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40th Birthday Gift Ideas

Updated on June 26, 2016

40th Birthday Gifts for Men And Women

So, you know someone who's about to turn 40... and will soon be over the hill!!

And you don't want to get them prune juice, adult diapers, dentures, or other things associated with old age for their 40th birthday gifts?

Not to worry. I've come up with some great 40th birthday gift ideas that I'll share with you below.

These 40th birthday gift ideas are thoughtful--some are nostalgic (from the year or decade they were born) or personalized or funny.

Movie from the Year They were Born!

The birthday person might like a movie from the year they were born as a thoughtful gift. And you might want to get the birthday person a favorite movie from their childhood to go along with it.

One movie that came out in 1976 that would be good for people turning 40 in 2016 is Rocky because that is the one movie everyone has heard of that came out in 1976!

Other movies you might want to consider that came out in 1976 are The Bad News Bears, Logan's Run, and King Kong.

Some movies they might remember from when they were growing up are Pete's Dragon, The Little Mermaid, Neverending Story, The Karate Kid, Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Dirty Dancing, Star Wars movies, Back to the Future, and likely many more since they would have been a kid in the 80s when there were a ton of good movies.

Birthday Book

New York Times Custom Birthday Book is a nice birthday gift you can get for someone turning 40 because it features New York Times front pages from their birthdays throughout their life. And you can customize the cover with their name and birth date.

They should remember a time where many people read actual newspapers to get the news. Maybe they were even newspaper carriers at one point growing up (that was my first job).

I would like to get this for some of the people in my family when they have milestone birthdays in the future so they can look back at how things have changed a bit throughout the years and see what the news was on their birthdays.

Get them 40 of something as a gift!

A fun 40th birthday gift idea is 40 of something nice, like:

  • 40 dollars in a card, or you could get them a new wallet and put $40 in it. You could give them all ones if you want to be funny, or 4 tens might be better. Two twenties might not be as cool?
  • A $40 gift certificate to a store they love, if that store offers gift cards in $40. I know some stores let you choose the amount you want a gift card to be for which would work.
  • 40 of something they collected as a child, like sea shells, polished rocks, etc.
  • 40 candy bars (if those are on their diet, and hopefully they don't eat them all at once). You can look up how to create a candy bar tree or candy bar boquet online if you want to be fancy.
  • If you really want to do something awesome for perhaps a husband, wife, daughter, or son turning 40 you could wrap 40 little gifts for them and have them open up one gift each day. If you live far away from the birthday boy or girl you could send them 40 gifts in a package with instructions to open up one gift each day. Or have them open 40 little gifts at once. It's a lot of work because you have to find a lot of little gifts and then wrap them, but so much fun for the birthday person!
  • A picture album with 40 of your favorite pictures of them throughout their life so far.

Who are You Shopping for?

Who are you shopping for a 40th birthday gift?

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Music from their Childhood

You can look for a cd with music from the year they were born, which is a cool gift. But perhaps even cooler is to get them some music they will actually remember from when they were growing up, like 80s hits or 90s hits.

Some great music came out in those 2 decades that a person born in '76 will remember. And if you don't want to get them music, how about a t-shirt or gift that has to do with their favorite band from their youth.

40th Birthday Shirt

It's my 40th Birthday Tee Shirt would make a fun gift, especially if you gave it to them early so they could wear it at their birthday party. The best part would be taking a picture of the birthday person wearing the shirt.

To go along with a shirt like this, you could get them a retro shirt featuring something they remember from when they were growing up, like their favorite band, singer, movie, cartoon, or tv show.

Cartoons from When they Were a Kid

The birthday person may enjoy DVD(s) with 70s and/or 80s cartoons from when they were growing up. You could get them their favorite cartoon if it's on DVD, or you could get them something like the one below that has different cartoons together in one set.

Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Vol. 1
Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Vol. 1

This one has 12 different shows and 17 cartoons total. Some of the shows are The Jetsons, Hong Kong Phooey, Josie and the Pussycats, The New Scooby Doo Movies, and The Batman Tarzan Adventure Hour.


How Much Do You Want to Spend?

How much do you want to spend on a 40th Birthday Gift?

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More 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

Here are some more 40th Birthday Gift ideas before you go:

  • I mentioned music and a movie from the year they were born, but there are other things you can get them from the year they were born as well like toys, books that were published in the year they were born, sports cards from their birth year, and coin sets from the year they were born.
  • Nostalgic gifts are fun, how about making a gift basket with candy and little toys they remember from their childhood like maybe a Rubik's Cube, Silly Putty, etc.
  • Tickets to a concert or play might be fun. If you want to go the nostalgic route, you could take them to a concert for a group that was popular when they were growing up.
  • If they were into video games as a kid, maybe they would like some retro video games for their current gaming console or a retro game system with games they remember.

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    • JeffGilbert profile image


      5 years ago

      For some people I've known, the best birthday present was not mentioning that they had turned 40. These are great ideas though. Great lens!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      all funny and great ideas...i just wish i wasn't beyond 40!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Great ideas!

    • singlemaltdram profile image


      6 years ago

      he he, great ideas, I'm sure they'd help the medicine go down.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Enjoyed stopping by and seeing and reading these.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      40 is the new 30 these days so these gift ideas are great for helping people keep the spirit of youth alive -even if their bodies start to disagree!

    • Jackowacko LM profile image

      Jackowacko LM 

      7 years ago

      By now I am over 40. I wish my wife had found this page 6 years ago!. Do you have a page for when you get 50 as well?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I remember most of those Billboard hits. I must be getting old. :)

    • Philippians468 profile image


      8 years ago

      great work on the lens! cheers

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome lens, love the great ideas,Fantastic selection

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Darn, and all I got for my 40th (a couple of weeks ago) was money. Shoot! I wish my friends and family had seen this lens. :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very informative lens – 5*. Feel free to visit my new lens Everything About Easter

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent lens.

    • Chris Copeland profile image


      10 years ago from Katy

      Great lens, and since I'll be pushing 40 in a few years definitely have my eye on the "forty and still farting" t-shirt

    • Janet2221 profile image


      11 years ago

      Fun lens! You are invited to submit it to my Let's Party group! :)


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