Gift Ideas..please!

What do you give to the man who has everything? Literally. My father-in-law is a well off, middle aged man who has a nice house, new car and all the Grisham books/golf/stereotypical “dad” stuff he could ever want. So what the hell do we buy him?

His Birthday is this weekend and when I asked, he gave the most infuriating answer ever:

“Oh don’t worry about a gift. You don’t have to get me anything.”

Yeah right. While this may be the polite answer, its not entirely honest.  If we didn’t buy him anything, he would be disappointed. Besides, what are birthdays (even if you’re in your sixties and birthdays are becoming redundant) without presents? Blasphemy I tell you!

So does anyone out there have any suggestions?

Also-Because I’m such a birthday freak and not nearly WASP-Y enough to just silently acknowledge someone aging another year without making a fuss, I need help picking out a cake to make:

1.Coconut cake


2. Dark chocolate cake


3. Lemon layer cake


Which one looks the yummiest?


22 thoughts on “Gift Ideas..please!

  1. Robin

    Something personal always works. Like a framed picture, make a calendar, i made mugs one year with a picture on it that was person to each person.

  2. Dr. Monkey

    Go with the chocolate cake and give him a gift card to someplace like Target or some local store.

  3. Marie

    My vote is for the lemon layer cake. Yummy!

    I would say get him something along the lines of tickets to a movie, sports game or what have you he wants to see/go to, take him out to dinner, or make a nice lunch for him. Something personalized.

  4. Wandering Coyote

    Wow, all the cakes look great. I’m partial to chocolate myself, but the lemon also looks delish!

    As for gifts…My dad is the same way – totally impossible to buy for. I usually go with a gift certificate.

  5. Kate

    I would say the lemon layer cake … very spring-like.

    I’m no help in the gifts department … my husband and I don’t exchange gifts, my dad and I only do cards, and my mother tells me what she wants. Sorry!

  6. Tug

    CHOCOLATE! Nummers.

    I’d say a gift certificate as well – Amazon, Book Store, music, generic ‘any store in the mall’…

  7. SLG

    he sounds JUST like my dad lol, my dad reads grisham and golfs his life away, and he has everything.

    my dad really likes tractors, especially oliver tractors, so i got him a sign from a store on ebay to put in his barn that said “oliver tractor crossing, all others will be plowed away” and he LOVED it. i know that’s really random lol but it was inexpensive and original. if he likes cars or anything of the sort, something like that would be cool.

    and i wouldn’t go with a gift certificate, my dad actually gets offended from those because they’re “impersonal.” impossible, i tell you!

  8. pinklea

    I’d go with the lemon cake.

    As for a gift, what about a donation in his name to an appropriate charity (for example, if he’s an animal lover, then the SPCA)? Or you could always call his bluff and just do the cake and a card. I did that with my dad years ago, and he was perfectly fine with it. All he wanted was some acknowledgement of his birthday, it seemed.

  9. olivia

    Hmmm … We don’t do bday gifts here. And similar to Kate, my mom will give me some good ideas since she knows me well. ;~)

    All the cakes look yummy — the chocolate wins most every time for me. But I also love Coconut. And lemon curd too … <– not much help here either!

  10. XUP

    NO gift cards!! Yeck. That just says “I know I have to spend money on you, but I can’t be bothered to actually buy you anything.” The cakes all look great, but I think lemon, too. Unless he hates lemon. Then I’d go coconut. Unless he hates coconut. I hate coconut, but I like the pineapple on top. Sometimes people really mean it when they say they don’t want a gift. I really mean it when I say I don’t want my daughter to buy me anything. She doesn’t believe it either. I don’t need anything that I can’t buy myself and I have more money than her. I would much rather she gives me something of herself – like cooking me dinner or cleaning the house. If you’d asked sooner, I’d say make a movie for him of all the kids and grandkids and friends and whoever saying something to him or reciting something for him or playing him a song or performing a skit. Since you have no time now though, how about a party? At his favourite restaurant with all his loved ones? Or at someone’s house? Failing all that, a superb bottle of his favourite tipple? A $100 bottle of wine? Create a coupon book for him of stuff you’ll do — things he always wants to do or have done for him, but no one has the time?

  11. Lost Artist

    Lemon layer cake! Definitely. Man I want a cupcake now.

    When I had no idea what to get my bro for his birthday, ended up getting him a hermit crab. It’s a funny little interesting pet, but way less responsibility than a puppy. When I don’t know what to do, I go for the most random thing I can think of.

  12. Julia @ Mélanger

    Okay, a self confessed chocolate lover through and through, but chocolate can be predicatable. I would go with the lemon. Something different. Something more unusual.

    And I hear you about the gift thing. I find myself throughout the year racking my brain for ideas. I often go for a book or plant or something if I really struggle.

    Good luck! 🙂

  13. hannah78 Post author

    Tired Prop-Nothing says love like a nice guilt trip. “I slaved all day in the kitchen for you!” 😉
    Robin-That’s a really good idea! I might do some of those for other birthdays too!
    Dr.Monkey-There aren’t any Targets here, but I’ll ask hubby about the possibility of a gift certificate.
    Marie-How much does it cost to attend golf games? Probably pretty pricey. Maybe a hockey game instead.

  14. hannah78 Post author

    B.-All the cakes do look good! Maybe I could make one for him and two for me! 😉
    Wandering Coyote-Another vote for a gift certificate. The lemon does seem the easiest.

  15. hannah78 Post author

    Kate-The lemon cake is very spring like and that’s why I’m considering it. Sounds like you and your family have a very simple gift plan. Maybe I should incorporate a similar plan.
    Tug-Nummers indeed! Not sure about the gift certificate idea because it turns out he doesn’t spend a lot of time in stores browsing.

  16. hannah78 Post author

    SLG-Funny how similar dads are eh? That tractor idea is cute. Maybe their are similar signs for Mustangs.
    Pinklea-Maybe you’re right and he doesn’t want a gift, but I just feel bad since they got us such nice presents for our birthdays.
    Olivia-Exchanging presents doesn’t seem as popular anymore. Probably a good thing since society is usually so consumerist.

  17. hannah78 Post author

    XUP-Gift certificates are good, in moderation, I think. If you only got them for your birthday then it would suck. Your movie idea is good! I’m liking all the personalized suggestions I’m receiving from people.
    Lost Artist-You got him a crab? That is different! I used to feed those things when I volunteered at a zoo. They are interesting. Random things can be good!
    Raino-Hmm..he is a ‘handy guy’ who loves to build things in his garage so that might work.
    I don’t think he’d mind browsing around that one store too much.:)
    Julia-Another vote for lemon! Problem with books and plants is I don’t know which ones he likes. (Asides from the above mentioned Grisham) Thanks for the suggestion though!

  18. Miss Chris

    The Lemon Layer Cake! I think gift cards are a safe bet. Then they can get exactly what they want. I think people who are notoriously hard to shop for understand why they get the gift cards.

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