NEVER felt loved or supported by your own father? Your Christmas gift shouldn’t reveal your true feelings, so here are some ideal for emotionally stunted dads:
The football merchandise industry hinges on the fact that supporting the same team is often the only source of conversation between fathers and sons, and a missed penalty is the only time you’re allowed to shed a tear in one another’s company.
Focus on the Premier League side you’ve never really supported but pretend to love because a passion for Arsenal is the only thing he’s passed down to you, besides male pattern baldness. Don’t dredge up footballing memories like him not coming to your under-10s five-a-side final despite promising he would. Uncle Terry needed to borrow a drill more than you needed love, apparently.
Novelty T-shirts and mugs
Perhaps a ‘World’s Best Dad’ mug will inspire him to do better, but there’s a chance he’ll take it literally due to being emotionally clueless. Try not to think too hard about whether he’d ever give you a ‘World’s Greatest Son’ or ‘Best Daughter on the Planet’ T-shirt. He wouldn’t. If you really want to say the quiet part out loud, get him a ‘You’ve Been Like a Father to Me’ Christmas card.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Dads love Nazis. Or, more specifically, they love imagining how they would have fared during wartime, perhaps fantasising about how they would have personally clung to the top of a steam train to Berlin to assassinate Hitler, or some other Alistair MacLean nonsense.
Any books or DVDs about the war are sure to be a hit, the more derring-do the better. Never let on that you’re choking back tears because your father shows more interest in Rommel’s progress in North Africa than he ever has in yours.
Dads are frequently into fishing, which appeals to their unused hunter-gatherer instincts. Or, in his case, his ‘Get away from the family and sit in silence for vast stretches of time’ instincts. Any ‘Would rather be fishing’ signs, keyrings or mugs will do nicely for Christmas.
Alternatively if you’re feeling bitter and he doesn’t actually like fishing, get him one of the innumerable crap fishing gifts available, eg. a ‘The Rodfather’ T-shirt. It will prove that two can play the taking-no-interest-in-each-other’s-hobbies game, even if you’re crying inside.