This is when it starts to get real. No one says 50 is the new anything. It’s just 50. A half a damn century. It’s enough to make your head spin. Luckily for you, the gift buyer, there’s enough accumulated history in those 50 years to give you some ideas about what they’ll find humorous, useful, touching, thoughtful, or even just annoying, if you’d like to go that route. This is a big one, but don’t sweat it. We’ve got plenty of ideas.
Hopefully, five decades into their life they’ve finally begun to mature into something that does justice to their vintage. With any luck, they’ve aged as well as the wine you’re about to uncork in celebration of their advancement. At 50, you’re firmly in the midst of middle age, and damn right they should be proud of it. Don’t be afraid to display it for the world to see. They’ve cracked a half century, and everyone knows they’re just getting started. Kick the next half century off in style.
People often have the illusion that their options are dwindling the older they get. The genius of a book like this is that it proves the opposite. As your experience and wisdom grow, so does your understanding of what’s possible. But that doesn’t mean they can’t use some guidance. Before you let Aunt Martha indulge her lifelong hidden desire of becoming a stripper, you may want to intervene with a little expert advice. This is a great place to start.
At 50, a person may start to think about their place in history. They begin to really contemplate what it means to someday join the long chain of human life that led to them and to their descendants. Help them get started on a journey of self discovery by starting a family tree.
Get started on that Bucket List while there’s time and health to finish it by writing everything on special tags and storing them in an actual bucket. Then pick an adventure whenever life permits. There’s so much to do and look forward to doing! Get to work on it!
There is a chance they might be underwhelmed when they realize that they themselves will have to cook the dinner(s) you bought for them, but only up until they actually follow along with Blue Apron’s clear easy instructions and eat their delicious, gourmet food. Then they won’t stop thanking you.
Why not? There’s so many good things about Amazon Prime – things that didn’t even exist when your 50-year-old was a kid. Free shipping in 2 HOURS? What kind of sorcery is this? Millions of songs? That’s a lot of mix tapes. Video streaming? The closest they had to that was a black and white nature documentary about rivers.
Don’t say bucket list. Don’t say “while you still can” when making the plans. This is supposed to be fun, not somber. Just plan a trip, somewhere you know they’ve always wanted to go and never had the chance. Make it happen. Have a wonderful time. And do it again and again.
By the time a person gets to fifty, they’ve probably experienced at least a few health problems and injuries. But now they’re getting older, these will start to multiply. They’ll need to be afraid. Very afraid. Their only chance is to keep this book with them, like a talisman, and consult it constantly.
Whether it’s Charlotte’s Web, Hamlet or Harry Potter, a first edition of their favorite book is sure to top the gifting charts. In the past, you’d scour bookshops, eventually stumbling across a kindly old bookseller, who’d take pity on your plight, and climb a rickety ladder, to dust off a long-lost volume... nowadays, we have the Internet.
Depending on your 50-year-old, this gift might meet with resistance, faux indignation, or secret delight – whichever it is though, we’re sure they’ll be addicted to getting their 10,000 steps by the end of the week. You never know, they might even offer to walk your dog, to get those miles in.
The 50th birthday is probably the last time you can get away with “over the hill” jokes. From here on in, these kinds of jokes will sound more like observations. Take advantage of your last chance to pick on the old guy by putting together a basket of embarrassing senior citizen’s products like prune juice, orthopedic shoe inserts, hemorrhoid cream, Metamucil, Depends diapers, Beano, and reading glasses.
By their 50th birthday, a person is probably pretty sure they are not going to ever have a royal title. Like, what are the chances? Now you can blow their mind with the gift of a Scottish Laird or Ladyship decorative title and a real piece of an ancient estate.
Start the countdown, because the 50th birthday means they are in range for this gift. Count down every day, hour, minute, and second until retirement begins with this nifty clock. They can even bring it to work to make the whippersnappers jealous. With the average age of retirement always on the rise, you may want to throw in some extra batteries too.
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.
In their twenties, this probably wouldn’t have been a very exciting gift. ‘Gee whizz, thanks aunty Pam – some vegetables. You decided against the laptop then?’ But now, at 50, the chance to avoid the weekly grind of the grocery store, with people barging into them and huge lines at the checkout will likely seem like a gift from above.
Get out, go to a concert, see a show, watch a game. Have a great time. Nothing fancy here, just tickets to something fun. Get a pair of tickets and either go with them or send them along with the person of their choice. Even if the event isn’t happening for several months, they’ll still enjoy looking forward to going.
A person who’s just hitting 50 has learned a lot over the years, so why would they need a book like this? Because, just like in other sorts of technology, people never stop devising newer and better ways of doing even mundane everyday tasks. This book is state of the art.
In our opinion, while the fact that this is a custom one-of-a-kind portrait of a person’s DNA sequence is very cool, it is not the best reason to buy this for someone’s 50th birthday. After all, if it were ugly, we would never recommend it at all. But it is not ugly. It’s quite beautiful, actually. And that is best reason to buy it.
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.
This doesn’t have to be awkward. Yes, you are giving someone, as a 50th birthday gift, something they will use for pooping. It’s OK. Then someday you’ll say, “Hey, you, uh, you ever use that Squatty Potty?” They’ll look horrified for a half a second, but then they’ll crack a quick smile and say, “Yeah, actually. It’s great. Thanks.” Then you never speak of it again.
Birthdays are often seen as a measure of how much time we’ve lost doing things we didn’t really want to, whether it’s being behind a desk or doing the dishes. This countdown watch should inspire your favorite 50 year old to make every second count as they helplessly watch them tick by.
If you’ve used a heating blanket, you know how you’re stuck sitting or lying down, and how hard it can be to get it on the right spot. Here’s a 50th birthday gift idea that solves all that. The heat wrap covers neck and shoulders while allowing full freedom of blissful movement.
It’s a sad truth that the older you get, the less you can afford to eat things that have been fried in oil. But fried food tastes great! There is an answer to the problem. Electric Air Fryers cook up crispy fried food without all those calories from oil. Give the gift of taste without guilt.
Plain white envelopes are so overdone. Giving a stack of money doesn’t have to be boring. Fold every bill into an origami flower, mount them on sticks, and arrange the cash into a stunning bouquet of blossoming currency. Everyone loves flowers, and everyone loves cash money. It’s the perfect gift!
Well, they’ve spent 50 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.
Every time we’ve been to a sauna there’s been some 50 year-old sitting in there the whole time. People that age love sitting in hot, steamy rooms. As it turns out, they also love sitting in super cold and dry places as well. It’s just the other side of the coin! If they like a good sauna, they’ll probably like cryotherapy, trust us.
A fun clock where the numbers are printed in reverse and the hands run counter-clockwise, it makes obvious sense that this is a great 50th birthday gift. The one thing about it, though, is how hard is it going to be to use for telling time? Pretty hard, right? Give it to someone with a flexible mind.
When they get to 50, regular olive oil just won’t cut it anymore. Thoughts of their health have never been more prominent, and olive oil has a host of potential benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease. And remember, this isn’t just any oil – it’s premium. You may need to explain that to them.
If their memory of past events is starting to get a little hazy (hey, some of them happened half a century ago), give them this thoughtful birthday book as a reminder. Best of all, you get to choose the photographs - remember that ‘hilarious’ yearbook picture, questionable fashion choice, or The Year of The Perm? They will now!
Unless you live under a rock, or on Tristan de Cunha (Google it), you don’t get to this age without ticking a few places off your bucket list. This personalized travel map is a fabulous way for your recipient to document their adventures of the last fifty years, and pin point where they’re going to spend the next fifty!
It’s true – a bottle of their favorite wine will last a few hours, at best (and they may not even remember drinking it!), but the memory of that crazy day spent white water rafting or skydiving will last a lifetime – even if they did have their eyes closed and were screaming for most of it!
Has your 50-year-old recently been showing signs of loneliness? Perhaps the kids have just gone off to college, or they’ve finally escaped an unhappy relationship? Get them the gift of this small cylinder-shaped friend, who’ll listen to music with them in the evenings and discuss the weather.
People nearing their 50th birthday can often be heard complaining about their feet. It’s just human nature. Something else that is human nature is loving the feel of wool. What if we could combine sore feet with the feel of wool? That would be amazing!
A box full of compliments and nice things their loved ones have always wanted to say to them – who wouldn’t be over-the-moon with this uplifting gift? Guaranteed to give them a much-needed boost on the day they become closer to a hundred than being born.
When you get to fifty, practical gifts that you would have treated with disdain at twenty start to hold a lot more appeal. This handy discount card is something they’ll use every day, reminding them of your thoughtfulness – they might even use it to buy you something in return. A gift that keeps on giving!
If they’ve made it to fifty and still haven’t made their millions (don’t worry, it won’t happen to you), this gift could be a wise choice. They’re young enough to have time to crack the stock market and raise that retirement fund, whilst old and wise enough not to blow all their profits on cocaine-fueled pool parties (probably).
Older people sometimes get a little freaked out about technology they don’t understand, so give them some peace of mind with this card that blocks remote RFID readers from stealing their credit cards. And buy one for yourself, too, because this threat is actually real.
Unless specifically requested, this could be a bit of a risky gift. Having said that, virtual reality is the future, and their 50th birthday is certainly a time when they’ll be looking for things to make them feel ‘current’. Plus, they might finally be able to tick cycling around Europe off their bucket list!
What better time than hitting 50 to decide to become a hypochondriac, track down a long lost relative, or uncover your ancient connection to the British Royal Family? Something that wouldn’t have been around when they were a teenager, we’re sure this scientific gift will provide hours of good, gene fun. Ha, ha.
A person who has lived over half a century is often seen as wise, a person who young people can turn to for a deeper understanding of the world. Unfortunately, not all of us know quite as much as it seems like we should, and wish we could bone up on human history a bit before we get asked about it. And that’s where this book comes in.
Help your favorite 50-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. Traveling may be a fool’s paradise, but it’s better than the sucker’s prison they’re stuck in now.
Back when your soon-to-be 50-year-old was a spotty teenager, before the days of iTunes and Tinder, the mix tape was the old-fashioned way to put into words what they were too embarrassed to say to their sweetheart in person. Remind them of their youth, and a simpler time, with this mix-tape shaped USB stick.
When a person turns 50, they usually start to have a few ‘aches and pains’ – help them to diagnose exactly what and where these are with this informative book. Now, they’ll be able to tell anyone who’ll listen about their suspected ‘pectoralis major rupture’, and how much it hurts. Awesome!
Normally, if you were to hand over a dirty bedsheet or a scribbled picture of a can of soup as a gift, your recipient would be at best courteous, and at worst instantly retracting your invitation to their 50th birthday celebrations. But somehow, when it’s contemporary ‘art’, you can get away with it. So, do.
By the time they reach 50, they’ve earned the right to lie back and sink into bubbles with a glass of bubbly. It’s one of the few pleasures life still awards them, having stolen their youth, hopes and dreams. Give them this handy glass holder to ensure that, unlike their dreams, their wine will never drain away.
For you, not them. Giving them the gift of working in your yard all day might not go down so well. This is a particularly clever idea if they’re your neighbor, and their unruly lawn is bringing down the overall appearance of your street – now, you can finally sort it out without insulting them. Win, win!
Now they’re nearing fifty, their eyesight might be going a bit, and they might be slowing down – but they’re still a big kid at heart. This giant yard game will be easy for them to see, even without their glasses, and is a fun way to keep fit and active. Plus, it looks great – the height of landscape design.
When you get to 50, you start to prioritize comfort in a way you probably didn’t at 21 – yes, we’re thinking of all those nights spent wobbling home in 4 inch heels and ending up with a sprained ankle. These custom-made, shock-absorbing insoles will allow them to do all their current partying pain-free.
For your old-world 50-year-old who’s been around the globe a bit, and loves a good antique (and a good wine!) why not chose this 16th-century Italian bar cabinet replica? Perhaps the best thing is, it looks far more expensive than it actually is (which is what we all secretly look for when buying a gift, right?)
The ideal gift for the commitment-phobic 50-year-old, who in fifty years, still hasn’t managed to choose a piece of artwork they like enough to display on their wall permanently. Enter technology, to save them, by offering thousands of pieces of art in one frame. And if they don’t like any of these, they’re beyond your help.
For anyone who’s ever looked up a recipe, and thought, ‘that looks easy’, only to realize halfway through cooking that they don’t have any of the ingredients (most of us, right?). Give this high-tech herb garden to someone for their 50th, and they’ll finally be able to throw in that ‘handful of basil’ or ‘1 x chopped chili pepper’.
Hitting any milestone birthday can be traumatic. We all set ourselves goals in life, and a big birthday is a reminder of all the things we haven’t yet achieved. This is your chance to assuage the fears of your 50-year-old, by giving them a fortune cookie which conveniently tells them exactly what they need to hear. Aww.
A great gift for the 50-year-old who’s stuck in their ways and always cycles the same few meals, (which let’s face it, is most of us), who wants to try new things, or who’s simply given up and can’t be bothered to think for themselves anymore. Put the fate of their food and health in some dice.
Not a last-minute gift, but for people who plan ahead, custom made jewelry is sure to earn you some serious brownie points with your 50-year-old. Perhaps their favorite band logo would make a nice brooch, or their pet budgies would look good as earrings. You’ve always thought taxidermy was underrated… just kidding!
Everybody loves pancakes, but they’re always so predictably round… until now! The perfect gift for a fifty-year-old foodie, this quirky pancake printer will allow them to create amazing pancakes in hundreds of designs. Who knows – they might even find their calling, and quit their job to become a full-time pancake artist!
Make your 50-year-old recipient feel warm and fuzzy on their birthday by donating to a worthy cause in their name. Extra points if the cause is something particularly close to their heart – which could be anything from the local cat shelter, to Alcoholics Anonymous, depending on the kind of company you keep. We’re not judging.
If you’ve always suspected your 50-year-old friend or relative has a bit of a superhero complex (you caught a glimpse of that blue spandex in their wardrobe all those years ago, but didn’t like to ask…) this unselfish gift is sure to be a hit, and make them feel like Clark Kent under their overalls.
At last, the moment they’ve been dreaming of for 50 years – they’re finally the proud owner of real gold bullion! (All be it, just a coin or two). Just watch it doesn’t go to their head, and they start to turn full pirate. ‘Avast, me hearties, set sail, for there be more treasure to be found ahead!’
This birthday, why not give them a bouquet of something they actually want – like the chance to win the lottery and retire at 50 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…?
Ok, so they probably learned not to play with their food about 40 years ago - but now it’s cool again! Choose this for the 50-year-old foodie who loves MasterChef and wants to spice up their dinner parties. ‘What’s this?’ ‘Oh, it’s deconstructed chocolate spaghetti with a kale foam and chili caviar beads’. Enjoy!
Because knowledge is power, and (as someone very wise once said), with great power comes great responsibility – and most people under 50 are trying to avoid responsibility at all costs! But now, on this milestone birthday, they’re finally ready (either that, or they’re in trouble and need to know how to beat a lie detector test!)
Why are we still struggling to light a charcoal fire when there’s a 90 billion megaton flaming ball hanging above us? Stop trying to be the hero of the story and set up this reflective solar cooker, then let daylight do the rest. Does NOT double as a tanning device.
At 6 feet tall, this is perhaps not one for a down-on-their-luck 50-year-old still living in a shoebox apartment (although it would certainly cheer them up!) Modeled on an actual suit of armor, this luxury bar gift is guaranteed to make them feel like King Arthur serving their knight guests – now all they need is a round table!
Let’s face it, now they’re 50, they might start to need a little help getting around (ok, hopefully not for a few years yet!), but even the fittest of us get tired now and again. With this quirky motorized cooler, they can combine a sneaky rest with transporting and keeping their favorite beers chilled. Cool!
A milestone birthday like 50 can make people somber, thinking about their health and the negative effect all those years of drinking may have had. Well, this watermelon keg kit doesn’t make alcohol any healthier, but they don’t need to know that – just tell them it counts as one of their 5-a-day, and they’ll be much less melon-choly!
Sleeping in space is not as easy as one might think, which is why NASA invented this lightbulb that promotes melatonin production by taking the blue out of the spectrum of light it produces. Help your favorite 50 year-old get a proper night’s sleep with this scientifically proven gift.
What better time than 50 to abandon all dignity and attempts at ‘style’ and just start indulging your passions? For your friend or relative who’s always been obsessed with Star Wars, light sabers and droids (and who you often think might just live in a galaxy far, far away), this gift is an astronomic choice.
Depending on your relationship to said 50-year-old, this gift might not be too far from reality. However, if your recipient is usually the one cooking the meals and doing the chores, they’re sure to appreciate the chance to put their feet up and be waited on for once. Extra points for a bell, and a British accent.
Scrabble often gets a hard rap as an ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘fuddy-duddy’ game, but your hip and trendy 50-year-old is about to change all that. 4D TV? Tropical aquarium? An original Picasso? No, it’s all about the giant vertical scrabble, that’s what all the cool kids want on their walls these days.
Just because they’re 50, doesn’t mean you have to give them a stuffy ‘grown-up’ gift – you know what they say, ‘you’re only as young as the sandcastles you bulldoze with a car!’ Infinitely more exciting than socks or a bottle of Cognac, we think the risk of duplication on this blood-pumping gift is minimal.
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.
If your 50-year-old seems bored with preparing their meals the traditional way – you know, by microwaving them – then this futuristic cooking contraption could be the gift for them. Simply vacuum pack food in a bag, submerge it in water and the all-powerful Sous Vide will turn it into mouth-watering, restaurant-worthy steak. Yes, really. Check out our Guide to Sous Vide Cooking to learn more about this underutilized method of cooking.