80th Birthday Gift Ideas

August 8, 2013    |    By +
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Shopping for an eightieth birthday can be hard. By this age, the only thing most people want to be collecting is memories. It might feel like a sweet gesture to buy them a custom picture frame or a hand-painted ceramic vase, but they have a lifetime’s worth of those things already. On top of that, many people at this age are downsizing, moving from a bigger home into a smaller townhouse, for example. The last thing people need is more stuff. So, what can you get for someone who’s about to blow out 80 candles on their birthday cake? Rest assured, I’ve come up with a list of ideas.

Fly The Coop

For my grandmother’s eightieth birthday, she took a trip with all of her daughters to Vegas. And you know what? It’s probably one of her most memorable experiences to date. If there’s a place the birthday girl or boy has always wanted to go but has yet to venture, whether it be the Grand Canyon or Paris, now’s the time to help them check it off the bucket list.

Create An Activity

Did you know The New York Times sells jigsaw puzzles featuring the paper’s front page of any date from 1851 till now? Well, they do! A New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle ($44.95) is a wonderful way to commemorate the day they were born. If you can, do the puzzle with them so that as it comes together, you can both learn went down in history that day.



Go Big

With a major milestone this important, you want to throw a big bash. A few years back, we had a family reunion with a dress code of fancy clothes and wacky sunglasses to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. I don’t think my family members have ever laughed harder! So, what am I suggesting? Don’t just throw a party. Throw an event! Make the kind of memories that will leave them smiling long after everyone has gone home. Create a custom photo book afterward to keep the memories alive.


Talk Face to Face

Computers may not be the easiest things for more, ahem, mature people to navigate, but iPads are actually super user-friendly. And they’re compatible with FaceTime, an app that allows the whole fam to keep in touch. While you’re at it, download the Kindle app and gift them some new reading material.



Pamper Them

At 80, they may not be the spring chickens they once were, but people still want to look and feel their best. So find their local spa and select a package for them that says, “indulge!” Will there ever be an age where a facial, mani/pedi and massage stop feeling good? I don’t think so. I love the spa certificates from Spa Week because they range in value and the recipient can choose their favorite local spa, taking the pressure off of you.



So, this birthday, rather than giving them new belongings, fill their day with magical memories. But don’t forget a card!

Visit us for other ways to celebrate milestone birthdays, and check out our blog on 50th anniversary gifts.




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Posted in Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women    


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at Gifts.com. In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.