Lifestyle Gift Guides: Gifts for Dad

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by Molly O’Brien, Contributing Writer

It is incredible how hard it is to find a gift for someone who is important to you. Wanting perfection, you rush to your favorite store, yet consistently come back empty-handed. Why are they so hard to shop for?

Yes, everyone struggles to find the perfect gift for their dad. He claims he has everything he needs, but no, your old man does not actually want another pair of Golden Toe socks or a “World’s Greatest Dad” t-shirt. He is lying.

With this in mind, start by considering both the things he likes and the things he needs. For example, if your dad loves to grill in the summertime, a jar of barbecue sauce is a great idea. Not only will it be practical, but he will be excited to know you picked this out with his interests in mind.


One of the most recent trends in gifting is subscription boxes. These allow you to tailor a monthly gift to a person’s interests. For Dad, check out Birchbox, which ships four grooming items and one personal style item, such as a tie, straight to his door. Other practical subscription boxes include Dollar Shave Club, Taster’s Club or Mantry.   


If your dad is more of a handyman, smaller versions of the tools he already has are perfect. Once upon a time, someone spurred a pocket knife out of a common utensil, and the world rejoiced. Similarly, an emergency tool kit or pocket screwdriver will not break the bank, but can be used repeatedly.


For the proud Wisconsin alumni that is always looking to share a drink with a member of his alma mater (or is that just my dad?), nothing is better than a six-pack of his favorite, locally brewed beer. For example, Spotted Cow is only sold in Wisconsin, making it is a delicacy that not all can enjoy. Pair it with a bag of squeaky cheese curds, and he is officially back in his prime.


Maybe he was the one who coached every sports team, ever. This athletic guy is definitely missing that quality time you spent together. While some golf balls and a bag of tees is thoughtful, even better would be a trip to the driving range together.

More than anything, a father loves his family. Chances are, the last time you all got a quality family photo, he framed it and put it smack-dab next to his office computer. (It is also likely that you were twelve in said photo). For a thoughtful, affordable gift perfect for any dad, find the most recent picture of the two of you and give it a new home in a sleek frame.

Honestly, there is no better present than quality time with the ones you love, especially when separated for the majority of the year.  Whether it be lunch, a short snowshoe hike or simply reading in the same room, your dad will be delighted that you can both take time out of your busy schedules to enjoy each other’s company this holiday season .

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