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Father's day gift ideas 2018: a true story that took 10 years to fix

Thinking a father's day gift through can save all sorts of headaches in the future. Father's day is this Sunday in the UK. There are plenty of useful things you can get your dad - some bigger, some smaller - but panicking on the day is not the way to go! I know from experience. Here's my tale.

2006 Reading, England

My dad plays the guitar. For father's day in 2006 I panicked and, on the day, I got him.. an ice cube tray that made ice cubes in the shape of guitars. It seemed whimsical, something fun to add to a cocktail and quite fitting for the coming summer. What wasn't to like? I grabbed a card and headed his way.

As soon as I walked through his door I knew where I'd gone wrong. For some unfathomable reason his fridge is just a fridge. There is no freezer. He was kind and said it would be great some day! It's the thought that counts. The man who had spent his adult life making my life possible gets just one day a year, just for him, and my gift did not do it justice. It would have been 100 times better if I'd only given him the card and written something thoughtful.  

10 years later in 2016

The guitar ice cube tray was still playing on my mind. I'd spotted it in a number of different drawers over the years, unopened - of course. I was a little more grown up now and I could only think of one thing to put it all right. For father's day 2016 I got my dad an entire new fridge with a freezer. I found the ice cube tray, made ice and the world was once again in equilibrium.

Overall it turned out well. A freezer is a very practical thing to have for all sorts of reasons. But in this case the motivating force for putting the world to right was my lack of thought in 2006. 

Don't do what I did, kids. Think about father's day gifts now and not on the day (10 May 2018 US; 17 June 2018 UK). Otherwise your future self may well be fixing things you got wrong for years to come.

Tips for father's day 2018

If you're getting a gift, aim for useful - i.e. something your dad can actually use - or personal. If your dad travels, has holidays coming up or commutes, you can get him a RiutBag of course. If you're not going in for the gift, I recommend a nice card with your favourite memory.

After last year's whopper of a useful father's day gift, I'm going for a RiutBag Crush and something personal. I collected a few leaves from Bothwell Castle near Uddgingston in Scotland: my first home as a child, a favourite place where my parents used to push me around in a pram and, notably, the home of Tunnocks caramel wafer :) I'll add the leaves to a card and we can reminisce about the times before I can remember.

My dad and I at Bothwell Castle on the Clyde in Scotland My dad and I at Bothwell Castle on the Clyde in Scotland The Tunnocks factory in Uddingston, Scotland. My first home :) The Tunnocks factory in Uddingston, Scotland. My first home :)

Wishing all fathers a great weekend!