Gifts for Father’s Day


We all know fathers are notoriously hard to buy gifts for, so we’ve come up with some ideas. Perhaps yours has mastered the art of polite gift-receiving: a warm smile and a “that’s lovely, dear,” actions that would convince even a natural-born cynic that they had got it right this time. That is until months later, when they spot the gift hidden in the airing cupboard still in its original packaging. Maybe your dad will send you a wishlist, outlining the exact salad spinner/lightbulb/miscellaneous item his heart is set on. Helpful, but you may feel like surprising them every so often.

Speculation aside, we’re sure most dads will be happy with a call, card or Zoom catch-up this year, given lots of us have spent weeks away from our families. However, if you would like to send yours something extra in the post, here are a few suggestions.

For the dad that loves to host

Is your father always cooking up a storm? Did he win your family’s virtual Come Dine With Me, honing his presenting skills along the way? Is he the life and soul of the party? Does he binge watch his favourite cookery shows, correcting the host and critiquing the contestants at every opportunity? If the answer to all or any of the above is a firm yes, then food-related gifts and kitchen and dining essentials are the most logical present choices.

It’s all too easy to fall into a recipe rut, especially without the usual array of restaurants to visit. This is where recipe boxes and meal subscription services come into play. With healthy, vegetarian and gourmet options to choose from, you’re sure to find one that your dad will enjoy. If he has enough recipes, another idea could be to treat him to pieces that will display his dishes to best effect. Go big with crockery sets or bite-size with salad servers.

For the happy camper

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for many, the wild camping trip is the ultimate holiday. If your father counts camping amongst his hobbies, we’re sure he’ll already own plenty of equipment. Even so, there’s no harm in adding to his collection, considering small items such as tent pegs and head torches are easily lost. Don’t worry, this doesn’t imply that you’re joining him on his next adventure, but by all means include this small caveat in his card if you aren’t quite ready to don a pair of walking boots.

If your dad likes being outdoors but would pick a luxury hotel over a tent every time, opt for picnicware as an alternative. Think presents such as ice buckets, melamine tableware and napkins, which are light enough for a long walk and sized to fit inside a hamper.

For the artist or art lover

If this is your dad, you’ve hit jackpot, as when it comes to paints, pencils and pens, you can never have too many. In normal circumstances, tickets to an exhibition would be a thoughtful present. Instead, however, you can save the gallery trips ‘til next year and encourage your father to be more artistic. The BBC hosts virtual life drawing classes and Instagram accounts such as Isolation Art School offer easy to follow tutorials, which will help him get into the swing of things. If he has a studio (or his sitting room doubles as a makeshift one) you could give him a few sculptures that he can sketch in his downtime. Or, send a few cushions his way so he can relax in comfort and style amongst his canvasses.

For the study dweller

Everyone needs a quiet and relaxing space they can retreat to. For some, the annexe or shed fulfils this need; for others, it’s the study. If the latter applies to your father, it makes sense to buy a gift with this room in mind, especially if he’s been using it lots recently. If your dad is very organised, personalised stationery – like a monogrammed notebook or set of notecards – could be the way to go. But if he isn’t, desk accessories and storage, such as smart leather-handled scissors and a set of box files, will help him get his admin in order. Because the study is more than a workspace, you could gift your father a fine whiskey and some glasses, so he can enjoy a nightcap with his favourite book or programme. A detective series would be very apt, but it’s OK if period dramas are more to his taste.

Of course, our four example personas don’t quite capture all the different characters out there. The list is endless. There’s the animal lover, musician, DIY-aficionado, car collector and more, and personality types that fit many profiles are the norm. Nonetheless, ideally, this gift guide has offered some food for thought. As mentioned, a card or phone call goes a long way; you could even write an IOU in the card, promising a games night, bike ride or home-cooked lunch.

Topics: events

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