The Art of Giving: What to get for those who have everything

Fathers Day is closing in… and the ever familiar thought of ‘what should I get him this year’ is reeling through my mind. He has been the sole provider for my family from the outset. Fathers Day is meant to be my opportunity to thank him, to show him how grateful I am, in some little way. I want to give him the perfect present. My big problem is that Fathers Day is so automatically catered for by retailers. It is so easy to just go out and get the obligatory bottle of nice whiskey, or socks, or new book or something else so unplanned and easy. I want to put just a little bit of thought and personalisation to the present I give my Dad. After all, working hard and providing for four children couldn’t have been easy – why should recognising it be?

So the question remains – what unique and meaningful present could express such sentiment? Knowing that I can’t buy him the world, what little thing can I get him to show I care? Further, what can I get my Dad that he hasn’t already got?! This year, I am giving him something that no one has, a childhood memory, reproduced as an original oil on canvas painting.

The fine art of gift giving is a delicate balance of knowing the person you are buying for & knowing where to look for the perfect gift. It is a skill which can only be mastered over time and with the following steps:

1. Know the recipient well! Well of course! I hear you say. It’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Really though, to get a truly personal gift – one that will make a mark and stay there, you really have to KNOW a person. What do they really like? What do they talk about when they are at their most relaxed? This will give you the best clues as to what their fondest memories are, what they want in their future, what they need now. Whatever it is – knowing the recipient well is achieved by listening!

My childhood was filled with stories – I loved my Dad’s stories. He always talked about his youthful summers in County Clare, Ireland; the endless afternoons spent wandering with his two brothers and three sisters. He also talked a lot about the bustle of Dublin, where he lived for the rest of the year. He lived in an apartment in Parnell square, right in the middle of the action! He often talks about the disco that he, his brothers and his Father started in Dublin, just a hop away from their front door. It was the first of its kind. The kids used to queue up around the block to get in. He talks about the lighting that they had, and the records they used to play with such fondness. His descriptions are so vivid; I could even sketch the scene myself! He thrives on excitement my Dad. He loves shopping, and has every device known to man (which incidentally makes shopping for him even harder – he already has everything!). All of these memories and stories form the golden key for the best present ever – a custom designed original piece of art.

2. Where to look? With the advent of the internet, a world of possibilities opens up to consumers. We don’t have to feel limited by the stock on the shelves at our local Target or Wal-Mart anymore. The key here is to know that if you can imagine it – it can probably be done! Custom designed original artwork doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might imagine either. Original art can now be purchased for an extremely affordable price – certainly not anywhere near what our predecessors would have paid for such a personal luxury.

The moral of the story? Know your subject, and know where to look. I know that when my Dad opens up his pressie this year to find an original painting of Parnell square, and all those kids queuing up at the door of his disco – he will be overwhelmed with joy. So, what can you get for the person who doesn’t need or want for anything? A childhood memory that will last forever.