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The Father’s Day Gift-Buying Dilemma

Father’s day is almost upon us and I still don’t know what I’m giving my dad. I probably should have started brainstorming a lot more than 2 weeks in advance. I could go out and buy something mindlessly, but I don’t want to. I could buy something semi-mindfully, but I’m not really sure. I’d like to find something that my dad will really enjoy.

Dad, I know you’re reading this…so if there’s anything you’d like to weigh in about, please do! Also, you’ll get your present when we come up next weekend. I hope. If I find something by then.

Here are some of the conventional choices for Father’s day and why I don’t want to buy them:

Tie/Shirt: I know what colors look good on my Dad and I know that if I get him a shirt, he’ll get good use out of it. Also not very special or imaginative. It falls into the practical backup category.

Sports stuff: Dad doesn’t play sports.

Gift certificates: If I could find something really special. We have a family tradition of giving Mom certificates to a local British teahouse. They’re for a full tea for two people and she loves taking her friends. So she gets a few of those every year. But I don’t know of a similar place for Dad.

Gadgets: Ok, we’re on to something here. Dad likes electronic toys gadgets. But when I think about what’s available in my general price range, there’s not much that he’d really enjoy or doesn’t already have. Maybe someday when I’m rich and famous.

Books: Even more promise. I grew up in a house of bibliophiles. There are thousands of books on our bookshelves, tables (top and bottom layer), and Dad’s office is lined with thousands of books itself. Mom would quickly point out that many are her academic books from when she was a prof.

So we know that books are a good category for my dad. Now comes the hard part–what would he enjoy and what doesn’t he already own? The latter is about as hard as the former. I know types of books he likes…mystery, religion, and programming. But I don’t know what he’s already read and decided was or wasn’t worth owning.

Anyone know a good religious mystery about a programmer? That’d be right up his ally.

Sometimes a book will strike me and I think “Yes, that’s perfect for Dad.” Unfortunately, few “perfect” books come my way. So I’m left wandering around, wondering what he’d take to. A new Dilbert book? A CSS resource? Would he even want to learn CSS? Did he learn it since I moved out?

Movies fall into the same category as books. I don’t really know what he owns and I know he’s had Netflix at some points, so I’m sure he could see almost anything he wanted to.

Dad, I hope you’re still feeling loved and appreciated by the end of this post. I would like to give you something excellent for Father’s day because I’m glad you’re my father. I’m glad every year. I just find set-date gifting more difficult than seeing something spur-of-the moment.


{ 2 trackbacks }

Father’s Day Tribute Roundup
June 15, 2008 at 11:01 am
Pre-Father’s Day Roundup! | Bible Money Matters
June 30, 2008 at 1:33 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

BeThisWay June 14, 2008 at 11:11 am

I have the same dilemma all the time. My Dad has money so he buys whatever he wants, leaving scant little that he truly wants or needs.

For his 60th birthday I sent out a letter to about 75 of his friends and family and asked them to send me a letter, poem, photo – anything that struck their fancy about Dad or a memory or their relationship. I compiled it all into a scrapbook that really knocked his socks off. It was a ton of work, but worth it.

When I’m at that totally stuck place I often give a bookstore gift card. My Dad is as much of a bibliophile as yours. They never wind up in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. You can pair it with a special father/daughter dinner ending with a stop at the bookstore (even hold the gift card as a surprise and hand it to him when you walk through the door), or something else like that.

This year is easy for me because Dad is buying the condo. I tried to get him to go shopping with me for a new bed ensemble for him but he wouldn’t. So the poor guy is getting a Bed Bath & Beyond certificate this year. LOL

Pete June 14, 2008 at 11:42 am

My family loves to read as well, so I usually end up getting my dad a gift card to amazon or Barnes and Noble. He usually seems pretty happy with it!

Pamela June 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

BeThisWay: I love both of those ideas! It’s my dad’s 60th birthday next year and I think I’m going to try and do the scrapbook thing for him. The problem will be tracking down everyone he knows – he knows SOOO many people! It should be fun, though, and I have nearly a year to plan it. The father-daughter dinner is a good one, too. I think one of my dad’s favorite things is spending time with his girls.

Mrs. Micah – I have the same troubles. My dad doesn’t need anything and if he does, he can go buy it. I often just give him a card and write a note about how much I appreciate him and all he does for me (and hubby). Pictures, collages, and the like are always popular too. For Christmas, I gave him a multi-photo frame and put pictures of him and his girls. In one of the frames, I scrapbooked a card that said “Dad and His Girls”. He loves it and has it hanging on the wall of his office.

Looby June 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I have the same problem, my dad is not into sports and has enough ties and socks to last a lifetime. I usually just spend an afternoon with him, just the 2 of us, doing stuff he likes. One year I helped him sort his model railway stuff, then rented a movie with him.
I never end up spending much, which is fine, he has more money than I am ever likely to have and could buy himself anything he wants. I know he enjoys our afternoons together though.
Maybe you could spend an afternoon at the bookstore together? I’m pretty sure most dads just enjoy hanging out with their kids once they’ve moved out.

Michael June 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Does he have the Father Brown Omnibus?

Kaye June 14, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I did a series about Father’s Day gifts–maybe you could get an idea from there?

http://mrsnespysworld.blogspot.com/2008/06/10-awesome-fathers-day-ideas-part-1-of_04.html

Lin June 15, 2008 at 9:32 am

My biggest problem finding a Father’s Day gift for my husband has been that he’s mostly the “has everything already” sort of dad.

He’d wring my neck if I bought him one more tie, since he already has 999 ties from previous Father’s Day and Christmas gifts from his grown kids.

For his Birthday, I got my husband the Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS Navigation System, and he just loves it! I went, Cha-Ching!, Cha-Ching! in the “love bank” with that gift.

Today he will open his gift to find a new Canon Camera (professional grade) since his verrrry old camera crashed and burned last month. Not only that, but he’ll be receiving two concert tickets to go see Martina McBride next month. Guess who’se going with him?! 🙂

Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice) June 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm

I can definitely relate! My husband’s father is one of those people that will rush out and buy anything that interests him as soon as he thinks of it. So as soon as you know of something he might like, it’s already too late!
Homemaker Barbi

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