How to Buy a Christmas Present for Your Dad

It’s officially one week and one day until Christmas, which means that unless you don’t celebrate the holiday or are a MENSA candidate you are currently completely clueless as to what gift to buy for your father.

Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for. The main reason for this is that whenever one asks one’s father what he wants for a given holiday or birthday, the default Dad Answer() is generally one of three things:

  1. “Oh, you don’t have to give me anything. Just a phone call/you being there is enough of a gift for me.”
  2. “I dunno, whatever.”
  3. “I really have my eye on X piece of technology.” (You then research this technology and discover that it costs fourteen billion US dollars and your first born child and will become obsolete and outdated before Chinese New Year.)

So what’s an adult offspring to do? Luckily, I’m here to provide you with my foolproof X Step Guide to Buying a Christmas Present for your father:

Step 1: Buy presents for literally every other friend, family member, and pet you have as you procrastinate shopping for Dad.

Step 2: Consider buying Dad an iTunes gift card. Remember that you bought him an iTunes gift card last year. Sigh in frustration.

Step 3: Dad likes alcohol! Maybe you can get him some bartending equipment or a wine club membership or something! Yeah, that’s perfect!

Step 4: Receive a call from Mom begging you not to get Dad anymore damned bartending gadgets. He already has four red wine aerators and a deluxe gold-plated mixology set and she no longer has room in the kitchen for basic things like spoons or flour. Also, Grandpa already got him a wine-and-steak-and-cigar-and-pear-and-grapefruit-and-everything-manly of the month club so that’s out.

Step 5: Ok, fine, Mom. Head to the men’s section at Macy’s – you’ll get him a wool sweater, or some nice dress shirts! No ties, he already has a thousand ties

Step 6: Purchase a fine wool sweater and coordinating dress shirt. Call Mom in a gleeful mood to inform her of your success. You did it, and with five whole days to spare!

Step 7: Mom informs you that she has already purchased him an entire wardrobe for 2016, including the exact same sweater and shirt you bought him, along with new jeans, dress pants, khakis, shoes, a peacoat, and even a new fucking tie.

Step 8: Shake your fist in the air while swearing eternal revenge on your mother, from whom you sensed an obnoxious air of triumph over the phone at having beat you to the punch. Go to Macy’s and wait in line 45 minutes to return the sweater and shirt and argue with the saleslady who now wants to give you back 60% of what you originally paid because the item is now on sale.

Step 9: Ok, Brookstone! Brookstone is the Dad store. Maybe they have something! How about one of those cool flying drone camera things? Dad would love that shit.

Step 10: HOLY GOD EVERYTHING AT BROOKSTONE IS A BAGILLION DOLLARS INCLUDING THE DAMNED STUPID DRONE. The only items available for purchase that are under $250 are bartending-related, fuzzy throw pillows and slippers, or “personal massagers,” which…no.

Step 11: Only two days left before Christmas; you’re beginning to panic now. Call your brother to consult. He is getting Dad an iTunes gift card. You point out that you both got Dad iTunes gift cards last year. You can hear him shrugging over the phone as he says, “Whatever, I have tickets for Star Wars and my buddy Jared is waiting for me,” and hangs up on you. Asshole.

Step 12: Maybe a Michael Bublé Christmas CD? Nah, you actually like your Dad.

Step 13: Would he like some…tools? Dad’s handy, right? Lowe’s has tools, or maybe Sears, in the “harder” side of it?

Step 14: You remember the time it took Dad seven hours over a three day period to spackle and paint one wall in the downstairs bathroom. Tools are a no-go. It’s Christmas Eve now, and the stores are closing. Dad keeps hinting about all the great stuff he and Mom bought you. You ache with guilt and existential angst.

Step 15: Fuck it. You enter Walgreens ten minutes before it shuts down for the holiday and purchase a $100 iTunes gift card for your father.

You’re welcome, Apple.






6 thoughts on “How to Buy a Christmas Present for Your Dad”

  1. FREAKING FABULOUS ARTICLE, JACKIE! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. I think I may steal it (Giving you credit for the writing of course) and plop it on my FB page. It’s brilliant. J

    Love you, Lant, Linda


  2. Ha ha! This was so accurate. I find that it’s hard to shop for males in general. Buying gifts for my daughter is so easy, but with my son I really have to spend a few days thinking on what to get him. And he’s only seven! When I read his Christmas list, it had every electronic imaginable on it. And a monkey. Not sure if he meant a real monkey or a plush monkey. But yes, men are so hard to buy for!


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