My Worst and Best Father’s Day Gifts

It’s the day before Father’s Day. I’m standing in the kind of shop that the cast of Jersey Shore probably buy their makeup in (you know, nothing costs more than two bucks) and I’m starting to panic. In one hand, I’m holding a plastic pipe that looks like a prop for a sixth grade production of Sherlock Holmes. In my other hand, I’m holding a pair of child’s scissors because nothing says “Happy Father’s Day Dad” like a plastic pipe and a pair of scissors.

This is not the first time I have been in this position. Almost every year, I find myself in crisis mode in some random store, surrounded by cheap binoculars, second hand pen knives and fishing nets. And every year I find myself buying my father a present so craptacular that by now he must be questioning whether I’m just being really, really mean.
Let’s have a run through of the worst, shall we?

1996

A mixed tape

Basically, I put Bruce Springsteen songs on a tape. Or what I thought was Bruce Spingsteen. It was Donny Osmond. I was nine. Shut up.

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The resemblance is uncanny

1997

A packet of tobacco

Because nothing says “I love you Dad” like a packet of lung polluting tabaccy from your ten year old daughter. Different times people, different times.

1998

A bamboo stick

I found what I thought was the coolest present ever.
I mean can you believe that someone just let a perfectly good bamboo stick lying around?

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Majestic

1999

A trout

Yes, you read that right. I caught a trout, put it in a bowl and gave it to my dad. I called him Jammy. I don’t know if dad was freaked out, or proud.

And here are some of the best gifts I have given him:

A Shark DVD

Because sharks.

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A bowler hat

For his Charlie Chaplin impressions.

Boxing gloves

And I got myself a pair too. Don’t mess with me, I got mad skills.

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Some people say that Rocky is based on my life. Some people would be me.

A tattoo

This is going to sound quite cheesy but
I am very proud of my ancestry and my family name. I wanted to keep my heritage with me for a long time so I decided to get a tattoo of our family motto on my wrist.
I wanted to show dad that some day my last name may change, but his name will be with me forever. I’m just that selfless. And badass.

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So what about you? What gifts have you given for Father’s Day over the years?

In case you guys are wondering about my inspiration for this post, it came from the people over at Dollar Shave Club who are asking bloggers to write about their experience in giving or receiving Father’s Day gifts. I loved the idea and their viral video too so I was only too happy to participate 🙂

A Poem for Parents

Julie over at Musings from a workaholic wrote a lovely post about her sons and the various activities they got up to as kids.

It reminded me of an Irish poem that my parents had up on our fridge when I was young. I will post it in it’s original Irish form (and it is much nicer in Irish) but I’ll also post an English translation. I think those of you with kids will love it.

Subh Milis

Bhí subh milis
Ar bhaschrann an dorais
Ach mhúch mé an corraí
Ionam d’éirigh,
Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá
A bheas an baschrann glan,
Agus an láimh bheag
Ar iarraidh.

Jam

There was jam
On the door handle
But I quenched the anger
That rose in me
Because I thought of the day
That the door handle would be clean
And the little hand
Would be gone

Seamus O’ Neill

Also, a big thank you to Lydia for the Sunshine Award. I know I’ve taken forever to get to it so apologies! To spread a little sunshine to your day, here’s a picture of me on my graduation day:

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Note: That is not actually me. I’m much less adorable.

When you find out that your dad is Santa Claus

When I was a child, Santa Claus used to come to my local village hall complete with reindeer (whose coats are apparently made of felt, who knew?)
Anyway, the year was 1993. I stood in the long queue, excitedly hopping from one foot to the other, anticipating the conversation I would have with Santa. I had so many questions. Does Rudolph’s nose turn off or is it constantly on? And if so, is there a way to dim it for oncoming traffic? You know, all the questions a normal six year old would want to ask Santa.

When I finally reached the top of the queue, I was ushered over to ole St. Nicholas himself by an elf that was suspiciously tall and looked a lot like the lady who worked in our post office. I was perched on Santa’s knee.
‘And what’s your name?’ he asked jovially. Hmm, I thought, that voice is familiar. As I turned my face to his (in what is now a slow-motion cinematic memory) I clapped eyes on…..
MY FATHER.

Yes, Santa was my father. Or my father was Santa. In those seconds that felt like a lifetime of betrayal, I matured more than any six year old ever should. I realised it all: This is why I was never allowed in his shed. It was probably full of disgruntled elves. This is why he always refused to diet and why he had an aversion to sun-holidays. I sat in a stony silence. Any other six year old would have been jubilant to realise the she was the daughter of the world’s most popular fat guy, but the cold sting of betrayal hit me hard.

He repeated ‘and what’s your name?’ albeit a little more awkwardly this time.
Oh I’ll play along, I thought scornfully, but you won’t get away with this.
As I played the part of oblivious child and took my yoyo with grace, my friend came rushing up to me.
‘DID YOU SEE-‘ she began, so excited she was positively giddy.
‘Yes. I know. My Dad is Santa Claus.’
‘You are so lucky. I can’t believe it. I would give anything for my dad to be Santa.’
I thought about this. Maybe it would have its benefits. I mean, surely I didn’t have to spend three hours negotiating my Santa letter anymore. I had a direct line. And maybe, just maybe, his union might order a ‘bring your daughter to work day’ which would be, let’s face it, AMAZING. I mean, sure, I’d have to behave my self a lot more, as it would now be much easier to find my self on the naughty list, but I was sure that the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks.

Years later, I still haven’t told him I know. When he tells me that he’s going to the pub on Christmas Eve, I know better. And when he stocks up on mince pies, I know it’s just fuel for a very long journey. And when he says that he doesn’t know what the capital of Denmark is when we watch quiz shows, I often murmur ‘sure you don’t know, it’s not like you’ve never been there before. Pfft.’

So, even though my childhood was built on lies, it’s pretty cool that I’m a member of the Santa dynasty. You could say we’re one of the most powerful families in the world but I don’t wanna brag. I just want to be normal. Although if I ever get access to one of his flying reindeer, I’m taking that SOB to Hawaii for sure.