Father’s Day is just around the corner, so if you haven’t already picked out a gift for you dad, it’s time to get cracking! You all know how close I am with my father, so I wouldn’t dream of letting the day go by without a special acknowledgement of how much I adore him and how much I appreciate all that he’s done for me over the years. Here are a few suggestions for ways to show your dad, step-dad, grandfather, uncle, or whomever it is that fulfills that role in your life just how glad you are to have them around.
The Adventurous Dad
If your dad is all about the outdoors, he’ll definitely appreciate some new gear. Hiker or biker? Try this Camelbak M.U.L.E. Hydration backpack, which is big enough to last for an all day walk or ride, and has a nice amount of storage space.
Just because you’re spending the night in the great outdoors doesn’t mean the menu has to be limited to hot dogs and marshmallows (although Alex Knightley might differ with me on this one). With a nice, lightweight set of camping cookware, your dad can whip up a delicious meal tent-side. Although if you’re actually camping ON Father’s Day, you might want to offer to do the cooking yourself!
Sometimes the best gift is a new experience. If your dad is the type who likes to try new things, get him something that’ll get his adrenaline going such the opportunity to go skydiving, white water rafting, or to drive a racecar. Of course, you may also want to get him a GoPro camera so that he can record the experience from his P.O.V. for you to enjoy later.
The Sentimental Dad
Some fathers prefer the gifts that take time and forethought, but don’t necessarily involve spending a lot of money. What they value most is the personal touch.
My dad loves it when he knows I’ve cleared my schedule to spend the entire day with him, as there’s nothing quite like feeling like you’re someone’s first priority. When I was a kid – and before he got so particular about his diet – I used to kick off our day together with breakfast in bed, featuring an array of breakfast meats, pancakes, granola with fresh berries and a tall glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Looking back, I have a feeling it wasn’t quite as delicious or as artfully presented as my mind remembers it, but I do know his appreciation for it was genuine.
If you’re not fortunate enough to be spending Father’s Day with your dad, go the extra mile with your Father’s Day card. Turn it into a letter detailing out 10 things you love about him or expressing your thanks for all the ways he has enriched your life.
Another idea I love is giving your dad coupons that he can redeem for things like chores or moments of fun throughout the year. This cute set of “Dad’s Got Game” tickets includes everything from taking out the garbage to telling your dad a bedtime story to returning all the items you’ve swiped from his office. He may never have said anything to you, but he does actually miss his stapler and ball point pens!
For those of you with kids, nieces, nephews or little cousins, nothing will make a Dad smile like cute pics of the next generation. Here’s a relatively simple idea from the Twinkle Toes de Lux blog that uses big, painted wooden letters to create a personalized photo. Or let the feet do the talking to send a message of love and affection. And don’t forget the frame! So many of us have tons of pictures on our hard drives; the extra special touch with this gift is printing out the photos and finding a cute frame so that the gift is immediately ready for display on Dad’s night table or desk.
The Sporty Dad
If your dad is into sports, you’ve probably already exhausted the “favorite team” logo gift category. This year, instead of another baseball hat or jersey, think outside the box for something else that might appeal to his sportsy nature. Try upping his game with a digital cordless jump rope or a gyroscopic wrist and forearm exerciser. The latter will strengthen the muscles used in sports like tennis, golf and baseball, and can also aide in alleviating wrist pain from overdoing it on the keyboard. Another nice thing about both of these items is that if your father travels a lot, they easily stash away in a suitcase.
For the sporty dad who also has a sentimental streak, put together a box of personalized energy bars. You Bar allows you to put a special message on the wrapper. If you want to take it a step further, you can even create a custom energy bar with his favorite ingredients. Your dad will thank you the next time he’s mid-run and takes a bite of the bar you designed especially for him.
The Techy Dad
If your dad is all about new and shiny electronic toys, your biggest challenge for Father’s Day may be sorting through the multitude of cool tech gadgets on the market. Here are just a few ideas to help shortcut the work for you.
Sometimes you need to take notes, but you don’t feel like bringing you iPad with you. And writing large amounts of text on your smartphone can tax the digits. At these times, a Livescribe Smartpen can come in handy. Jot down all your thoughts on their Livescribe dot paper, and then use the app to sync the notes to your device.
If your dad is more into images than the written word, there are a number of gadgets out on the market than can enhance the photos he takes with his smartphone. Be his tech consultant and purchase a suite of apps for him (just make sure you know what operating system his phone uses). Another option is an iPhone telephoto lens, which will allow him to capture high quality long-distance photos and videos, which can come in especially handy for shooting things like sports and performances.
Once he’s synced his notes with his computer or loaded his pics onto his tablet, make your dad’s life more comfortable with a lap desk. Whether it’s made to accommodate a variety of devices or specific to a tablet or laptop, a lap desk will make it much more comfortable to use (no heat burn!) and can even improve posture.
The DIY Dad
The DIY dad comes in lots of variations, but regardless of his interests, the one thing all DIY dads have in common is the joy they take in the work they do with their own hands…and in some cases, the stubborn belief that they can do something better than anyone else!
If your dad is into gardening projects, chances are he’s already got a decent set of tools. Help him keep them in tip-top shape with a tool maintenance kit, or enrich the soil he uses while minimizing odor with a fresh air compost collector.
If the BBQ is your dad’s venue of choice, make manning the grill a more intimate experience with a personalized grill spatula. Aspiring chefs might enjoy a make-your-own bacon, wine-making or mead kit. Yes, I said mead – that’s for all the Game of Thrones fans!
However you decide to celebrate Father’s Day, we hope you enjoy taking a few extra minutes to appreciate all the wonderful things he brings to your life. Because appreciating others is always Emma Approved!