What I don’t want for Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday.  Grumpy Dad – whose offspring are five and three – tells Workingmums.co.uk what the long-suffering male does not want on his special day.

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday. Grumpy Dad – whose offspring are five and three – tells Workingmums.co.uk what the long-suffering male does not want on his special day.
How did Father’s Day begin?
Contrary to urban myth, Father’s Day didn’t start as some wheeze by a card making company to sell more cards. Its roots lie in a well-intended effort of an American woman called Sonora Smart Dodd who lost her mother at a young age and was raised by her father. She got the idea for a Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon back in 1909 and it took off from there, though it wasn’t recognised as an official day on the American calendar until 1972. The idea for the day soon took off in the UK, I daresay thanks to some wheeze by a card making company to sell more cards. Now, it would be heartless for even the grumpiest of dads to pour scorn on gifts from Father’s Day past when so much thought would have gone into them but nothing makes my teeth grind more than to see naff Father’s Day gifts whose sole aim is to persuade children (and wives) to part with their money. Here’s what we don’t want…
Dad Rocks compilation albums
Chances are if something has ‘the best dad album in the world ever’ it will not be ‘the best dad album in the world ever’ but evidence of a lazy marketing department at the record company. You know the sort of album that presupposes dads only really like rock and insults us further by including Toploader and Toto in this category. You are far better off in hazarding a guess at a proper album that he might like instead. The reissue of the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St it quite timely and far more likely to be appreciated. Better still would be to purchase some kinds of online music download voucher such as from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/gc/order-email?ie=UTF8&design=mp3_green_09_uk

Chocolate in the shape of a football
Here’s the thing: not all dads like football, or indeed chocolate for that matter. Thinking about it, those dads who play football aren’t really going to be the ones who eat a lot of chocolate, whilst those who eat a lot of chocolate aren’t really going to have the physique of a budding Wayne Rooney. So if your dad likes football, buy them something football related like a Classic Matches DVD box set of classic Premier League goals – ten volumes with five discs each for around £30 each. It seems like brilliant value for money although I wouldn’t really know as my heart lies firmly in the chocolate camp…I would advise avoiding the cynically packaged Father’s Day chocolate treats and head for the nearest sweet shop or aisle and stock up on his favourite bars and pick ‘n’ mix, buying enough for the inevitable invasion by the kids. Better still, Greggs the bakers are doing a brilliant set of 4 make your own gingerbread biscuits for £1.79 which includes the biscuits already made and some icing and sugar balls with which to decorate them. This will keep the kids amused and give their gift that personal touch. 

 DVD box sets
It sounds mad but for any new dad especially to receive the complete first season of Heroes or whatever is more likely to make them weep than smile. The first thought that will go into their head is: ‘when on earth am I going to get the time to watch all this’. Because honestly, you won’t. I got the first season of Doctor Who as a Christmas present back in 2005 and have only watched three episodes so far. My Beatles Anthology DVD is still in its cellophane. Best to concede defeat on the DVD front and opt for something that the kids are going to enjoy too. This doesn’t have to involve badly drawn cartoon characters with grating American accents. Disney Pixar’s Up is a work of genius and any collection of Harry Hill’s TV Burp (also available with his Fairtrade nuts) is a safe bet too. My son and daughter both crease up at some of his visual gags and often ask to see them again and then they laugh just as much the second time – for any dad there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your kids have so much fun. 

 A lunch at a luxury restaurant
OK I am losing it now, right? Who wouldn’t want a meal at a luxury restaurant with your young kids? Answer: anyone with young kids. It could be the finest place to eat in the world, but let’s be frank, your kids aren’t going to appreciate that. If they don’t get their chicken nuggets and chips within ten minutes and some crayons and a colouring book to keep them amused in the meantime, then it’s just not going to be worth spending the money. Father’s Day is about being with your kids so save the pennies, and above all the stress, and stick to McDonalds. Or Cafe Rouge. Or best of all grab a few luxury and/or favourite items from the supermarket or corner shop and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine – or in the front room if it rains.


Items of clothing with kids pictures on them
I vowed not to include anything in this list that I have received from my own children (and wife). Then I remembered this. It was my first Father’s Day which is always an excuse to go mad with various items personalised with photos of the first born. But whilst I loved the keyring and photobook, I didn’t get the T-shirt. I mean, I got the T-shirt but I didn’t get it. Going around in public bearing a picture of my child on my chest seemed a bit, well, naff. So I kept it in my bottom drawer as a reserve pyjama top. Of course it could be much worse. You can get all sorts of clothing personalised with photos: ties, shirts, socks even. Socks! All I will say is no, no, no, no, NO!!


Anything that claims to be a gadget your dad will love…
…because that will be an excuse to add at least ten or fifteen quid to the price tag. Yes, we like gadgets but we don’t like the cost of them because usually they’re not worth it. Keep your fancy sat navs and bottle openers (how can you beat your trusty corkscrew) and opt instead for a toy that will take him down memory lane. One of the best presents I have seen given to a new dad is a Scaletrix – he had hours of fun and had his little girl been a little older than six months, I am sure she would have done too. But put your mind to it and the options are endless. Anyone for Up Against Time? There’s one on eBay going for a fiver plus postage. Or try charity shops and boot sales for cheap and cheerful inspiration – but avoid modern day versions of the old classics (Guess Who being a prime example).



Don’t fall for the line about jewellery being the perfect gift because it is something we never buy for ourselves. There is a reason for this: WE DON’T WANT ANY! Any dad who wants jewellery will already own some so, yes, go for it, buy them some more. But if they don’t own any, chances are a personalised silver bracelet will not convert them, no matter how stylish. The exception here is probably cufflinks. I once received some cufflinks and they are lovely. I’ve never worn them, mind, but it’s good to know they’re there. Just avoid those shaped like cartoon characters – so not funny.

Things for the car or DIY related products
I’m sorry but this really is the equivalent of buying your mum a vacuum cleaner or conditioner for your iron for Mother’s Day. Unless the dad in question has asked for something in this category specifically, don’t even go there

Lighter fuel whisky
Quality beats quantity here so you’re better off going for a smaller bottle of quality stuff like Talisker or Dalwhinnie rather than being drawn in by supermarket offers on the cheaper varieties. 

 Universal remote controls
Oh they never work, do they? At least not for me.


 iPhones and iPads
No really, we don’t want them. Awful things. Hideous waste of money. Oh go on then….

All we want really
But in all honesty, you don’t need to spend anything at all to make daddy’s day this Sunday. As your babies become toddlers and are able to share in the excitement and build up of the big day, nothing beats seeing the joy and pride on their faces as they hand over the picture they have drawn or the footprint cast they have made for you in playgroup or school. Their little beaming faces are the best presents of all…

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