Gift ideas for a 40th birthday include fine wine or liquor, jewelry, electronics and gadgets, chocolates, artwork, books, music, clothing or DVDs. Gifts in denominations of 40 are a fun idea. Try 40 lottery tickets or a $40 gift card to a restaurant, theater, spa or favorite shop.
Reflective 40-year-olds may appreciate a gift of a journal that guides the birthday celebrant through a look back over the first 40 years of life and a look ahead to the future. Personal gifts that do not cost much include a handwritten book covering 40 special memories together, a small photo album commemorating the person's life or framed photos of the birthday person with friends.
Tie gifts in to the recipient's interests. Buy an interesting cookbook for a home chef, a gift certificate to a dance studio or gym for someone who wants to get in shape or memorabilia from a favorite sports team.
Because 40 is considered a key midlife birthday, some people may appreciate "midlife crisis" gag gifts that make fun of their age, including hair dye to cover the gray, large print books and orthopedic shoe inserts. Funny T-shirts with "over the hill" messages may be premature at 40 but can still make the recipient smile, notes BirthdayBullseye.com.