Ideas for Someone Turning 50 Years Old

happy 50th image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from

When someone turns 50 years old, friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances generally want to help her celebrate the special day by doing something thoughtful. Have a couple of conversations with the birthday girl prior to the big day to feel out any preferences she might have for honoring the momentous occasion. If she seems fairly open-minded, plan away. Otherwise, be sure to include elements that she specifically requests.


Someone turning 50 years old has probably amassed a small army of friends, family members and other loved ones, so get them together for a birthday bash. Be considerate; not everyone enjoys a surprise party. Be creative by serving 50 cupcakes in lieu of a cake, or filling the foyer with 50 balloons of the celebrant’s favorite color. Get kids involved by asking them to bring a collection of 50 inexpensive items – paperclips, shiny pennies or buttons – they’ll have fun presenting these to the birthday boy. Guests can dress in costumes from different fashion eras of the past 50 years, or ask everyone to come dressed as an old geezer, complete with cane and white beard.

Gag Gifts

Fiftieth birthdays remain prime fodder for gag gifts, but use some sensitivity with these. Some celebrants will welcome and expect pranks, while others may have hurt feelings. Gag gifts include a compact emblazoned with the question, “Still Sexy At 50?” that emits an admiring whistle when opened, a T-shirt reading, “50 Isn’t Old…Depressing, But Not Old” or a mug printed with the statement, “I’m Not 50! I’m 18 with 32 Years of Experience.” Pranks draw good-natured laughter, ensuring a fun-filled day for someone turning 50 years old.

Thoughtful Presents

Commemorate someone’s 50th birthday with quality presents that will always help him or her remember your special relationship. Wine racks stocked with a few bottles of the celebrant’s favorite vintage, plush bathrobes, fine watches and jewelry make nice choices, but always include a thoughtful card explaining your best wishes to make the present truly special.

Take Charge

If you’re the one turning 50 years old, avoid a big letdown on the big day by brainstorming ways you’d like to commemorate the occasion. Milestone birthdays can be depressing if they don’t go as planned, and the surest way to avoid disappointment is to prepare. At 50, you’re sure to have a favorite massage therapist, hair stylist or barbershop in town, so book a pampering treatment earlier in the day to get it started right. Spend a few moments flipping through old photo albums or yearbooks, feeling good about your life’s accomplishments and experiences. Treat yourself to a private cup of coffee, musing over dreams and goals that you’re still working toward. Here’s to another 50 years.