The top 10 best 80th birthday gifts

Written by dawn colclasure
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The top 10 best 80th birthday gifts
Nostalgic gifts are one such item that can inspire happy memories. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Turning 80 is a big deal. While flowers and chocolates are gifts many will appreciate, the 80th birthday is an ideal time to reflect on the growing family or indulge in TV shows of yesteryear. Take the time to find out what the recipient could use around the house and what kind of things or activities are enjoyed before deciding on your birthday gift. Gifts that show off nostalgic times or the kinds of people who have come into the recipient's life in all these years are gifts that will inspire happy memories.

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Family Tree Items

Show off the ever-expanding family tree with a family tree gift. The family tree gift can be something such as a framed family tree or a picture frame in the form of a large tree with pictures of all family members. Or you can create a "family tree quilt" with names and pictures of everyone in the family.

Go Retro

Find out about the kinds of things your recipient enjoyed in years past, such as candies, games and TV shows. Some of these things may not be normally available in stores or on TV networks anymore. The candy may be available as a "nostalgia" combo package and the old TV show may be available on DVD. You can find these items through online retailers or nostalgia-theme gift stores.

Gifts for the Hobbyist

If the recipient is someone who enjoys a hobby, consider giving them a gift that can add to their enjoyment. If they like to garden, give them a new gardening set or a pair of gardening gloves. If they collect coins, find out if there's a set or a particular coin they need for their collection and see if you can locate it yourself. If they still like to do woodworking projects, maybe a new tool or wood craft set would be a good gift.

Sports and Recreational Gifts

Bowling, golf and bicycling are just some of the activities some in the 80-something crowd may still participate in. If your recipient enjoys these activities, maybe your gift to them could be a new pair of bowling gloves or an extra light for their bike. Another idea is large print or audio books about these activities.

The Essentials

Because some people at this age have a hard time getting around, they would find a gift of essential items to be a godsend. Perhaps a basket containing extra batteries, an extra magnifying glass, trash bags and light bulbs would be a practical gift. Or you can give them a gift to help them stay in touch with others, such as a box containing writing paper, all-occasion greeting cards, a large-print address book, stamps, pens and envelopes. Finally, consider an updated and well-stocked first aid kit as a gift.

Gifts that Pamper

A gift that provides goodies to soothe dry skin or relax tired muscles can be helpful. Put items such as hand lotion, an ice pack, bath crystals and body spray into a large gift basket. Consider throwing in a CD of the recipient's favourite music. You can also buy something like a foot bath product and add these items before wrapping it all up.

A Helping Hand

Declare the recipient's birthday as their official "lazy day." Encourage the birthday girl or boy to relax while you clean house, cook meals and run necessary errands. Offer to fix things around the house or spruce up a tired-looking room.

Religious Gifts

If the special person is religious, consider a religious gift. Perhaps a book of devotionals or religious jewellery would fit the bill. If there is a favourite religious figure, look for a DVD or audiobook of this person's teachings or see if they have a program on DVD.


Some people turning 80 may have trouble getting around. If this is the case for your recipient, look into giving them an electrical scooter or a cane to assist them. They may also find something such as walker or a bathtub seat to be helpful. Create and give the recipient a coupon book which offers the bearer of a coupon to one free ride you'll provide to them in order to run errands.

Your Time

Personal, uninterrupted time with the birthday girl or boy is the most precious gift you can give to them. Spend some time with her talking about what's going on and sharing memories. Take her out to lunch, see a movie with him or work together on a craft project. If you can't visit the recipient in person, call her up on the phone to wish her a happy birthday and spend some time to just talk.

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