Where has the time gone? Fifty years ago someone wonderful was born, and today you have the wonderful task of choosing a special birthday present. People entering their fifties today are physically active, health conscious people who are looking forward to pursuing their interests over the next decade. Their children are mostly or completely grown, and grandchildren may be in the crib or on the horizon. If their mortgage hasn’t yet been paid off it likely will be within the next ten years, and they are at their peak earning and career potential. A half-century is certainly something to celebrate, so here is a list of 25 great 50th birthday gifts including traditional,unusual, free, inexpensive, luxurious, and just plain funny presents.
1. Fifty lottery tickets. You just never know……
2. A day at the spa including massage, facial, manicure, pedicure.
3. Tickets to the opera, live theater, or a favorite band.
4. Sunglasses, driving gloves, and a white silk scarf for car afficionados.
5. Framed LIFE magazine from the month of their birth.
6. Fifty birthday cards from family and friends – you will have to start setting this up at least six to eight weeks prior to the 50th birthday.
7. Fun 50th birthday gifts for dad can include fifty of an item that he loves or needs – try socks, funny boxer shorts, golf balls, chewing gum or other favorite snack.
8. Fifty year olds who love the outdoors are usually in pretty good shape and up for a challenge. Treat them to an activity they haven’t yet tried; kayaking, an archery lesson, skeet-shooting, mountain climbing, snowboarding, paragliding, bungi-jumping, or back-country camping.
9. Fifty year olds today are vibrant, active people. For the person who has everything, get a group of 15 to 20 family and friends together to go laser-tagging, paintballing, or go-cart racing. Be sure to bring a camera so you can put together a memory book or small album of the big day.
10. Fifty year olds often make conscientious choices to change their lives for the better. Get the health-conscious fifty year old a gym membership with a gym bag including stainless-steel water bottle, towel, deodorant, combination lock, and anything else they might use before, during, or after working out.
11. Yoga classes with a yoga gift basket including towel, yoga mat with handle or carrying case, CD of yoga relaxation music, and a DVD of basic yoga moves for the beginner.
12. Lessons: a new language, musical instruments, Latin dancing, ballroom dancing, singing, cooking, woodworking, quilting, sewing, tennis, sailing, golf.
13. Digital camera ….to take photos of new sons-and-daughters-in-laws or grandbabies.
14. Luggage…to use on the trip they are finally taking.
15. A snowblower….because shovelling just isn’t as much fun as it used to be.
16. A riding lawn-mower…..because mowing the lawn isn’t as much fun as it used to be either.
17. A new patio set for entertaining the grown children and significant others.
18. A new barbeque….see #17
19. Fifty bottles of wine….yup, see #17 again.
20. Wild and wacky reading glasses. These are readily available at department stores and there is a wide variety of frames and styles for men and women approaching the age of fifty. Add a new book or two by a favorite author. If you can’t find the reading glasses, you can always pick up a magnifying glass in the toy department.
21. Something to help decorate the room that was re-painted and re-purposed when the last child finally left home. How about a new family photo, of children and grandkids in a frame? Or a rocking chair for a reading room, a sewing machine table for a sewing room, or a comfortable recliner for the rec-room.
22. 50th birthday presents for gardeners: fifty packets of seeds, fifty new perennials (this is best carried out when birthdays occur in late spring through fall, and as a co-ordinated effort of family and friends at a 50th birthday party), fifty pounds of bird seed, organic fertilizer or peat moss; a garden fountain or other garden ornament.
23. Wine afficianados: a wine club monthly membership where different bottles of wine are delivered each month. Present the subscription card in a gift basket including two wineglasses, a corkscrew, wine-charms, and a Guide to Wines type book.
24. If you are on a tight budget, the best 50th birthday gifts are certificates or coupons that can be redeemed for your services. For example, a coupon booklet of Fifty Days of Dinners, Fifty Days of Garbage Removal, Fifty Free Car Washes, Fifty Days of Weeding….you get the idea. You can print the coupons out from the internet or hand make the booklet yourself. This is a great gift from a college student to a parent. Making a playlist for workouts or walks that mom or dad can use on their ipods is another great free 50th birthday gift idea.
25. The best 50th birthday gifts are the ones that are handmade with love. If you are a crafter, make it. Knit a sweater, stitch a lap-quilt, paint a favorite scene or image, cook a five course meal, bake fifty cupcakes or craft a jewellery box or piece of outdoor furniture such as a garden bench.