Q:

Are funny gag gifts an appropriate way to celebrate a 50th birthday?

A:

Quick Answer

Funny gag gifts are often great ways to celebrate a 50th birthday. However, it is important to keep the recipient in mind. If the person involved is unlikely to appreciate a gag gift, choose a sincere, heartfelt gift instead.

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Are funny gag gifts an appropriate way to celebrate a 50th birthday?
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Full Answer

Gag gifts are traditional presents for milestone birthdays, including 30, 40 and 50. The majority of these gag gifts poke fun at the concept of getting older. They gently tease the recipient while simultaneously sending a message of friendship.

Not everyone appreciates a gag gift. Some people are sensitive about getting older, and other people do not like being part of a public joke. Even though the gift giver means well, and even though guests are "laughing with" — not "laughing at" — the recipient, some people do not like gag gifts.

Consider the person in question before determining whether to give a funny gag gift for a 50th birthday. If the person has received gag gifts appreciatively before, or has shown interest in gag gifts, then a gag gift is a very appropriate way to celebrate a 50th birthday. If the person has expressed discomfort at gag gifts, it is better to choose a different 50th birthday present.

The best route usually is to give both a gag gift and a sincere gift. That way, the recipient gets to laugh and also knows that the relationship is valued.

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