And if it is not the perfect gift — then it’s a really really good one!

If you are like me, you dread giving presents. I am the worst gift giver — and I already got a reputation for that. Maybe I am not thoughtful enough, maybe I just don’t care about presents too much. Finding a gift is a stressful process for me.

So this year for fathers day I tried to do it a little different. I think I got a great present this time (yay)! In this quick post I want to share the thoughts and steps I took. I hope, all the other MEs find it helpful!

Disclaimer: This article is not an idea collection for finding A gift for father’s day. When you give a gift — like for birthdays, christmas or father’s day , it is usually a day for celebration! Putting some thought into getting a present is what a father deserves. After all, presents for mothers are usually a little more thoughtful from the start. So this short article is about finding a present your dad will love!

First things first

As a preparation, start out by doing some brainstorming. After you went through the following questions, you might have it easier to come up with good ideas:

a) What are his hobbies? What does your dad actually enjoy? Soccer, fishing or knitting? How about meeting friends or going out?

b) What were the type of presents he liked in the past? Did he love the sweater you gave him last year? Did he like the gadgets you gave him last Christmas?

c) What were the type of presents he did NOT like in the past? Chances are, you gave him something which is still lying around somewhere. Getting aware of that might help you avoid pitfalls.

d) What type of person is he? Is your father rather the practical type or does he love playing around with gadgets? Maybe he likes getting vouchers so that he can get something he likes? How about clothes? Is he more serious/thoughtful or are funny presents ok too?

e) What are the traits or strengths you love about your dad? Is he hard working, or a good listener? What do you admire about him? What do others say about him?

f) What are his favourite things? Food, clothes, equipment, shoes, colour, and so on!

So, now that you are on the topic, let’s get started with 5 ways to find something he loves!

1) Get something entirely new

I know I have said you should put some thought into your father’s day present. Well, this does seem a little unthoughtful, but hear me out. If you did the short exercise above you might find this browsing much more enriching than usually. This might actually help you find a great present, one you have not thought about before. You look into things differently when you actually know what you are looking for. Not a present itself, but a topic or a pattern. You see connections you might not have seen before — and by connecting it to a trait of your dad you have a great story to tell him!

Never underestimate a good story! A good story can make a great present thoughtful, memorable and unique!

Some places to look for gift ideas: (rather funny, but not exclusively)

2) Upgrade his gear

When you know what your dad loves and appreciates, find something where you can give him a nice upgrade! Let’s take the fishing example. If he goes fishing every other weekend, get him something where an upgrade will enrich his hobby. Like a better and fancier chair or a new cooler. Avoid upgrading his main gear, though. There is a simple reason for that: if it is his hobby, much more thought is put into the main equipment. Never upgrade a soccer player’s shoes or a biker’s saddle. Go for the important things, but stay away from the crucial.

Another example: If your dad enjoys going to conferences or local meetups, get him a new perfume instead of a suit. Also, be aware that you might need assistance; maybe from an ally (like your mum, or a friend he shares his hobby with) or an expert (in a shop).

3) Replace or restore

By observing his surroundings you might notice the one or the other belonging which he still keeps, despite the fact that it might look old and worn off. Keeping a pair of old shoes or an old briefcase might indicate a certain importance. The idea is to either replace it with something similar, but newer or let it repair by a professional.
Usually, you should go for those things which are still lying around but are not in use daily. Goods which he uses daily, like the hobby gear, is usually a no go for replacements/restoration. Also,he would notice pretty quickly that there is something going on.

Again: consult your mother about it. You don’t want to destroy a sentimental memory.

Examples: (restoring can be done by yourself — with the right instructions and on the right good).

4) Get something unique or rare

Rare sounds good, but it can be a really difficult way of finding the perfect present. The important step is to walk in your dad’s shoes (like in the preparation above). Considering all his interests, hobbies, favourite things in life — what can be considered a rare good?
Do some research, consult experts, dig into Google or eBay to find something valuable in this niche. Maybe an antique fishing net, a classic soccer ball signed by Zinédine Zidane or a retro pocket watch for his suits.
Try to add one of the following words to your search:
antique, signed, original, first edition, limited edition

Alternatively, you can also make something unique:
A. Find his idol, influencer, VIP and get them to sign your present
B. Make something unique for your dad by tailoring it to his specific needs (left handed fishing rod with his initials in it; or a new cycling dress in his size and with his name on it)

5) Memories are the best presents

For many people after a certain age, the desire for new belongings disappears. Most people have bought everything they need. But there is always something you can give (nearly) everybody will be happy to receive: Experiences.
Experience in this context is meant to be really broad! Experience can be you organising something he hasn’t done in a long time — like seeing his best friend or visiting his old hometown. It could be an all expenses paid trip to the best fishing grounds in Europe, or a ticket to the next years Champions League final. How does he feel about driving a Ferrari for a day? Or maybe meet is big idol who is speaking on a fishing conference! Or, bringing in the whole family for a celebration? The last example is something undervalued and most overseen nowadays.

6) One more thing: Make something!

Yes, you read it correctly. Making something for your dad is still a thing! Even though he is 60+ already! Of course, the coffee mug won’t do the trick anymore. But making something he still is one of the best ways to show how much you love your father. After all, he — most likely — already got everything he ever wanted anyway.

0) Aftermatch

Preparation is the best tactic to stay thoughtful. To make your life a little easier I recommend a little hack for the upcoming years:

Open up a new folder in your Evernote (or any other note taking app you have) and name it “Gift Ideas”. During the next year, no matter the occasion, write down everything you notice might be a great present! For example, if you Mom complains that her ironing board makes stains — write it down! When you notice your dad getting all excited about this new fishing rod — write it down. Or when you see some new dress which is so your sister’s style — write it down. Not a lot of people do that — but trust me, this makes your gift-giving-life soo much easier!