40th Birthday Gift Ideas For Best Friend

Men, Women

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By Bruno Crnik

No matter how you perceive it, turning 40 is indeed a milestone.

Now, if your best friend is hitting this landmark, you know how excited or nervous they might be feeling now.

Either way, you know that you need to celebrate this moment with them.

This is good because the majority of today’s people view 40 as the midpoint of their existence and are embracing it with a lot of vigor.

John Shoven, a Stanford University economist, says that the perception of 40 has changed a lot from how it used to be in previous generations.

The current advancements in health knowledge have seen people enjoy a lower mortality risk. He hypothesizes that a forty-year-old today is relatively six years younger to their 1960 counterpart.

So the Gen X folks who are turning 40 are celebrating it either by having getaways or exotic no-children vacations with their spouses or creating special family memories. In most instances, it’s a party.

Whether it is a gathering at home or a lavish spread, these soirees are becoming the new Sweet 16.

Instead of being a coming-of-age declaration, the 40th birthday bash is a means of proclaiming that they are still healthy, sexy, and have not lost their mojo.

Gifting is a lot more than just the physical exchange of things – it is your way of communicating and sending a message to your best friend.

When you apply some thought to it and choose a meaningful gift, the present becomes your wish for their happiness.

On the other hand, a poorly-chosen present might send an insulting message; for instance, a gym membership.

Understandably, selecting the perfect gift, especially for a 40th birthday can be quite frustrating. 

Use these tips to choose the perfect gift:

1. Observe

Observation is the number one rule of gift giving.

Presumably, you have always paid attention to what your best friend says and what they are interested in.

They have consistently been giving hints about their likes and dislikes, even when you do not expect it.

Would they love something decorative, or something practical, something for themselves, or for the house?

You do understand the circumstances in your best friend’s life. Typically, they have never asked for what they want.

So by observing and noting what would make their life better or happier, you can most certainly choose the perfect gift.

2. Their personality

You expansive knowledge of your friend’s character should come into play when choosing a present for them.

Nothing sends the message that you care like getting them a gift that matches their unique personality.

3. For good luck

40 is a momentous occasion, and thus you want to gift them something that wishes them fortune and prosperity.

Side note, a box of fortune cookies won’t cut it.

Explore the different symbolisms and myths that are associated with good luck and auspiciousness.

 For instance, the owl, moonstone, and agate are thought to bring good tidings, while the frog, turquoise, and peridot are believed to help in healing.

Be creative; do not be weird.

4. For a good cause

Your best friend, for one reason or the other, might be the impossible-to-shop-for person.

 If they are minimalists and have no desire for anything more, or they already have everything, it can be quite frustrating.

The hack here is to gift them something that supports a good cause or donate in his/her name to a charity or cause that is near and dear to them.

5. Their hobby or niche interest

Of course, you know your dear one’s hobby, and you should use this knowledge to steer you in the perfect-gift-choosing direction.

Do they love their wine, or perhaps a gardener?

Gifting within their niche is the best way to let them know that you appreciate that unique aspect about them.

There is a catch, however, do not overdo it. If everyone knows that your best friend absolutely loves pandas, chances are they have more panda-themed objects than they know what to do with.

You will have to consider doing something unique such as sponsoring a rhino sanctuary in their name.

6. Be Creative

Gifts, especially ones that you’ve made yourself, are so meaningful because they show the energy, time, and creative juice that you used to get your loved one something sweet.

Furthermore, the do-it-yourself gift possibilities are limitless. You can source your inspiration anywhere.

From handwritten letters, coupon books, handmade baked products, and even poems for your best friend are good places to start.

If you are considering giving a do-it-yourself gift, it is imperative that you are observant of your loved one’s likes. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of gift.

7. Consider Astrology

Gifts based on astrological signs are quite thoughtful especially if your friend loves taking their guidance from the stars.

If they’re the graceful Libra, for instance, some beautiful jewelry might do the trick while the fearless Leo might enjoy an exhilarating experience.

8. Your Time

At times, material gifts, depending on your friend’s nature, could just be more clutter. If this is the case, consider offering to help in a project they are involved in.

If you have a skill, say art, you can draw a portrait of them. Think Titanic.

9. An Adventure

This is the best present for an outgoing individual. From bungee jumping to visiting an animal park; the possibilities are limitless.

Here are some gift ideas to consider:

1. Book: You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children

This book by Dr. Seuss is a perfect 40th birthday gift for your best friend.


Dr. Seuss uses his signature style of illustration to show the unnerving ritual of aging known as ‘the medical checkup.’

His use of wit and jaunty rhymes will leave your friend in stitches. It is a satirical piece, however, so do not be afraid that your friend might take it the wrong way.

The focal point of the book is to inform the reader that even though they might feel they are getting old, they can still be in excellent shape.


  • It is a fun read
  • It is promptly shipped and comes as described
  • It is relatable


  • The shippers could package it better rather than wedging it into a box

The element of surprise



2. The 40th Birthday Game

This is a specially designed game for people turning 40.

It is a pack of 80 trivia cards that contain over 150 questions.

The questions range from the intriguing, funny, pleasant, to the strange things associated with being forty.

This game will make for a quick and fun 40th birthday celebration game while still being an original gift idea.


  • The gaming cards are quality
  • It looks nice and cute
  • Unique and fun for a party


  • The questions seem to stem from a European setting thus not immediately relatable to some people
  • thumbs-o-down
    Can take up to 3 weeks to reach you

The element of surprise



3. Vintage Aged To Perfection 1978

This T-shirt by Shirt Invaders is a one of a kind birthday gift that your male best friend will love.

The printing is of a high-quality and is very gently distressed.

Also, the print is subtle enough for the T-shirt not to look like a birthday present.


  • Looks good
  • The print is made out of eco-friendly water-based ink that ensures durability
  • Is made out of 100% cotton
  • thumbs-o-up
    Typically arrives earlier than the expected date


  • Tends to shrink when put in a drier

The element of surprise



4. BABEYOND Princess Birthday Crown

This silver tiara is made out of alloy metal and is adorned with clear diamante crystals which make it classy and elegant without being cheesy.

Your best friend has a princess in her, and this gift will serve to remind her how beautiful she still is even though she has just turned forty.


  • Fits every head plus it has pins to ensure it stays in place
  • It is cute
  • Looks quite authentic given its fair price and sparkles nicely


  • Poor packaging that sometimes causes the tiara to arrive bent

The element of surprise



​5. Book: What You Don't Know About Turning 40

This book contains 101 hilarious questions complete with even more outrageous answers.

If you are out to tickle your best friend’s funny bone, this is for you. It will liven the 40th bash.


  • Makes for a good laugh


  • It is more female-centric

The element of surprise




40 is indeed the landmark that establishes you into the beautiful middle age.

This is the age where one does not have the causal youth immaturity but is far from being considered ‘senior.’

The roller-coaster days are behind you, and you have now carved yourself a niche, you have earned your place in the sun; you know who you are. 40 should be celebrated, and it is okay to go over and beyond for your best friend just to show them how much their landmark means to you.

Ensure that your friend enjoys this occasion by thinking out the perfect present for them by following these tips and gift ideas.

40th Birthday Gift Ideas

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