Oh, Dad...

Posted by Michelle Wheatley on

My dad was a very difficult person to shop for around the holidays. He liked his coffee, he liked tv, he liked to cook. But he always had those staples on hand.

He would say, "Save your money; I don't need anything." What he missed was that I wasn't trying to help him complete his weekly grocery shopping list. Instead, my intention was to bring him a smile with something a little more frivolous than batteries for the remote control.

So when it came to gift giving, I was left with little choice but to put on my thinking cap. What, pray tell, do you get the man who doesn't want for anything? I had to do some intense research three times a year: on his birthday, on Father's Day and on Christmas.

I used the ol' gift card as a go-to. He and my mom ate out from time to time, and I knew that he would put that plastic card to good use. It wasn't my favorite gift idea because he mumbled at me when I gave it to him, after he used it and, I imagined, while he was eating the meal. "She should've saved just her money... This pizza tastes like regret..."

One year, for Christmas, I was excited because a new razor had just come out with not two, not three, but FOUR blades! It was both practical and a little over-the-top (at least it was for someone recently out of college), simple yet cutting edge. Get it? Get it??

His initial reaction wasn't a thank you. It didn't bring him the same level of amazement that I had when I first saw it. What he did say was, "How many blades can they put on a razor? Can't imagine this will make a difference."

Part of me was disappointed. But part of me, the realist in me, knew he wasn't going to allow himself to get excited over any gift because he wasn't comfortable being the center of attention.

Then, a few days later, I got a phone call out of the blue. It was my dad calling during the week, even though we traditionally waited until the weekends to catch up. He had just used the new razor and was extremely pleased with the difference that extra blade made. It was a Christmas miracle!!

There are many ways that I am like my dad, and unfortunately for the present bearing people in my life, this is one of the traits I took from him. Maybe it's genetic?

Is your dad difficult to shop for? If so, have you been successful in wowing him with a gift?

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