gift idea future bro-in-law
November 24, 2016 5:00 AM   Subscribe

What should I get my future brother-in-law for Christmas- he's a farmer, it's my first time at the family Christmas.

My family lives in major city, my fiancé's family lives on a farm local to the rural town I now live in (4 hours away from major city). Last year, we decided it was too hard to figure out Christmas so did it separately. This year, we're engaged, and so have to be involved in each other's family Christmases for the first time. (Eep!)

This means that I was put in to the 20$-30$ family gift exchange (large immediate family- 6 adult kids) and I've scored my future brother in law. (We'll call him B)

We are in Australia.

B is the brother inheriting the family farm, and works it along with his Dad. B loves guns and shooting. B got married last year. B is in his early 30s. He isn't really into sports, but B was big into water skiing last summer. B might be a dad in the near future?? B spends long hours on the tractor, sprayer, and other assorted farm equipment. B isn't a big reader (at all.) B is very much an outdoorsy person. B is a Christian. (As am I- just putting this in for context.)
(as I was thinking about this question the phrase 'he's not very metafilter' came to mind!)

I've been talking to the future Mr Feet about this and he isn't very helpful.
Rejected ideas:
a case of ammunition - while I am licensed to purchase this, I feel it's not a special gift for someone who uses it a lot through their occupation (pest control.)
A rain gauge for their house - they already have a gauge for the farm, obviously!
any gun part - he already purchased this/out of my price range/I can't get it easily.
Housey stuff- I don't want to get a gift that his wife would enjoy more than he would.

I don't want to get a dud gift at a Christmas where I feel like everyone is looking at me!

The waterskiing angle is looking promising... I have no idea here though.

Question: what should I get my future brother-in-law for Christmas in Australia that doesn't cost more than 30$?
posted by freethefeet to Shopping (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about a nice pocket knife or multitool?
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:10 AM on November 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

My dad and brother are outdoorsy people, and they love rain suits so they can go out hunting/fishing/camping even though it's raining. Even just getting a rain hat or part of a rain suit might be useful to him.

Maybe a hat from a local sports team to keep the sun off of him while he's on the tractor?

Is he a reader? I just put "Christian farmer book" into Google and tons of options popped up, like this one.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:23 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

My brother is a farmer (long hours on the tractor, check) and not a reader AT ALL, but he really enjoyed a subscription to Turns out he likes listening to books (especially during the enforced boredom on the tractor) much better than reading them. That said, that might vary from person to person; the one time we gave my dad an audiobook on the tractor, we ended up with many very crooked rows.

I don't know anything about the weather there, but we're in New England and winter clothes are a huge thing for Christmas. The highest of high-tech socks, hand warmers, long underwear. I know it's not winter there, but if there's any warm weather equipment that might help--a really nice insulated water bottle (on preview: rain gear, yes!), that kind of thing.

The multitool idea is a good one, too.
posted by gideonfrog at 5:28 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Good sunglasses?
posted by raccoon409 at 5:49 AM on November 24, 2016

Weatherman multitool. Done.

You can't have enough of those things.
posted by Murray M at 5:51 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

That should have been "Leatherman" multitool
posted by Murray M at 5:52 AM on November 24, 2016

Are there any fancy or semi-fancy consumables he likes but might not habitually buy for himself? Nice chocolate/coffee/tea/wine/spirits/pate/cured meats/body wash etc. - you could make up a small hamper or gift box.
posted by terretu at 5:54 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Good work gloves? Another thing you can never have too many of.
posted by bluebird at 6:00 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Good hardwearing/high performance boot/hiking socks. I don't know what the local Australian brand would be (in the U.S. I'd suggest smartwool or darn tough). This is also something that you can never get enough of and is a nice balance between practical and a step up from what someone often buys for themselves.
posted by drlith at 6:15 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

First, your fiance should really be helping you out; honestly this should be his job entirely.

But if he's flaking out, some ideas are:

Several pocket-size flashlights; it can be nice to have them everywhere
Handwarmers if he lives somewhere cold; either a metal Zippo one or a pack of disposable ones
If he drinks, alcohol
A box of Grease Monkey wipes and hand lotion
A gift basket of pocket sized packs of trail mix, jerky, etc.
posted by metasarah at 6:22 AM on November 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

What are his tastes in music? Tractor time is often music time, so a compilation you think he'd like.
posted by theora55 at 6:33 AM on November 24, 2016

A small "Be Prepared!" gift pack: the metric equivalent of this survival tool; a bag of hardy cable zip ties; and some wonderfully cozy and hard-wearing boot socks (seconded: the Australian equivalent of Darn Tough). Not exciting, but useful to have and they don't take up space.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:40 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

A nice headlamp? It comes in super handy in a million instances.
posted by salvia at 7:03 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Really really good socks are generally always well-received by practical people. In the US we have Darn Tough socks and they're awesome. Brands you could find easily would be Wigwam or Icebreaker. Hard for most people to want to spend $15-20 on a pair of socks so they make good gifts.

If you want to go super-practical, a Felco Folding Saw has always been a crowd-pleaser with the people in my life. There is a never-ending appreciation for tools and things that fold. This combines both of those.
posted by belau at 7:59 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I got my boyfriend, who lives in rural Maine and is fixing up a home and doing a bit of farming, a headlamp like salvia mentioned. It has been one of the best gifts I have ever given him. He loves it, and uses it all the time.
posted by momochan at 8:15 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hi all,

Thanks for all the answers so far- just a quick update to a few questions posed.

Weather: we're not in summer yet and we've already had a day that topped 96F (36C) so cold weather gear isn't really available at the moment. :) We also don't get a lot of rain- this year being the exception.
(We're talking big (massive!) farm equipment with auto-steer so wobbly lines wouldn't be a problem with audio books. :) )

Price point- 20-30$ AUD- sadly (good) multi-tools don't seem to be available at the price point, here- though it's a good idea.

What's my fiancé doing? Well, he's already been helpful in that he guessed who my person was and is giving me ideas and vetoing bad ideas- the 'rules' are that this is the only present you get from the family and you aren't supposed to tell anyone who you get. (I interact socially with B most weeks so I do know him personally as well.)

Are there any water skiers in the house? :)

Thanks again all- he's tricky to buy for so it's good to get lots of different ideas.
posted by freethefeet at 1:02 PM on November 24, 2016

How about a well insulated mug that will keep drinks hot or cold for those hours on the tractor? Contigo makes a really nice one that is right in your price range.
posted by Alison at 1:57 PM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

My father (a retired dairy farmer, still involved in some vegetable farming) loves his pocket sized LED flashlight that can be recharged in the cigarette lighter socket in his truck, similar to this SpotLight one. He just showed it off to my brother this afternoon, saying he keeps it in his pocket and uses it at least twice a week. If there is an Autobarn in your area, they seem to have them online for $17.99.

I know my father refuses to use multi-tools, since he finds them too bulky. I think he has 5 of them sitting in his nightstand drawer, given as gifts and never used. He prefers a Case Small Stockman or Case Peanut pocket knife - both are more than your price point and, like a multi-tool, something very personal and tricky to buy for a person.
posted by bCat at 2:00 PM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

How about a combo gift-awesome waterskiing baseball hat?
posted by purenitrous at 7:47 PM on November 24, 2016

Australian Geographic has a neat little credit card sized device that is similar to a multitool, I'm getting that for my nerdy-science BIL who is similarly difficult to buy for.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:04 PM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've waterskiied all my life, and I'm hard pressed to come up with a gift in that price range. Does he want a new tow rope? Maybe one with a different style handle? Only cheap ones are in that price range though. A new life vest? Again, the nice ones are more expensive. Sunglasses? Cups to take drinks on the boat since you can't take glass bottles out? The floater thing to attach to your boat key so you don't lose it in the water? Oh! Beach towels? You can never have enough of those! ... Not sure any of these ideas are as good as my original idea of a good headlamp.
posted by salvia at 10:17 PM on November 24, 2016

That credit card survival tool is awesome and helps me out with gifts for my side of the family (with a totally different Christmas culture). Headlamp looks like it's a go, with a side gift of one of those floaty key rings, or a beach towel.

Thanks for the waterski advice, much appreciated.

Thanks all! Metafilter delivers again.
posted by freethefeet at 4:42 PM on November 25, 2016

Headlamp was a hit. :) Thanks all.
posted by freethefeet at 4:32 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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