I’m a Daddy’s Girl and proud of it. And if you’re a Daddy’s boy, you’ll agree that your ideas for making your dad’s Father’s Day celebration should never pale in comparison to the spectacle you organise for Mum every Mother’s Day.
Dads may tend to be the low-key, lower-maintenance of your two parents, but they also enjoy being the Guest of Honour at family celebrations, and are appreciative of the thought and effort that go into planning gifts and celebrations just for them.
Don’t, for a moment, believe what Father’s Day naysayers like to spout – that just because they’re guys, Dads shun surprises, attention and presents. They don’t. Do we? Like us, they are human too.
My late father was an unassuming and compassionate man. On most mornings after he retired from being a school principal, he liked nothing more than to pore over the daily newspapers from cover to cover, while sipping a hot cup of kopi o at the neighbourhood kopi tiam, and thereafter walloping a plate of his favourite chilli-laden wanton mee.
He may have had simple needs, but he enjoyed the occasional pampering too. So Daddy’s Girl that I was (still am), I would spin surprising gift ideas out of his favourite things, people, places and activities, whenever Father’s Day/his birthday/Christmas rolled around.
Whether you are son, daughter, wife, sister, niece, nephew or best friend to a dad, and cracking your head for cool ideas for that unsung hero in your life, the comprehensive list of gift suggestions below should work for every father in your life. You just need to customise it according to what would put a great, big smile on his particular face.
The HSD Father’s Day Gift Guide:
1/ Something Timeless
Classic is always cool. Such as a vintage Solvil et Titus timepiece, which in my humble opinion, is always the height of timeless masculine style, and at friendly prices. Check out ebay, and scour the vast number of pre-loved watch shops in timepiece-friendly Singapore for one that he’ll treasure.
2/ Throw in Trendy
If real men don’t wear jewellery, designers would not have crafted cufflinks and signet rings this gorgeous. I have a fondness for the smart and gentlemanly collections from Chinoiserie Blu. Check out their wares at http://www.chinoiserieblu.com/boudoir/stuller-jewellery/father-s-day.html.
3/ Bless Him with Food
Bond with him over his favourite meal – besides local fare, my own father loved a juicy steak once in a while, as long as his cholesterol level allowed. I’d like to suggest a sumptuous seafood feast at a resto that allows Dad to pick the fresh catch himself, or dinner at a great steak place that serves top quality cuts, and where the meat doneness is always just the way it’s ordered. If you have the benefit of outdoor space at your disposal, organise a barbecue in his honour. Huber’s Butchery at Dempsey Hill has everything you’ll need for the occasion, from meats to marinades.
4/ His Specific Needs
Some men have very specific likes. My husband, a fur baby daddy, is a tool-toting handyman through and through, and has asked for a set of collapsible tool kits for Christmas. If the dad you’re gifting something to has a penchant for a specific activity and hobby, or happens to be a fanboy of such-and-such (and so-and-so), and is missing that one particular thing to make his (insert hobby) ____ collection perfect, find out what it is and start shopping.
5/ Make Him Sweat
If he isn’t already a member of a gym, do him a favour and sign him up for a year’s membership in a good fitness centre. If he needs serious fitness intervention, add a three-month package of personal training sessions with a reputable and effective fitness instructor, to help him get cracking.
6/ Relax, Father
Stoic men that they are, dads sometimes know no rest, and even when they’re dog-tired, no one seems to know. So don’t wait for him to ask for it. Gift him some reprieve in the form of a relaxing massage, a sports one if he works out a lot, deep tissue or tui na, if he likes both the relaxing and invigorating.
7/ Bolster His Health
Contrary to superstition, it is not taboo to buy your dad a full executive medical checkup. As men tend to self-medicate and wave off niggling medical symptoms, it’s always good for them to know that everything checks out. This will also force him to make time to do that essential annual health screening.
8/ A New Skill
No one, not even dads are ever too old to learn something new. My uncle Anthony, a father of three middle-aged children, at 82, is still upgrading his computer skills every year. Before engaging with the world on Facebook Live and Instagram Stories became like breathing air for many of us, he was already putting together awesome slide shows that could rival the ones by millennials on YouTube. So don’t disregard life-long learning, because maybe your dad has always wanted to sing opera, or paint his version of the Mona Lisa, or learn to speak Italian.
9/ Something to Nurture
Mums get flowers and dads get… key chains. No, please, that’s not fair. Why can’t dads get a piece of Mother Nature too? Buy him a living, breathing plant that he can spend time taking care of. For Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow.” If he’s no green-fingered gardening type, get him a sturdy lemon tree, or a beautiful frangipani. No space for trees in his home? Potted orchids have been known to last a lifetime.
10/ Quality time with Mum
Buy him a staycation to which he can take Mum. As they say, happy mum, happy dad!