Let’s sort Father’s Day right here, right now.

When I went on Today last week to do my regular “What’s Making News” segment, the last news item was a fun one (good to end on something light) about Father’s Day. Apparently some research had come out suggesting Dads get the short end of the present straw on Father’s Day due to many unimaginative gifts of socks. Guilty?

The research also showed that fathers are big optimists. Huge. 34 percent of dads hoped to receive a flat screen TV. But that’s realistic compared to the 14 percent of men who hoped for A DATE WITH ANGELINA JOLIE. Apparently, that is less likely to happen which means I should probably cross A Date With Simon Baker off my list of Mothers Day Presents 2010. NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT.

Anyway, the enormously popular Kerri Sackville has been kind enough to write a guest post on the subject of Fathers Day gifts. If you have a father – or have to buy presents on behalf of those too small to have credit cards, I suggest you inhale it…..

Kerri writes….

Okay, I believe in Fathers Day. I really do. It is kind of commercial, and it is probably just a giant gimmick to force us into buying knick knacks that we don’t really need. But men do deserve to be honoured for their work as parents. And, more importantly, we need Fathers Day to justify Mothers Day, and by GOD I love my sleep in and breakfast in bed.

Unlike Mothers Day, though, Fathers Day is problematic. Men are very difficult to choose gifts for. Ask a woman what she wants and she’ll rattle off a list of ten or twenty things without drawing breath, starting at jewelry, moving through bags and boots, and ending with cookbooks, spa treatments and clothes.

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Men, on the other hand, will have two things on their wish lists. Cars (generally small, always fast, and often red), and sex.

Now cars, whilst a most excellent gift idea, are out of the price range for many significant others. And they are nearly always out of reach of kids wishing to buy a present for Dad from the money in their piggy banks.

Sex, on the other hand, is a highly affordable gift for mum to offer. Still, a card from the kids saying “Happy Fathers Day Dad – present’s coming tonight” is kind of distasteful, though certainly cost effective.

So what’s left? Well, you could buy clothes, but the average man will greet a gift of clothes from his wife with as much excitement as the average child will greet a set of dictionaries. And those men who do get excited about clothes are probably the kind of men who want to choose said clothes themselves, so that’s not likely to go down well either.

However, fear not…. turns out that cars and sex are not the only answers after all. No really, guys, they’re not. There are other presents out there that are fun, affordable and ideologically sound. Personally, I’m impressed by the Oxfam range of fairtrade gifts. These are sourced from around the world, and by purchasing one you can help to alleviate poverty and injustice, so it’s really like giving twice.

Very helpfully, Oxfam not only provide the gifts, they tell you which ones to buy. All you have to do is decided whether the dad in your life is sporty, musical, gamey (no, not as in ‘wild boar’, as in ‘likes games’), trendy, culinary, a big kid, or pampered.

For Sporty Dads there are sporty balls. Moreover, every time one is sold, another is donated by Oxfam to a child in Pakistan, so that dad can know his matching ball is somewhere out there being enjoyed.

For Trendy Dads, there are a range of recycled wallets, and some stylish man bags that put all other man bags to shame. (Then again, most man bags are pretty shameful, so it’s not hard.)

For Culinary Dads, there are cookbooks, condiments and recipe books, for Fun & Games Dads, there are brilliant wooden board games. For Big Kid Dads, there are super cool recycled model cars and scooters, and for Musical Dads, there are a range of bongos, drums, pan pipes and CDs (bear in mind, if you get the bongos or drums, you’re probably going to want to buy him a soundproofed room as well).

But my personal favourite – for Pampered Dad – is the selection of fairtrade choccies, coffee and tea. This, girls, is the gift that keeps on giving. To you.

So check out Oxfam’s range at www.oxfamshop.org.au or call 1800 088 455, or if you don’t have time to wait for an online delivery, there are 23 Oxfam shops around Australia and you can find your nearest one here.

And remember: It gets you out of buying a car.

You can check out Kerri Sackville’s blog here or follow her on Twitter here. I suggest you do both.

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