Is there anything more difficult that coming up with birthday gift ideas for an 80th? They’ve either got everything, or don’t want anything. Rather than getting them more stuff to collect dust in the cupboard, it’s often better to lean into experiences.
Let’s have a look at some creative gift ideas to surprise that special octogenarian in your life!
Life Story Video
80 years is a lot of history! At this age we’ve often got invaluable family stories and history to share. Strangely though most people never get around to recording it. What a shame to lose such precious memories.
A video biography or life story video is a great way to provide a really interesting experience for a loved one that allows them to leave a lasting legacy for the generations to come. By sitting down with a trained interviewer that can have their stories filmed in archival quality; capturing their personality and humour in the mix!
Check out Long Yarn Films in Sydney from $995
Photograph The Family
An 80th birthday present can also be about capturing the present rather than reminiscing about the past. If you’re having a big party to celebrate the milestone think about hiring a photographer to capture all of the family together in one place. Having some quality images will be rewarding for years and might even give you some other present options down the track.
Even if you’re not having a big party, just getting the core family together for a photo shoot can be a fun experience in itself and create a beautiful image that the whole family will be able to share.
Check out Hilary Cam Photography
Get Out Of Town
It take a bit more organising that some of the other 80th birthday gift ideas listed here, but getting the family together and taking a small weekend holiday is a great way to celebrate.
And by pooling a few family member’s resources together it can still be really affordable if you all stay in a cottage. If you want to make things even cheaper aim to stay at a location just an hour or two away from your home so you can bring up some food.
A great experience for any parents that like dinner and a show. Either get them tickets to a play/musical, or join them for the experience!
There are a number of services that provide reduced cost tickets around Sydney which can put the experience within reach of just about anyone.
Check out LastTix for shows as low as $30 per person
If Mum and Dad aren’t into Cats, consider getting tickets to a concert of a band or orchestra performance that they like.
While the opera is generally a pricey affair, tickets to classical performances can often be picked up a little cheaper by exploring youth orchestras or local conservatoriums. The Conservatorium of Music in Sydney even offers a gold coin donation Lunchtime Series.
Check out the Sydney Opera House Subscriber List for various offers
Convert Photographs to Digital
You know what no one likes to do? Scan hundreds of old family photos. Give you loved one a real gift for their 80th birthday by having all of their old photos, slides and negatives digitally scanned.
Having this done professionally also means that you’ll get archival quality results so that they’ll be future generations will be able to enjoy them.
The resulting digital images can be turned into a slideshow for the big birthday as well, or even shared on YouTube so that relatives all over the globe can share in the memories.
Check out Australia In Focus Photo Restoration to bring back those really damaged images from $60
Colourised Old Photo
Another idea that incorporates photography with a bit of creativity, is to have an old photo drum scanned, increased in size and professionally colourised.
Having this done can really breathe new life into an old memory.
Check out Pixel Perfect for drum scanning from $20
For those looking for a bit of creative work, a family cookbook is a unique way of celebrating an 80th birthday.
The task involves collating all of the extended family’s cherished recipes and compiling them into a single book. This can connect mutliple generations and have huge sentimental value.
You can either print it yourself or pay for one of the many photobook printing companies to create a professional bound book with colourful images.
Check out Momento Photobooks from $50
We’re all a little interested in knowing where we come from. For a small price you can have a DNA Test sent to your parents for their 80th birthday present.
Remember however, that there are some privacy issues around the results of the DNA test, so be sure to research and make the call for yourself.
If you’re after a bit of pop-science though, DNA tests can be a great conversation started.
Check out Ancestry’s DNA test from $129
80th Birthday Gift Ideas Summary
Coming up with a great 80th birthday gift idea doesn’t have to break the bank or hurt your head. By leaning into experiences and emotional connections, you can provide your special someone with a gift that will be remembered and is guaranteed not to wind up lost under a pile of old books.
From life story videos to DNA test the only thing stopping you is your imagination!
Let us know your best 80th birthday idea in the comments below.