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40 Ways to Celebrate a 40th Birthday

In a world where 40 is the new 30 and 30 is the new 20, we're just thankful cake is still cake! One good thing about turning 40, though, is that it's a milestone birthday and somehow they always seem more fun...we mean, when was the last time you went to a Surprise 37th Birthday Party?

Of course, you want to be right there with some special ways to help your birthday star shine in the spotlight! So here are 40 awesome ideas...some that will cost as little as 40 cents...some that are a little more extravagant...some that will just require your time and thoughtfulness. And that's something they'll appreciate just as much if not more!

  1. Tell it like it is. Write a list of 40 reasons why they're the best, then have it framed! Or include 40 pictures and turn it all into a photo book.
  2. Stress-free birthday. Gift a 40-minute massage, manicure or facial. Join them if you can afford it!
  3. Life is a roller coaster. Head for the amusement park with the birthday star, you, and two more friends and ride 10 different rides. Yes, the carousel counts.
  4. Feeling lucky? Individually wrap forty $1 lottery tickets.
  5. Have a sweet tooth? Buy 40 pieces of specialty chocolates or candies from yesteryear... or gift box 40 donut holes or 40 of their favorite cookies! (Wrap in batches of 5 or 10 so they can freeze some for later!)
  6. Say "cheesy." Make a fun 40-minute video of family and friends wishing them a happy day.
  7. Couch-potato free. Make a pact with them to get together 40 times during the year to walk one mile a day. It's a gift that keeps on giving.
  8. Share some smiles. Get together with family and friends and overflow their mailbox with 40 birthday cards!
  9. Share some laughs. Fill their inbox with 40 different digital songs, games and birthday wishes!
  10. Paint the town. Give them a $40 gift card to their favorite restaurant, club, theater, etc. Not terribly original, we know, but always appreciated! One word: Limo
  11. Bingo! Think of all the games you can play using 40 pennies...tiddly winks, bingo, penny pitch, etc...then have fun playing them!
  12. May I help? Offer 40-minutes of "tutoring" in a few apps they don't know how to use.
  13. Tis better to give...Make a list of 40 ways you could volunteer your time, then go and help out together. Or donate $40 to their favorite charitable organization.
  14. Pass the buck. If saving $$ isn't their thing, buy them an "investing for dummies" book and give them $40 to buy their first share of stock.
  15. Cheers! Gift wrap a $40 bottle of wine with a note that it's a special bottle to be shared with their someone special.
  16. One tank trip. Treat them to a whole day of events that are within a 40-mile radius of where they live. (A hike in the woods, a round of mini-golf, lunch in the park, etc.)
  17. What the heck does that mean? Agree to learn 40 new words when you get together (over time, of course!) For fun, keep notes and see who remembers the most new words!
  18. Sorry, I'm not a mind reader. Gift a 40-minute psychic reading...make your own predictions in advance and then compare notes later!
  19. I'm here for you. Promise each other several 40-minute soulful conversations sans texting, email-checking, phone answering, twittering, etc.
  20. I'll always remember Paris. Share with each other a list of 40 people, places, things that made you who you are today.
  21. Two left feet. Gift a 40-minute swing dance lesson. Gift one for yourself as well...you deserve a little fun, too!
  22. LOL! Spend 40 minutes together doing something you both hate (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.), but do it in a different way (blindfolded, in heels...) to make it funny or silly.
  23. The Big 4-0. Spend the day together going around town taking pictures of signs, billboards, etc. that have the number 40 in them. If you can't find enough, do the 4 and the 0 separately and make a collage!
  24. Flashback! Throw a retro party commemorating the 40-year-old's birth year-complete with music, attire and hairstyles from that era.
  25. Strike that! Get a group together, go bowling and see who can score under 40 without throwing gutter balls.
  26. That's a lot of hot air! Purchase a 40-balloon bouquet and tie it to their wrist.
  27. Yeah, that too. Create a "40 is nothing to Snicker at" sign and stick it in a bowl of bite-sized Snickers® bars!
  28. Popcorn, Anyone? Rent the 40-Year-Old Virgin on DVD, pop some popcorn and share a few birthday laughs!
  29. For Her: Add a "Can't believe you're flippin' 40!" tag to a pair of fun flip-flops.
  30. For Him: Create a "It's (Name's) 40th Birthday! Tie one on!" Have a bunch of old ties in a bowl and have everyone wear one for a group photo!
  31. Money Doesn't Grow on Trees. Well, maybe it does...A money tree is a fun way to gift $40 bucks!
  32. Still Hot at 40. Gift a basket filled with hot sauces and spices-perfect for a great cook or grill-master.
  33. A "Box-o-Balloons." Put notes or money inside 40 inflated balloons and then seal them in a box. A lightweight gift to give or send (ground delivery).
  34. A Farewell to Youth. Throw a party with an RIP tombstone cake, 40 black balloons, etc., and recommend black attire.
  35. How many ways can you say 40? Finish the sentence "Turning 40..." with items in a gift basket. Example: "...is nuts!" (peanuts); "...stinks." (air freshener); "...is just peachy!" (schnapps).
  36. May the force be with you. Have the group think of 40 lines from favorite movies and see how many they can drop into the conversation at their birthday party.
  37. Hmmm...that's puzzling. Buy a jigsaw puzzle with 40 pieces. Or create one by cutting a large greeting card into puzzle shapes, placing in an envelope and mailing with your best wishes!
  38. Call me moneybags. Give the birthday star $16.40...in 40 quarters, 40 dimes, 40 nickels and 40 pennies. Of course you can make that $56.40 by add 40 singles, too!
  39. Red alert! Red alert! Create a 40th Birthday Emergency Kit and include whatever you think is suitable for the birthday person (aspirin, noisemakers, etc.)
  40. It all adds up. Do all the things on this list. We're pretty sure it will guarantee a lifetime of friendship and fun!

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