Many people approaching their 50th birthday are sensitive about growing old. Gag gifts--like jumbo diapers and walking canes with rear-view mirrors--may be funny to everyone except the birthday person. On the other hand, a humorous gift can also ease the stress some people feel when they have reached the half-century milestone. To give a present the recipient will really appreciate, pair a funny (yet tasteful) gift with a practical item the recipient will enjoy.
Diamonds and Furs
Shop the party store for a 1970s-style pink fake fur vest and a jumbo plastic diamond ring. Wrap them together in a box along with a card that says "Being 50 means you're old enough to wear diamonds and furs." If your budget allows, purchase a real diamond necklace or bracelet to commemorate her 50th birthday. Present it to her after she laughs about her fake diamond and fur.
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Audio or Portable Book
Purchase an audio book player or a portable book like Kindle, and load it with a couple of humorous books about turning fifty. Two examples include "Things to Do Now That You're 50," by Robert Allen, and "You Know You're Fifty When . . . ," by Richard Smith. After enjoying those books he can add more audio or digital stories to his collection.
Humorous Lawn Display
A humorous yard display can help chase away those "turning 50" blues. You could do it yourself, or hire a birthday sign company to do this for you. Check a printed or online phone book (under the category of "birthday signs") for companies in your area that offer this service. On the eve of the 50th birthday, the company quietly sets up a display on the front yard of the birthday person. Each company offers different services and products which may include plastic cows, buzzards, ducks, tombstones or smiley faces. The company will work with you to design an appropriate and funny theme. For example, it might suggest 50 plastic pink flamingos for the person who dreams of retiring to Florida or 50 tombstones with "you know you're over the hill" sayings.
On the morning of his birthday, deliver a basket of muffins and a jug of hot coffee so he can sit on his front porch and enjoy his birthday display while eating a light breakfast.
Surviving 50 Gift Basket
If you just can't resist giving her a hard time about her advanced age, put together a gift basket filled with items to help her survive the upcoming decade. Include a short note explaining the meaning behind each item.
Some examples might include a magnifying glass ("to help you see better"), a jumbo paper clip ("to help you hold it all together"), a fly swatter ("to take care of those things that bug you"), a few marbles ("in case you feel like you are losing your marbles"), a roll of packaging tape ("so the good memories stick to you"), children's play clay, a box of paints and some crayons ("to help you create the masterpiece of your life"), whitening toothpaste ("because you are a dazzling person"), arthritis rub ("for those times when someone rubs you wrong"), toothpicks ("to help you stay awake after 7 p.m.") and sweet and sour candy ("because turning 50 means you will have more sweet moments and fewer sour ones").
You might also include a gift card for a comedy club ("because the fun begins at age 50.")