birthday gift for dad
July 10, 2005 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Birthday gift ideas for my dad who is turning 60.

Hi my dad's 60th birthday is coming up next month and I am wracking my brains to figure out what gift to get him. A little about him: He is a phyiscist, in the category where that is part of his perception about what is beautiful in the world. He likes to take walks, likes to read (or complain that he doesn't have time), watch movies, ocassionally listen to classical music. His girlfriend takes him places, e.g., trips, shows, her family events. He used to play chess. He used to run years ago, before he developed various health complications. Not sure what else to say about him.
posted by blueyellow to Human Relations (8 answers total)
When my dad turned 60, my gift was showing up unannounced at his party in Boston, from Seattle. He loved it! Would a surprise visit mean anything?
posted by tristeza at 11:16 AM on July 10, 2005

After a certain point in one's life, presents tend to become superfluous. Afterall...does one really need more stuff?

Tristeza has it right. A personal visit would probably mean more to your Dad than anything else. If you insist on a gift of any sort, I'd say a comfortable meal at a cozy restaurant where you two can relax and converse. Speaking as a father myself, I can't think of anything better.

Well...maybe throw in 18 holes together in the morning before the dinner. But that's just me.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:47 AM on July 10, 2005

If you're in the US, and if you're family got here by immigrating a while ago...

My grandpa loved the photos I took of his ancestors' names on Ellis Island's "The American Immigrant Wall of Honor." He's too sore to travel himself, but he wanted badly to see it.

The names of your family members will only be listed if someone has paid to have them added. If no one has had his ancestors added, you could do so. Or if they're already listed you could go have a look at it together, and enjoy the museum while you're there.
posted by leapingsheep at 12:31 PM on July 10, 2005

ditto on the visit. just did that for my mom last month, got to the restaurant a little early (arranged the whole thing with my aunt), and the look on my mom's face when she saw me was priceless.

the trick is to pay attention to the details - i sent her a little something that arrived the day before, also called her that afternoon and made sure to drop some b.s. that made me sound like i was still at home. she had NO idea!
posted by radioamy at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2005

As lame as it might sound to us (perhaps?), how about a memory video? All you need to do is find 200 or so old family pictures and a few of your favorite home movie clips, put them in order, pick out some music and hand all of it over to a professional (note: I know nothing about this company, I'm just linking as an example.)
posted by JPowers at 3:27 PM on July 10, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. Hmm, two things. 1) he knows I am coming, and there is an event planned with family members and friends. 2) He lives abroad, as does most of my family. So getting access to family pictures would be difficult. I might have a few handy, but not enough to do anything of the "this is your life" variety.
posted by blueyellow at 4:00 PM on July 10, 2005

Epic mount.

(Right now, there are two or three gaming nerds wetting themselves with laughter, trust me.)
posted by krisjohn at 5:23 PM on July 10, 2005

As part of my gift for my grandmother's 90th birthday, I asked every family member (spread over thousands of miles) to write a few paragraphs about his or her life at the time (relationships, home, job, school, etc.) and send (electronically) photos taken that year. I basically did a two-page "spread" for each person, with the text and the photos, in a scrapbook.

Some of us actually made a point of having people we know take photos of us -- which was a nice project in itself. And the photos printed on my inexpensive color inkjet looked fine in the book.

Some family members were pretty uncooperative, but by virtue of one-hour photo (a couple of hours before the party!), everyone made it into the book, with photos.
posted by sueinnyc at 8:32 PM on July 10, 2005

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