70th Birthday Gifts

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It’s the last scenic rest stop before the three-quarter century mark. At this point they’ve probably gathered enough wisdom and experience to gaze over the landscape with more understanding and acceptance than you can fathom. Something akin to enlightenment even. Or maybe they’re just slower and grumpier than they used to be. Either way, you’ve got to buy them something memorable for this one.

It’s a shame that we don’t celebrate and venerate our elders like we should. So don’t let this occasion go by without telling them how you really feel — that it’s hilarious how old they are. They’ve now crossed that magical line where every compliment must be followed by “…for your age.” And where every gift must remind them of how damn long they’ve managed to stay alive. This gift finds a way to do that while also helping everyone get drunk. That’s hard to beat.

Many people don’t realize that 69 is the only birthday in between 39 and 100. Like the 39th birthday, once they’ve reached this threshold, a second column is created for +1 through +30. Thus the old fart is able to remain young in number without resorting to outright lying. If the senior decades are known as the “golden years,” 69+1 is the year you really start to notice that bright metallic glow forming around them. That, and they start forgetting where they put their dentures.

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.

Most people go through life never knowing how old they truly are. No, we’re not talking about questioning the authenticity of your birth certificate. We’re talking about your internal age. The one that determines how you act, think, and make sense of the world. Because outside of insurance premiums and senior discounts at the local diner, your internal age is the one that really matters. This game uses a super scientific formula that calculates the players’ true age based on how they answer seemingly innocuous questions. Isn’t it about time to find out the truth?

The great conundrum of losing your glasses has always been that you’ve lost the one thing that you need to find the thing you’ve lost. That is, until technology stepped in. Now, through the magic of bluetooth, there’s one more layer of foolproof assistance to undo the errors of human carelessness. That is, until they lose their phone too. At that point, the only answer is super-gluing their belongings to their body. Even idiot-proofing has its limits.

Here's a gift for the older person struggling to keep up with all the latest texting lingo the young whipper-snappers are using. Much of it doesn't really apply to them anyway, unless they were to write something like "ROFL and can't get up" which should really be written ROFLACGU. Here's a set of senior texting codes that will make a whole lot more sense to them, conveniently printed as a cheat sheet on this handy coffee mug. They'll find plenty of useful shortcuts like BTW (bring the wheelchair), BFF (best friend's funeral), and WTFA (wet the furniture again).

Almost everyone has a bucket list. But if you talk to enough people, you’ll find that a lot of those buckets are kind of empty. The Bucket List Experiences Gift Box allows you to dump a whole bunch of stuff into someone’s bucket, and let them pull one of those things out for free. It’s simple: for a flat price, you buy them access to a whole list of unique activities and experiences at locations across the world, and they get to choose whichever one tickles their fancy the most.

DIY

It can be hard to get the whole family to sit still for a portrait, but with generational photos you only need to get them to sit still one at a time, which can usually be accomplished with nothing more than subtle threats. Not only is that easier to manage, but with a little Photoshop magic you can turn the raw materials into a graphic representation of one little branch of your family tree. The finished product is like looking down a long hall of mirrors into your genetic history.

Some people just can’t sit still. If you don’t give them something to do, the next thing you know they’re breaking open an old thermometer to play with the mercury or teaching the dog to “finger paint.” That’s exactly who the New Hobby Box was created for — the restless souls who can’t stop going from one activity to another. It’s also great for your weird uncle who’s been whittling identical wooden gnomes for the last thirty years and needs to branch out. With so many hobbies available, there’s no reason anyone needs to be bored these days.

When you are retired, time doesn’t mean quite the same thing anymore. The day clock will tell you what day of the week it is (they all blend together), and it will give you a vague sense of what time it might be (which, let’s be honest here, is all you really need). What it won’t tell you is what the exact time is (let the working stiffs worry about that).

As much as we love old people, we can’t stop laughing at how often they lose things. But alas, we really should take some pity on them. How many times can one person lose their reading glasses before they find that their sanity has vanished along with them? These portable, foldable reading glasses are the answer that elderly folk everywhere have been waiting for, whether they know it or not. Now if you can only find something to help them stop losing their keys…

DIY

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.

Everyone, from Elon Musk to your next door neighbor, is straight-up terrified of the robot takeover, envisioning all kinds of post-apocalyptic horrors being visited upon us by our own creations. But then one of them offers to mow the lawn and everyone’s like, “Well, they can’t be that bad.” And it’s true - there might be a few bad apples coming down the assembly line, but you won’t find any in the lawn mower category. Just helpful, friendly, sort-of-intelligent mini landscapers who just want you to give them a place to lay low and recharge in between jobs. Nothing to be scared of here.

As your parents get older, they start forgetting things. Good memories start getting pushed out in favor of petty grievances like who forgot to take out the garbage. Enforcing positive memories through some physical, ritualized system like this can sometimes be the only way to keep them from each other’s throats. This kit comes with everything they need to record all the happy things that occur from day to day and collect them in a safe place to be relived again in the future. And it’s so much cheaper than therapy.

Flowers are a classic gift, but they’ve got one fatal flaw: no matter how beautiful, they tend to wilt too soon. But you’re smarter than that - you like to play the long game. The Flower of the Month Club lets you automatically replenish those flowers at regular intervals so that there’s always a fresh collection in the recipient’s house. Even if you’re not a hippy, you can always employ a little “flower power” to make someone feel loved and appreciated.

Progress can be harder to track when you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck anymore. Here is a solution for the retiree who doesn’t want to spend all their time feeding birds. After all, the hardest part of staying busy is coming up with the ideas. But give the old champ a set of challenges, and watch them spring to life with a renewed vigor. All it takes is a little encouragement, and maybe a slight disregard for personal safety.

They can make furniture as complicated as futuristic as they want; there’s a reason this is still the iconic symbol of relaxation. Its primitive-inspired luxury will never get old, nor will its timeless design. Nobody can look at a hammock without feeling the primal urge to jump in and take a long nap. Tropical dreams hide within.

The great thing about retirement is that you can finally say whatever the hell you want, because you’re no longer bound by the normal financial and social rules. If you put it on a business card, they can say it without even having to open their mouths. Help make retirement a time of great relaxation and catharsis.

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.

Sure, it will be strange when you have to get that cheek swab from them without them knowing what you’re up to, but it will all make sense when you reveal this custom portrait that showcases their unique DNA. Or you could just give them the DNA collection kit as the gift if that’s easier. Or just swab your dog. They’ll never know the difference.

In a couple of generations, nobody’s even going to know what the hell a book is. Have you seen a teenager try to figure out how to use one of their parents’ audio cassettes? But for those of us in the know, books are the real source of pure knowledge and wisdom, untainted by the runoff of digital culture. Like a cold, clear mountain stream, but with words.

You could buy them a 17 man band that could live in the corner of their den and serenade them every day, or you could just go with this unique piece of furniture that can play 17 instruments at once. Plus this pneumatically controlled Hootenanny can remember how to play 13,000 songs.

Give frequent travelers the opportunity to regale their house guests with stories of the time they were in wherever. This foam-backed map lets travelers chart their journeys with tiny flags and other markers and can be printed with any message the recipient chooses. A classy gift that looks great in any room.

How many times have they said, “I know this town like the back of my hand”? Present them with this accurate jigsaw representation, sit back, and ask them to prove it. Or stoke their nostalgia with a puzzle version of their long-lost birthplace. A great choice for a more personalized gift.

Get them started on that Bucket List while there’s time and health to finish it, with a tangible, physical bucket. They can pick an adventure whenever life permits. It's a gift that gives them the opportunity to make memories, rather than giving them a reason to make more closet space.

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.

The most important things in a person’s life aren’t things at all. They’re memories, experiences and relationships. This clever game is designed to help them recall stories and memories they haven’t thought of in years, and is a great way to reflect on the crazy path that has gotten them where they are today.

From the tree of holy union springs forth the fruit of humanity. That’s not from the Bible, but you could probably get away with saying it is. Not that this piece of family art needs any explanation. This elegant representation of the famous family tree metaphor allows the owner to display the fruit of their loins, and the fruit of their ancestors’ loins, proudly for all to see. Genealogy is a beautiful thing, especially when presented like this.

We all like to think we’re larger than life, but in truth we’re really just branches on the grand tree of our ancestry. Screw that, most of us are just leaves at best. Some of us are maybe just a little speck of caterpillar vomit on one of those leaves (you know who you are). Your family tree doesn’t have to be that detailed though.

Personalized gifts are always the best. A picture frame is one thing; it’s something else entirely to show them that you know exactly what they want to look at by loading it with pictures that will make them happy. Just make sure you get it right. Otherwise it comes across as a weird attempt at mind control.

Making it to retirement can sometimes be like getting to a vacation destination after an interminably long drive only to realize you don’t know why the hell you came. Help them begin their golden years with a good laugh and a head full of questionable but outrageously fun ideas. At last, they’re freed from the shackles of gainful employment. Now is the time to let it rip.

Dr. Seuss isn’t just for kids, you know. He wrote books for people of all ages, even the ones who are at retirement age. This hilarious and insightful gift will be a pleasant surprise for any loved one entering their golden years who loves to laugh and remembers being young.

Philosophers have long argued over the appropriate verb to attach to the concept of time. Does it pass? Flow? Fly? Disappear? In the landscapes of the world’s most famous surrealist, it melts. Yeah, we’re not sure what to make of that either. But everyone loves this clock.

It’s finally happening. The robot revolution has begun. And they’re starting with our floors. Making them all clean and spotless, so we feel inferior at our own vacuuming ability, perhaps we even slip on their shininess. And oh, how they’ll laugh. Resistance is futile, you might as well embrace it, and start gifting them to all your friends.

If you’re always relying on Trip Advisor, you’re going to be in for some nasty surprises. Because you never know whether the person on the other end of that five-star review has a conflict of interest, or even if they’re sound of mind to begin with. Leave the hardcore travel advice up to the experts who have the proven experience and insight. National Geographic has made a name for themselves by being THE authority on what to see and where. They’ve got some real skin in the game, unlike Doris from Grand Forks who thinks the Motel 6 in Albuquerque was better than the Grand Canyon. Send your loved one off into the great unknown with the real ultimate guide.

In a world where deadlines are king, why not focus on a finish line that’s really worth celebrating? Retirement! They'll keep their eye on the prize with this optimistic ticker that will drive them to accomplish bigger and better things at work. Imagine the sweet silence of no alarm in the wee hours of the morning. Retirement will feel like it’s always right around the corner.

Technology has been an ongoing boon to music makers and music lovers alike, but the downside is that anyone with a personal music collection has had a rough time keeping up over the last forty years or so. A 7-in-1 music player (AM, FM, CD, vinyl, cassette, bluetooth, and auxiliary in) allows them to get some use out of all that accumulated music without needing a room full of stereo equipment.