For some, Father’s Day, like Mothering Sunday or Valentine’s Day, is a consumerist con. But, for those who do want to treat their dad, picking out a present that might actually be appreciated or made use of is a trickier task than it might appear. So, here’s a guide to gifts that the old man will definitely be delighted to receive come June 18…
Boys and their toys. There’s a gadget geek inside every man and luckily there’s also a veritable smorgasbord of techie presents available. Computer geek, science spod or sports junkie? It’s simply a case of identifying which nerd branch your father perches on, and buying accordingly. For a present that goes down well with your mother too, stay on the health and fitness path: Fitbits are expensive (retailing at about £120) but you could always club together with other family members. If your pa likes a shortcut, something called a Sixpad has been invented, or ‘developed’ by footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s an ‘electrical stimulation device’ that you stick to your tummy and somehow, miraculously, gives you a six pack. Again, they’re not cheap (£150) but cheaper versions are available, starting at around £18.
Correspondence, once limited to bills, love letters and Christmas cards, has now become a limitless galaxy of opportunity largely due to email and mobile phones. However, in our recent quest to revert to everything retro, snail mail has regained popularity. Personalised stationery will ensure that your father thinks of you (his favourite child, I’m sure) every time he is seated at his desk. Noble Macmillian isn’t so well-known but it ticks the luxury boxes. An excellent alternative is Papier, a brilliant new company offering a variety of personalised correspondence cards and notebooks, starting at 90p per piece, and Father’s Day cards, too (see above). It might even encourage your old man to put a cheque in the post.
We’re living in the age of the metrosexual, defined as a man who is ‘especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this.’ Of course, the market has responded and today you can buy almost as many beauty products for men as you can for women. I’m not convinced that all men particularly want to slather their chops in ‘Facial Fuel’ (Kiehls, £19), so ensure that you have correctly identified your father as a metrosexual before you buy. If indeed he is partial to a bit of grooming, the internet is your oyster: Clarins has a men’s Essential range but also more opulant options, such as revitalising gel for £34 or line-control cream for £41.50.
Flowers are, for all the obvious reasons, always associated with mothers and women. However, men often appreciate them, too. Upon receiving flowers, your father will presume that you think he is sensitive and kind. He’ll also think that you hold him in as high esteem as you do your mother, which will quell any competitive resentment that he has held for his better half over the years. I’ve never witnessed any disappointment from a male recipient when bestowing flowers and for these reasons, I think that flowers – whilst unconventional – are a truly lovely present for Father’s Day. Don’t get anything too girly (roses and peonies) are probably over-egging the pudding, but a bunch that suggests stylishness and sensitivity will be well-received. Bloom and Wild is one of the best online florists going.
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and food is surely worth a try. In today’s health-obsessed society, it is likely that your father has been forced to sacrifice some of his favourite grub at the altar of his waistline. That and a peaceful life. Think of the delicacies he dreams of, as, night after night, gluten-free pasta and Ottolenghi salads are thrust under his nose. This Father’s Day, give the man a break and let him indulge in all the delights that have silently infiltrated his dreams. Patum Peperium’s Gentleman’s Relish is cheap (£2.85) and delicious, particularly when shovelled on some thick cut white bread. At the opposite end of the financial spectrum, Fortnum and Mason sells foie gras for £90 (slather it on brioche rather than white bread). Delicious.