I’m strolling the city streets, perusing storefront windows, scouring the internet for a gift for my dad. I have done this approximately fifteen times in my life, since around the time when my mom started stuffing a ten-dollar bill in my pocket and sending me out to fend for myself, weary of the task herself.
My dad, like most dads, is notoriously difficult to shop for. I rue the existence of both Christmas and Father’s Day for this exact reason. I have tried ties and golf shirts and cashmere socks, books on the Egyptian pharaohs, blown glass bulbs to feed water into his many withering plants. I have tried homemade cards and pancakes whipped up from scratch, and dinners on the town (he always beats me to the check).
Without fail, I receive an, “Oh, sweetie, thank you,” and a kiss on the cheek. I think he wears the socks; the cleaning lady refills the glass water-feeders.
I repeat: Why is this so hard?
Because I’ve been coming at this from the wrong angle. Like you, I’ve been hoping year after year like an insane person that I will eventually stumble across the Magical Gift He Actually Loves, perhaps in the clearance bin in the back of an obscure boutique.
I am insane for two reasons. One, it is impossible to stumble across any such gift, particularly in a boutique, particularly because of reason two. Two, my dad doesn’t want any thing.
What might my dad want?
An afternoon at the race track! Scratch that – ON the race track. Strapped into a Sprint Cup-style race car, zipping laps while an instructor radios in on a headset.
A glass of vintage merlot aboard a yacht! Make that a wine tasting sail aboard an 82-foot vintage sailboat, with any number of recommended wines for his perusal while the cityscape slips along starboard.
Flying lessons No, Fighter Pilot Lessons!. A Top Gun-style tutorial of the skies, learning to dogfight from ex-military pros.
And he can have them. These are experience gifts, perfect gift ideas for men who eschew more things in their life and crave more memories, more experiences, more joy. Also known as experiential gifts or adventure gifts, they are memories-in-the-making, boxed up with ribbon and waiting to change somebody’s life. They come in over 1700 varieties, in forty-two cities across the U.S. And they will change your life, too, gift-giver.
This is not so hard, not anymore.
About the Author: Mandy Evergreen is a blogger for Cloud 9 Living based in Boulder, CO. Cloud 9 Living is one of the largest experience gift companies in the US, offering nearly 1,700 unique and memorable experiences in 43 regions across the United States. Learn more at http://www.cloud9living.com