10 real dads tell us what they want for Father’s Day

10 real dads tell us what they want for Father’s Day

And these heartwarming, thoughtful gifts are about as far from materialistic as you can get…


To find out what they really hope for on Father’s Day, we sought out 10 bona fide, card-carrying dads and persuaded them to spill the beans! The answers might surprise you…

Martin Welch, 42, dad to Hugo, 10, and Georgie, 7

“I work away from home a lot so when I am there it’s really important to me that I spend as much time as I can with my family. A great gift for me is a family walk – I love knowing that my kids are getting some exercise outdoors, in the fresh air, and something about the momentum of a walk means we chat far more freely than we do sitting around at home. We pack sandwiches and cool drinks and drive to our favorite spot near the coast – and the best thing is that as the kids get older, our walks will get more adventurous. It’s becoming a proper family tradition.”

Jonathan Hart, 45, dad to Mia, 8, and Freddy, 6

“I think it’s really important to spend time together around the dinner table so for Father’s Day my wife and the children make an extra special effort to think up a menu that contains all my favorite foods, then each of them prepares a course. Part of my gift is a brand-new razor (they know I love anything from the Gillette range) and I have to get all dressed up and look smart. The love and thought they put in means everything.”

David Parish, 50, dad to Emma, 15, Rebecca, 12, and Pip, 9

“Last year, I told my family that instead of presents, what I really wanted for Father’s Day was 40 minutes uninterrupted time in the bathroom. I’m surrounded by women – you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to clean my teeth in the morning without someone banging on the door asking how long I’ll be. To have a proper shave is luxury and it means I don’t even mind them using all my shampoo. Head & Shoulders is quite the brand for glossy teen and pre-teen hair, it seems. Roll on next year!”

George Kerry, 32, dad to Sam, 9, and Ivy, 3

“There’s quite an age gap between my kids so it’s hard to find something we all like to do as a family, but something everyone enjoys is a picnic at the beach, followed by a spot of crabbing. It’s a lovely way to spend the day – egg sandwiches and cold sausages have never tasted so good!”

Matthew Searle, 49, dad to Tom, 15, Amanda, 12, and Poppy, 9

“We break out the snacks and nibbles and set ourselves up around the dining room table for a family games night. Favorites are Monopoly and Pictionary, although my middle child (Amanda) is quite an actress and always makes a bid for charades. It’s good fun and a break from the screens – it’s rare all three of my children are in the same room, and each year I love it more because I see how fast they’re growing up.”

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Jamie O’Mara, 52, dad to Ellie, 18

“I had to have a lot of dental work last year, which was protracted and painful. I was quite depressed about it until I opened my Father’s Day present from Ellie – it was a brand-new Oral-B Pro 5000. It was so thoughtful and is also great for knowing my new smile will be well cared for!”

Dan Cox, 42, dad to Stanley, 8, and Betty, 4

“Nothing says Father’s Day to me like homemade biscuits or fudge. The kids absolutely love baking and although I’m not sure the end result is always edible; I scoff them down anyway – I’ve got an iron stomach. They wrap them in cellophane, tie them with ribbons, and decorate the package with stickers. It’s lovely because they’re not small for very long – soon I’ll just be boring old dad.”

John Ryder, 29, dad to Toby, 8

“Last year, we decided we’d make Father’s Day half indulgent, half useful. We spent the morning tidying up the garden, which Toby loved, after which he and my wife gave me one of the best presents I think I’ve ever had – a hammock! I got to spend a happy hour in it reading the paper and drinking a beer before firing up the BBQ and having friends over. It’s definitely set a precedent for the years to come.”

Matt Ruyant, 46, dad to Henry, 10, and twins Jessica and Emma, 5

“Last year, the kids gave me a video of them telling the story of my perfect Father’s Day. They each thought about all the things I like doing – surfing, cooking and dancing (badly) – and filmed each other making up a story in which I was doing one of those things. The results were brilliant – and best of all was that they were all briefly engaged in doing something together with no one fighting! I hope they do the same this year.”

Stephen Harris, 44, dad to Gemma, 11, and Willow, 7

“It sounds so mundane, but last year my kids cleaned the car for me and it was brilliant – especially as they’re the ones who mess it up! They did a really good job – wheels and all – and even vacuumed inside. Then they tied a bow around the steering wheel and put a card under the windscreen wiper. It was really sweet. It was the only time last year they cleaned it…”  

What was the best present you ever gave your father? Or which one was best received? 

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