As a creator of gifts, I feel an added pressure to choose just the right present. Ridiculously, I rarely give my own products as a main gift so I will invest a lot of time looking around at trade shows, online and in shops for ideas for my friends and family.
The one date that strikes fear into my heart every year is my father in law’s birthday. A better father in law you’d be hard pushed to find, but an impossible man to buy for. He has all he needs and if he doesn’t have it, he probably doesn’t want it. My own father was similar although I could always rely on chocolate or socks. When I had lots of time, I would create something that was bound to make a Northern Man Mountain fight back tears (the prototype of our grandad’s book being one of many).
Back to my lovely (but impossible to buy for) father in law.
– everything below has been bought by me personally over the years – this is not a sales blog (I have not been approached by any of these companies to ‘review’ nor been asked to plug products). It’s a genuine, straight from the heart ‘try these if you’re stuck for ideas’ piece. Other that a single product of ours. Obviously.
In no particular order, but numbered because I’m kinky like that…
1) Grandad’s Tray from Catherine Colebrook. £22
This was this years’ gift. A silly, tongue in cheek tray to my children’s grandad.
2) Man Tins from Jonny’s Sister. £29
I have bought these tins for pretty much everyone I know, be it a biscuit barrel, a cake tin or simply a tin to place items that live no-where else. I’m not usually a fan of personalised gifts – it feels that we have reached a stage where any old tat can have a set of initials or names stuck/engraved/printed/painted and it’s supposed to magically be a perfect gift solution. However, with the combination of quality, usefulness and aesthetics of these tins, I got over my objections (over and over again).
3) Boy’s Birthday Chocolate Hamper from Choc on Choc. £24
If I’m honest, I didn’t buy this for my father in law (he’s a dark chocolate and stem ginger man (i.e. weirdo)), but, my father was an enormous chocolate fan and I worked my way through the chocolate havens online. This one delighted on a ‘more is more’ basis.
4) Cake Slice Club from Cake Nest. £24
I bought the weekly club membership for my father in law and I understand he worked his way through all of the flavours diligently. The slices come really well packaged to fit through the letterbox and there were a few discussions about which flavour was due next week (his favourite was the carrot cake)
5) Cashmere Football Scarf from Saville Rogue. £48.95
Lucky for me that my father in law lost his first cashmere football scarf from Saville Rogue – I didn’t have to stress about finding the next years’ gift! I haven’t displayed his FC’s colours here as I know it can be very divisive. Suffice to say, regardless of where they are in the table, he wears his scarf with pride and says the cashmere is super soft on his neck (bless).
6) These are my Grandchildren (The Grandad Version). £14.99
The first incarnation of this gift was actually to my own father. When my three children were toddlers, I asked them some basic questions about their grandfather and then I wrote their answers down. For instance, ‘Where does Grandad live?’ One bright spark said ‘in the house with the penguins’ (no evidence of penguins anywhere). The various answers to ‘What do you think Grandad does all day?’ were priceless. ‘Scares people’, ‘sits and eats’, ‘dances with nan’.
I’m sure that as soon as I press that ‘publish’ button, I will remember a particularly cherished item that I’ve bought over the years for my father in law. I have yet to hear from Ted with his verdict on the tray I sent him for this year’s birthday. It has to be said that pressing that ‘pay now’ button on Catherine Colebrook’s website having purchased this years gift for him gave me such a sense of relief.
Now I just have to worry about father’s day :).