It's not easy to buy birthday presents for old guys. The first thing to remember is that the hair may be gray but the guy inside is the same. Birthday presents should speak to that guy that still lives in there and touch that part of him that will always be his center.
Skip Down Memory Lane
Celebrate getting older by taking a trip down memory lane. Collect postcards, advertisements, labels, and photos to use as background decorations in an album that includes pictures that tell his story from birth to present. Mark important and historical events, celebrations, births and deaths that occurred during his lifetime. If possible, collect quotes and stories from old friends to write in. If the album becomes too bulky or you'd like to make a copy for the family, scan the completed pages and have a book printed and bound by a local copy center or an online printing service.
Welcome to This Century - Sort Of
Older people can be intimidated by high tech gadgets, but you can take some of the confusion out by preloading an iPod Shuffle with music he would enjoy. Make fun birthday presents for old guys by finding toe-tapping music that covers the decades between the childhood and young adult years.
A DVD player and/or a collection of old comedies from the 60s and 70s would be both nostalgic and fun. Here are some popular movies guaranteed to make older guys laugh:
- The Wackiest Ship in the Army
- Three Stooges (any title)
- Donovan's Reef
- It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
- McHale's Navy
- The Odd Couple
- Support Your Local Sheriff
- American Graffiti
- The Sting
- Blazing Saddles
- The Longest Yard
- Smokey and the Bandit
- National Lampoon's Animal House
Other high tech presents for older men might include digital photo frames loaded with family photos, a high-tech alarm clock (personally, I like the Wake n' Bacon Alarm Clock), or a big-button TV remote.
Old Guys are Still Guys
Event tickets are actually two-part birthday presents for old guys. They get to do something fun and spend time with you at the same time. Spending a fun day with a loved one becomes increasing valuable--and increasingly rare--as people age. If your aging guy is a sports fan, a day at the ballpark, football field or racetrack might be just the ticket.
A surprising number of older musicians are still rocking the concert scene. If you're buying a present for a guy between 50 and 70, consider tickets to see old rockers like Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones or Jimmy Buffett. For guys over 65, consider a trip to the Grand Old Opry or Branson, Missouri for some down-home country.
Other popular fun activities for older people include casinos, cruise ships and county fairs. The type of activity your aging friend or relative will enjoy depends on his personality and interests. An ex-Navy man might enjoy touring a historic battleship or taking a deep sea fishing trip. A retired pilot might enjoy a nostalgic flight in a small plane. In some areas, you can charter a warbird for a short flight. Vintage Flights in Canton Georgia and Warbird Adventures in Kissimmee, Florida offer heady authentic experiences in vintage WWII aircraft.
Just for Laughs
To wrap up fun birthday presents for old guys, think outrageous fads. For guys in their 50s, look to the 70s. Find a pet rock, a disco light, a pair of platform shoes, a polyester leisure suit or an afro wig with sideburns. For guys in their 60's, a spiffy Nehru jacket, giant peace sign jewelry, a black light or a "Dogs Playing Poker" poster might earn chuckles.
Whatever gift you choose should have meaning and sentiment for the recipient if what you really want to do is show you care. Sometimes the best present is just knowing someone cared enough to remember.