Father’s Day is this Sunday. This means that if you haven’t already, you’ll need to vamoose to get something in the mail or ready to hand off on the big day. Since Father’s Day can cause the big gift screen in the mind to go blank and result in a last-minute scramble to produce a gift, any gift, in order to satisfy the custom of the day, here are a few thoughts on gifts to satisfy not just the custom but the sentiment as well:
Style: Think of some of your father’s most enduring style points or accessories, and add to the collection. Look back at old photos for ideas and inspiration, ignoring the disco shirt phase and the bow-tie phase. Is it cufflinks, Hawaiian shirts, belts or baseball hats? Your contribution should be high-quality and accurate–the exact style, size and shade should be in keeping with what you know he already loves. If you’re only fuzzy on the matter, keep reading.
Leisure: Every father has some activity or leisure pursuit that he loves. Whether it’s golf or gardening or blackjack, don’t just get him some extraneous new gadget that will lie dormant in the trunk of his car. Get him something that either
- upgrades something he already owns and uses regularly, or
- solves a problem or issue he currently has related to this activity
For the first, this might be something along the lines of a less geeky basketball ensemble or a luxe tackle box. The second might be satisfied by purchasing him a golf swing analysis with a pro at a local facility, getting him a new and improved reading light (they’ve come up since the 1980s) or an item that expedites kitchen duty.
Self Care: It isn’t uncommon for a father to bristle at the thought of his children spending their money on him instead of depositing it into their piggy banks, so go super practical and assemble a line up of personal care products that he’ll use. A few items to include:
- multi-vitamin formulated for men
- shave gel
- face lotion with SPF
- lip balm
- bath bars or gel
- after shave or cologne
- hair cream or pomade
- breath mints or oil
Keep the products as pure and naturally formulated as possible. I recommend buying these items ad hoc at a health food store for the best selection, or buying a kit from a brand that you know he likes. Men’s grooming company Every Man Jack has Starter Kits with packaging that will appeal to even the most product-phobic man. After assembling all of the items, place them neatly in a gorgeous toiletry bag. (Get it monogrammed if it will be ready in time.)
*A Parting Tip: If none of these have adequately stirred a thought in your head on what to get the old man, keep thinking. Reflect on a conversation you’ve had in the last year where he’s expressed some preference, some desire or complaint, small or large. Maybe he regrets that he stopped studying Italian and never learned to surf, or there’s a specific book he’s been meaning to read forever. Or he’s been thinking of getting certified to teach, buying property in Montana or visiting his boyhood home. What can you do to help move his goals forward, even by a tiny bit? It can be along the lines of buying him an audio series or book on the subject, signing him up for a class or buying him a travel voucher with no expiration date. No matter the gift, he will no doubt recognize and appreciate the gesture of a child who wishes to make their father’s life better in some way.