It’s inching towards Father’s Day, the time of year that I rack my brain for gifts for dad (my husband). He and his dad are both difficult. Both of them insist that a) they have everything they need; b) all they need is our love; or c) they could always use some socks.
I miss getting gifts for my own dad. Unlike my hubby, he wasn’t that magnanimous. He was happy to get gifts.
Here are a few hits I remember. Although the details might be different, they’re probably indicative of what other men would enjoy. Keep these categories in mind as you read articles like Nina Bahadur’s 11 Father’s Day Gifts That Are More Original Than A Tie (Huffington Post).
Hobby Gifts for Dad
Daddy loved anything to do with golf. He took avid to a level that was just short of pro. The biggest difference was that the only money he earned was the informal wagering that took place on the greens. As a result, new golf shoes, gloves, balls, clubs, etc., all made great gifts for Dad.
What he liked even better were gifts that showed my mom’s grudging acceptance of his obsession. When the golf-widow had a caricature of him made or a photo of his swing framed, it made him particularly happy.
Sentimental Gifts for Dad
Daddy had a soft spot for sentimentality garnished with smart-ass. Anything that was sweet yet funny made great gifts for Dad.
He was a big man and by the time we were mouthy teenagers, my sister’s best friend and I called him “Big ‘un.” One of his all-time favorite possessions was a gold (plated, I’m sure) lighter engraved with “Big ‘un.”
Gifts for Dad that Made him Laugh
Looking back, I realize that it’s not just that Daddy loved running jokes. He loved the fact that we would go to great lengths to provide him with a laugh. Greeting card selection was time consuming. Cards couldn’t just be humorous. They had to be downright funny.
Growing up, if I ever asked him if I could borrow his pen, he’d quip, “You know why I have a pen?” I’d groan and stomp away as he finished, “The reason I have a pen is because I don’t lend it out to the likes of you!” One year, an extra pen to lend out to daughters was a big hit.
Gifts to Show off to his Buddies
Daddy and his work and golf buddies were always involved in One-upmanship Friendlies. Any gift that was unusual was a hit. He enjoyed obscure trinkets—even unusual foods.
Gifts for Dad that help him Remember Good times
Some of our favorite times together were in Germany. I was studying abroad and he came over for a couple of business trips with vacation tagged on the end. We went to what was then West Berlin, where he met my high school pen pal. We also spent a day in East Berlin. A few years later, he loved getting a piece of the Berlin wall from me. He appreciated that I didn’t buy it, but chipped it off myself.
What gifts for dad were a big hit in your household? Any tips for the rest of us?