5 Gifts Not to Give Someone on Their 40th Birthday

Buying gifts for people is a hard job. You not only have to worry about what they like but also have to worry about what would suit their age (Come on, you can’t buy a toy pony for your 70 year old grandma… unless she suffers from some mental degenerative disorder that makes her think she is a four-year-old!). So let me introduce you all today to our guest author, Matt Greene who has come to us with a list of things that you should never gift someone who has turned 40 (Dear friends, take note. I don’t want any of these when I turn 40 in another 22 years). Continue Matt…

I recently turned forty. I know, awful isn’t it? I was shocked too as I still thought of myself as twenty five. Luckily, there were many kind friends who kept reminding me of my real age, which was very nice of them. While I got lots of great 40th birthday gifts, some of my friends who had also hit the big 4-0 weren’t so fortunate.

Here are the top five gifts never to buy someone who is forty, just so you know and don’t make these mistakes:

5. Gym Membership

Actually, there’s never a good time to give membership of a gym as a gift but giving it to a woman on her fortieth birthday – as happened to a former girlfriend of mine – is particularly insensitive.

Even if the recipient is super fit and jogs ten miles a day, buying them gym membership is like saying, ‘You’re getting a little pudgy around the middle, maybe you should work out more’. And for the person who has turned forty, it’s more like saying: ‘You’re getting a little pudgy around the middle, maybe you should work out more now that statistically you are more likely to die of a heart attack than you were last year.’

I don’t care how well intentioned, a gym membership is definitely out.

4. Clothes: They’re Fraught with Danger

Even if you are buying for your partner, spouse or significant other, try to resist the temptation to buy clothes of any kind as a fortieth birthday present.

It doesn’t matter that you know his or her size and taste inside out, there is always the danger that you’ll buy something a little too small. A worse faux pas would be to buy something super young and funky. You may think that he or she will love it; you may even be right but all you will succeed in doing is reminding that person that they have just turned 40.

You would be better of getting them nothing than something that reminds them how old they are.


3. Nothing

My friend Mark had made such a fuss about not celebrating his upcoming birthday that it wasn’t a surprise when a few people didn’t buy him a present for his fortieth. He’d kept saying things like ‘I just want to forget about it and pretend it isn’t happening.’

From one perspective, therefore, it was his fault he didn’t get that many gifts. However, giving someone nothing for their 40th birthday is just not acceptable. Regardless of how the person themselves may feel, they are only forty once and it is a milestone. At least get them something. It doesn’t matter how much they claim they don’t want to celebrate.

2. Wine

Under normal circumstances, giving a bottle of wine as a gift is perfectly acceptable. But for a 40th celebration, it is terrible. Firstly, because there is sure to be enough wine available to make Bordeaux look like the Sahara desert. Secondly, because it smacks of ‘I really couldn’t care less’.

Lastly, if the person you are buying the wine for is something of a connoisseur, he or she will know exactly how much – or how little – you have spent on their gift. This is a situation best avoided.

1. Personalised Toilet Bobble Head

I’m shaking my head even now at the fact that I even need to say that buying a custom bobble head is not an appropriate gift for any age, let alone forty. But, because no less than three of my friends have received such a monstrosity, I feel I must.

If you don’t know what a bobble head is, then that’s great. I commend you for this. Don’t Google it in case you start to think ‘Aw, that’s a great idea’. A custom bathroom toy is not what you should be giving your friend or loved one on a landmark birthday.

About The Author:-

Matt Greene works with Find Me A Gift Ltd, where you can find gift ideas for all ages, including fortieth and 50th birthday ideas to suit all tastes.


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