Father’s Day, sometimes typo-ed as Fathers Day or Fathers’ Day, is a special day to honor the often uncelebrated dad with a gift of something as special as him. Unfortunately, most dads end up with a closet full of ugly ties or piles and piles of socks they’ll never use up in this lifetime or the next five. Take it up a notch with gift ideas for Father’s Day and it usually involves some kind of gimmicky gift that’s enough to make a grown man cry. “Stop,” we say! “Enough,” we add, with as much paternal indignation as we can muster. It’s time to rack your brain and come up with some sterling gift ideas that won’t make daddy’s face wither. Here are some thoughts to get you started on the road to discovering fantastic gift ideas for Father’s Day this year.
What Does He Want?
We’ve said this before in a recent piece on birthday gifts for mothers called Gifts for Mom that Won’t Make Her Cry (with Disappointment!):
“The first question you need to ask yourself is what mom likes as a woman. Try not to think of her as the one who carried you for nine months and nurtured you, or will nurture you, for another two decades. Try to think of her as a woman and figure out what she likes and wants rather than what you think she likes and wants. You’re sure to have had several conversations where she mentioned something she’s always wanted to have to do or be. Go out that get that for her or try to make it happen.”
Just swap the mom words for dad words in the paragraph above because it’s the same thing. Dad might not have carried you for nine months but he probably baby-proofed the house and got your room all ready for your imminent arrival. So, aren’t you obliged to find out what his goals and desires are and attempt to fulfill them to the best of your ability just as he supported your dreams growing up?
You can never put a monetary value on what your dad’s done for you over the years but, for God’s sake, at least spend more than ten bucks on a gift for Father’s Day!
Okay. Rant over. Now for the good part. Let’s look at some categories of gift ideas rather than specific gifts. Remember, this article is intended to jumpstart your own creative juices, not to give you items and links to buy them. So, forward we march into the realm of what to buy dad on Father’s Day.
Father’s Day Gifts that Offer Daily Value
One of the gift ideas we often recommend for dads that are in or approaching seniorhood is a recliner chair. But that’s just an example of something that can offer daily value. It could be a foot-massager or foot-spa if his job requires that he stand or walk all day. The point is to find a gift that can either give him respite from stress or a little bit of pleasure at the end of a hard day.
To make the gift even more special, try and remember conversations you’ve had before where he’s said he’s always wanted. Maybe he’s been talking about setting up a woodshop in the garage to make things for the house but he’s been putting it off because of one thing or another. You can probably help clean up the garage when he isn’t home, or buy a set of tools, or even purchase a workbench to give him that extra motivation to get started. Technically, such a gift won’t offer daily value but it creates a path toward such an experience.
Sometimes, Father’s Day Gifts are Just for Fun
A gift doesn’t always need to be functional or utilitarian in order to have great value. Has your dad ever wanted to go to a Rolling Stones concert? Unfortunately, the Stones have postponed their No Filter tour of the U.S. and Canada this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but how about getting him some genuine live recordings of the Stones and putting it together on a DVD that you can watch together?
Sometimes, all it takes is to have a different perspective on your dad. Don’t look at him as the strict disciplinarian you were scared of as a child because he’s not that guy. He was once a young and ambitious with a beautiful woman on his arm, and the world was his for the taking. Try and look at him in a different light and the gift ideas you come up with will magically transform from socks and ties to something far more exciting. Exactly what that is is up to you to find out.
Gift Ideas for Dad’s Security, Safety, and Comfort
If your mom and dad live alone and you’re concerned for their safety, there are several things you can consider buying for Father’s Day. A home security system with a live monitoring service isn’t that expensive if you do away with the bells and whistles, and it will let you sleep better at night knowing that someone’s watching out for them.
If your dad is into technology, you can think about upgrading their house to a smart home. There’s no need to go all out and spend thousands of dollars on stuff they’ll never use, so choose wisely and only buy the things you know they’ll appreciate.
For example, there are systems that allow the user to turn on the heating or air-conditioning remotely. This will be useful when they go out shopping and don’t want to return to a cold (or hot) home. It could be as affordable as voice-operated light dimmers or as expensive as a smart fridge that adds items to their shopping list as they get depleted.
You can also consider buying your father a dog or some other pet he’ll enjoy taking care of. But make sure your dad actually likes pets and that it won’t end up being more of a burden than a gift. You don’t want him to start dreading Father’s Day every year!
So, in summary, you’ve got gift ideas that give daily value, you’ve got fun stuff you can think about, and then you’ve got practical considerations like safety, security, and comfort. That should be enough to get you started on your shopping journey for Father’s Day. Always remember: you’re buying a gift for him, not something you think he’d like to have.