Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for. If you ask him what he wants for Father’s Day, you might get either a dad joke as an answer, or something along the lines of “I don’t need anything.” Even if it’s true that he doesn’t exactly need more things, there are still plenty of gift-giving opportunities to show Dad how special he is and how much he means to you.
Don’t know where to start? Here are six unique gift idea starters for Father’s Day to help you express your love and appreciation for the special father in your life.
1. Start with his favorite things
Seems obvious, right? But knowing his interests and preferences means paying close attention over time, which isn’t automatic for many of us. Begin by jotting down ways he likes to spend his time. Is he a foodie, a technophile, or a traveler? Does he crave the outdoors, or is he more of an afternoon symphony kind of guy? For clues, listen to the memories he shares or topics he brings up in conversation,and keep a list on your phone. You never know when it may spark an idea!
Taking notes is a great long-term strategy, but what if you’re short on time? There are plenty of other creative gifts with a personal touch that can help make this the best Father’s Day ever.
2. Express your gratitude in a gift
Father’s Day is all about gratitude, so why not express your appreciation with words? Telling Dad how much he means may be the best gift of all, and costs zero dollars. Try these writing prompts to get in the flow:
- List a few things you like about yourself and how your dad contributed to them. This could be traits you picked up from him, habits he instilled that have helped you, or even your athletic prowess.
- Recall a favorite memory of a time you and your father shared. What made it memorable?
- Did he ever share a piece of advice that came in handy later or helped you through a tough time?
- Describe some of his best qualities. For example, maybe you didn’t inherit his punctuality, but you admire it?
3. Personalize your gift
Most fathers enjoy a framed photo that includes him with his kids, which is why this is always a top gift for dads. If shopping for frames and prints sounds daunting, don’t worry—it’s never been a better time to find online options to upload an image and have it delivered in a frame.
Once you start down this path, you’ll find a world of options beyond the frame! Your favorite photos can be placed on keychains, socks, phone accessories, and even on custom labels for his favorite beverage. The possibilities are truly endless.
4. Go for luxury
What makes something luxurious isn’t the price, it’s the fact that it isn’t strictly necessary. That’s one reason people love flowers. They don’t serve a practical purpose, rather they just make us happy! Personal care items run the gamut from pragmatic to indulgent, and are a great way to kick it up a notch. Treat Dad to grooming gifts such as a replenishing hand cream and lip balm, a soothing and masculine face moisturizer, or a fresh new shave kit. Has Dad been making do with something that’s worn out, like an old suitcase, billfold, or phone case? Many fathers are too practical to spend money on themselves for something that still works for them. (Does the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sound familiar?) If so, this may be the perfect opportunity to splurge on an upgrade.
5. Eat, drink, and be manly
Even the father who has everything still likes to eat! Edible gifts are foolproof because there’s such a wide range of options from which to choose. Put together a curated gift basket of goodies surrounding a particular them, such as Movie Night, Charcuterie, or Barbecue. Olive oil, chocolate, honey, hot sauce, pickles–whatever he likes, there’s likely a fancy version available that he hasn’t tried. A monthly subscription to gourmet coffees, wine, or fruit will be something he looks forward to all year. If he’s really lucky and you live nearby, make him a home-cooked meal. That personal effort means more than you may know!
6. Make it an experience
What takes up no space but fills the heart with happiness? Memories! Make new ones by giving Dad the gift of an experience. Whether it’s a day having fun with his children or grandchildren, or pursuing his own interests, time well spent is a gift beyond measure. Here is a list in no particular order to spark ideas for an unforgettable Father’s Day and many days to come:
- Tickets to a sporting event or concert
- Voucher for a continuing education class
- Annual pass to the nearest national park or state parks
- A day at the race track
- Yearly membership to a museum
- Amusement park pass
- Gift certificate for an indoor rock-climbing or trampoline park
- Day trip on a train
- Hot air balloon ride
- Greens fee at a golf course
- Family game night
- Movie night with the whole family
- Day rental for kayaks or bikes
Use your judgement
It’s the thought that counts, right? That’s true, but if you want to avoid some common pitfalls of gift-giving and make it the best experience possible, keep these things in mind:
- Tread lightly with joke gifts. If you’re not sure whether he will truly think that a “World’s Best Farter” mug is hilarious, it’s best to leave it at the store.
- Spend appropriately. It may be tempting to treat him to something truly extravagant. However, lavish gifts that are way beyond his ability to reciprocate might make him uncomfortable.
- Take the load off of him. Coupons are clever, but if he has to ask to redeem them, he probably won’t. Likewise, steer clear of anything that resembles “work,” such as lawn care or tools, unless you know he’s pining for something in particular. If the gift is an event, do as much of the planning ahead of time as possible.
Whatever you choose, you are sure find something that feels just right as you celebrate the special dad in your life this Father’s Day!