Fathers day is just around the corner and since you're reading this - you're obviously trying to find that perfect gift that says 'thank you', 'I love you' and 'I care about you' all in one neatly wrapped package.
If you're looking for that perfect list of 'Top 10' items to simply click & buy - you might as well hit the back button on your browser right away. This is NOT one of those posts, that is NOT a gift he will cherish and it definitely does NOT convey any feeling of love, gratitude or pride.
MAKE IT COUNT
Let's start by understanding what makes a truly meaningful gift.
Ryan Howell, a psychologist & co-founder of Beyond The Purchase says "The most important thing in the exchanging of gifts is it shows that you really know the person well and you really care about them"
You've known your dad all your life - use that knowledge to find something that he can relate to - something that is personal - a gift that only he will be able to appreciate the true value of.
For example; Let's say there's a song that your father always sang to you as a kid. A tune that only the two of you shared. Then maybe the best Father's Day gift would be a customised music box that plays that particular song. It will show him that you love him and remember the time you'll had together and that you cared enough to find or make something for him and only him.
Music Box Attic has a brilliant collection of mechanical hand cranked music boxes as well as digital music boxes that have the same vintage charm with all the latest USB & bluetooth functionalities. While they do ship to India - there are limited options for local retailers as well. I found some really elegant ones on Nestasia.
Running out of time and can't think of something personal? Try getting him a personalised gift instead. You can pretty much put your name on anything these days and almost every gifting website has a Father's Day offer on the cliché whisky glass set or the men's grooming kit.
You might want to check out The Messy Corner for some really chic personalised gifts that are of very good quality. Splurge on the complete gift set or buy individual items like passport covers, AirPods cases, spectacle cases etc. from their Fathers Day collection. They're all customisable.
GIFT TO GIVE BACK
This is going to be one of those rare gifts that brings happiness not only to your father - but to you as well. According to a 2006 study by Jorge Moll at the National Institutes of Health; Giving back to the community activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. It releases endorphins, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”
Spread the joy by picking a charity thats close to your father's heart. You can support a number of causes; the environment, animal welfare, the underprivileged, children, senior citizens, minority groups etc. You even have options for the way in which you choose to give back, from monetary donations to handcrafted items & affiliate programs. Even your most trusted shopping partner, Amazon, has a charity program called Amazon Cares.
GiftAbled has a wonderful collection of Laptop Sleeves, Diaries, Pen Stands, Calendars etc. to pick from. All their products are handmade by people with disabilities.
These classy ready-to-ship curated boxes from Humanitive completely eliminate the stress of putting together the perfect gift. Their gift hampers are paired with suitable donations that are sure to melt your fathers heart.
If you prefer monetary donations, Give India is one of the largest online donation platforms in the country, currently supporting over 1250 NGO's.
MAKE MORE MEMORIES
Memories > Materials. It's simple mathematics right? And the science backs it up too.
According to marketing professor Cassie Mogilner from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, experiential gifts are more socially connecting than material gifts. This is true regardless of whether you share in that experience or not.
Experiential gifts can be tailored to any budget, so think long and hard on what your father's interests are and pick the right experience that he will remember for a long time to come.
Here are few ideas based on different dad personalities.
Organise a family photo shoot for your sentimental old man. Pick out a few gorgeous locations & hire a professional photographer. Better yet, make it a day trip complete with a picnic basket to make him a memory he will never forget - the lovely family photographs will make sure of that!
If you're in Mumbai, Harish Iyer is a great candid photographer you might want to call.
Indulge your fathers inner chef by signing him up for a special cooking class. He can go at it alone or it could provide a wonderful opportunity for some father-son time - but be warned, if you go along you will be the one tasting his gourmet creations.
Whether he's an experienced cook or a complete beginner, CosyMeal has a variety of virtual cooking classes across multiple cuisines to help you'll work together & serve up some satisfying and delicious meals in your own kitchen.
The Adrenaline Junkie
Help dad check off one more item from his bucket list. There are a variety of thrill seeking activities you can choose from like; scuba diving, para-sailing, trekking or water rafting. Make sure you select something age appropriate though - bungee jumping is not for everyone.
Wanderlust Adventure Sports offers some great adventure sport experiences. They have a wide selection of tailor-made activities catering to all demographics.
The hustle and bustle of our big city life can get to your nerves. Gift your father an opportunity to explore, relax and spend some quality time on a weekend getaway.
Make My Trip has curate a lovely list of weekend getaways that you can explore by city.
You can go through endless gift catalogues and still be stuck at square one in your mission to find the right gift for dad. Neither me, nor any expert gift list curator can help you because we don't know your father as well as you do.
To get that truly personal gift, you need to personalise it FROM YOU rather than FOR HIM.
And if you're still stuck at a dead end, sometimes the best thing we can give family is our time. Especially now, your time spent together will be more precious than any material gift you can think of.
Let me know if you found any of this helpful, or better yet, leave your gift ideas and suggestions in the comments - I'd love to hear them.