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40th Birthday Gift Ideas That Will Surprise and Delight Her

Say “Happy Birthday” on her 40th birthday with these delightful gift ideas! Whether a woman is sad or glad to be turning forty, she’ll love these gifts, ideas, and ways to celebrate this milestone birthday.

40th Birthday Gift Ideas That Will Surprise and Delight Her
A Delightful 40th Birthday Gift for Women

The Anuschka Women’s Genuine Leather Shoulder Bag – Hand-Painted Original Artwork is first on my list of 40th birthday gifts for one reason: it will make your “birthday girl” feel cheerful, creative, beautiful and beloved. This gift is hand-painted and yet durable. The vibrant colors will enhance any outfit your fortieth birthday girl chooses. It’s big enough to fit lots of purse-type items, but not as unwieldy as a backpack. This gift is whimsical and happy – which is what any woman turning forty needs. This is only the first suggestion on this list of gifts for women turning forty (and it’s one of my favorite idea). As you scroll through the rest of these ideas, you’ll find a wide variety of beautiful jewelry, luxury birthday ideas, and even gourmet chocolate gifts…

These gifts will make her 40th birthday meaningful because they focus on experiences, not just elegant and practical presents. Most of these 40th birthday gifts are linked to Amazon to make your shopping easy, fast, and efficient. The sooner you buy her gift, the sooner you can start planning how you’ll surprise her on her fortieth birthday 🙂 And, remember how important it is to give her a gift that matches her personality and lifestyle. Turning forty is a big deal for most women; finding the right 40th birthday gift idea will make it memorable and delightful.


The first batch of gift ideas list includes elegant, thoughtful 40th birthday gifts for women. The second batch contains unique, creative ideas for fortieth birthday celebrations that involve experiences – which I explore more in Creative Things to Do for Your 40th Birthday. First, though, I want to tell you what my husband’s gift to me was on my 40th birthday…

The Gift My Husband Gave Me for My 40th Birthday

My husband didn’t give me anything for my 40th birthday – but he had a great reason! About three weeks before my birthday, we went on a 15 hour road trip to be with my sick friend. My husband took almost two weeks off work for this trip, and I told him it would be my 40th birthday gift because I was so grateful.

40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Women

I’d like to be able to say he gave me these Black Diamond and White Gold Round Hoop Earrings as my 40th birthday gift, but I’d be fibbing. If your birthday girl likes jewelry, she’ll love these hoops. The black diamonds and white gold complement each other, offering a stunning twist on classic hoop earrings.

My husband did exactly what I told him to: he didn’t give me a gift for my 40th birthday – not even a card. I had no right to be disappointed because he was only doing what I told him to. If your birthday girl told you not to get her a gift for her fortieth birthday, don’t listen to her.

The best gift my husband ever gave me

For Christmas last year (no, I didn’t have another 40th birthday!), my husband gave me the most delightful and useful gift I could ever ask for: an Apple MacBook Pro Laptop.

I love this gift because I would never have spent that much money on myself – even though I earn my living as a writer. I love this gift because I told my husband I wanted one, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money. And every day I use this laptop for my work…and every day I am so grateful he bought me this gift.

For your birthday girl’s 40th, give her a gift that surprises and delights her.

Unforgettable 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Women

The biggest lesson from my experience turning forty: don’t believe any woman who says she says she doesn’t want a gift for her 40th birthday.

A weekend getaway on her birthday

40th birthday travel gift idea

The Lily Bloom Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels for Women is an exciting birthday gift for women who like to travel – or for women who are planning their first vacation as a 40th birthday gift. If she travels light, a carryon size is best; it will save on checked bag fees.

If you think she’d love a weekend getaway, pack her new travel suitcase with a few small gifts (anything from retro candy from 40 years ago to pearl earrings). Surprise her with a birthday card that explains where you’re going for your weekend getaway – or just give her a hint. Make it fun, light-hearted, special.

Even just one night away is an amazing birthday gift for women turning forty – and you don’t have to go to a faraway place. The fact that you thought ahead, planned something different, and took steps to celebrate her 40th birthday by doing something different will make her happy. That’s one of the best gift ideas you could give her.

If your birthday girl is a missionary — or if she dreams of going on a mission trip — read 15 Thoughtful Gifts for Missionaries Traveling Overseas. Supporting her dreams is the best gift you could give any woman, whether she is 40 or 400.


No matter what gift you buy for her 40th birthday, remember that turning 40 is a huge milestone in a woman’s life. I loved my 40th because I felt like I was starting fresh. I felt strong, healthy, wise, and calm. The best 40th birthday gift is something unforgettable, that makes a woman feel good about herself.

A light-hearted birthday book for women

unforgettable birthday ideas for women
Happy 40th Birthday

You’re Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children by Dr Seuss is a creative and delightful book for women turning forty. Not everyone can afford to go away for the weekend or even a day to celebrate a birthday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel in other ways! Go back in time with Dr Seuss.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is my favorite Dr Seuss book. It really is a delightful way to remind any woman that her life is just beginning. If your 40 year old birthday girl loves to read and has a childlike streak, she will love these “blasts from the past.”

Jewelry Gifts for Her 40th Birthday

Here are several pretty, elegant 40th birthday gifts for women. Jewelry is one of my favorite gift ideas because it’s really hard to make a mistake in terms of colors, styles, size, etc. If you’re not planning on buying 40th birthday jewelry, you can rest easy. Right after this section are unique and creative birthday experiences for women – plus a fun Retro Candy Box for Women Turning Forty 🙂

The most important thing you can do for a woman on her fortieth birthday is show her how important she is to you, and how much you care about her. That’s one of the most thoughtful 40th birthday gift ideas of all.

A diamond sun pendant

40th Birthday Gifts for Women
40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Women

The 10k Yellow Gold Diamond Sun Pendant is one of the most beautiful and unforgettable gifts you can give a woman turning forty. People will compliment her on this birthday gift because it’s both classy and light-hearted – and every time someone notices it, she’ll be reminded of you! This will help her feel good about turning forty.

The key to helping a woman feel good about herself on her 40th birthday is knowing her personality, likes, and dislikes.

Jewelry Gifts for Her 40th Birthday

The Mulco Unisex “Bluemarine” Stainless Steel and Light Watch is both pretty and practical. This 40th birthday gift idea is “timeless” – especially for a women who would rather look at an elegant wristwatch than her phone when she needs to know the time. Turning forty might make her pay more attention to how fast time passes, and a beautiful watch is a lovely way to encourage her to live fully, deeply, madly!

A 40th birthday toast:

“To a woman that we all know
And who all of us adore,
Congratulations on your 40 years,
And here’s to 40 more!”

40th birthday gift idea for her

The 10k Yellow Gold Diamond Infinity Pendant Necklace is meaningful because of its reference to time. The “infinity” message is important, because your 40 year old woman is infinitely beautiful, wise, and lovely no matter how old she is. This infinity pendant features diamond-studded and yellow gold crisscross bands suspended by yellow gold rope chain. It has an easy spring-ring closure, and the diamond suppliers confirmed they complied with the Kimberley Process to ensure that the diamonds are conflict free. This is a gorgeous 40th birthday gift idea for her.

birthday gifts 40 year old woman

Sterling Silver Infinity Created Blue Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet – a dazzling, classic bracelet that looks like diamonds but isn’t nearly as expensive. Jewelry is one of the best 40th birthday gift ideas for women – even for women who don’t normally wear jewelry. Jewelry is elegant, but not necessarily extravagant.

If your birthday girl likes to travel, scroll down to the African safari vacations and Caribbean cruise ideas. They’re extravagant 40th birthday gift ideas for her.

thoughtful gifts for women 40th birthday

The 10k White Gold and Diamond Double Heart Pendant Necklace is an unforgettable 40th birthday gift to add to the Dr Seuss book or in the leather travel bag. It’s a symbol of love and unity. I’m not a woman who welcomes or even wears jewelry gifts, but I would wear this pendant if my husband gave it to me.

Jewelry is a “safe” gift for 40th birthday gift idea for her because most women really like to glam it up once in awhile. The tricky part is knowing what kind of jewelry she likes. For instance, I don’t like big costume jewelry because I’m a small woman. I also don’t wear earrings, rings, or bracelets.

Take a good look at your birthday girl: if she’s not a jewelry person, then don’t buy her necklaces, earrings, rings, or bracelets.

Creative 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her

It’s important to know how she feels about turning 40. Does she see this birthday as a new beginning, or a tragic ending? If she thinks she’s over the hill, consider getting her something exciting and challenging, such as sky diving or ski lessons. If she couldn’t care less about turning 40, give her one of the most thoughtful 40th birthday gift ideas: something fun and creative.

An experience is an exciting way to spend any birthday. Here’s what @BamaGretch tweeted:  “I’m asking for my husband to rent me a Ferrari for the day on my 40th birthday. 🙂 ” An extravagant gesture is one of the best 40th birthday gift ideas for her.

Silk pajamas – a luxurious 40th birthday gift for women

40th birthday gift idea for women

Believe it or not, the Women’s Classic Silk Pajamas Luxury Gift is  one of the most unforgettable and thoughtful 40th birthday gift ideas for women. These pajamas are a soft, gentle way to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. They’re comfortable and sleek against her skin, and a luxury she wouldn’t buy for herself.

Time is one of the best gifts you can give any woman turning forty. Time to herself, time to pursue her goals and dreams, time to center herself. Give her the pajamas, and a whole weekend to do whatever she wants in them.

A YouTube video of loved ones saying “Happy 40th Birthday!”

When I searched the internet for 40th birthday gift ideas for women turning forty, I found several YouTube videos of friends and family members saying “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl. If you’re technologically inclined, this is a fun and thoughtful 40th birthday gift – especially if you get creative about how you send birthday wishes. For instance, you could tease her with all the possible fortieth birthday gifts she might be getting.

An unforgettable handpainted leather satchel

unforgettable gifts for 40th birthday
An Unforgettable Birthday Gift for Women

I’m going back to the purse aisle, and picking up the unforgettable Anuschka Women’s Hand Painted Genuine Leather Triple Compartment Satchel. Does your birthday girl love purses? (yes, all women do). Does she love pretty, cheerful things to look at? (yes, we all do). Is she not thrilled about turning forty? (yes, all women want to forget their 40th birthdays, and your gift ideas will help her celebrate with delight!).

Anuschka bags are a feast for the eyes. The vibrant colors are a very powerful element in these designs. The wide range of abstracts, imaginary and natural scenes, depicted in muted colors of all shades and hues, transforms each handbag into an object of timeless art. What other gift could you give on her 40th birthday?

A birthday gift from her bucket list

This creative idea for 40th birthday gift ideas is from Alicia King, writer and creator of The Lili Effect. When I asked for gift ideas for women on Twitter, she said:

“Plunder the birthday woman’s bucket list for a novel experience you can do together.” I love it! If your birthday girl likes boating, gift her with a water experience! Rent a kayak for a couple hours, or even a houseboat for a weekend.

A custom-made 40th birthday cake

Hire a cake decorator to bake a beautiful custom cake for her birthday. The one in the picture is an actual edible birthday cake, baked for a woman who loves shoes. The people who bake and decorate cakes are absolutely amazing in their creativity and artistry, and a cake like this will be something a woman never forgets when she celebrates her 40th birthday. For more ideas, search the internet for “40th birthday gift ideas for her”.

Gifts for Women Who Love Technology

Is your birthday girl part of a book club? Many of the women in my book club have a kindle or digital reader, and they love them. Electronic or digital gifts are an extravagant way way to celebrate a big birthday.

Apple iPad tablet

40 unforgettable birthday gift ideas
40th Birthday Gift for Women

If she hasn’t tried an Apple iPad tablet – or if you want to splurge and buy her a new one – spoil her with this “tech-y” 40th birthday gift. When I went to a writing conference a couple weeks ago, a woman brought her new iPad. We loved it, and she loved the convenience and flexibility that it offers. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tablet a few years ago, but I like my new iPad better.

Amazon’s newest Kindle Fire Tablet With Alexa – loaded with her favorite books – will jolt her out of the doldrums that come with turning 40. If she loves to read, surprise her with a digital reader she wouldn’t buy for herself.

Random Gifts for Women Turning Forty

The next few ideas on this list of 40th birthday gift ideas vary from cruises to retro candy…

Made in 1976 t-shirt – a popular 4oth birthday gift for women

The 40th Birthday Gift Made in 1979 Original Distressed Ladies T-Shirt is another popular and thoughtful 40th birthday gift idea for women. I like it because it doesn’t advertise her age (most people won’t bother doing the math), yet it’s funny because it says “all original parts.” 🙂

Hot flash survival kit for her 40th birthday (not my best gift idea)

This is the only 40th birthday gift idea for women that I’m not excited about. It’s from Prank Ideas Central:

“For a woman turning 40, hot flashes are a real concern and can strike anytime! So show her you care with a hot flash survival kit as her 40th birthday gag gift. Get a nice box and add useful things like a hand held fan and ice packs to cool down, a small towel or pocket handkerchief to wipe her brow with, a spare shirt and emergency medication (chocolates).” ~ 40th Birthday Gag Gifts for Women. This is one of my least favorite 40th birthday gift ideas for women. I know menopause is a new beginning, but who needs to be reminded of “the change”?

Retro candy from 40 years ago

40th birthday retro candy gift idea

A box of 40th Birthday Gift Basket Box of Retro Candy is a gift many readers give for fortieth birthdays, as a creative addition to the “real” thoughtful gift idea for her fortieth birthday.

You know what’s really interesting about this list of gift ideas for women on their fortieth birthdays? The three most popular ideas are:

  • Box of retro candy for 40th birthdays
  • Women’s silk pajamas
  • The diamond sun pendant

Those three most popular birthday gifts are so different! Candy, sleep, and elegance. To find the perfect gift for a woman on her 40th birthday, think about what she most wants in life. Sweets? Sleep? Sunshine? That’s the most thoughtful idea – and only you can give it.

If your birthday girl is recovering from a medical procedure, read 17 Gifts to Help With Healing and Recovery After Surgery.

40 small thoughtful gifts for her 40th birthday

Here’s a fun idea from the Gift Ideas Muse: “Giving 40 small gifts is a cool idea! You can do something fun like 40 coupons or a collage of 40 photos… or something really meaningful, like 40 personal letters from their closest friends and family expressing love and appreciation. Get creative and throw in some surprises, like perfume for a woman or sporting event tickets for a guy. If you’re on a budget, bake them 40 cupcakes or cookies!” ~  40th Birthday Gift Ideas from the Gift Ideas Muse. This is one of the best 40th birthday gift ideas for women who like to open lots of presents.

Gourmet Chocolate Gifts for her 40th Birthday

Women love chocolate, but we don’t often splurge on gourmet melt-in-your-mouth chocolate delicacies. Why? Because they’re expensive. That’s what makes gourmet chocolate a good gift for women on their fortieth birthdays!

40th birthday gifts for women

The Fairytale Brownies Magic Morsel 48 Gift Box is handcrafted with rich, dark Callebaut Belgian chocolate, pure creamery butter and farm fresh eggs.

This 40th birthday gift for women includes 48 individually wrapped pieces are hand packed in this gourmet gift, and it’s guaranteed fresh upon arrival. It includes a sampling of 1.5″ x 1.5″ bite-size Magic Morsel brownies in all six assorted flavors; a personalized gift message card is included with every order.

chocolate 40th birthday gifts for women

Leonidas Belgian Chocolates: 1 lb General Assortment includes a well balanced and representative selection of Leonidas’ fresh butter creams, sinfully smooth truffles and delectable pralines.

An assortment of gourmet chocolates is an indulgence for a woman on her fortieth birthday – and that’s exactly what you wnt to do! Indulge her with someone guaranteed to tantalize even the most discerning palates.

Finding right 40th birthday gift idea for a woman should never be left until the last minute.

A cruise vacation (perhaps a better gift idea for women twice as old as 40)

When searching the internet for 40th birthday gift ideas for women, I found this entry on a cruise forum: “I’m a cruise addict…I have only been on 6 cruises so far. When my marriage ended last year, I gave up hope of EVER going on another cruise. Well….just today….approaching the top of the Wild Thing rollercoaster at Valleyfair in Minneapolis…. my boyfriend told me he is taking me on a cruise for my 40th birthday next month. I am SOOOOO excited! Who knew turning 40 could be so wonderful! I pretty much missed the whole rollercoaster ride after he said that because my mind was fixated on the cruise! We are sailing on Carnival Imagination on September 25. I have been on four Carnival cruises before, and I just love them. He has only been on one cruise and that was 20 years ago, but he knows how much I LOVE cruising!”

Can’t you just feel her excitement? She doesn’t feel “over the hill” – she’s thrilled, excited, and happy about turning 40. Can you afford to give your birthday girl a cruise for her 40th birthday?

The Last 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Women

This is your last chance to find the right birthday gift for your woman’s 40th birthday…

40th gift idea for woman

 The Sterling Silver Oval-Cut Amethyst with Genuine White Diamonds Bracelet is an elegant gift for a woman who wants to look and feel beautiful (and don’t we all?).

Yoga retreat or African safari on her 40th birthday

If I were turning 40 again, I’d love a yoga retreat. Other women might like to experience zip lining, sky diving, or hot air ballooning as their 40th birthday gift. These are once-in-a-lifetime adventures that can change her perspective on life.

When my best friend turned 40, her birthday gift to herself was a five week trip to Africa. Now that is a luxurious birthday present! She went to Jamaica for her 50th birthday. A less extravagant 40th birthday gift is a power point presentation of flattering or funny photos of her, paired with beautiful poetry or the lyrics of a song you both love.

A whimsical, artistic wallet and handbag gift set for her

leather handbag birthday gift ideas 40th

The Anuschka Leather Front Pocket Handbag and Wallet is a gift set that includes  a removable leather organizer wallet, an optical case for her reading glasses (she is forty, after all), and a cosmetic pouch. It also has a slip-in cell phone pocket and 2 zippered pockets in the front.

I keep coming back to these handbags – in fact, I rewrote this whole list of 40th birthday gift ideas so I could include these three bags – because they are unforgettable. Each piece is sketched, then painted in layers to ensure long lasting quality. The vibrancy of colors, beautiful design and top-quality craftsmanship will last for many years. The Anuschka purses are hand painted on genuine leather and finished with stylish top stitching. 

Tickets to her favorite show

I’m blessed with the luxury of working from home; the only two TV shows I’ll turn on for background company while I write is Judge Marilyn Milian and Dr Oz. I like the judge show better, but get a kick out of the women in the audience of the Dr Oz show! They’re so excited and happy – like the women on the Ellen show, actually. A lot of those women are over forty years old.

The best 40th birthday gift ideas are those that take women out of their comfort zone – and give her plane fare to get there.

Make her 40th birthday an unforgettable, positive experience

Is your birthday girl unhappy or even depressed about turning forty? Give her time and space to be sad.

Turning 40 is difficult for many women, because it does seem old in comparison to those younger milestone birthdays of 30 and 20 years old. Don’t push or try to convince her that 40 isn’t old, or that she should be positive about her fortieth birthday. Instead, give her a gift that makes her feel good about herself. Try to match the right gift with her personality.

If your birthday girl is dealing with cancer, read 17 Gift Ideas to Help Her Heal After a Mastectomy. I know this isn’t the most pleasant “40th birthday gift idea”, but it is a reality for some women. Sometimes it’s better to address reality, instead of pretending things were different.

I hope you found something helpful on this list of 40th birthday gifts for women. If you have any ideas, please comment below! May you find an unforgettable gift for ther, and may her fortieth birthday be awesome.


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24 thoughts on “40th Birthday Gift Ideas That Will Surprise and Delight Her”

  1. Pingback: 7 Ways to Be Happy on Your Birthday After a Breakup ⋆ Love Blossoms

  2. Pingback: 17 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday ⋆ Blossom Tips

  3. I am glad to see jewelry on this list of 40th birthday gift ideas for women. I wondered if I could add to this? I have been created handmade silver jewelry for a number of years and have had countless messages from husbands and partners saying how delighted their partners were with the gift.

    Jewelry really can be a way to your women’s heart and this is what has inspired me to create my bespoke jewelry range. I welcome you to take a look at Lucyqdesigns for more gifts for women who are turning forty.

  4. When you’re shopping for a 40th birthday gift, I agree that the most important is to know well what she likes and what makes her happy. As real friend we should recognized which gift she likes more. The biggest problem is with our little creativity. We usually don’t have original ideas. I’m going to give my friend a star from Kingdom of Universe which in my opinion is unique. Take your time before you make a decision! 🙂

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