I once gave my dad a sock with a salami in it.
I think I already mentioned the best gift ever for a dad, or any red blooded male. You take a box like a tie, then you place a flyswatter in it. Works like a charm.
We also used to give dad tins of sardines as he loves them and my mother won't buy them for him, poor guy.
The most pleasing gift I've often given to my menfolk is a flashlight. I once picked a few up for extra gifts on my way to Christmas in France for the men (I give them to women too if I know they like them but the smaller one you can stick in your purse or your keychain. My daughter loves hers). My husband berated me for such a dud gift (coming from someone who always gives a box of chocolates to anyone he can't figure out). I told him to just watch.
Sure enough they loved them. They even mentioned them long after that...'Oh thank goodness I had your flashlight.'
My little tiny nephew saw the charity boxes being made up by his grandparents in which there was a flashlight. He was about three and reclaimed, 'Grandma, I really want a frashright for Christmas too.'
Greta's experience sounds like my one grandmother, but, not to that extent.
She did give us a lovely gift for our daughter, with snippets of wallpaper samples, strings, things from around the house, postcards and explained that on the frontier in Colorado in a ranchhouse, she and her sisters had made paperdolls for hours with those.
I ended up making them with my own daughter and she loved it.
I was born under a wandering star.