You might think that farmers are easy to buy for, after all, they don’t go shopping very often unless they desperately need new clothes or a visit to the barber. But they tend to be quite fickle, they like practical presents such as a new chainsaw but as that may be an essential tool for the farm expenses, you might prefer to get him something a little more special for his Christmas gifts.
1. Good Working Dog – if he has livestock, a good dog is essential. If he doesn’t have one, this is the best present you could get him. Once he has a good cattle or sheep dog he will wonder how he ever survived without one.
This isn’t just a present for him by the way, you will benefit too. Think of it as similar to him buying you lingerie so he can enjoy you wearing it. You buy him the dog because it will save you from a lot of running, angst and shouting. Our dog is worth his weight in gold, he may not work that well for me but he is fiercely loyal to his master and always does his best for him.
2. Zwartbles blanket – Made from the wool of Irish Zwartbles sheep and designed by Suzanna Crampton, these blankets are beautifully soft and luxurious. In fact, they are so beautiful, they have been given to a number of Presidents by our President Michael D Higgins.
Not only will they give your living room, bedroom or kitchen a touch of luxury, it will be so cosy he might stay on the sofa all night when the cows are calving or sheep are lambing and won’t wake you every hour with his cold feet.
3. A Calendar – Mark the date nights on it before you give it to him so he has no excuse, he will have known about the planned night out since Dec 25th. However, the cows will know it too and they have an uncanny knack of being jealous of you and wanting his attention so one will get sick or decide to calve early or they will break a fence and run riot.
4. A Watch – one that is unbreakable, waterproof, strong strap, shatterproof, can be washed/wiped, you need to be able to programme alarms and reminders on it for him too.
5. Music System – not for the house but for the milking parlour. Apparently cows give more milk when they are listening to music and it would probably have a calming effect on the farmer too.
6. Basic Cook Book – preferably one that has all those comforting recipes like his ‘Mammy’ used to make so that when he says ‘his Mammy used to make it like …’, you can remind him to open the cookbook. Buy a heavy one so you can throw it at him on those occasions too.
7. Handmade Booklet – All presents that are handmade are extra special. You could create a handmade journal with plans for dates and cute messages or you could create a laminated instruction booklet for the dishwasher and washing machine, along with a pair of marigolds. You could put a nice demure photo of yourself on the front too – to suggest the reward he might get when the dishwasher has been filled.
8. Window Cleaning Set – Farmers tend to believe getting a window cleaner to come and clean your windows is an expensive and unnecessary luxury. They prefer to hoist you up in the loader bucket to wash the upstairs windows. Buy him a window cleaning set with those long handles that you just aren’t quite dexterous enough to manage and his wonderful navigational skills will ensure he takes pride in cleaning those windows!
9. Framed Collage of Photos – this is a lovely gift and we create a collage of photos about every second year, using photos from the previous two years. We have four of them now and are running out of wall space. I like them as every time I glance at one, I see a different photo that brings back a memory. It’s a lovely thing to do with the kids.
10. A Good Torch– ok, it may not sound overly romantic and he might have a torch on his smartphone but a good torch can be invaluable on a dark, wet night – preferably one that is waterproof and unbreakable. A headtorch is handy. I’ve bought one for Brian’s stocking this year which has a light built into a warm hat. It’s rechargeable and washable so it will be interesting to see how good it is and how long it lasts.
And of course, if you’re looking for a good book for Christmas for anyone in a farming family, how about one or all of these three? Would You Marry a Farmer?, How to be a Perfect Farm Wife and An Ideal Farm Husband can be ordered from this website or from Amazon. They all contain lots of good practical advice, real-life stories, fun quizzes, a look back at farming history and are a good all-round book that the whole family will enjoy.