40th Birthday Gifts

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If the last thing they need is another “thing”, then the best possible gift is to take a trip together. Whether it’s a short day-trip to the beach, a weekend in Vegas, or a vacation overseas, travel creates memories that will last forever, long after their gizmos have become obsolete, their doodads have broken down, and their whatchamacallums have faded into obscurity.

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!

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.

The last thing they need is more stuff, and at the end of it all it’s really the experiences that they will cherish the most. Help them create some new memories to look back on by finding a fun activity to do locally. Be adventurous and choose something they’ve near done before. It’s a gift that will enrich their life and yours too.

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.

Look, we know that not everybody needs to have a giant five pound gummy bear, but not everybody technically needs pants, either. Having a giant gummy bear is like having a pair of pants: once you have one, it is hard to imagine life without it. The point is that need has nothing to do with it.

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.

Not quite wanting to push the boundaries by sending them for a health check now they’re getting on a bit? Why not help them out with their financial health instead? Stock Gift Cards are a brilliant alternative to giving cash, offering many happy returns far beyond their birthday – it may even mature as well as they have.

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.

You could just get them a gift card to a spa or for a massage, but why not go for a more interesting experience like cryotherapy? It’s basically a box you get into to get blasted by ridiculously cold air for a short period of time. Advocates say that the treatment rejuvenates the body and helps repair tissue damage. If your town doesn't have a cryotherapy place yet you could try a bathtub full of ice and a big fan.


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.

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.

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.


“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.

It’s amazing to think that 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, and the kit makes a thought provoking gift. They could be related to Genghis Khan, Cleopatra, Chuck Norris, and Batman… Probably not that last one. But you can’t prove it. Now you can either both spend your lives wondering, or you can finally understand where that fixation with roundhouse kicks came from. The choice is yours.

This is the old people version of buying them their own pool cue. Like every game of chance, bingo is ruled by the secret and unfathomable rubric of superstition. Using a borrowed dauber is like spitting in the face of the lottery gods. Not a good idea.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Admittedly, this is kind of a niche gift. But somehow, inexplicably, this has become a giant niche. Fans of the animated sitcom - as well as the associated blog, comic book, and soundtrack album - will have a great time geeking out to these real life, chef-tested recipes for the outlandishly-named burgers the show is famous for.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

It’s going to be hard to find a vintage that is quite as special as your favorite 40-year-old so why not give them an opportunity to make their own? This wine making kit will allow them to create a bespoke beverage to mark the big occasion. We’re sure it won’t age as well as they will though.

Mornings getting harder? Bedtime getting earlier? They probably won’t want to admit it but they’ll be feeling 40 creeping up on them. Make the transition into middle age a little less exhausting with an extra big dose of caffeine in the mornings. Words cannot espresso how happy they’ll be with this gift, they’ll love you a latte for it.

Let your feet guide you, and never get lost. These removable insoles link up with a smartphone app and use GPS to guide you to your destination through subtle vibrations. Lead the way without having to stare at your phone or wait for Google Maps to load. Like the pied freakin’ piper, without the annoying pan flute.

Batteries run out all the time and have you ever noticed that you can never find them when you need them? Or they’re the wrong size? Who wants to have to worry about that when they’re 40? No one! So make sure they don’t need to by giving them more batteries than they could ever possibly use.

Everyone likes a nice stiff after-dinner drink, but sometimes you get tired of swearing at strangers and getting in fights with the sheriff. What’s a country boy to do? A great gift for anyone who’s looking to tone it down a notch but can’t give up the taste of that sweet Kentucky nectar. Or anyone who wants an extra special kick to start the day.

They might be feeling frosty at the idea of turning 40 but they’ll love the throwback to their younger years with a snow cone machine. Even if they’re in a bit of a flurry over their upcoming birthday, they can chill out with a classic, refreshing treat. It might be the coolest gift you can get them.

If they have a jam-packed schedule of celebrations, make sure you start them off early with a breakfast toast to the birthday boy or girl, literally. Yes, you really can put their face on toast, because a cake with a picture on it is so 1990s. Not convinced? We think they’ll be even more impressed at the thought of waking up every morning and not looking a day over 39, at least until they’ve finished their breakfast anyway.

Everyone wanted to be a spy at some point, so whether your 40-year-old is a budding Jason Bourne or a James Bond-to-be, why not get them started with a collection of spy secrets from a former CIA agent? Just as a side note, we are not responsible for any booby traps you fall foul of as a result of the recipient reading this book.

Good and bad are always subjective, an eternal truth reinforced by these confusingly labeled shot glasses. They’re also primarily determined in retrospect, which means the moment of decision is not the time to worry about such trivial concepts anyway. A very philosophical gift for someone entering a philosophical phase of life.

If you know a 40-year-old who’s looking for a bit of a career change, make sure you keep their options open by sending them on a CIA Survival Training Course. Put together by a former covert agent, this survival course will, at the very least, help them endure the tricky territory of middle age and we all know what a minefield that can be.

Give the gift of beautiful views, bucket-list achievements, and especially if they’re afraid of heights, hours of entertainment for you. It veers away from cruel since it’s completely safe, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth watching them rotate between admiring the splendor and clutching the basket while praying in four languages. Especially since they only speak one.

When they’ve got to nearly 40, they’ve probably had their fair share of pushing a vacuum cleaner around and we wouldn’t want to begrudge them some time off on their special day. In fact, if you buy them this gift, they’ll never have to push a vacuum cleaner around again and you’ll probably end up being their favorite person for affording them that luxury.

These are really great to give to someone who is less about the gift and more about the gesture, and by the time they reach 40 they’ve probably got enough possessions. You can put whatever you want on them and they can cash them in at any time. And the benefit to you? You don’t have to write anything you really don’t like on them, so maybe save the hard stuff for when they reach 50.

If you know someone who’s big on taste, we think they’ll love this giant peppermill that will keep their food flavorful for years to come. Not only that, it’s a great talking piece at dinner parties, so it’s particularly useful to have around if they’d rather talk about something bigger than the big 4-0.

A normal magic wand makes things disappear. This one makes them appear on your doorstep, though it takes a couple of days. That’s how magic works in the digital age: it’s a little slower, but it gets you stuff you actually want. The old magic just got you a rabbit or something and left you confused. They’ll like this a lot more.

A box of food every week probably isn’t the present they were expecting, but they’ll really appreciate the time off having to do the weekly trip to the supermarket for a while. Of course, this isn’t a completely selfless gesture, it also gets you out of doing it too, if you live with the person you’re buying it for.

Give them a gift that will keep them going all day with this tidy little package of an elliptical machine that can fit under a desk. They can burn calories all day long without leaving work. A great way to keep fit for busy people who want to increase their stamina.

Have you ever needed something that you couldn’t find and wished it would just appear in front of you? Well, this is the solution. It makes the perfect gift for a 40th birthday, just as they get to that age where they start to forget where they’ve put things. Now they can simply start drawing themselves new ones. Please be aware that we don’t believe this works for car keys, or glasses, though the latter can normally be found on top of the head.

They may have outgrown their sandpits and toy trucks a fair few years ago but they’ll never grow out of these ones. Let them relive their childhood dreams with a day in the ultimate playground. Crushing cars and taking on obstacles in heavy machinery, the perfect big adventure for your favorite big kid.

You might want to remind them that one of the perks of getting older is that they’re closer to retirement and, of course, they’re going to need to fill their days doing something. A vertical chess set allows them to play games that will last weeks on end, making sure that they can fill their endless vacation without the risks that come with the table being cleared for dinner.

Getting to the grand old age of 40 means that their eyesight may not be what it used to be. Make sure they can still find their way home after dark with a flashlight that really goes the distance. Or in the middle of the day, depending on how bad their eyesight is. Might we also suggest eating a few more carrots?

Reaching 40 is stressful, they deserve to relax. Let them unwind and let the worries slip away in this inflatable hot tub. Even better than a trip to the spa, it’s there for whenever they’ve had a long day or simply fancy a chance to loosen the muscles, and they don’t even have to leave the house.

If they’re turning 40, naturally they’re going to be at least a little bit apprehensive at their senses not being as sharp as they used to be. Calm their nerves with a sensory deprivation session. Whatever the years ahead have in store for them, if they can sit through an hour of absolutely nothing, they’ll be well prepared for hearing aids and magnifying glasses.

People weren’t joking when they said this coffee is the sh#t. The undeniably rich, full-bodied flavor produced by these rare beans has redefined the food chain and flipped the coffee industry on its head. Perhaps one of the most imaginative adaptations of the farm-to-table movement, this coffee product is redefining waste management.

Budding bartender or maestro mixologist on your hands? They’ll love this clever little kitchen gadget to help them make the perfect drink every time. In fact, we think they’ll be so impressed, you’ll never have to make your own drinks again. Ever. And we can’t think of a better reason to buy this as a gift for your favorite 40-year-old.

If they’re losing sleep over turning 40 and running out of sheep to count, NASA has had a real light bulb moment and thought of a way to help with this, er, light bulb! It’s designed to make sure they get the right amount of sleep and, let’s be honest, now they’re getting older, beauty sleep might be getting a little more important.

Different people learn in different ways. Not respecting those differences is a major reason the public education system has failed us so terribly. Some people learn visually, some learn by mimicking, and some learn by beer. This book is for the last group.

Old people like gardening, right? Perhaps that’s not the best reason to give if they ask why you bought them this, but we do think it makes a great gift for anyone with green fingers. Even if they’re less precious about their pruning, it can be used as a clever storage solution, pretty handy if you’re looking for a practical present.

Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or maybe just gives you PTSD. Either way, it’s better than dead. Here’s a book that can help the owner avoid the dead category for a little longer, even when things get hairy. Rough world we live in.

Let them take the celebration wherever they want to go with this nifty little party on wheels. As well as mixing your drinks and keeping them on ice, The Coolest has a built in Bluetooth speaker, blender, and USB charger to keep the festivities going as long as they can, even if it’s not very long, they are 40 after all.

We like this because it looks all sci-fi while also actually being kind of sci-fi. It is a cordless neck and shoulder heating wrap that can warm sore bones for up to an hour per charge. Get them up off the couch and looking like a space villain at the same time.