The Ultimate Gift Guide for Your Special Dad This Father’s Day

When you walk through large, busy crowded places, how many men are wearing neckties? The answer is very few. If you have a dad who regularly wears neckties, you have permission to ignore the following public service announcement.


Neckties are old-fashioned and a cliche, please do not get your dad a necktie for father’s day this year-Thank you for your patience, we can now begin our regularly scheduled blog post.


With Father’s Day quickly approaching we’d like to share some tips that will help us show love to the man who is likely to be the most influential male presence in our lives. Moms get a lot more press on their holiday, deservedly so. But let’s take a moment and think about how we can take this day that comes around only once a year and really make our dads feel appreciated.


Observation & Reflection (Gathering Information)

Think about your dad. This man who helped raise you, may have had to trudge off to work on many days when he’d would have rather stayed and played with you. But since the bills had to be paid and the family had to eat, off he went. This isn’t everyone, but probably typical of many households. Really think about him. What does he like? What does he really hunger or yearn for? It may be hard to spot. Is he like the majority of guys who has a favorite sports team or band that he follows? Is there a favorite author? How about this, does he have a particular time in his life that he misses? Was he a child of the 50s, 60s, 70s, or the 80s? Does he love technology or explaining how things work? Is he a fan of a certain brand of drink, or car? These may be easy or it might be something you’ve never considered.

Take another moment and reflect on what he has been asking of you? If you’re grown and not living with him, does he just want to catch up and talk? If you’re younger and still live at home, does he want to show you how to do things? Has he asked you if you wanted to help him change the oil in mom’s car, or want to sharpen the lawn mower blade with him? These can help give you a clue to what might please him the most. Some dads love to teach stuff to their kids. Maybe building a robot together, learning to shoot a BB gun, or building a fort in the backyard would be just the ticket.

Gather all those notes and look them over. Let’s say in your discovery phase, you recorded that he likes Ferraris or Mustangs. These can lead you to a range of ideas. If you’re loaded, go buy him a car. Because most of us can’t afford that, how else can we use that information? We could get him a calendar or a coffee table book featuring large, beautiful photos of his favorite car. If you want to go for an experience, you could take him to a local car show. Gatherings of enthusiasts happen all the time at ice cream stands and local carnivals. If you want to go one step more elaborate, ask him if he wants to go test drive a car. (Be careful with this, if he’s not able to resist the shopping impulse, he may come home with a hefty new car payment. We don’t want to do that.) If he misses a car he used to drive in his younger years, you could find and frame an old photo of him with that car. Or find an accessory from that particular year of that car, a window crank or a gear shift knob that might be incorporated into a cool desk accessory.

Dad-themed items

Many dads and their kids are very busy and not able to just drop everything and do a fun project together. If that is the case, it’s OK. We move ahead and check out many sources of father’s day themed items that you can buy. If the reflection exercise didn’t produce and strong ideas, you can at least express some love. If possible, it would be cool if the tone of that item reflected your special relationship.

There is a very rich and varied list of suggestions on Ask Men. Most of these call into the cliche category that I mentioned. Out dad’s aren’t one-dimensional characters who are defined by one thing. But if he does have a particular affinity for golf, a brand of adult beverage or is a gadget junky—certainly, go ahead. These would be great things for him.

If you want something with a more personal flair, you could hop onto Pinterest and search for cool crafts you could make for him. If you want to skip the DIY approach and buy something with a personal touch, Etsy is the place for you! There you can find hundreds of well-made crafty expressions of love, that you can buy without getting your hands dirty.


Throughout this post are hints of experiences that you can treat your dad with. Many dads would like to spend more time with their kids. Life gets in the way. If you can make it work, this could be better than any knick-knack that you can buy. Going for a walk, take him out for coffee or going with him to see a movie might be good options.

If schedules are free and money is available, you could do a big trip. I have a friend who took her dad on an old-fashioned wagon-train expedition. You could explore lots of options here. Taking a local class together to re-learn an old hobby, like photography might be a great way to spend time together.

Make it count

Hopefully you have seen some ideas here to inspire you to make this year’s Father’s Day really count. If you’re fortunate enough to have a dad around and can take advantage of this opportunity show him some love, don’t miss it.

A lot of the ideas presented here follow the most common, statistically “normal” household description. If you don’t have a dad around, or your relationship wasn’t great, you don’t have to feel bad about it when this time of year rolls around. Is there someone else, a grandfather, an uncle, a mentor or favorite teacher that you could honor? You can always choose to redirect where that energy goes. Maybe the best way to celebrate Father’s Day is to play with your own kids and make it easy for them to show you the love, even if it is a necktie.


Photo credit: Claudia Heidelberger / CC 2.0

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