Fathers can be difficult to shop for, if they were easy to shop for then maybe they wouldn’t have so many ties.
Now you might be thinking that this is another article telling you how to skimp on a present - it isn’t. Instead, I want you to think about how you can add value instead of reducing costs.
The kind of gifts that keeps on giving. Here are some ideas to demonstrate:
A skill-improving class
Whether he enjoys playing guitar, golfing, drinking wine or doing the occasional doodle- there is probably a workshop that could help him improve. If he isn’t really the “hobby” kind of person, but enjoys eating sushi (or chocolate, or something equally delectable) then send him to a class that will teach him to make it himself.
Don’t forget to check Groupon for local deals and savings!
“Something of the Month” Club
Subscription services are booming. Receiving multiple gifts over the course of a year, with the convenience of having it delivered to your door, is a nice monthly reminder that someone cares. Coffee of the month, bacon of the month and the classic wine of the month are some of the first clubs to show up after a quick Google search, but there are other companies that offer periodic deliveries of specialized or niche products (such as a sock subscription club!)
Pour-over coffee maker
Maybe to go along with his Coffee of the Month membership, get dad a pour-over coffee setup. Forget the fancy automatic espresso makers. The pour-over system is simple, it’s just a cone shaped receptacle for the filter holding the ground coffee, over which one pours boiling water. Coffee drips out the bottom of the cone into a cup or carafe. Some of these pour-over devices have an integrated grinder so you get freshly ground beans every time. It’s cheaper than buying coffee on-the-go and tastes just as good (if not better!). Don’t underestimate the power and satisfaction of good coffee.
There’s an interesting psychological bias called the IKEA effect whereby someone places a higher value on something that they partially created themselves. Nowadays there are start-up kits for all kinds of things, from home brewing beer on a small scale to spicing and drying your own biltong. It might take a while before the savings outweigh the costs, but it’s more the process and experimentation that add value to this gift (and the pride that pops would feel when munching on the biltong he spiced himself).
The most valuable gift that you can give would be using your time to create a special moment. I’m not talking about an extraordinary, out-of-this-world, fireworks-in-the-background, Springboks-winning-the-World-Cup kind of moment. All you need to do is accompany your dad doing something he likes to do; go fishing, watch a sports game, play chess, braai for him and his mates - you know the kind of thing.