coffee maker, pot

No. 1: The New Coffeemaker

Your father uses the same coffeemaker he did when you were in grade school. The filter basket is held together with duct tape. Maybe it's even an old-school percolator pot, with the bubble at the top that shows what color the coffee is -- or it used to before it became so filmed over by years of deposits that now it looks like a blob of amber.

This does in no way mean that your father needs or wants a new coffeemaker. Your well-meaning purchase of a Keurig, a Tassimo or some other exotic robot-like java machine will not only be unappreciated, it might actually cause you to collect your inheritance early.

Picture this: Your sleep-fogged dad stumbles into the kitchen, just enough neurons firing to get him through the coffee preparation routine he's followed for the last 40 years. Instead of his trusty Mr. Coffee, he's faced with something that demands insertion of a coffee pod, selection of brew strength and various other types of programming.

He misses his coffee, tries to drive to work anyway and, well, you can guess the rest.