Birthday Gifts

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Every year, when a special birthday comes up, we like to show how grateful we are that all those years ago, something great happened: they were born. They made their entry into the world. Actually, something important happened even before that, but for some reason we don’t celebrate it. The thing about birthdays, however, is that everyone has them. Which means that after a couple of decades, ideas start to wear thin. But don’t hit the panic button just yet. That’s what we’re here for. So consider this our gift to you.

Experiences make some of the best gifts, but it can be a real challenge to come up with good ones over and over again. This birthday grab bag allows the recipient to choose any one experience from a list of over 300 options that range from relaxing dining experiences and laid-back ocean cruises to extreme sports adventures in far-flung locales. With experiences available in 100+ countries scattered across six different continents, this is an especially great choice for globetrotters in search of unique and thrilling activities in faraway lands.

Sometimes we hear that life is short. Here is a calendar that proves that this isn’t necessarily the case. Instead of fretting over the small mistakes in life, like telling your boss to go stick it, gain solace by looking at this calendar and seeing all of the weeks you have open to go look for a new job after being fired. Like so many things, it’s all a matter of perspective. Only a really big mistake is going to eat up a significant chunk of your life calendar. Everything else you can totally overcome.

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.

Help them 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.

What better way to celebrate another year of life, then with a not-so-subtle reminder of how vulnerable and fragile it all is? Shatter their precious illusions of health and vitality, in the most entertaining and hilarious way possible. A perfect gag gift for your favorite hypochondriac.

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.

In classier quarters this might be called a “decanter.” But the built-in stupidity of a decanter is that it’s really just a big glass you’re not allowed to drink out of. You see, in the genteel world of wine, “classy” consists of adding unnecessary steps to what should be a simple process. Of course, bourgeois society has attached all kinds of stigma to drinking straight from the bottle, so some kind of compromise is necessary. And that compromise is right here.

We can’t emphasize this enough: you ride the motorized cooler full of drinks to the party, you drink its contents, and then you WALK it back home. Nobody wants to be the guy on the news who got arrested for drunk driving an empty cooler. So stay safe.

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.

Put away childish things, then seal them up into an air and water tight steel container, dig a hole deep into the ground and bury them under a sidewalk. Put a plaque nearby or something like that, wait a few decades, and then have them return to open an archive of their former self. No big deal.

Having to repeat yourself is such a bore. These comfortable foam sandals leave a clear message behind you, so you can give the command without opening your mouth. Trips to the beach will get a lot cheaper and easier now that your minions know exactly what to do.

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This birthday, why not give them a bouquet of something they actually want – like the chance to win the lottery and retire early 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…?

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.

Years ago on this day, they were born unto this earth of plenty. Now let them graze upon the fruits of this life-giving rock. A birthday is one of the best times to bestow these kinds of gifts upon the ones you love. You know there’s nothing quite like getting a big fat basket of premium produce on your doorstep. Even better than that? Getting it monthly or quarterly through a top-notch fruit subscription like this one.

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 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.

These king-sized treats just might be the perfect gift to match their insatiable sweet tooth. This level of candy debauchery might be frowned upon by overeaters anonymous, but life is too short for sugar shaming. No need to wrap these monstrous munchies, the wrapper alone is half the fun and can be used later on as one-of-a-kind wall art to commemorate their gastronomical feat.

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.

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.

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.

Flowers don’t just look nice and fill the air with pleasant aromas, they also carry various levels of symbolism. Much like the zodiac, each month has its own flower variety, reflecting the character of everyone born therein. Or at least, that’s what someone decided a long time ago. And it sure is a nice idea. Regardless of whether the person you’re buying for really is a carnation at heart, or whether they’re more of a Venus fly trap, these earrings are going to look great on them.

What other diversion affords the opportunity to let out both bloodcurdling screams and unrestrained giggling while indulging in sweet candy treats? Embrace the carefree silliness of youth and give them a little license to check out for a few hours. Responsibility can wait. Slap on that wristband and hop on the ride of a lifetime.

Birthdays are the classic occasion to celebrate the passage of time. And what is the passage of time? It’s really just a collection of memories. But with all of the distractions and competing messages constantly bombarding us, it’s easy to lose track of so many of these important memories. That’s what jars were made for. Well, maybe not originally. But in today’s world, where your attention is your most precious commodity, the most important thing you can do with a jar is put your thoughts in it. This one is specially designed to hold happy thoughts about the past.

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.

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.

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.

Why are they still struggling to light a charcoal fire when there’s a 90 billion megaton flaming ball hanging above us? Help them learn to be more resourceful with this reflective solar cooker, then let daylight do the rest. Does NOT double as a tanning device.

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.

mBerry tablets are a natural product derived from berries that temporarily alter your perception of taste by binding to your taste buds and tricking your brain. It’s a pretty crazy experience and would make a memorable gift that they’ll be telling stories about for years. The tablets make sour and bitter things taste sweet. You can chow down on a lemon and swear it tastes like an orange. Vinegar tastes like apple juice. Hot sauce and spicy foods become sugary and beer tastes like Kool-aid.

Mainstream wine snobbery has never taken hold in the New World like it did in Europe, so we use coffee and beer as vehicles to look down on each other in its place. Your grandpa may have been more than happy with a cup of Maxwell House every day for 70 years, but that was a different time. The masses have developed a palate, and there’s no looking back. But with all the thousands of artisan roasters out there, anyone trying to keep up on their own is likely to go insane. Luckily, some already insane person has taken on the job of curating, so the rest of us can pretend we’re experts.

The DJI Osmo Pocket takes handheld personal videos to a whole new level. Sure, smartphones have always included video capabilities. But in case you haven’t noticed, the videos are so terrible as to be basically unusable. The Osmo Pocket’s main feature is its revolutionary stabilizing system, which allows even the clumsiest, shakiest, or drunkest person to create professional-quality videos. The only drawback? Whoever you buy this for is definitely going to think they’re Steven Freaking Spielberg, so get ready.

Go big or go home. Wait, they can do both with these giant yard games! They’ll supersize the fun at backyard parties with these larger than life versions of the games we all played growing up. All sorts of giant games are available including checkers, chess, Connect Four, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Jenga and more.

Like the commissioned public statues of old, the most revered among us are now immortalized in bobblehead form. In fact, being commemorated with a bobblehead is one of the highest honors that a modern man or woman can aspire to. Surely you know someone who is worthy of such a gift, whose contributions to society and their fellow travelers makes this an appropriate gesture of respect and admiration. Go ahead, place them among the great figures of history. They’ve earned it.

Generally speaking, the last person in the room who needs more wine is the person who’s already gone feet up. But as long as that posture signals relaxation and not unconsciousness, it’s probably fine. There may be a moral grey area, but that’s not your problem. This is the perfect gift for the most shameless wino you know.

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.

It’s not always good news when someone says they made you a book. It can be wonderful, of course, but things can get pretty cringe-worthy pretty quickly as the recipient pages through it with growing embarrassment for the both themselves and the giver. So take your time and do a good job with this, OK? Don’t make it weird.

What could be better for serving drinks at the round table than a knight in shining armor packed full of liquor? This full suit of Gothic plate armor makes your home a castle while also defending guests and homeowners alike from the ravages of thirst. Sword not included.

Are you being watched as you read this? Is your every move being documented for later use against you in the form of blackmail or worse? Probably. And that paranoid friend who’s always going on and on about being watched? They’re most likely right too. But now there’s something they can do about it. With a hidden camera detector, they can foil the plans of even the most ingenious spies, rapscallions, government agents, and other invaders of privacy. A necessary weapon in the modern digital jungle.

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.

The world is full of natural and man-made wonders, and in the modern age we have the means to visit all of them, and furthermore to get there within a day or two. And every one of these wonders is better seen while you’re still alive, which the title of this book is not shy about pointing out. Everyone needs something to shoot for in their golden years, and 1000 is quite the ambitious number. It's a gift that will inspire them to knock the dust off the old traveling boots and regain a sense of adventure.

You could wow them with an elaborate pop-up card, but why stop there? Why not add lights and music? Birthdays are a momentous occasion worthy of a completely over-the-top birthday card like this one. These handmade cards can even be personalized with a custom message, or just let the card do the talking. We're hoping they add fireworks to next year's model.

Along with abundance comes the responsibility not to bore the crap out of people by making the same silly casserole every night. The problem is that nobody wants to think that much about food. They just want to eat. Place the burden of creativity - and blame - on these ingenious foodie dice, and watch the possibilities multiply.

They may be the world record holder for moo goo gai pan take-out orders, but that doesn’t mean they can’t apply that same ambition to a more progressive enterprise on the culinary scene. These boxed meals feature fresh, nutritious ingredients that will inspire healthier eating and put a lid on that MSG consumption. Award their starved taste buds and support responsible land stewardship while you’re at it!

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.

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.

Ever since slushies were invented, they’ve been treated like they’re for kids and kids only. But discrimination is never justified, and the creators of this beer slushy maker are out to prove it. Adults want in on the party too, just in a different way. Specifically the beer way. And this machine takes them directly to Beer Way, right down Delicious Street.

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.

A book is more than just a collection of words and ideas. It’s a frozen piece of time — the intersection of one person’s (or sometimes multiple peoples’) thoughts and experiences with the moment in which they were recorded. So sometimes a 50th reprint of To Kill a Mockingbird just doesn’t seem to carry the same weight that it should. Serious book lovers love first editions, because they’re a tangible piece of cultural history.

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.

Since nobody seems to be interested enough to invent an ever-lasting battery, it looks like we’re all stuck charging our phones every day for the foreseeable future. But before you throw you hands up in disgust and ask how it could possibly get worse, there is some good news. The same lazy, inconsiderate tech “geniuses” who refuse to make forever batteries have at least found the decency to create a little pad that charges smartphones without having to plug them in. And really, it’s the least they could do.

The Echo Spot might look like the Echo’s little cousin, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks in features. This is the all-in-one smart speaker with video screen for the space-conscious person on your gift list. It makes a great bedside alarm/smart home companion, and does virtually everything the full size echo can do, plus it makes video calls. So they can basically run their whole life without ever getting out of bed.

Spilled alcohol and broken glass simply don’t fit with the luxury life. Let the lowbrows balance their stemware on the wet, glossy surface of the tub like the hapless fools they are. Your friends and loved ones deserve better. Bring some peace of mind to their relaxation hour.

Symbolic furniture is all the rage. Champagne lovers will feel tipsy when they see this decorative and functional living room table that pays homage to their favorite beverage. Then maybe you can buy them that dining room table shaped like a cow. Or that butt-shaped toilet seat cover. So many choices in this category.

Make sure that they’re never caught short (of battery, at least) with this pocket-sized power pack that is perfect for their portable devices. This charger harnesses the power of the biggest battery in our solar system so they should never have an excuse for not returning your call.

The Echo Look turns Alexa into their very own personal style assistant. The desktop camera connects with a smartphone and takes full body shots (and even short videos), allowing them to see what they look like from all angles. The Echo Look also uses machine learning to provide feedback based on body type and the recommendations of top designers. It’s like kidnapping a top fashion expert and tying them up in their bedroom, but way more ethical.

Watch opposing armies fight for supremacy on the living room wall with this piece of functional art. Grandmasters and novice players alike will appreciate checking their opponents on the most unique game board in their home. Framed like a picture, this chessboard makes a lovely birthday present for anyone who loves to play games.

For centuries artisans have toiled away, diligently refining their skills until becoming masters, so that they can create exquisitely detailed work of the highest craftsmanship. Well, there’s a much easier way now. 3d printing technology has rapidly advanced over the past few years, to the point that they’ve begun printing just about anything. Even houses. The kind people live in. We’re not suggesting that you need to invest in a home-building 3d printer, as those are rather large and might be out of your budget. But 3d printing can be used for all kinds of smaller things as well, from artistic models to home furnishings. And 3d printers are really fun to play with. If you know someone who needs a new hobby to keep them out of trouble, this could be just the thing. And if they’re lucky enough to get this as a gift from you, you will in turn be the recipient of printed thingamajigs for the rest of your time on Earth.

Who has time for trial and error? Folks today demand fast-acting, proven solutions to their everyday conundrums. A modern stand-in for the tried and trusted Farmer’s Almanac, this back pocket companion is more reliable than your great-grandmother and more concise than an open-ended Google search. Believe it or not, some of the “smartest” solutions have been around for ages.

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.

Alright, enough pussyfooting around. Are you gonna open that damn bottle or not? This authentic 50 caliber shell will definitively end the standoff with any stubborn bottle cap, no matter how strong a fight it’s willing to put up. The Bottle Breacher is made by and supports veterans, and might pique the interest of an ex-military or historically-minded recipient. Using an actual bullet to crack open a well-deserved beer at the end of the day is surely a much nicer use for it than originally intended.

So you’ve decided to get her a bomb kit? Scour the internet and you’ll find instructions for making the worst kind of gift imaginable. But instead of making one that blows up, why don’t you teach her how to make a bath bomb? No costly medical bills or long, drawn out criminal trials. Just an explosion of peace and relaxation.

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.

They’ve survived this far living outside the bubble, but why push their luck? Give them this insanely fun inflatable bubble ball, and hope they’re inside it the next time they do something indescribably stupid. A great way to insulate themselves against life’s hard uncertainties.

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.

In our crazy modern world, who has the patience to wait more than a day for their online purchases, or to watch one episode a week of their favorite series, instead of a 10-hour binge? If they don’t already have a subscription to Amazon Prime, it’s your duty to bring them out of the dark ages. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and you can get it for them right now. They’ll get free shipping on tons of great stuff from Amazon as well as access to a bizillion movies for free. Whatever their addiction, they can feed it on Amazon. Help them feed it faster and better.

Bacon is the official food of the month, every month of the year. Now somebody has gone a step further and made a delivery service with a special kind of bacon for every month. Every time we go a level deeper with bacon it just gets better. Rumor has it Elon Musk is working on a bacon replicating machine. It’s about time he did something useful.

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If you decide to do this, go all out. Show up at 5 in the morning dressed impeccably in a tuxedo. Proceed to handle all unpleasantness with quiet grace, never faltering, never betraying any emotion save unswerving loyalty to the person whom it your your honor to serve. Take care of them the way that they think they deserve. Really buttle them good.

They’ve learned about literature, mathematics, and history in school. Their parents taught them right from wrong. And they even know how to cook dinner and change the oil. That’s all well and good, but what use is any of that when they are taken by foreign agents? These emergency survival courses will teach them the truly important things that were left out of their education, like how to escape when they wake up in the trunk of a moving car with their hands and feet bound.

It has been prophesied that the apocalypse will not come via comet or nuclear war, it will come when the world’s caffeine sources dry up. But that’s not for another 15 or 20 years. Until then, it should be approached with a complete lack of self-control. Give them a leg up with a buzz you should need a prescription for.

The Nintendo Switch combines the best of at-home entertainment with on-the-go gaming. Nintendo has always been at the forefront of portable gaming, going all the way back to the original Game Boy. But portability in gaming isn’t everything. Sure, it’s great for torturously long rides in the back of the minivan, but nobody wants to sit on the couch and play video games on a tiny portable device while there’s a ginormous flatscreen TV six feet away. The Switch’s dual capabilities solve this problem for good, going from handheld device to living-room gaming system in the blink of an eye.

Kombucha is the ancient art of making tea into something half the people who try it will love and the other half will vomit back onto your carpet. The people who love it are objectively correct, because it makes you live forever (almost). Anyone who has fallen head over heels for it will do the same for you if you buy them this homebrew kit.

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!

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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.


How to Pick the Perfect Birthday Gift

Yes, we know. You came here for the best birthday gifts in the world, only to find so many great options that you’re even more lost than when you started.

Lucky for you, we’ve gone a step further, and put together a little buyer’s guide filled with cool birthday gifts for everyone on your list, sorted by what they’re into. Whether you’re buying birthday gifts for a boyfriend or girlfriend, for mom or dad, for a best friend, or for some boy or girl whose family is throwing a party you’re being forced to go to, you’ll definitely find something that fits the bill.

Birthday Gifts for a Sweet Tooth

Know someone with a raging sweet tooth? Exploit it in the form of a delicious birthday gift they’ll love…at least until the sugar crash comes.

Funny Birthday Gifts

Everyone could use a few more chuckles, and birthdays are a perfect time to deliver them. Here is a list of hilarious comedy and gag birthday gifts for guys and gals with a sense of humor.

Sentimental Birthday Gifts

Need a creative birthday gift for a nostalgia addict? Here is a list of stuff to feed that inner softie and make them feel special. Bring on the feelings.

Experiences as Birthday Gifts

Some of the most unique birthday gifts aren’t things you keep — they’re things you do. Know someone who loves to get out and experience life in new ways? Buy a birthday gift for him (or her) that adds something special to the old memory bank.

Birthday Gifts for Nerds, Geeks, and Gadget Lovers

It’s a nerd’s world, and the rest of us are just living in it. With all the novel tech gifts out there, picking a birthday gift for a geek or a gadget lover is easier than ever. Here’s some stuff that will really light up their circuits.

Birthday Gifts For People Who Love Games

This is more than just a list of great birthday gifts for kids. These days, everyone’s inner child wants to get in on the action. These games make some of the coolest birthday gifts for adults, kids, and everyone in between.