The days are few. Father’s Day looms.
June and December are hard. In June, I’m tasked with finding a perfect Father’s Day gift for my dad, who is not easy to shop for. Then in December, I face a birthday and Christmas—two gifts one after the other. And it doesn’t help that I’m slightly competitive when it comes to giving gifts; I just have to give the best, most-loved, unforgettable gift.
My limited experience has led me to believe it’s harder to buy gifts for farmers than for others. (There is a poll at the bottom of the post so you can share whether you agree or disagree.) My dad spends most of his day out in the barn, and it’s not like he has a slew of gift-ready hobbies. And when you ask him what he wants for a particular holiday, he says not to get him anything. Unfair.
Here’s a look back at some of the gifts my family has given him. Maybe if you’re stuck in the same hole, these ideas might help:
- Socks – More times than not, at least one member of my family buys socks. He’s particularly fond of wool socks from Cabela’s.
- Honey – Another increasingly frequent gift is a tub of Cox’s Creamed Honey. I know it might seem like a strange gift, but this one of the few things he ever asks for. Every morning before he goes out to milk, he makes a peanut butter and honey sandwich, so he goes through it rather quickly.
- Milking Apron – Occasionally, he admits that he needs something new for work.
- Good Shirt – We have supplied my dad with so many “good” shirts he can wear off the farm. We see the shirts come out of his closet for special occasions meriting a separation from his cows.
- Stepping Stone with Cow Picture – I remember a long time ago someone in our family was given a decorative stepping stone for our flower beds. It had a nice picture of a cow on it. But it was a Holstein, and that wasn’t acceptable, so my dad painted it brown. The point here is that all cow trinkets better be the right type of cow.
- Headlamp – My sister was creative and got him a small headlamp once, very practical.
- Gloves – When we’re out of ideas, we wander into the IFA store (Intermountain Farmer’s Association) and hope for inspiration. The result time after time is a pair of gloves.
- Random Tools – Another desperate gift is a random tool—sometimes tools, sometimes not. We laughed when my youngest brother bought him a rubber mallet years ago, but my dad found use for it.
- Carhartt Coat – Last Christmas, looked around for belongings in bad condition and noticed his work coat had some wear. I splurged and bought him a new one from Carhartt. Not, however, a good gift option for June.
Last but not least—in fact, it’s the greatest—a DVD copy of The Natural History of the Chicken. My parents once told us about how one night years before they watched a random documentary on PBS, and it was brilliant. So I sought it out, and trust me when I say it has brought our family great joy. There is no greater gift for anyone than a “educational” film about people and their chicken stories.