Rachel's Table

Gifts for Dad: A Retrospective

In all my years as a daughter of my dad, I’ve never known what to buy him for birthdays, Christmas, and Father’s Day. My dad’s not the kind of guy that needs anything. Nor does he want much. All good qualities in a person, except when you’re his daughter trying to find the perfect gift. That’s why I’ve given him a long list of items he most certainly stored in a box marked “UNNECESSARY AND KIND OF COMICAL GIFTS I’VE RECEIVED FROM MY ONLY DAUGHTER.” Items such as…

~Homemade cards (I’m sure these were cute, if I stopped making them when I was ten. Alas, I gave him a homemade card for his birthday not too long ago with his face taped to a $50 bill.)

~Countless boxes of hankies.

~The proverbial tie (I believe this was actually a practical gift, as my father is a pastor. Problem is, he hasn’t worn a tie on Sunday in years).

~This T-shirt I’ve never seen him wear (for good reason).

Occasionally my dad sings this song. I guess it’s a thing from Big Bang Theory. Thank you, stylinonline.com.

~Seasons 1 and 2 of the Big Bang Theory (season 1 for Christmas, season 2 for his birthday one month later. How creative of me).

~Button-down shirts (He now wears these on Sundays, so again, this is a practical gift. One year he received at least eight shirts from all of us. How exciting. It’s no wonder he shouted, “Another shirt-shirty!” each time he opened a present; he was trying to entertain himself.)

~Several seasons of Seinfeld.

My dad loves Kramer. Photo credit: sonypictures.com

~Gift card to Mikimotos, a sushi place (my dad doesn’t really eat sushi).

~Guitar picks.

That’s my dad on the right, rockin’ it out way back when

~Athletic Socks

~Various (long) biographies of political figures.

In hindsight, I don’t have the best gift-buying track record. This Father’s Day is no different. Ideally, I would like to host an epic concert where Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the rest of the Beatles jam out to my Dad’s favorite tunes and then collectively compose a song in his honor. (Oh, and since I’m planning an imaginary concert, Jon Bon Jovi is there, too. But just to serve me beverages and play with my hair.)  But due to financial constraints and the fact that many of my dad’s musical mentors are no longer with us, I can’t make this happen.

One thing I can do is cook.  I’m using my local food experiment as inspiration, and planning a food extravaganza for Dad. Locally caught fish for lunch (his favorite), followed by local ice cream served in mugs (the only way to eat ice cream, according to Dad).  Not quite a musical mentor concert, but I’ll play some CDs.

Dear Dad, Thanks for living simply, laughing often, loving Mom, and putting action to the motto, “Love God, love others, change the world.” You are a mentor to many, and a hero to me. Love, Rachel


  1. First of all, the fact that you can REMEMBER all of these gifts is impressive, and putting his face on a $50 bill is genius! He will LOVE this year’s gift, too.

    Bon Jovi playing with your hair cracked me up.

  2. Allie

    You had me smiling throughout, but then the pic with your note to Dad made me cry…what a softy I have become. You were truly blessed in the dad department, a fact which I was lucky crossed over to me with regularity in the tween and teen years 😉

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