Forty certainly isn't as old as it used to be, but it's still a great excuse for a celebration.
For the 40th Birthday gift-buyer, though, it can be a troublesome age to buy for. The recipient is neither a spring chicken nor middle aged, and is probably rethinking a few aspects of his or her life, hopefully starting with the dress sense. If you're looking for 40th Birthday Gifts to buy a friend or relative, take a look at Getting Personal's list of essential starting points for inspiration.
1. Nostalgia Forty years is a long time to pick up culture, tastes, styles and attitudes. If you can reference some example of popular culture from their childhood (currently the 1970s for a 40-year-old), you're on to a winner. Look for TV, pop and sports themes and try to build a gift around them. If you're struggling, try going a bit older: think about cars and movies from the early eighties and see if that leads to something.
2. Humour If you're younger than the birthday boy or girl, it's traditional to make a joke about their age on reaching The Big Four-O (it sort of backfires if you're older than them). Of course, they're only a day older than they were the day before, so as long as the joke is tasteful and witty, they'll no doubt see the funny side – especially if it links to something from their personal life.
3. A new experience As 40 might be seen as something of a watershed age (like 30, 50, 60 …), it's a great time to introduce them to something they probably haven't done before, such as a flying lesson or a high-speed driving experience. It'll show everyone around them that they've still got it, even if someone else “got it” for them. Of course, it doesn't have to be as heart-racing as all that – a meal and a West End show might be their cup of tea.
4. A useful object Talking of cups of tea, a simple mug with a personal message will be appreciated every time it's filled. Or how about a themed, 40th birthday personalised calendar that starts on their 40th birthday and lasts until the 41st? Modern printing techniques used by Getting Personal's suppliers allow such items to be produced to a very high quality. You don't have to splash out too much on a 40th birthday present – just get a simple domestic item that they'll see and use every day.
5. A piece of history Four decades ago, they were probably too preoccupied with wailing, being passed around and having their nappies changed to take in the day's news, so it's good to know that they can catch up on what was going on outside the maternity ward by getting hold of a genuine copy of that day's newspaper.
6. Booze! Not a four-pack of Heineken from the supermarket, of course. For this occasion a mellow, mature whiskey or brandy is bound to receive an appreciative nod. And don't forget champagne, the drink that always accompanies life's milestones. These are the kinds of treats people rarely buy for themselves, and are great for sharing or just sipping in front of the box.
So, 40th Birthday Gifts really don't have to be a nightmare if you follow these rules. Thanks to Getting Personal's massive and diverse collection of 40th birthday gifts you'll be able to find some unique presents for that special quadragenarian in your life.