Father’s Day: it’s true what they say, Daddy wants practical, not sentimental.

For the Other Half’s first Father’s Day two years ago, not quite three months after Little Miss was born, I wanted to make a big fuss. It was my way of saying thank you for everything he’d done.

I came up with this grand idea of a past, present and future gift for him (yes, with a newborn in tow on very little sleep).


The OH has this tradition of framing gig posters and tickets (there was a point he had them all on the walls – and he’s been to a lot of gigs over the years. I’ve slowly persuaded him to only showcase his favourites…).

The night I went into labour, he was actually at a London Grammar gig (The gig had been rescheduled from earlier in the pregnancy due to band illness. At eight days overdue I insisted he went, hoping Sod’s Law would move things along if he wasn’t around!) Obviously, in the weeks after the gig we had had other things on our mind and he had never got round to arranging getting it framed. Win. I would get it framed for him.


We were actually on our first holiday with Little Miss for Father’s Day. And at that point, he wore suits to work. So I got him cufflinks, one with a map featuring Mile End (our home at the time; our first as a couple and as a family) and one featuring where his family’s house is in the South of France (pretty much his favourite place in the world).


I had this great idea to get a map on a corkboard so he and Little Miss could chart our adventures together on the map. We had always said that having a baby unexpectedly wouldn’t stop us from living the lives we had always said we would, and part of that was travel. This was sort of a way of committing to that.

Well, of course, it all went horribly wrong.

I couldn’t find the gig poster or the ticket so I decided to give it as an IOU. Two years on, they’re still not framed.

The map arrived days before we left for France and wasn’t at all what I had expected. For one thing, it was huge. Second, the frame was hideous. Third, the map was an antique style map with mostly countries that didn’t exist anymore and almost impossible to read. So I decided to send it back… Which wasn’t cheap. And left me with another IOU.

map cufflinks

The cufflinks were my only win. And in hindsight, would have been enough as a sentimental gesture.

Take Two:

So last year, although we had agreed that after the first Mother’s/Father’s Day it would be a low key affair, I decided I’d redeem myself.

He’d made a few throw away comments earlier in the year about not having a tool box of his own. Whenever his parents visited we would ask them to bring their’s and do odd jobs for us.

So, after a bit of research, I put together a DIY Daddy Starter Kit.

He loved it.

In seven and a half years, I’ve never seen him so happy with a present I’ve got him – except maybe the popcorn machine.

So what have I learned about buying Father’s Day gifts?

  1. Less is more.
  2. While it is the thought that counts, try not to overthink (or over complicate) it.
  3. It’s true: forget sentimentality, men are all about the practical gifts.

This year, thankfully, we agreed that from here on out, Father’s and Mother’s Days are a more low key affair, more about spending time together than the present.

So I’m stopping on my high last year and the OH can make do with a card and a cuddle like everyone else… And maybe a cup of coffee in bed in the morning…

(Awkward, last night the OH asked if he was getting any additions to his tool box this year… Oops!)

NB: Finding Our Feet is not associated with MachineMart.com or Clarke. But I was really impressed with both the quality of the Clarke products and Machine Mart’s wealth of choice and fast service. Delivery for all of the above was only £4.99 (June 2015). 


4 thoughts on “Father’s Day: it’s true what they say, Daddy wants practical, not sentimental.

  1. Tim says:

    I love the intention behind your grand idea. Those cufflinks are gorgeous, and I might well steal the idea of the future travel map to use with our kids – it would be a great thing to hang in the kids’ playroom as a market of trips both past and future.

    I’m not big on Father’s Day gifts, in truth. A weekend with a pass to not mow the lawn and watch the football would be enough for me. Although I think my two nights away in London for BML the weekend after might have to count as a deferred gift of sorts!

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