Happy 40th birthday Sis! I better not see this on Ebay!
April 4, 2011 7:29 AM   Subscribe

My sister is turning 40 soon. Can you help me find a good gift to give her?

- loves coffee
- is a bit of a novice gardener but has taken up starting a little one in the backyard. she was super excited and proud of the cucumbers we ate from her garden last summer.
- is somewhat your typical minivan soccer mom with two kids
- is not looking forward to being 40
- has and loves her kindle, always brings it to the kids' practices
- ditto with her iphone
- uses Ebay regularly
- lives in the DC area
- is always busy and on the go

I'm looking for something in the <$75 price range. I'd like to get her something that won't end up on ebay (can't lie, i've done this before), that she'll love and actually use (at least a few times!). Any suggestions?
posted by raztaj to Shopping (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tomato plants? Maybe a bit early in the season, but you might be able to find some around. Goes well with cucumber.
posted by hepta at 7:39 AM on April 4, 2011

Perhaps an Aeropress and some coffee?

Or a grinder - although you might want to spend more than $75 on a grinder.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:42 AM on April 4, 2011

A pickling kit.
posted by Morrigan at 7:56 AM on April 4, 2011

Maybe a Keurig coffee maker? They're damn convenient.
posted by inturnaround at 8:02 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gift box from Grounds for Change or Gevalia, or a coffee of the month. Or Wild & Wolf garden tools, which were well-received by my mom one year for Mother's Day.
posted by questionsandanchors at 8:07 AM on April 4, 2011

I got my brother a milker frother that he loves recently. It was cheap and is a nice addition to a coffee drinker's supply of products that most people don't already have. I packaged it with some nice freshly ground coffee. Not $75 worth of a present, but a nice start to a little basket?


posted by meta x zen at 8:10 AM on April 4, 2011

I'd go with the gardening idea, on the grounds that it's practical and maybe the kids can get involved a little (soccer mom heaven). Not very glamorous, but definitely useful: good serious tools (shovel, pitch fork, hoe, etc), plastic compost bin, work gloves, whatever she doesn't have already.

If she already has traditional canvas or leather work gloves, get her a pair of Atlas Fit gloves. They are awesome! Comfortable (no seams to chafe your hands), tough, grippy - they are great for all kinds of jobs, not just gardening. Lots of hardware stores carry them.

Plus, nobody would sell used gardening equipment on eBay. You didn't say anything about Craigslist ...
posted by Quietgal at 8:16 AM on April 4, 2011

A good garden hose with proper nozzle attachments and a winder to roll it away?
posted by honey-barbara at 8:36 AM on April 4, 2011

a gift certificate for qualia coffee (a local dc roaster) and (don't know how old the kids are) babysitting money (or babysitting if you are local) so she can go to events at the u.s. botanic garden or volunteer there? (also, the kids may love it there).
posted by anya32 at 8:51 AM on April 4, 2011

Hrm. I'm close enough to this demographic that I'll take a stab at it...Lee Valley gift certificate. Lots of poncy-but-practical gardening whatnot, and when you are just starting out with cucumbers, you don't have nearly as many hand-forged spades and copper watering pots and so on as you might like.
posted by kmennie at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2011

Some things I've done for sister's and mom's "milestone" birthdays that they loved:

1. a basket with one individually wrapped present for each year. So you'd have 40 little packages. Use some of the ideas above - can mix "nicer" items like good gardening gloves with inexpensive items like seed packets, funny sticky notes, ,coffee, beloved toys from childhood (e.g. yo-yo, slinky, etch-a-sketch key chain...)

2. A box with slips of paper, "40 things I love about you." (or "admire," instead of love, if you wish.) Hand-write one item per slip. Mix in memories from your childhood and things you love about her now. Fold in fun origami shapes or tie with bows or use pretty envelopes - use your imagination.

3. Same as #2, but use a pretty little journal-style book where you've written one item per page.
posted by evilmomlady at 9:15 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Civet cat coffee? It's the perfect gift for a coffee lover because it's so expensive that you'd never buy it for yourself but it tastes lovely and great to receive as a gift.
posted by alby at 12:04 PM on April 4, 2011

It's not a gift per se, but..... how's her sense of humor? How about 40 birthday cards, preferably mailed one a day, every day, in the 40 days leading up to her birthday? (If possible, make sure as many of those cards as possible blare some version of "you're 40!", instead of merely 'happy birthday!')
posted by easily confused at 3:16 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can find heritage-variety plants from a specialty nursery / farmer's market:
tiny tim tomatoes (so tasty!)
common mint
chocolate mint

Very good quality gardening gloves in her favourite colour?

Very good quality trowel / fork in her favourite colour?
posted by Year of meteors at 5:39 PM on April 4, 2011

If you like easily confused's suggestion . . . have those 40 cards signed by friends and strangers. Then have them mailed from different locations.

if you are a particularly evil person . . . send the exact same card 40 times signed by 40 different people and mailed from 40 different locations on 40 different days. See how long it takes before she realizes it isn't a coincidence.

You could also start now and video tape 40 different people wishing your sister 'happy birthday' & post it to Youtube. Then send her the link on her birthday.

Failing that & if you want something more useful - how about a garden scooter? Growing vegetables/fruits can be very pain in the knees
posted by jaimystery at 7:44 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

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