Dudes rock

Getting your dad the same gift every year is great, actually

Dad just wants another plaid shirt for Father's Day, and how can you blame them?

Via u/BJK5150

Getting the same gift every single year is great, actually. It’s awesome! Why pressure yourself to find a sensational gadget or extravagant tchotchkes for Father’s Day when dad probably just wants another plaid shirt? Don’t reinvent the wheel here!

The thought doesn’t count after all. And a study found that gifts chosen at random were appreciated just as much as gifts that the giver chose with intention. Stanford psychologists have found people are happier when they get what they wanted rather than a surprise, and according to a study out of Indiana University, gift-givers are motivated by the moment of exchange whereas give receivers care more about a gift’s long-term practicality.

If it ain’t broke — So get your dad an annual pair of socks or a magazine subscription or hardware store gift card and be free. Malachi Sullivan is a 32-year-old sailor from Michigan who gets his dad a jar of Jif every year. Growing up, his dad guarded a private jar, discouraging the family from by saying that all peanut butter tastes the same. “One night,” Sullivan told me, “I snuck out of bed and tried his Jif. It was amazing. Ate half the container, freaked out, and then packed the Jif with the off-brand stuff. Later that night, Dad shook me awake exclaiming, ‘You filled it with the off-brand, didn't you? I know you did. I can taste it.’”

John Gavin IV, a 29-year-old from Connecticut, tried getting his dad creative gifts like a book about Jack Daniels, clothing, and a miniature safe, but because his dad “doesn't really engage in any hobbies,” none of the gifts were hits. One year, Gavin got his dad a gift card to the grocery store. Upon receiving it, the practical patriarch looked “genuinely pleased, a look on his face I had rarely seen before.” John knew he couldn’t top that, so he decided to tie it: Now, his dad gets a grocery gift card every year. “Repeat gifts for special occasions like this are really special,” he said. “Like an extra personal tradition.”

There’s an intimacy to a repeated gift.

Ian Bush is a pilot from San Diego who has given his dad an annual pair of slippers since Bush was in office.“The sweet man that is my father likes to keep his piggies warm 100 percent of the time that he's in the house, so he wears through his slippers at about one pair per year.” Every time he opens them, he gets so excited he “does a couple of laps around the living room.”

There’s an intimacy to a repeated gift: A reminder of the years of history that the giver and the recipient share. Novelty is overrated. Take pleasure in the ordinary, the peanut butter and slippers and groceries. And if the shirt fits, buy dad another (and another and another).