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Having experienced the last minute Christmas shopping frenzy only a few weeks ago, I found myself confronted with the problem of what to buy for my Dad. Every year it's the same problem; what do you buy the guy that has everything? In the past I've been told that I'm particularly hard to buy for. I know I am - if I want something, I go buy. Makes sense right?

If you don't have time (or the patience) to read this entire node, you can just read this paragraph. The easiest option is buy something inherently bad. You know what I'm talking about - socks, pants, jumpers, chocolate. That kind of thing. They're not really bad, just show a lack of thought, and of course that's not good.

Ok, you've decided you need to show that you've put some thought into this. That's good. From here you've got three options - buy something useful which he needs, buy something that he wants but doesn't know about (requires research, but in lifes equation research+well researched gift=happy guy), buy something not material. We've cover this one in a sec.

The first one may well be the easiest one to achieve for many people - especially girlfriends and wives. If you pay attention, you'll hear your guy say things like, "I need some a new camera", or "my cellphone (mobile phone) is getting old - I should really get a new one". All you need to do is subtly quiz him about the said product and you're done. If however you don't want to risk blowing your cover, just call his best friend (or if he doesn't have one, his mom - don't ask, it just works).

Ok, option two isn't nearly as easy but will probably be the best. Researching guy stuff - cameras, computers, sports - isn't the easiest thing in the world. You can probably get some sound advice from his best friend. Don't underestimate his best friend. Chances are, if he doesn't know exactly what you should buy him, he'll be able to tell you if something is cool or not. Something else to try is to head over to a search engine like google and search for "gadgets", "toys for guys", that sort of thing.

Option three is for the desperate. We're talking bungee jumping, adventure weekends, driving racing cars, etc. Yup, they cost cash and you don't get anything more than an experience - but 9 times of out 10, your guy will remember that over almost any other gift. Lots of places sell packages like these for a fixed price. If you're strapped for cash, you could always scale it down and go for dinner, or a concert. If you're not sure what he'd prefer, call his best friend.

Hope this helps. Happy shopping.

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