Top 40th Birthday Gifts for Men: Awesome Ideas for Guys Turning 40

Perfect gifts for the 40-year-old man.
Perfect gifts for the 40-year-old man.

What to Get a Guy Turning 40?

For this list I selected what I feel are some of the best 40th birthday gifts for men, but since my husband recently turned the big four-oh, he can be credited with a lot of these ideas, which range from amazingly cheap (but not chintzy) items to more expensive luxury presents. Most of these gifts are suitable for any male coworker, client, work associate, friend, husband, brother, or other family member or acquaintance turning 40 years of age.

So, okay, when brainstorming ideas for what to get the guy, the first suggestion that comes to mind is an over-the-hill gift. But there's oh-so-much more to get him if you really stretch your creativity. A man turning 40 will appreciate not only humorous gag gifts and funny T-shirts, but also cool gadgets he can use, nostalgic music and movies, fun books that make him look at his new decade slightly differently, and unusual luxury items he'd never go to the trouble of getting for himself, not to mention the failsafe gift baskets filled with tasty food—the perfect default gift if nothing else will work.

You'll also find a small selection of less expensive items that are ideal for those, let's face it, obligation presents for coworkers.

Great 40th Birthday Gag Gifts for Guys

We all know that when he hits the big four-oh, he's in for it—the over-the-hill joke gifts, that is.

People can't resist pointing out that the "old man" is turning 40, and from here, it's just one stop to dentures and walking sticks. He'll have to face the teasing again for the next few decade milestones, too. (Don't we all!)

You'll find a few over-the-hill gifts for guys here. But if you think it's all getting kind of old (no pun intended—well, okay, it was—), then check out these humorous gifts with attitude and warmth.

From books like Forty Things to Do When You Turn Forty, You Know You're Forty When..., and the witty How to Survive Your 40th Birthday to a T-shirt that tells everyone what year he was made in, your guy will actually feel pretty great to get these funny birthday presents.

In fact, if he was feeling over-the-hill before, he may just get a new perspective on the whole thing and start feeling younger than he has in years!

Funny 40th Birthday Book Gifts for Him

40 Things to Do When You Turn 40: 40 Experts on the Subject of Turning 40
40 Things to Do When You Turn 40: 40 Experts on the Subject of Turning 40

This collection of 40 essays is perfectly designed for the 40-year-old reader. These forty essayists, whose styles run the gamut from laugh-out-loud funny to reflective, cover a wide range of issues including fitness, finance, health care, and business.

All royalties for this book are donated to cancer research.

 
You Know You're 40 When...
You Know You're 40 When...

A completely hilarious look at this milestone birthday written by two humorists (one was a staffer for Saturday Night Live), this book will be appreciated by any man who has a sense of humor about aging.

 
Dr. D's Handbook for Men Over 40: A Guide to Health, Fitness, Living, and Loving in the Prime of Life
Dr. D's Handbook for Men Over 40: A Guide to Health, Fitness, Living, and Loving in the Prime of Life

This is a practical, down-to-earth how-to guide for continuing to lead an exciting, healthy, full life as you grow older. This book will help him get over his fear aging, and it includes inspiring real-life stories of men who have figured out how to age gracefully.

 
What You Don't Know About Turning 40
What You Don't Know About Turning 40

This book is actually a pop quiz with 101 questions (complete with humorous answers). You can even have him take the quiz during his party (which will be fun for everyone).

 
The Big 40!: Are You Ready to Face . . .The Best Age Ever
The Big 40!: Are You Ready to Face . . .The Best Age Ever

Learn how to be 40 with 192 fun pages full of facts, statistics, inspiring quotes, anecdotes, and pithy and silly observations. At 40, Gandhi had not even begun to enact his plan for civil disobedience, Lucille Ball’s television career was just starting, and John Glenn's career had not quite launched into orbit.

 
What to get a man turning 40.
What to get a man turning 40.
Made In 1976 All Original Parts - 40th Birthday Gift Men's T-shirt (Large, BLACK)
Made In 1976 All Original Parts - 40th Birthday Gift Men's T-shirt (Large, BLACK)

Why not get him a t-shirt to help him wear his age with pride? These shirts are 100% cotton and come in seven different color options.

 

Gift Baskets for Men Turning 40

Gift baskets are ideal gifts for guys who are hard to buy for. They also make great office presents for a coworker or family member or friend who lives far away and could really use a care package on his birthday.

Various kinds of gift baskets for guys turning 40 include:

  • Nostalgia gift sets
  • Birthday treats gift baskets
  • Gourmet gift baskets
  • Hobby-themed gift collections

If you're creative, you can design and put together your own gift collection tailor-made for his interests, but if you're at a loss for ideas or pressed for time, here are some pre-made gift basket options:

Candy Crate 1970's Retro Candy Gift Box
Candy Crate 1970's Retro Candy Gift Box

A boxful of his favorite nostalgic candy from the 1970s: Abba Zabbas, bubble gum cigarettes and cigars, Cherry Heads, Bit O' Honey Bar, Hot Tamales, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, and Pixy Sticks, plus many other kinds. When was the last time he got to play with/eat Pop Rocks!?

 
Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets Hillarious Over The Hill Birthday Gift Box, Hot Grandpa
Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets Hillarious Over The Hill Birthday Gift Box, Hot Grandpa

The plush grandpa doll included in this snack basket will be the life of the party. When pressed, the doll sings, "don't you wish your grandpa was hot like me," reminding everyone that you're never too old to be hot.

 
It's A Guy Thing, Gift Basket For Men
It's A Guy Thing, Gift Basket For Men

This basket is full of manly meaty, cheesy, boozy items, the things he probably shouldn't eat at his age but really wants to. Why not give him free rein to indulge himself in celebration of the big four-oh?

 
What a 40-year-old man wants.
What a 40-year-old man wants.

And for His 40th Birthday Party...

Create a fun environment with the fabulous music of the 1970s and celebrate the year of his birth at the same time. At the party, you will not believe the memories that are evoked simply from playing songs that he grew up with.

Billboard #1s: The '70s
Billboard #1s: The '70s

Download or get this CD full of the biggest pop hits from the 1970s, including songs from the Doobie Brothers, Bread, and Blondie. These songs are probably the first songs he ever heard and will make him feel young again.

 
Totally '80s
Totally '80s

This CD gets great reviews on Amazon and includes 40 pop hits from the '80s. A must-have collection.

 

Cheap 40th Birthday Present Ideas for Men

Affordable presents are the name of the game these days. With the recession hitting folks hard, it's becoming increasingly popular to make your own birthday gifts or buy cheap gifts, taking seriously the motto, "It's the thought that counts."

These aren't just inexpensive gifts, though—they're funny, cute, thoughtful, and creative gifts hand-selected for men turning 40.

They're appropriate for a work party if this is a gift for a guy you work with.

Happy 40th Birthday Glasses
Happy 40th Birthday Glasses

One-size-fits-all costume glasses for the birthday boy!

 
AMSCAN Electronic Light-Up 2-1/2" Button: Over The Hill 40
AMSCAN Electronic Light-Up 2-1/2" Button: Over The Hill 40

Fun and flashy button for him to wear to tell everyone it's his special birthday.

 
1975 S US Mint Proof Set Original Government Packaging
1975 S US Mint Proof Set Original Government Packaging

This 1975 set contains all six US circulating coins for that year, including the Eisenhower dollar, Kennedy half dollar, Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel, and Lincoln penny. Each of these coins bears the "S" mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco.

 

And Now for Something a Little Different

Tired of seeing the same old boring or overly expensive gadget gift ideas for men, like electric shavers and GPS devices? Well, if he's a male colleague, coworker, or client, something a little less expensive, like a quality shaving brush or shaving soap, is a great alternative.

Cool Gadgets and Stuff for 40 Year Old Guys

Leatherman 830039 Wave Multitool with Leather/Nylon Combination Sheath, Silver
Leatherman 830039 Wave Multitool with Leather/Nylon Combination Sheath, Silver

If your budget is a bit more expansive, then invest a little more in his milestone birthday and get him a super practical gift like a Leatherman Wave pocket tool. My husband has one of these, and he's never far from it, sleeping or waking. For anything needing repair, he whips it out, flicks open the tool he needs, and seconds later, the object's fixed. Forty-year-old guys, handy or not, will go crazy for this thing.

 
Coast HP7 Focusing 360 Lumen LED Flashlight
Coast HP7 Focusing 360 Lumen LED Flashlight

The LED Lenser flashlight by Coast is a top-of-the-line flashlight that runs on highly efficient LED lights and is very highly rated among users. Even if he already has one of these—and they can be a bit pricey and are not sold everywhere, so he might not—he'd love another one. They're incredibly useful.

 
Omega 13109 Creamy Curved Handle Pure Badger Shaving Brush
Omega 13109 Creamy Curved Handle Pure Badger Shaving Brush

Made of 100% pure badger hair (it holds more suds!) in Italy with a lovely ivory white plastic handle, this gorgeous brush will last a lifetime and get even softer with use.

 
Decorative All American Motorcycle Piggy Bank For Motorcycle Enthusiast Great Gift Item!
Decorative All American Motorcycle Piggy Bank For Motorcycle Enthusiast Great Gift Item!

For motorcycle enthusiasts, try this awesome motorcycle piggybank in the classic Harley Davidson style. Use as a bank or just for show. How could he resist it?

 

Gifts for Generation X Males

Forty-year-old guys are some of the first members of Generation X, the relatively small generation that followed the baby boomers and grew up in the 1970s and 1980s.

Forty is a great time for a guy to think back over the first half of his life and (knock on wood) toward the next half.

Below, you'll find a list of fascinating books about this generation. He'll have fun poring over Totally Awesome '80s or exploring the, um, positive attitude of X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking.

Affordable Pop Culture Gifts for a Man Turning 40

Totally Awesome 80s: A Lexicon of the Music, Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Stars, and Trends of that Decadent Decade
Totally Awesome 80s: A Lexicon of the Music, Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Stars, and Trends of that Decadent Decade

"This loving but ironic catalog of the most important cultural events of the '80s is fittingly slim, flashy, and shallow, covering mostly the poppiest movies, songs, and political actions of the era that told us 'greed is good.'"

 
Theyre Not Aloof...Just Generation X: Unlock the Mysteries to Todays Human Capital Management
Theyre Not Aloof...Just Generation X: Unlock the Mysteries to Todays Human Capital Management

This book is good for Gen X managers and employees alike as it deals with non-traditional employees who are frustrated in traditional business cultures. A great tool for any workplace.

 
X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking
X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking

In this funny and sharp "manifesto for a generation that's never had much use for manifestos," Gordinier asserts that Gen X will rescue American culture from collapse. These so-called "slackers" have had a huge impact on culture, and this book examines that impact.

 
Best gifts for the man turning 40.
Best gifts for the man turning 40.

Movies & Music Gifts for 40-Year-Old Men

Here's a creative and unusual gift idea: music and movies that were popular with young male teens in the 1980s. Music by the Eagles and Rush will take him back to those times when he was so very young and cynical (remember 40-year-olds are Generation X, after all).

Other bands he might like to hear again:

  • Genesis
  • U2
  • Pink Floyd
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Judas Priest

I asked my husband, who's forty-ish, about movies guys liked during their teenage years, and he immediately said, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Other great guy movies of that time are Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Blues Brothers, and Real Genius, the last one featuring a young and brash Val Kilmer.

But if he's more of an artsy type and into "films" rather than "movies"—or if he just likes macho Japanese samurais—he'll love the classic Akira Kurosawa films, Yojimbo and its sequel, Sanjuro. These classic movies were the originals that Clint Eastwood's spaghetti Westerns, A Fist Full of Dollars and A Few Dollars More, were modeled after.

More movie ideas:

  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • E.T.
  • Star Wars
  • Blade Runner
  • The Shining
  • The Terminator
  • Raging Bull
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Die Hard
  • Aliens
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Back to the Future
  • The Lost Boys
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Big
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Platoon
  • This is Spinal Tap


Their Greatest Hits
Their Greatest Hits

These songs sum up southern California in the early 70s better than just about anything could, with songs like "Take It Easy," "Witchy Woman," "One of These Nights," "Take It to the Limit," "Desperado," and more.

 

Gifts to Make Him Laugh

These humorous offerings include the quintessential '80s relic piano key necktie, which was made fun of in the '90s movie Zoolander.

As the author, I may receive sales commissions from this article. See the author's disclosure regarding compensation for this article.

More by this Author


Click to Rate This Article
working