It’s that time of year again: I have no idea what to give my dad for Christmas. If he wants something, he buys it. He has little interest in clothes, with 30-odd years of conservative plaid shirts in his closet (and, much to my teenage embarrassment, a pair of leather pants from a motorcycle phase). He doesn’t like gadgets. He only reads books about self-determined research projects, and the topics are always impossible and narrow, like “Pennyslvania Dutch blanket chests.” I can’t plan a trip for him because 1) our monetary system 2) if he goes on vacation, he gets sick within the first 24 hours because his body is allergic to relaxation.
My dad’s main interest is working. Hard. He only stops working if he has to explain the difference between a “worker and a shirker” to someone, or if an occasion arises where he can point out his preternaturally muscular calves. I guess I could gift him a box of manila folders and a pair of shorts, but that doesn’t exactly scream “Merry Christmas, thank you for everything,” does it?
If money or things like “logistics” didn’t exist, these are the gifts I would give my dad:
My dad and I once spent an afternoon watching a show about hand-fishing (or “noodling,” I know a lot about this topic now), where we mostly debated whether or not I would be tough enough to stick my hand into an oversized catfish’s mouth. I would love nothing more than to spend a weekend with my dad in waders, proving to him that I have inherited all his badass ways (and that I’m the badass-iest of my siblings). Bonus if there are cameras rolling and we can later watch our exploits before a Storage Wars marathon.
A Dad-Friendly Dance Club
At my wedding reception, after my dad and I finished our father/daughter dance, a few of my friends said, “Why didn’t you tell me your dad is a great dancer?” BECAUSE BEFORE THAT MOMENT, I HAD NEVER SEEN HIM DANCE. He then continued to bust move after move to Lady Gaga for the rest of the evening. I’m not sure if it was the emotion of seeing his eldest daughter get married, or the open bar, but I want my dad to dance like that again. I’d love to create a club-like environment where he doesn’t have to help plan a wedding but can still shake it like a Polaroid picture.
An Outdoorsy Son-In-Law
My dad and my husband have a lot to talk about (like 1970s basketball players) but sometimes I think he wants to see Nick chopping wood. Maybe in some kind of lumber jack outfit? With really tight jeans? Oh, this one might be for me? Moving on.
My college roommate once expressed an interest in fairies when she was in middle school. For the next 15 years, she received fairy-themed everything for any gift-giving occasion. Her half of our dorm room looked like a theme park for Tinker Bell enthusiasts, but I’m not sure if she ever got sick of it.
My dad also needs an easy, go-to interest that’s perfect for any shopping budget. For me, this interest is jewelry. Maybe I can spend our time together over the holidays introducing him to the joy of rhinestones.
I wish my dad knew how many times a day I referenced his advice or felt his unwavering support. Maybe he already knows.
I love you, Dad! Merry Christmas.
Image via Pegasus News