birthday, Family, gifts

Ideas for big birthdays

My parents are both facing big birthdays this year and himself’s will follow suit in the next couple of years too.

Yep, the big 7 0.

We wanted to make sure they got some treats for their important birthdays that show how much we appreciate them. Here are some of the ideas we looked into.

Cheese subscription

I had a gin subscription for my birthday a couple of years ago and so I knew how much fun it can be to open a mysterious package each month.

My dad, well everyone in our family, loves cheese. He can’t resist a cheese shop and is pretty adventurous about what he’ll try.

There are actually a few companies offering cheese subscriptions. We went with Pong and chose the standard box with no restrictions on the type of cheese. You can choose not to have blue or goats, or to just have vegetarian cheeses.

My dad was really surprised with this treat and he always sends me a picture of what he’s received. If we’re really lucky, one of our visits coincides with a delivery and then dad has to watch out for the boys hoovering it all up!

Upholstery workshop

My mum is really crafty, much more so that me. She makes beautiful patchworks and embroideries, she’s musical and used to paint water colours. So I thought she might enjoy an upholstery workshop.

Someone near me, who I vaguely know, runs day-long courses creating a deep button footstool.

I think they’re gorgeous and I definitely want to make one myself when the house is in a bit of a better state. However, I showed my dad and he thought mum would have trouble picking a date because she’s pretty indecisive when she’s stressed and and she’s often quite anxious lately because her mum is needing more and more care. Anyway, he wasn’t sure either that the style of the footstools would suit their home. So we put the idea on one side, I still think it was a good one though.

Family get away

When mum and dad turned sixty we had a wonderful family holiday with my brother and his wife, me, himself and a baby small boy. We talked about doing the same this year but didn’t manage to find a week where we were all free of other commitments.

That said, it’s a proper celebration to all get together somewhere away from home, with luxury and treats. We’d have loved finding a holiday house somewhere with lots of bedrooms and space, maybe a hot tub, long walks and pub lunches, bottles of wine and cheese in the evenings, board games and quiet reading.


My brother and I organised a family photoshoot when our parents turned fifty. We’ve all still got prints on display – all of us looking very young compared to now.

This didn’t quite come together for the same reason as a getaway. Between our family commitments, my brother and his wife’s morris dancing, my mum’s folk music and dad’s own hobbies, well there’s just no way we could find an opportunity where we could all be at my parents’ place at the same time.

It’s a fabulous gift though, I would have chosen a local photographer near my parents’ home to come out to do an outdoor shoot.

Flower subscription

I’ve seen a few people raving about how much they appreciate the little sense of luxury in having fresh flowers in the house regularly.

I thought my mum would love proper flower arrangements. I know she gets bunches of daffodils at the local market or other things in seasons, or blooms from her garden. But really gorgeous bouquets are for mother’s day and that’s about it.

Once again scheduling was tricky. My mum’s birthday is just a few days before they go on holiday and a month after that they’ll be away too. So I couldn’t organise a subscription to start right on her birthday. Instead, I’ve done a one-off order a week before her birthday and the subscription will start once they’re home again.

I’ve done the initial order with Bunches and chose these gorgeous sunflowers.

Any other ideas?

What big gifts have you arranged for your loved ones?

Love from Smell xxx

9 thoughts on “Ideas for big birthdays”

  1. I like the sound of a photoshoot because I feel like we often forget to take photos with our families! But yeah organising it would be a nightmare 😂😂


  2. Ooo the big 7.0! My parents turn 74 this year. I feel like their 70th went by like a deflating balloon. I bought them both nice gifts, but it would have been better to add in more experience to remember it by (I just wasn’t well enough due to surgeries). I love your birthday suggestions. I wouldn’t have thought of a workshop but that’d be a nice idea, perhaps all the more ‘after’ Covid (even though it’s still here) for those who’ve been shielding and out of the world for quite a while.

    For my mum’s 60th, I got her a massage (she’d never had one before), then went for a nice meal and got her drunk (it doesn’t take much & she very rarely drinks). The memories from that day are priceless and it makes for a great story. “You remember the time we had to practically carry you back to the car because you were so off your face?” 😂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are excellent ideas. My mum turns 90 next year and literally wants nothing. She gets annoyed with us when we spend money on her…even to take her out for dinner or order takeaway food. Flowers and plants are always a good idea though. One of the things she loved the most was the potted tomato plant I gave her last year for Mother’s Day. She gave me an update on it every time I talked to her. I did the same this year, and the darn things died within a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are all really good ideas. The cheese box in particular I would never have thought of myself – and my Dad would love. He is the trickiest person to buy for so I’m glad I’ve read this!

    Liked by 2 people

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