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Presents for special birthdays

(61 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 04-Mar-14 11:45:58

I have been asked three times already this week (and it's only Tuesday!) for ideas for 50th birthday presents.

Now clearly it depends on who it's for, how much you want to spend, and in some cases where the recipient lives. But - this notwithstanding - we thought it would actually be rather useful to have some great ideas for gifts special/landmark birthdays so next time someone asks we can point them in this direction.

Love to hear your thoughts - for 50th, 60th, 70th (or any other). If it's more suited to one specific age do just add that in the post.

In the meantime...just realised I too have to buy a 50th birthday present this week blush So help very gratefully received!

janerowena Tue 04-Mar-14 12:07:25

Is this for nearest and dearests? Or friends? If it's friends, I tend to buy a plant I know they will like. Something that can be kept without it being yet another ornament.

janerowena Tue 04-Mar-14 12:08:31

Once I bought a male friend a pair of pure silk bright red boxers - badly misjudged, as he loved them but his wife wasn't too happy about it!

janerowena Tue 04-Mar-14 12:13:32

By plants, I mean outdoor ones, preferably something that will be in flower at the time of the person's birthday. So last week I gave a friend a camellia for her 50th, as she didn't have one but does have suitable soil.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 04-Mar-14 12:15:45

For any of those birthdays, a nice (gold?) locket that could contain photos of loved ones - perhaps grandchildren- and could (in the very far distant future) be handed down in the family, perhaps to a grand-daughter.

(Nobody got me one hmm)

janerowena Tue 04-Mar-14 12:24:37

DBH's is coming up also (he's younger than me), I am toying with various things. Maybe a cookery course, he loves cooking. He has had formula one days in the past. As he loves nice food, meals at horrendously expensive restaurants are popular. He is also a bit of a dandy, so expensive clothes for going out in are popular, he likes Duchamp. Sadly he will never possess anything more than shirts or underwear or cufflinks from them! Although he does have bow ties and cummerbunds from them too, these have all been big birthday presents that he has loved. Men are dreadful to buy for.

Other men - a smoker, for fish and sausages and meats and cheeses.

A remote controlled helicopter

A hanging safe for game, to keep vermin and flies off.

An air rifle

Fishing equipment, including a special net to catch crayfish in which was very cheap.

A leather briefcase

The above were all bought for my three sisters' various husbands. grin

Soutra Tue 04-Mar-14 12:35:03

On the basis that many people simply do not want more "stuff" and pften specify No Presents, we have in the past given a blank Charities Aid Foundation cheque for them to give to the charity of their choice. Failing that - a rose for the garden, or garden vouchets, theatre tickets/vouchers.

janerowena Tue 04-Mar-14 12:49:38

I would add to those, vouchers for health/beauty spas if the person likes that sort of thing. I don't, but my sisters all do.

A rose with the person's name or similar is popular.

whenim64 Tue 04-Mar-14 13:03:48

Things to use, not ornaments, jewellery or 'stuff.' Please, save me from 'stuff!' Bushes that flower at the time of my birthday, theatre tickets, meals out, a nice experience like learning to temper chocolate and make hand made truffles, with lunch, champagne afternon tea with the person who gave me the treat, luxury hair products, vouchers for books. Things like that are better appreciated when you get to fifty or sixty and can usually buy something if you realise you want or need it.

In my spare room at the weekend, I fished out a few presents that are now clutter. A chicken brick, coffee machine (phoenix you can have it! grin), long hostess heating thingy for hot food (used once at a christening), several Portuguese and Italian ornamental platters and dishes, a porcelain bowl for keeping tapenade warm (with tea light underneath), tapas set, a tagine, flouncy scarves (not me) and several part sets of smellies. They're going in the next charity car boot. I'm sure these gifts were all given in the hope I would use them, but I've either already got what I need or they aren't something I would use or choose for myself. I accept them gracefully, and give hints if asked.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 04-Mar-14 13:35:46

Loving these thank you.

Yes I know people who have requested donations to a favourite charity.

Magazine subscriptions are good (OH just reminded me!) Also he was given vouchers to a local cinema that has sofas instead of seats and waiters to bring you snacks - that was great (I benefitted too!) and something that would be hard to justify spending the extra on when the regular cinemas are showing the same film.

minette Tue 04-Mar-14 13:37:42

A friend who likes Japanese food was given a sushi making class experience thing and loved it

Anne58 Tue 04-Mar-14 13:42:20

Might be a bit expensive, but a bottle of something (port?) from the year of their birth?

when how kind, but I think I'm ok for coffee machines grin

Now, speak to me of flouncy scarves, how flouncy is flouncy?

kittylester Tue 04-Mar-14 13:47:57

I'd love the chicken brick when! Ours disappeared years ago and I have recently had a hankering for one - have you seen the price of the flipping things now? They weren't that expensive first time round and I am trying to resist buying more kitchen stuff - it's my one weakness! grin I also love decorative platters etc. envy

Really nice photo frames are quite good fall back presents as well as plants either flowering appropriately or with an apt name.

For our 40th wedding anniversary the children clubbed together and bought us a specially made weather vane which we love. smile

whenim64 Tue 04-Mar-14 13:55:20

One is sort of grey chiffon flouncy with ruffles and a few sequins and no discernible way to make it sit comfortably without getting 'flounce' in my mouth, phoenix

Another is lilac and floaty, with squiggles of red and purple - looks like an Isadora Duncan long silky thing, suitable to drape over a full length black slinky dress.

Interesting how others see me - I've never been a slinky, floaty person in my life. Think cart horse! grin if I'm given a cobalt blue pashmina, I'm keeping it! grin

They've gone to the great dog charity car boot sale with all the other stuff.

whenim64 Tue 04-Mar-14 13:59:23

kitty I saw chicken bricks in Costco recently. That's obviously where my son found it. He does two big trips round the place in the last few days before Christmas, so the whole family gets something from there. The staff must rub their hands with glee when they see him parking his car! grin

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 04-Mar-14 14:04:58

I still like getting "stuff". I rotate it.

Penstemmon Tue 04-Mar-14 14:36:49

We bought our very good friend a bouquet of flowers a month for her 70th birthday year..delivered by a favourite florist. Repeated that gift for my SiLs 80th. It is nice as each month I get a photo of the bouquet and a catch up of how she is!

You can also organise something similar for cheese lovers. A cheese selection every month/two months etc for the year. We did that for the husband of our friend who got the flowers!

For my DH I have bought experiences; balloon ride etc. Also booked us in for a Michelin Star meal at Tom Kerridge's place for his 65th.

Otherwise it is similar to other ideas: Plants/trees, subscriptions, Spa days, 'experiences' or vouchers for a hotel (e.g , Mr & Mrs Smith, Hotel du Vin etc)

My (not a special) b'day tomorrow...let's see what my family think of!!

annodomini Tue 04-Mar-14 15:03:50

For my last 'special' birthday my family threw a lovely party for me and invited guests to contribute to a voucher for a well known travel company with which they set up a gift account. I have still to use it, because my health let me down for a while and, although it won't by any means cover the cost, I am considering a trip to Canada with a cruise to Alaska. Watch this space.

glassortwo Tue 04-Mar-14 15:17:46

Took DH to Padstow for his 50th booked a cottage for a week and on his birthday took him to Rick Steins restaurant.

soop Tue 04-Mar-14 15:25:45

Where you be right this minute, glassortwo ?

grannyactivist Tue 04-Mar-14 15:28:18

I love 'experiences' on the grounds that I have enough 'stuff', but memories are always precious. When my in-laws were seventy we took them to Geneva for a long weekend. Our children came too and we all have a lovely memory to share. On Saturday I went to Claridges for afternoon tea with my daughter - again, a wonderful memory. My husband is an adventurous bloke, so I bought him cashmere clothing for his fiftieth. My husband's aunt has just been given a 'twinned toilet' for her 70th birthday.
I love the idea of a monthly gift of flowers Penstemmon.

annodomini Tue 04-Mar-14 15:31:25

The family have also given me various vouchers for salon treatments which I have appreciated far more than any more clutter. However, I do value the pretty photo frame my lovely senior GD gave me two Christmases ago, and, of course, the necklace that junior GD made for me.

glassortwo Tue 04-Mar-14 15:34:57

In the loch fyne hotelsoop just back from Oban.

Agus Tue 04-Mar-14 15:47:46

I booked DH a Sea Plane flight which flies over Loch Lomond and The Highlands for his 60th

We recently bought a friend a Sonos Wi-fi Music System for his 60th, he can add speakers in various areas of his house. We knew this was something he would like and it was very well received.

soop Tue 04-Mar-14 15:48:53

We imagined that you might go to Oban. The roads were in a bit of a mess when we last paid a visit. We like the Kitchen Garden coffee shop. Did you go there? I see that you went to Kilberry yesterday. Did you stop off at the inn? One of our favourites.