50th Birthday Gifts

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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.

Around birthdays, 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 based on their DNA.

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 think that intoxicating substances and baseball don’t mix, consider that Doc Ellis once pitched a no-hitter while tripping on acid, and old time icons like Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and Harry Caray were pretty much drunk all the time. This unique and meticulously crafted centerpiece is more proof of the divine intersection between the national pastime and…the other national pastime.

If they seem 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.

Ice cream is widely known for its mystical ability to bring joy to all, so you can be assured that bestowing the gift of being able to conjure it from mere ice and cream will go down well. Better still, your 50th birthday recipient will be able to make any flavor they can imagine. Sorcery!

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.

As anyone facing their 50th birthday is all too aware, aches and pains are a daily part of life. This Inflatable Heated Whirlpool Spa can help soothe those ever present annoyances without breaking the bank. It might even make them feel like 40 again!

Just in case the aforementioned book didn’t work, or was missing some essential information about what to do if attacked by giant flesh-eating spiders (we’re just kidding – this book doesn’t tell you that either. The world is woefully underprepared for the giant flesh-eating spider invasion). But still, these secrets could prove useful to your 50-year-old in the meantime.

Polaroids may be dead, but the people who like to use them aren’t. Not all of them anyway. There’s something especially gratifying about holding a tangible photograph, especially in a world dominated by virtual commodities where everything is becoming digital. Having an instant printer on hand means they don’t have to wait for a photo printing company to print their photos from the cloud and mail them by horseback or whatever. And we all know that nobody has time to wait for a horse these days. Oh, and we should also mention: these look way better than Polaroids.

One day soon, artificial intelligence is going to be a reality, and the machines are going to take everything. Until then, you might as well get as much out of these bastards as you can. Here’s a robot who will make fully-customizable drinks until he knows better.

Chances are, your 50-year-old will have tried a lot of wine in their time, and experienced many a disappointing Sauvignon. Now, with this crafty kit, they can make their own supply, exactly to their taste (after a few trial-runs, we’re sure). Why not get them a white lab coat too, for the full Breaking Bad experience!

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.

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.

Flying can be a traumatic experience, especially for the over fifties – it’s so much faster than the horse and cart they grew up with. Help settle their nerves before take-off with this sophisticated cocktail accessory gift. All they need to do then is stock up at duty free, and they’ll be in the Maldives before they know it!

Make them feel like they’re dining out in a posh restaurant every night with the gift of this giant peppermill. If you’re feeling really generous, you could even be their waiter for the evening, as a special 50th birthday treat - ‘More pepper, sir? Fine or coarse?’

The future of food is all about making weird shapes with your dinner. Or at least that’s what the modernist chefs will have you believe. And some of the things you can make with this molecular gastronomy kit are enough to make you feel like you’re eating with the Jetsons. Spheres, foams, and chocolate spaghetti are a few of the strange treasures that await inside this bizarre culinary kit.

Brewing beer sounds fun, but ask anyone who’s tried it and they’ll tell you that it takes a lot of boring cleaning and babysitting of the brew to do it right. Add to that the difficulty of getting consistent, reproducible results, and it just makes sense to let this clever machine do the work. Watch the home brew progress from phone or tablet while taking it easy.

Hey, this person you’re shopping for has been around for half a century - that’s a lot of cleaning, shopping and generally life-maintaining! They’ve earned the right to put their feet up for a bit. And no, you can’t just choose the things you want to do. We saw you eyeing up that theme park coupon…

For the person who’ll try anything once, why not pop them in a local isolation tank and deprive them of their senses for an hour or so, see what happens? It might make them feel super relaxed and chilled-out. It could even be an enlightening experience. Or, it might just make them feel lucky to be alive when you finally let them out!

Happy couple decides to go on vacation, finds quaint lodging belonging to complete stranger for a price that seems too good to be true. In the movies, they get hacked to pieces. So here’s one way you can be happy that real life never ends up like the movies. In real life, they just have a great time and never stay in a hotel again.

Speed is dangerous, but some kinds are more dangerous than others. This one is mostly just fun. But be careful: once they’ve experienced the feeling of flying around the track, the engine roaring like a wild beast, the smell of smoldering rubber in the air, they may never quite be the same.

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.

Back in their day, all they had was a quill and ink, a scroll of stained parchment, and the flickering glow of candlelight… Ok, we may have gone back a little too far. But the point is, there wasn’t anything like this. And for the artistic 50-year-old, this pen presents limitless possibilities.

As a person approaches the big 5-0, the long walk from the couch to the fridge can start to feel unbearable. They begin to crave being able to reach down and produce a new, freshly chilled beer, with zero effort. It’s the small things. This genius table will keep their laziness secret when guests come over.

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 get someone to mail them to you. Thankfully, lobster mail is now a reality.

If there’s one skill that every responsible citizen should have, it’s the ability to access things that aren’t theirs. But you better believe you don’t get there without practice. Some day they’re bound to come across something they want that has been locked away by some other thoughtless and selfish human. Don’t let them approach this dark situation unprepared.

The last thing they’ll want to be doing on their 50th birthday is cleaning the shower in preparation for their overnight party guests (it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic about the scale of the celebrations!) Give them this practical, if unglamorous gift, and they (and their back!) will thank you in the long run!

They might have survived for 50 years on a diet of macaroni cheese, mashed potato and McDonalds, but now it’s time to spice up their cooking (literally) with this artisan, culinary gift. They’ll soon be getting hot and sweaty in the kitchen - just be wary about accepting food from them anytime soon.

DIY

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!

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.

For 50 years, they’ve been mixing their own cocktails, the old-fashioned way. All that free-pouring. All that guesswork. The amount of times they’ve served a Cosmo that was too orangey, or a Mojito that was almost pure rum (ah, what a night that was!) Happily, technology can now control this part of our lives as well.

The thought of turning 50 might leave them wanting to be beamed up but logic dictates that after a long soak in the bath, they’ll slip on this plush, warm bathrobe and be ready to live long and prosper. An absolutely enterprising gift for any closet or not-so-closet Star Trek fan.

For the coolest 50-year-old you know! (We’re sorry, we had to). This all-singing, all-dancing cool box might cost as much as some first cars, but with features including a built-in ice blender, Bluetooth speaker, USB charger and a bottle opener, we’re sure they’ll love it more than any vehicle. Plus, it has wheels, so if they really wanted to…

A magical gift that works silently in the background to fill the home with scented mist – just what your 50-year-old has always wanted. Give them this and in a matter of minutes, their home will go from smelling faintly of wet dog, leftover takeout and regret, to delicious oranges, lavender or peppermint.

Every big shot needs a set of these to take their big shots from. Perfect for a 50th birthday, but also appropriate for anyone who wants to flex their drinking muscles or show their military/hunting roots. Perfect for that person who really goes in for the kill at the drinkin’ hour.

Hey, they’re about to turn 50 - they’ve probably been around the block a bit. They almost definitely have a favorite place, or at least a place that’s special to them. And what else do 50-year-olds love? That’s right, jigsaws! (Or at least, if they don’t yet, they will do soon – it happens to us all eventually).

Phones actually have more germs on them than a typical public restroom. This smart cleansing machine might not eliminate the dirty content sucking up the data on their phone, but it will be sure to return sterile swiping to their wired existence. Personal device hygiene should not be overlooked by today’s touch-screen fanatics. A high-tech disinfectant, this ingenuous accessory will decontaminate wireless communication and restore cleanliness to the digital age. Oh, and it also charges while it cleans!

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.

If they don’t know how to do these things by now, chances are they’re too embarrassed to ask. How to change a tire? How to make scrambled eggs? How can any self-respecting 50-year-old ask these questions and not be mocked? Give them this book on the sly, and you could save them from their hidden shame.

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!)

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!

Who doesn’t love sitting around a campfire, toasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories? By the time their 50th birthday rolls around, we bet they’ve done this a fair few times (before social media, it was all they had). But now, they’re at the age where all those flames and smoke really doesn’t agree with them. Enter the modern-day, dishwasher-safe alternative.

Back when they were a hip 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.

Chess pieces may look cool, but they’re extremely dated. Here’s a chess board that makes use of something they can relate to: drinking vessels that help them forget everything they hate about their life. Don’t worry, they’ve kept the little horses and whatnot. Now you can just drink out of them.

The morning drinker: one of the most misunderstood fellow citizens. Once imbued with the spark of firewater, they can do anything, especially if it’s delivered with the bold energy rush of caffeine. You think we should eradicate morning drinking? Well, you can kiss all your favorite novels goodbye then, because all great authors are drunk by 10 am. But I guess if you want to try tricking someone out of their morning cup of whiskey, this would be the best way.

High quality craft beer deserves a vessel made to the same exacting standards. Leave the pitchers for the Bud Light. An insulated, pressurized micro keg is the best way to dispense a fancy brew when taste and freshness really matter. The perfect 50th birthday gift for parties, casual gatherings, or personal consumption.

What better time 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.

Yeah, we weren’t too sure about this one either, but it’s certainly unique. And they’re unlikely to already have one. For the 50-year-old homeowner who’s started to find the regular doorbell just a little too abrasive for their increasingly fragile nerves, this soothing musical guest-announcer could be just the gift you’ve been looking for. Saved by the… harp?

Big ideas can change the world, but so do small acts. Not all of us can create the next Google or reinvent the energy industry, but we can all be better at being human. This international, online-integrated card game provides the ideas and the motivation to spread goodwill everywhere you go, one act at a time.

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.

Chances are, your recipient might be feeling a bit agitated on their 50th birthday. They’ve been alive for half a century, and what have they achieved? What is the point of life?! Calm them down with these soothing, hypnotic jellyfish. ‘Look into the tentacles, count to 3… that’s better’. Who knew deadly sea creatures could be so relaxing?

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.

Some people need visual feedback in order to understand their progress. With these right and left brain bookends, they can literally watch as their mind expands with each book added to the shelf. Of course, they still have to read them to absorb the knowledge. Let’s hope you don’t have to explain that.

Depending on how much of a receding hairline your 50-year-old has, you may not want to give them something that could potentially encourage more strands to abandon their follicles. But if they’re still looking quite fluffy up top (or that ship has already sailed), this oddly relaxing, spider-like massager should be well received.

For the practical 50-year-old, who likes to be well-prepared in case of emergencies like hurricanes, tsunamis or running out of battery and not being able to FaceTime their friends, this emergency charger and radio is a no-brainer. They’ll be able to safely Snapchat their way through the next natural disaster / zombie apocalypse, all thanks to you.

Everyone needs batteries. So many important things in life require them – whether it’s the TV remote, the alarm clock, the TV remote, their toothbrush, the TV remote... We’re willing to bet that in the 50 years they’ve walked this planet, they’ve already gotten through a sh*load of batteries. And they’re sure to get through this sh*load more.

So much of golf is a guessing game. They have to estimate the wind, take calculated risks to avoid water and sand hazards, and pace their beer consumption appropriately. A laser range finder at least takes club choice out of the equation. It’s also waterproof, which is great for those times when they feel like hurling it into a creek in a fit of rage. Armed with tools like these, it’s only a matter of time before they take the pro tour by storm.

Never let your 50-year-old run out of gas again! With this practical gift, your recipient can monitor the propane level in their canister, and know exactly when they need to buy more. It could prove particularly helpful now they’re getting older – chances are they’ve got other kinds of gas to worry about…

We’re not sure how far the constitution goes as far as ring marks on tables are concerned, but if you know someone who’s passionate about defending their household surfaces then you might just hit a bullseye with this present. This set of heavy duty coasters are as much a conversation starter as they are a conservation effort so we’d definitely take a shot on them if we were you.

Vacuuming will no longer feel like a chore with this powerful canister strapped to their back. Liberating and sporty, this dust-defeating, crumb-eating soldier of suction is strictly reserved for today’s most ambitious and orderly housekeepers. The latest in domestic fitness regimens, this lightweight apparatus will strengthen their core while reducing unsightly nicks on walls and unnecessary scratches on floors. Tidiness redefined.

By their 50th birthday, they’ve probably managed to acquire some decent jewelry. Maybe not a lot, but some, and good enough that they want to keep it clean and nice. So instead of giving them another gold bracelet, perhaps this Jewelry Steam Cleaner would be a prudent gift.

One for the BBQ kings out there! By the time they reach fifty, they’ve hopefully established themselves as a master of outdoor cooking (if not they need to have a word with themselves). But it’s time to take it to the next level. The Skewer Flipper will allow them to create perfect kebabs, every time.

After 50 years of boring normal water, it’s about time they got something to make it more exciting, and everybody likes fizz, right? Jacuzzis, champagne, lava lamps… bubbles make people happy, and that’s what you want in a 50th birthday gift.

Chocolates used to (and perhaps still do) come from factories run by shady recluses and populated by obese midget slaves. Or at least that’s what the video evidence suggests. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Stick it to big business by giving someone this home chocolate making kit and help them join the artisan revolution. A whole new way to make chocolate “guilt free”.

You’ll have to explain to them that this is the modern-day equivalent of feeding up your carrier pigeon to make him speedier… ok, maybe not. But on a serious note, this is the kind of practical gift that anyone living in the 21st Century (and in sunny climes) is sure to appreciate, including your 50-year-old.

Have the last few dinner parties hosted by your 50-year-old been a bit, well, lackluster? It’s time to take charge and change this forever by giving them the awesome gift of a fondue maker! They’ll feel obliged to use it when you visit, and how could a pot of communal melted cheese or chocolate not improve any social situation?

Everyone loves pizza, which means you literally can’t go wrong with this culinary gift! Well, we mean, in an ideal world, they probably would have preferred a trip to Italy, to stroll along the Amalfi Coast, bathing in Mediterranean sunshine and stopping at a traditional pizzeria for their 50th birthday meal, but hey – we do what we can.

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.

Sunflowers are some of nature’s most obnoxiously beautiful creations, and they make a real statement when planted in your yard. Bright yellow and absurdly tall, they grab the attention of every passerby. Almost like standing on the porch and yelling at people, but in a really endearing and pleasant way.

For the 50-year-old who’s always dragging you to sushi restaurants on your nights out, then casually spearing bits of rice and fish with chopsticks and speaking Japanese, this make-your-own sushi tool is the perfect 50th birthday gift. Now, they’ll be able to invite you over to their house to casually spear rice and fish and speak Japanese. At least you’ll save money.

Humanity’s relationship with fire spans hundreds of thousands of years – further back than even your 50-year-old can remember. Give them this for their special birthday, and allow them to indulge their inner caveman or woman with this ultra-modern take on the ancient discovery. What would our ancestors make of us now?