the chance to think of a few places they’d like to go. This personalized travel map comes with colored pins to mark those them all on an attractive US or world map.
This is a 40th birthday gift that can backfire, be warned. You may turn an otherwise normal, mild mannered person into a raving hypochondriac worried that every cough is tuberculosis, every headache a tumor, and diarrhea radiation sickness. It could happen.
Trying to get your favorite 40 year old to do some exercise once in awhile? Get them off the couch playing video games and onto this stationary bike- also playing video games - where the more exercise they get, the better they do in the game. Talk about win-win, right?
Perhaps the best gift you could give is a well-earned day off. Watch their face light up when they kick back and enjoy a day of total relaxation as you take care of all the hard work for them. Just be careful not to do the job too well or you’ll find them asking for the same thing for every birthday and holiday to come.
The beer world has truly exploded with breweries over the last decade-plus, which is great for anyone who likes trying new things. However, this proliferation of choice has a dark side. Dyed-in-the-wool beer lovers now face overwhelming anxiety every time they go to pick up a six pack or fill up a growler. The Craft Beer Club removes this pain point by making the necessary choices for all involved, so beer time can go back to being the sweet revelation it used to be.
Get them operating at peak efficiency with this collection of wisdom gleaned from everyday experts on the living of life. Each page is packed with nuggets of wisdom that explain a better way to do the things that we do every day in clear, no-nonsense language.
Every birth is an incomprehensible miracle, and it’s a shame that we only allocate a single day to celebrate each one. Seems kind of lazy when you think about it. With Kindnotes, you can keep those good vibes coming for an entire month. Thirty-one little envelopes, each with a tiny note containing thoughts of inspiration, appreciation, and love. They’ll never get tired of opening these up every day and being reminded of how great they are. Choose from ready-made sets with messages already included, blank cards that you can fill in yourself, or Kindnotes will custom print your personalized set and jar.
Back in the old days you were really rolling the dice when you chose a hotel. Either you called blindly after skimming the phone book or simply drove all night and hoped you saw a vacancy sign before you ran out of gas and got murdered by a vagrant. A hotels.com gift card is not just a way of picking up the tab for a night’s stay; it’s also the priceless gift of peace of mind.
Get them thinking about where they are stashing their fortune with the gift of a gold or silver coin. Perhaps a coin that was minted in the year they were born would be a fun 40th birthday gift, or for an amount equal to their age. However you go, this is a gift that will literally be treasured.
Nothing brings a middle-aged adult back to their youth like a box of classic candy from their childhood. We all tend to get attached to the things that we eat when we’re young, and we’ll keep eating it and even enjoying it, even if it’s not that good. Which explains the survival of weird Halloween staples like candy corn and circus peanuts. But the Retro Candy Box doesn’t stoop to the level of serving up that kind of generic crap. This is the candy box full of classic stuff that even a 40 year-old can get excited about.
Got an uncle that constantly makes bad jokes? An auntie who really should stop kissing you straight on the lips or a dad who does the ultimate dad dancing? Give them a surprise to remember on their 40th birthday and find out if you’re really related with this Genetic Testing Kit.
The subtle appeal of the universal wish to reverse the relentless march of time comes in the form of a regular round kitchen clock. But instead of ticking away the seconds in the standard clockwise direction, this clock goes backwards, seeming for a moment to be leading to the idyllic past rather than uncertain future.
If you know a 40-year-old who often finds themselves in a culinary conundrum, this makes a perfect gift for them to find some foodie inspiration. If you live with the person you’re giving these to, it also means you’re more likely to get your dinner a little quicker in the evenings. Can you think of a better reason to buy them? No, we couldn’t either.
“Ha ha,” they’ll say, “very funny!” And, as they open this kit containing among other things prune juice, reading glasses, hemorrhoid cream, and comfort soles, they’ll laugh at how they’re not THAT old yet. But they’ll also try on those glasses one day soon, and maybe discover the joys of prune juice. And ponder.
Help your favorite 40-year-old get away and recharge in a faraway place where nobody knows them and they can act however they want with virtually no longstanding social repercussions. Because when things get tough, evacuation is usually the only solution.
No need to sing the praises of Prime. It is a great service. It would be a magnificent 40th birthday gift. That said, if you are buying it for a significant other with whom you live, just be aware that they will know you bought this for you as much as you bought it for them. You won’t be fooling anybody.
Nothing creates a sense of urgency like counting the seconds until the time when you can’t count the seconds anymore. The surest way to beat procrastination, this watch doesn’t let you off the hook. Strap it on someone’s wrist, give them a hearty slap on the rear, and tell them to get to work.
They can’t quite put their finger on what they want for their birthday and you really don’t want to get it wrong because, let’s be honest, it’s not every day they turn 40. Solve the problem with a 3D Printer. That thing they forgot they needed? There in a flash and quicker than Amazon Prime.
The dirty secret of gift giving is that we are really just imposing our will on others. People don’t give what everyone really wants - cash - because they want to tell others what they ought to have instead of letting them decide for themselves. Well, to heck with all that, just give money. But fold it into little flowers first so it looks pretty.
This is less DUI, more DOI - Driving On the Influence. This nifty little speed demon is perfect for when they really want to make an entrance to a party. And did you say they have a birthday coming up? Not only is it a great gift for them, it’s a great gift for you too – you’re officially off designated driver duties. A gift that keeps on giving.
They’ll only ever turn 40 once, so there’s no better excuse to get them something as unique as the occasion itself. Choose something as colorful as they are or something that reminds them of their favorite memories. Either way, a piece of original artwork is a gift that they can treasure forever and who knows? It could be the next Picasso. Then they’ll really be thanking you!
If there’s anything that can make wine taste better, it’s a little frustration. If you think life in our rapid-delivery consumer culture is just a bit too easy, then teach someone a valuable lesson on their 40th birthday, by making them work more than they anticipated for their reward. You’re not only giving the world’s oldest artisan beverage, you’re helping develop life skills.
If someone has reached the age of forty without realizing the joy of luxuriating in a hot bath while drinking a glass of cold white wine, buy this gift for them. If they have reached that age and know exactly how nice it is to do that, then, again, buy this gift for them! It works either way.
Craft brewing has definitely taken over the beer industry. But with so many microbreweries and so much competition, it sometimes gets hard to keep up. And who knows what to make of the bizarre varieties taking over liquor store shelves? Orange pickled hibiscus springtime lager? Porcupine quill Mongolian stout? Good lord. Time to look into the homebrew options.
Prepare them for the coldness of the tomb while soothing their aches and pains with a cryotherapy session. In socks and underwear, they will enter a chamber where their whole body (head not included) is bathed in frigid nitrogen vapor for up the three minutes or so. The quick chill is meant to promote natural healing throughout the body.
No longer just the province of fancy schmancy chefs in the big city, sous vide cooking is now available for the home cook as well. Give your friends the gift of perfectly cooked, melt-in-the-mouth meats at a fraction of the cost of dining out. Just make sure they invite you over! Check out our Guide to Sous Vide Cooking to learn more about this underutilized method of cooking.
Is your favorite soon-to-be 40 year old complaining about foot pain yet? Well, no matter; they will be soon enough. Prevent it for as long as possible with these amazing custom insoles. Made from a mold of their feet, these insoles relieve foot pain and help prevent injury.
If they were an intrepid explorer in their youth, they are sure to gravitate towards this gift that will remind them of all the adventures they’ve experienced. And just in case they’re feeling a little down about being too old to be footloose and fancy free nowadays, there’s a little pick me up conveniently tucked away in the middle.
This is a gift that they never knew they couldn’t live without. Catapult them into the 21st century with this 3D pancake printer and give them a birthday breakfast they definitely weren’t expecting. It can print any design imaginable into a sweet or savory treat. This is a present that definitely won’t fall flat as a... you catch our drift.
If you’re looking for a 40th birthday gift that’s completely out of this world and will last a lifetime, this is it. And if they’re not over the moon that they get to possess their own little patch of the night sky, it may be worth reminding them of how young they are compared to their twinkling namesake.
You don’t have to buy any tickets yet, or decide where or exactly when to go. Just make a plan right now with your significant other to go somewhere to celebrate their 40th birthday. Instead of just looking forward to their birthday, they’ll be looking forward to celebrating it somewhere with you.
Try as they might, those frozen cocktails they’re always making in the blender never quite come out right. It’s not because they got the recipe wrong (although by the fourth batch, that’s a good bet too) - it’s because the’ve been using the wrong tools. You wouldn’t let them try to cross a lake in their car, would you? So why are you letting them try to make frozen drinks in a blender? Making a proper beach cocktail first and foremost requires using the right contraption: a specialized frozen drink maker. It’s a small investment for the gallons of glorious delight it will produce.
It’s time to let the skeletons out of the closet. Just as they’re breathing a sigh of relief that now that they’re 40 all those embarrassing moments are buried away for good, make sure to remind them they’re not. This is brilliant after dinner entertainment (because middle aged people love dinner parties) but probably one to play after the kids have gone to bed.
If they’re feeling a bit hot under the collar at the thought of being over the hill, it often helps to crack open a cold one to take their mind off it. Thanks to this incredibly thoughtful gift, they’ll never be too far away from some ice-cold refreshment…just make sure you’re not walking behind them, expectations will be high.
40 years is a long time, they probably know that better than anyone else. Remind them of all the milestones and memories that have come before this one and give them a gift to treasure with a book designed especially for them. It’s also a great way to make sure they never forget any embarrassing moments. Like we said, 40 years is a long time, there’s bound to be a few.
It’s not meals on wheels, they’re not quite at that stage of old age yet, but if they’re looking for some inspiration in the kitchen, Blue Apron can help them out. A brilliant gift for any gourmet guru, this subscription takes the stress out of cooking up a storm and guarantees a delicious dinner. Liquidizing it is optional.
These were made for 40 year olds who are competitive in a big way. They’ll also be able to see the pieces, which is always a good thing. Giant games always mean big fun with family and friends. Just remember though, it’s their party and they’ll cry if they want to, but we don’t want them to, so maybe let them win.
If you have never had kids, it might be hard to understand how nice of a gift this is. But consider - if a babysitter makes just $12.50 an hour (which is conservative), 4 hours of babysitting is worth $50 before you even get into tipping. It’s a great gift! And you get to have fun with some kids as a bonus.
Looking for a gift that nobody else has? Something that was genuinely made only for them? A DNA Portrait is just that. Even if they’re not impressed by the science that goes into making it, you can order it in their favorite color, or a color that matches their couch. Great gift idea, right? We thought so too, but we’d bear in mind that the bespoke element of the gift is a little lost on twins.
Nobody wants to be left in the dark, and turning 40 is enough of a shock, so make sure they’ve got all bases covered when it comes to planning for power outages. A portable generator isn’t just great for use in emergencies, it can be used for camping and outdoor festivities too. They’ll be absolutely ex-static that you put this much thought into their gift.
Don’t just give them one piece of art, build them a gallery. We’re not expecting you to go and build an actual gallery complete with gift shop but we think they’ll be just as impressed with this gift. A digital art museum lets them curate a unique art collection and makes the perfect gift for any art enthusiast. They can even upload their own artistic creations if they’re handy with a paintbrush themselves.
Okay, so they can’t really tell anybody when they’re going to die. But they can measure cell aging based on things you’ve probably never heard of and don’t need to know about. A vital new way to measure health and lifestyle-related longevity. Much more reliable than that palm reader at the state fair.
Entering your forties is often the start of big nights out becoming big nights in, be it because of the kids or just the dancing shoes not having the right orthopedic insoles. Make the transition from party animal a little smoother for them with a gift that will give a not-so-exciting bottle of beer on the couch the taste of a night on the town.
If you know someone who salivates over the science behind their supper, we’re pretty sure they’ll enjoy experimenting with this molecular gastronomy kit. It’s perfect for anyone looking to take their culinary creativity to the next level and impress any future dinner party guests.
Everyone is bound to receive jewelry for one birthday or another but this isn’t any old birthday, this is the birthday when they actually start to feel old. Commissioning a piece of jewelry that is as unique as they are is a perfect way to capture everything that makes them special to you and turns it into a memorable gift that will last forever, no matter how old they get.
Lobsters have many, many great qualities, not least among them are their nutritional and flavor profiles. But they’re dumb as dirt, exceptionally slow, and don’t drive. So if it’s inconvenient for you to go all the way to the ocean to find the best lobsters, you’re going to have to have someone mail them to you. Thankfully, lobster mail is now a reality.
Paperweights are really great keepsakes to give someone for reaching a milestone birthday but, let’s be honest, they’re not the most exciting of things to be given. Decorate their desk with something a little more exciting by giving them an aquatic ecosystem that will be anything but a disappointment. It’s completely self-sustainable and makes a brilliant tabletop talking point.
Can’t find good help these days? A fiercely steadfast servant can be found in this brilliant barkeep. Always on hand to provide drinks to a round, rectangular or any other shaped table, Sir Galahad is a trusty addition to any home and even comes with the guarantee of never phoning in sick.
Do you know someone who’s mildly mischievous in their middle age? This is a present that was almost certainly written with them in mind. A book that gives them the know-how to be naughty and an education in wild and wayward escapades, it’s sure to provide hours of roguish fun and games.
Treat them like royalty for one day only. Whether a lady of leisure or lord of the manor, they’ll appreciate the gesture of having the housework taken care of, dinner being served or even their drinks being delivered while they sit back and relax. And although it may not seem like the best way to spend your day, you can be thankful that they only have one birthday a year.
An old classic that they love, perfect for an old classic that you love. Whether you track down a childhood favorite or a book that has a particular meaning to both of you, owning a first edition is the ultimate gift for literature lovers and they are sure to be touched at the thought that’s gone into finding a present that is perfect right down to the last letter.
It’s a well-documented theory that life expectancy is higher in those that follow a Mediterranean diet and that olive oil is one of the key ingredients. What looks like a humble bottle of olive oil could well be the elixir of youth and we can’t think of a better present to give to someone fast approaching 40.
We think it best not to mention that you bought this gift just in case their eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be. Aside from ensuring the longevity of their Scrabble career, it’s a classic that’s bound to produce hours of fun, a few accusations of cheating, possibly a light family argument and some spectacular words that may or may not have some questionable origins.
Trying to find a gift for a gastronomy guru who’s getting on a bit? We highly recommend Aromaforks if you’re looking for something that’s sure to go down like a treat. It will tantalize the taste buds of any forty-year-old foodies you know and is a perfect addition to dinner parties to give them a bit of a twist.
Just because someone wants to have a smartwatch doesn’t mean it has to ruin their sophisticated wardrobe. Conversely, just because someone wants a classy watch doesn’t mean it has to be as dumb as…an old watch. The Armani Touchscreen Smartwatch bridges that gap elegantly, with a classic analog-style watch face as well as Android and iOS compatibility. The Armani touchscreen allows them to text, track their activities, monitor their sleep, control the music on their smartphone, and tell the time (as if anyone does that with a watch anymore).
Solar cookers are a new take on the old favorite of al fresco dining and are an environmentally friendly, contemporary update of the traditional barbeque. So even though they might be feeling a little fried at the thought of getting older, it’s an opportunity for someone to buy them really cool gifts that are hot in the world of culinary technology.
Give them something better than the thought of getting older to chew on with this giant gummy bear. Not only will this bring back some sweet childhood memories, it’ll keep them so quiet, the next time you hear off them will probably be when they’re worrying about turning 50.
It’s a sensitive subject for many people reaching middle age but their looks won’t last forever. Make sure you capture the best of them with a personalized bobblehead. This is sure to make them smile and smiling causes less wrinkles than frowning, so those good looks will be preserved for a little while longer.
If you’re after a gift that’s fit for a king or queen, go one better and make them a member of the aristocracy. While we can’t guarantee an invitation to tea at Edinburgh Castle, they will be entitled to call themselves Lord or Lady for the rest of their lives…just be careful it doesn’t all go to their heads.
Standard hotels are convenient and something of a social institution, but when it comes down to it they’re all the same, except that in the cheaper ones the desk clerks are a little creepier and the maids are drunker. Airbnb takes the predictability out of travel lodging and replaces it with an endless variety of unique experiences. For 40-year-olds who appreciate the human touch.