Great Gifts for Dad

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Blue Tie

I struggle every Father’s Day with gift ideas for my husband and my dad. My husband is the typical guy-who-has-everything – to make it even more difficult, he’s extremely picky and has actually returned gifts on several occasions.

My dad doesn’t have any hobbies. He doesn’t golf or watch any type of sports, he isn’t a “car guy,” and after a regimented career in the military, he doesn’t collect anything. Neither of the men in my life wears a tie. So every year, I am surfing the ‘Net or marathon shopping, trying to find something that isn’t, well, a new pair of socks.

My husband is a little easier because he does like cars, camping, and grilling out. Last year (and the year before, due to an unfortunate lapse in memory), I bought him a grill set. So, now he has two fairly new grill sets, but I was thinking of staying in-theme and getting something a little more unusual, such as a jalapeno pepper roaster or perhaps a slider burger press.

Traveling cross-country to Napa Valley is an annual ritual for my parents, so perhaps a Father’s Day gift related to wine—a personalized wine stopper?—would be just the thing. Or perhaps I’ll ask my mom for a few of his favorite photos and turn them into a wall canvas or some coasters.

I miss my kids being young. Father’s Day was easier then. For my husband’s first Father’s Day, I took my then-six-month-old son to get his photo taken and imprinted on a mug. My husband still has (and uses) the mug. One year, I bought paint in yellow and green and had one son at a time dip his hand into his color paint and press handprints all over a T-shirt. He still has that, too. Another year, I bought a hardcover book with blank pages and had the kids decorate the cover with puff-paints and stickers. My husband keeps his important phone numbers in that book, which has a special place in the kitchen near the phone.

Once kids hit the pre-teen and teen years, getting them to hand-make anything is next to impossible. But it’s nice to know that the gifts Dad appreciates most aren’t the expensive golf clubs or silk tie, but the splotchy T-shirt littered with little handprints, or the haphazard, crooked-lettered “My Dad Is the Best!” scrawled in glittery puff-paint.

Happy Father’s Day!