What to get for the man who is giving us everything
October 20, 2016 9:24 AM   Subscribe

My wonderful father is turning 70 next year, and for his birthday he is flying a big group of family and friends to Mexico to celebrate. He is covering most of the costs for everyone. I would like to coordinate a gift from the group - something really special - and I need ideas! Details inside...

His interests include:
College football (University of Texas)
Crazy, colorful socks and eyeglasses
Messing around with new technology, particularly to create videos
Music (I know that is vague...)

Passionate about:
Parkinson's Disease
Planned Parenthood

Keep in mind I would have to transport the gift to a foreign country (can't be too big or cumbersome). It also doesn't have to be a THING, it could be an experience or a donation, though I would like to have something to present to him at his birthday dinner. Ideas?
posted by GoldenEel to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
is he in good health? the diving is wonderful in mexico, so i hear (and will be trying come december). you could get him the beginner certification package (it was roughly ~$700 for me here in california with the course and equipment, might be cheaper elsewhere) so he can dive when you're there.

otherwise i might just get him a couple nice bottles of wine to share at a dinner in mexico and split the rest of the money between the two organizations mentioned above. my mom paid for my scuba classes this year for my birthday 'cause i don't want to acquire more stuff right now. that might just be me, though.
posted by koroshiya at 9:30 AM on October 20, 2016

He sounds like the kind of guy who likes to share experiences with loved ones. Does he live anywhere near a winery where you could arrange a special tour and tasting for him and a group? Or there might be a local wine store that could arrange a tasting of rare or special bottles or featuring bottles he has used to celebrate during memorable moments of his life. Or does he have a favorite local musician you could hire for a house concert?
posted by spindrifter at 9:40 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hire a professional photographer/videographer to capture the entire trip. Then follow up with a book and/or video.

Sounds like a great guy!
posted by jraz at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2016 [6 favorites]

We did the same thing a few years ago for my in-laws' anniversary, and hired a local photographer to take family pictures. Those are some of the last large-group pics we have, and it was well worth it to have them there.
posted by neilbert at 9:44 AM on October 20, 2016 [9 favorites]

It's fun for a 70th birthday to do a series of small gifts or projects, each associated with a decade of life. So for decade age 0-10, Here's a toy that was popular then. 10-19, we'll have your mom's best chicken recipe from when you were a teenager, or something about school. 20's, A nice bottle of wine celebrating reaching drinking age, or maybe something about UT. Focus on things typical of that time period, or that age bracket, or things that happened (weddings or babies or family milestones, major vacation trips, major job changes or moving house, first involvement with something he's currently passionate about, etc).

Maybe the last one is a photo album.
Maybe you hire a photographer and everybody wears crazy socks and glasses for a group shot.
posted by aimedwander at 9:58 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Photographer, yes. If you're going to one of the parts of Mexico popular for destination weddings, look at wedding photographers with really great portfolios. (If you're going to one of those places, maybe find somewhere attractive and reception-friendly to have a birthday party, as well.)

And do coordinate clothing for the photos, before the trip. It can be a loose theme, like "everyone wear light blue/or and gray" or just "everyone in nice-dinner or church clothes" because there's always that one guy in a football jersey and cutoffs.

Have the photographer do a big all-hands photo, and then each family unit with your dad, plus candids/fun shots.

You guys can additionally go in on a big framed copy of a group photo for him after you get the photos back.

Generally when someone does a trip like this, they don't want a gift, just the satisfaction and the memories (and knowledge that everyone else will not forget this trip either), so give a gift that enhances and celebrates that and gives everyone something very nice to remember the occasion.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:01 AM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

I would make a book. Ask everyone to write a special memory or funny story about your dad. They include a picture of themselves or a picture of them together. Give it to him at a special dinner on the trip.
posted by ReluctantViking at 10:10 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Have everyone going on the trip record video of a favorite memory or story about him, birthday wishes, favorite thing about him, etc., then combine into a video to watch as a group on the trip.
posted by cecic at 10:59 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you want to get him a thing, a drone with a camera. Note, I know nothing of such things, but a friend has one, and it takes really interesting video and photos.
posted by kjs4 at 9:18 PM on October 20, 2016

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