“A Tie? Um, thanks.” My late father was the most difficult guy on earth to shop for. We were always trying to keep our eyes and ears open for the perfect gift for him, only to be beaten to the punch by my dad himself. You could pretty much bet that when he asked “Have you heard about these new iPods?,” that the next time you saw him he’d say, “Look! I got one of those new iPods!”
So I became a shrewd and deft gift shopper by the time I hit high school, always on high alert for the perfect present for any occasion. With Father’s Day just around the corner, I’ve decided to share some of my top picks with everyone here at Mamiverse so you’ll never have to hear the dad in your life say those grim words, “A tie? Um, thanks.”
DADDY DOG TAG
It can be very difficult to buy a piece of jewelry for a man, especially a dad, that he will actually want to wear. This sterling silver Designs by Janessa Dog Tag ($77.50-117.50) is my husband’s favorite gift he has ever received from me. It features up to 3 of your kids’ fingerprints plus their names and can be worn on a “dog tag” chain or added to a key chain. Just be sure and add plenty of time for fabrication, since it is a custom piece.
FOR THE RETRO MUSIC LOVER
Does your dad have an extensive collection of vinyl collecting dust? This retro Crosley Cruiser Portable Turntable ($69.99) is an awesome gift for dads of any generation. We recently took one on a weekend getaway to the woods and had a delightful “vintage” dance party that was way more hi-fi than wi-fi!
FOR THE MODERN MUSIC LOVER
My husband longs for the days when we all had “Boom Boxes” that blasted out tunes no matter where you were-no white earbuds required. This Chicbuds Rockboom Keychain Speaker Ball ($29.99) plugs into your phone or mp3 player, packs a great sound punch and is small enough to clip onto your keychain for an instant party no matter where you are!
FOR THE NEW “HANDS-ON” DAD
My dad was the stereotypical Latino father who never made a bottle or changed a diaper in his entire life. Not so for today’s dads, who are much more hands-on. The only problem? Having to carry around a girly diaper bag covered in flowers or teddy bears can be a serious threat to any dad’s street cred. Enter the Diaper Dude Diaper Bag ($59.99). This muy macho messenger-style bag stows all of the gear a dad on the go will need to spend a day with the little ones, all in durable fabric that comes in very manly color combos. It even clips onto your stroller!
FOR THE HOT DAD IN YOUR LIFE
Hear me out—I know there’s a tremendous amount of “cheese factor” associated with “as seen on TV” products. But sometimes the quality of the product forces you to believe the hype. When my 4-year-old daughter begged me to order the Ove Glove for her daddy for Father’s Day a few years back, I knew those commercials were to blame, yet I caved in to her cuteness. Turns out the Ove Glove Hot Surface Handler ($19.95 for a pack of 2) is AWESOME. I think I can confidently guarantee that there is not a heterosexual man on earth who can resist the thrill of rearranging fireplace logs or barbecue briquettes with his hands. Trust me and get two (please follow safety directions on package).
EVERY MAN LOVES A MAGLITE
This is another “can’t fail” gift for ANY man. I don’t know why they are such a hit but, again, you can totally trust me on this one. All men love Maglite flashlights of any size or color. I’ve even seen them sold in sets with multiple sizes, but there is something elegant about giving just one. I recommend the pocket-sized Maglite LED 2Cell AA Flashlight ($19.12). Even if he already has one, he’ll love another.
THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH
If your guy is a sports fan or hiker (or any other kind of guy, really) Bushnell Powerview 8×12 Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars ($13.54)is another “homerun” gift. The great thing about binoculars is that you don’t have to get the top of the line model to have fun with them. It’s been my experience that almost any man will enjoy something that makes small things look bigger.
BE PREPARED, BE VERY PREPARED
Ladies, here’s a little secret about the man in your life: he loves being helpful to you. Especially when he can be helpful by wielding fun, James Bond-style toys to solve your problems. That’s why every man—or woman for that matter (I think no home should be without one)—needs a Victorinox Swiss Army Champion Plus Pocket Knife ($49.72). The more bells and whistles you can afford the better—so long as it is not too large to comfortably fit in one hand.
A CLASSIC FOR A REASON
Chances are your kids’ dad is old enough to remember Risky Business or, at the very least, Men in Black. If so then he will be deeply touched that you think he’s cool enough to sport a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. Yes, they are a classic for a reason. But if you don’t want to splurge on the real deal Ray Ban Classic Wayfarer Sunglasses ($145), you can still get a pair of terminally cool knockoff “Risky Business” Sunglasses ($14).
Well there you have it, the Mamiverse guide to the perfect Father’s Day gift. You don’t have to thank us, and you don’t have to tell him where you got the idea, feel free to take all of the credit. Let us know what he thinks!
Wishing you love with extra cheese—