13 June 2013

What to get Dad for Father’s Day

It’s the one Sunday every year you can’t afford to forget. It’s a day where you honour your genetic half-contributor for cleaning your nappies, buying you that bike and giving you an education. It’s the Day of the Dad.

It’s the one Sunday every year you can’t afford to forget. It’s a day where you honour your genetic half-contributor for cleaning your nappies, buying you that bike and giving you an education. It’s the Day of the Dad.

Where’s Santa when you need him?

Even after you’ve written it in your diary, on your hand, and set a personal reminder on your phone, there’s still the deceivingly difficult undertaking of buying him a gift on his special day. The true skill lies in getting him something he’ll actually like.
Many people will resort to buying the usual junk that is marketed as the perfect gift, from horrible polyester ties, to the ‘You’re the best Dad in the whole wide world’ coffee mugs. With these types of clichéd offerings, it’s certainly the thought that counts, but that’s about it.

Getting him a gift of substance is difficult, but not impossible. With a bit of thought and analysis over what makes your Dad tick, you can make Father’s Day something special, and secure a pole position in his good books.

The catalogue of Dad

Men are relatively simple creatures, with relatively simple tastes. But this doesn’t mean a cheap pair of socks will do. The trick is to spend some time figuring out your Dad’s likes.

Does he play golf? Can he be found hovering over a sizzling barbecue every Sunday? Is the satellite permanently set on the sports channels? Does his CD collection take up half the house? These are all clues that can be used to reap serious brownie points on his big day.

If you’re still stuck on figuring out what your Dad likes, then take some time to chat to the one person that knows Dad the best – Mom. She’ll no doubt have some helpful hints.

Once you’ve decided on your gift, consult the rest of your family so as to avoid double-ups. Originality will help you get around this problem all together, so dedicate a good deal of brainpower to making your gift count.

Back to basics

There are a few things that pretty much any Dad is going to be happy with, and would be a good place to start for beginners in the world of Father’s day shopping.

If he’s a music lover, getting him a CD he’ll play for his mates at the next dinner party, is a sure winner. It’s important not to get him one that he already has, though. Take some time to peruse his collection. Again, if you’re stuck, ask Mom – she’ll know exactly what he’s been listening too, and what may work.

If you really can’t put your finger on the perfect CD for Dad, then you can never go wrong with a gift voucher  ?  this way he can choose the music for himself, and your life becomes that much easier.

Breaking the bank

Sometimes it’s necessary to really dish out and dazzle Dad with something spectacular. Maybe you forgot his birthday last year, or recently had a huge argument with him. Father’s Day is a good time to make amends, and what better way to do it than with a gift that’ll knock his socks off.

Many will argue that the act of cooking meat on an open flame holds an inherent fascination for most males of the human species. Many might also argue that this can only be successfully achieved on the perfect braai.

Getting him a brand spanking new Weber will not only make his day, but his year. It’s a pricey affair, but you can split the cost among several family members to lighten the load, if you really don’t have the cash. If he has one already, why not look at getting him a great set of braai utensils.

Guys love gadgets, and you can use this to your advantage. Maybe a set of cordless headphones, so Dad can watch TV in bed without disturbing Mom. A fancy clock for the office might work too, or even an iPod, if you’ve got the bucks.
Anything from an advanced bottle-opener to a digital key finder is going to get the gadget guru in him smiling. If it’s something he can use, it’s a great gift. If not, it’s just clutter and will end up in the garage somewhere, so make the clever choice.

Two birds with one stone

Sometimes nothing is better than spending quality time together, and this might be the perfect opportunity to get some alone time with your paternal unit. Two tickets to the next big game are going to score huge points for you, especially if they’re good seats.

A couple of tickets to a concert you know he’ll enjoy will also go down like a bomb, and will give you both some bonding time. It also gives you an idea of what CD to buy him for next year, if he likes the gig.

Try booking him for a test drive in a car you know he loves, and go with him. Together you can um and ah over the acceleration and great handling. This will definitely put a smile on his dial.

Alternatively, booking him a session on a skid-pan will go down just as well – just make sure you’ve got a strong stomach if you plan on sitting through the handbrake turns.

For the more daring, you might want to think about taking Dad to do something extreme with you, like bungee jumping, or a go on that massive rollercoaster, on your tab of course. Don’t forget to ask your Dad sometime before the big day if he is up for extreme entertainment, or you might find yourself sleeping on the street.

Something for nothing

Not all of us have the bank balance to dish out elaborate gifts for Dad on his special day, but this doesn’t stop you giving him something that can be just as meaningful.

A hand written letter proclaiming his greatness will work, and will show that you put in the effort. Making him breakfast, and topping up his wine glass throughout the day will help him realise that you care.

If you can’t afford real vouchers, why not spend some time making ‘My-time’ vouchers as a gift. These vouchers will let your Dad ‘buy’ your time.

This ‘time’ can be used to wash his car, help him with computer stuff, go shopping for him, mow the lawn and clean the pool or any other task he’ll have you do. Just make sure not to give too much time away, or you might just find yourself regretting this potentially great gift.

These days it’s easy to set up a free website or blog online. Why not spend the week before creating a homepage for your family, including pictures, stories and anything else that might bring a tear to the big man’s eye. Give him the webpage address in your card on Father’s Day, and watch him smile as he fires up the laptop.

Whatever you choose to get your father this Sunday, make sure it comes from the heart, not just because you feel it is expected of you. It’s one of the few days in the year where you get to say thank you for all he has done for you, and to show that  ?   although you may never, ever say it  ?  you do love him.



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