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Gift Guide: Father’s Day

June 1, 2010

I love my dad, BUT HE IS SO HARD TO SHOP FOR! Not one gift-giving holiday has passed without him insisting that all he wants are “some new socks”. Really? Socks? Honestly, he is just being sweet because he doesn’t want me and Derrik (my brother) to spend bunches of money on him. Since we don’t have bunches of money, we find it easy to fulfill that request. Someday (this is a promise, Dad!) when Derrik and I are gazillionaires, we will buy you extravagant gifts. For now, though, we are stuck with a budget, which usually means a funny card or some modest gift.

If you aren’t on a budget (or at least have one bigger than mine), check out this list of cool daddy gifts:

* If you have limited funds, don’t fret! I have a list of almost-free ideas for Father’s Day at the bottom of the page.

daddy's day gifts

1. Some dads like golf. My dad happens to be one of them. Some guys like to read non-fiction books about golf. I don’t think my dad does (he prefers suspense novels with freakishly similar titles, all written by the same author): but your dad might! Straight Down The Middle was recommended by Uncrate; if you don’t know about this website, and you have a man in your life (or are a man?), or you like super-cool stuff, you need to check it out. Immediately! I haven’t personally read the book, but I would read the phonebook if Uncrate said it was good (well….prooobably not the phonebook, but you get the idea).

2. Fan gear is my go-to gift because my dad is a fanatic. He likes almost any sport you can think of (even bowling-but not soccer, because that’s just ridiculous). I chose to display a Red’s hat because I like the Reds, and it’s baseball season. But they put sports logos on almost anything these days, so figure out what team your dad will yell at the TV about, and then go buy some fan gear!

3. If your dad already has an iPhone, an iPad, and a fancy coffee maker, the only touch screen item he doesn’t have is this watch. In addition to being awesome, this watch actually looks good. It is super-sleek with a black rubber strap and simple silver face. If your dad isn’t a sleek kinda guy, you might want to check out this watch. It’s much more casual, but just as awesome, even without the touch screen.

4. Okay, so I want this laptop skin. Some dads might also want it, so I added it to the list, but mostly it’s just for me. It is actually made out of pine, and no two are alike: It’s like the snowflake of the laptop accessories world. If your dad is super eco-friendly, this is NOT a good gift for him. If you are super eco-friendly, please don’t hate me for putting this on the list. I mean, the website doesn’t say they cut down a tree for this laptop skin, but it also doesn’t say it is made from salvaged wood.

5. If you read #3 and thought: “my dad doesn’t even know what an iPad is”, then this is the gift for you. A lot of dads I know are a little behind technology-wise; I mean, who still uses a DVD player?!?!?! (Actually, a lot of people– the over-the-top punctuation is simply for effect) If your dear old dad still uses a DVD player, or God-forbid a VHS player, and he likes movies, consider getting him a Blu-Ray player. A lot of people are skeptical, but Nic owns one and we absolutely adore it.

6. I stopped watching Lost a long time ago. Week after week of questions without answers just pissed me off. Some people stuck around though (possibly your dad?), and because the series finale aired last month, there is a lot of Lost merch floating around the web. A lot of it is corny, but I really like this silk-screen print (of  “Dual Locke”) by Ty Mattson. He has a bunch of other prints as well, and they are available on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs.

7. Cufflinks seem like a stereotypical Father’s Day gift, but when they are awesome, it doesn’t matter. I l-o-v-e these Scrabble ones, and if my dad ever had a need to wear cufflinks, or even liked Scrabble, I would totally give these to him. If you like cufflinks, but Scrabble isn’t your cup of tea, check out these, these, these, and these.

Almost-Free Gifts (That Won’t Make You Look Like A Cheap-o)

Please note that most of these ideas involve you spending quality time with your dad, so if you don’t like your dad, you should just skip this and buy him some meaningless, thoughtless, material, gift (if you need ideas, see the list above—–just kidding! But seriously, check out the list.)

ribeyePhoto Credit

1. Make him dinner. Even if he gets a home-cooked meal every night of the week, it means something when you make it for him. Especially if you go out of your way to make something he really likes. Plus, in all actuality, your dad probably likes spending time with you, so this is an easy opportunity to do just that. Need recipe ideas? Look no further:

* For the meat and potatoes dad: Pan-Fried Ribeye Steak (see delicious picture above), Green Beans with New Potatoes, and Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings (okay, I’ve had these, and they are supa’ dee-licious…and fattening)

* For the fancy-food dad (or should I say father): Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad, Caramelized Fennel and  Tomato Flatbread, and          Chocolate Earl Grey Tartlets for dessert. This is also a great pick for a vegetarian dad.

* For the pasta lovin’ dad: Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti, Spring Salad with Tangy Vinaigrette, and Lemon Ripple Cheesecake Bars.

2. Take him to the game. Yes, taking him to see the Yankees would cost an arm and a leg, but taking him to see a minor league game costs a fraction of the price. The Columbus Clippers have Dime-A-Dog nights (kinda’ self explanatory: hotdogs are each ten cents), and I can get tickets for $5 with my student ID, so it ends up being maybe a $15 gift. Of course it’s not as exciting as seeing the Reds (or Yankees, or whoever) but it’s really about spending quality time with your dad. If your dad isn’t a sports fan, try the zoo. Your school probably has tickets available for a variety events at discounted prices–and tickets always make good gifts.

3. Fore! If you are good at golfing, or can golf at all, take your dad out for a day on the course. If, like me, you miss the ball every time you swing, opt for a par three course, or if even that is too intimidating, play putt-putt. I’m sure your dad would like to do something he enjoys with you, so pick one of his hobbies, and plan to do it together.

What are you getting your dads for father’s day? Do you go the heartfelt, creative route, or stick to cool items you know he’ll love? I’d love to hear from you?

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