One Size Isn’t Gonna Fit All
Unfortunately, no Father’s Day gift is going to please every father out there.
The good news is that I’ve met a large number of very different fathers, and I’ve figured out what works for each of them.
My dad is a layabout dad.
There’s no other (polite) way to say it. When he got home from work, he was done working for the day.
Period. If that reminds you of your dad, try one of these gifts of the sort I’ve gotten my own dad:
1. The Grillbot.
My dad loves to grill and hates to clean said grill. The Grillbot does the cleaning for him and lets him know when it’s done.
“There should always be beer in the mini-fridge,” might be my dad’s favorite proverb, or the motto to his (and, I guess, my) family crest.
3. Neck-massaging pillow.
When I come to visit, it seems he’s always getting a massage in the recliner.
My wife’s dad is very different from mine.
He’s not technically “upper-crust rich,” but he does have some refined tastes. I’m not sure if he’s joking when he says, “I say, good man.”
If you know someone like that, try one of these:
1. Pocket watch.
Nothing says, “Classy,” like a pocket watch, or if you’re especially fancy, a fob watch. I have to admit there’s something cool about flipping open one’s watch to check the time, and then swinging the chain before dropping it back into one’s pocket.
2. Pocket square.
One thing that says, “Classy,” even more classily than a pocket watch is a pocket square. (I’m sensing a pattern here.)
3. Linen blazer.
He’s always wearing a button-up shirt and a jacket, even though he’s retired. He loves the linen blazer though, because it’s both casual and dignified.
My older brother is nothing if not pragmatic. If you know someone who’s concerned with getting things done, try one of these:
1. Wooden tie rack.
At this stage I have no idea how many ties he has, but he’s got plenty of room on the tie rack I gave him, so score one for me.
2. Dollar shave club membership.
He’s (almost) always complaining (not quite bitterly, but still) about his razors. So, I got him a 6-month membership with Dollar Shave Club. They offer three different razors: The Humble (two blades) for $1 for 5 cartridges each month, The 4x (four blades) for $6 for 4 cartridges each month, and The Executive (six blades) for $9 for 3 cartridges each month.
(I went with the middle one, and in case you’re wondering, that works plenty well for my brother.)
3. Optometry appointment.
I know what you’re thinking: could there possibly be a lamer gift? (The answer to that question is of course, “Yes.”) I figure that Father’s Day is the best time for a more practical gift, no matter the person.
Birthdays and Christmas are for more special gifts, and Father’s Day is the time to get the person in your life who is too busy to do what they need to do a reason to do it. I just did a Google search for “glasses in Edmonton” and found an excellent optometrist.
My uncle is an outdoorsman. It seems like every time I hear about him it’s a reference to his having gone on a camping trip. If you know someone like that, try one of these on for size:
My uncle hates being inside, but he can’t always be camping. With the hammock strung up between the oaks in the front yard, he can at the very least spend 90% of his time relaxing outside.
2. Homemade beef jerky.
You’d be surprised at how easy it is to find (and augment/experiment with) a recipe for jerky. And it takes a lot less work than you might think. A mason jar full of jerky goes a long way.
Plus, who doesn’t love beef jerky (vegetarians and vegans aside)?
3. Survival guide.
I’m not talking about a zombie apocalypse survival guide, though I did consider getting him that. (I figured he wouldn’t appreciate it nearly as much as someone from my own generation.)
No, I’m talking about a survival guide that actually deals with practical situations (which wild plants are edible, how to gather water with a plastic bag, etc.).
My younger brother is a huge geek. In my weaker years (to quote The Dead Ale Wives), he and I used to play AD&D with our friends, and he just never grew out of that wonderful milieu.
1. Mead recipes.
Take a six-pack of IBC (or Jones, etc.), drink them, clean them, and then fill them with 6 different recipes of mead. Brew mead with the dad in question. You won’t regret it.
2. Geek Dad – Geeky Projects for Dads and Kids.
Within a few years, his son will be old enough that he can start to indoctrinate him into the ways of geekdom, and this book will be just the thing to get him started. J
3. A Gateway to Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Nothing says, “Geeky,” quite like “Êl síla erin lû e-govaned vîn” (literally, “A star shines over the time of our meeting”).
The important thing is to take a moment and figure out what kind of gifts the dads in your life love, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something perfect for the occasion.
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