Well, today is “Black Friday,” so-called because it marks the beginning of the darkest, most miserable time of the year: the holiday shopping season. Also, stores make a profit, putting them “in the black.” (Get it?) Whether you shop today, tomorrow or next month, it’s time to start thinking about what to get the people in your lives, and let’s say one of those people is a new dad. If this person is Your Man™, you may be thinking that you’ve already given him the greatest gift of all. Well, adorable though that baby would look wrapped up under the tree, as a “gift” it’s a cop-out. Here are some suggestions for the new dad in your life, a list that also doubles as a wish list for my wife (hi honey!).
Shaving stuff often becomes a default present for men. The reason for this is that shaving stuff is awesome. It’s impossible not to feel like a railway tycoon when you use a shaving brush and soap. You feel like you should be smoking a cigar while you shave. While only the most dedicated hipster/old-timey serial killer uses a straight razor, this badger-hair shaving brush gives you a hint of that grand old feeling, without breaking the bank — plus it allows a dad to luxuriate in the bathroom for an extra five minutes in silence, and that’s gold. Oh, and I have no idea why it has to be badger hair but I’m sure there’s nothing weaselly going on.
Babies are sources of great joy and profound satisfaction; also, vomit and poop. My lovely daughter once pooped on my suit while at a wedding, which was delightful. Every time I pick her up and look into her angelic, smiling face, I know that vomit may soon follow. I took that soiled suit to a local dry cleaner and crossed my fingers. Two days and a small fortune later, it came back as good as new.
Dinner Reservations for Two
This one’s a present for both of you. With finding a babysitter being expensive and potentially nerve-wracking (especially for new parents), it’s sometimes easier to forgo going out, instead becoming cloistered cult members (the baby is the leader). A good way to shake yourself out of this is to make reservations, especially at a very fancy, popular place where breaking reservations is punishable by public stoning. Get that babysitter, get all dolled up, hop in a cab and immediately have three cocktails (each) when you get to the restaurant. You’ve earned it.
Gift Certificate for an Above-Average Haircut
With the 24-hour attention required to look after an infant, some things fall by the wayside. A man who was once reasonably well-groomed starts to look unkempt: his hair puffy, floppy or some unholy combination of the two. A gift certificate to one of those new-fangled, hip barbershops, like Mankind here in Toronto, will make sure he avoids the Dad shag.
Aston Martin Rapide
OK, I know what you’re thinking: “A $200,000 sports car? Paul, that’s not very practical.” Well, Dolores (I assume your name is Dolores), you’ll notice that I didn’t pick just any Aston Martin: I chose the four-door Aston Martin. It’s practically a minivan. After all, it’s time to put away the childish James Bond two-seater fantasies and embrace the new responsibilities of fatherhood. You can even order a special Rapide child seat that matches the car’s interior. It’s a bargain, really.
Paul Beer is a Toronto writer, actor and comedian. You can follow him on Twitter @pauldanielbeer.