So is there an alternative to simply buying another tie that he likely won't wear?
You could take the easy way out and just ask dad what he wants, but I have never been a big fan of this method. It seems less like a gift, and not very thoughtful, if they have to tell you what to buy them.
Or you could just buy a gift card or gift certificate, but that is just a step above giving some cash, don't you think?
If those options don't sound good to you, here are some better ideas to help you find dad the perfect gift.
Be PracticalThe best gifts don't always have to be unique or creative. If dad is a practical guy, then go for a practical gift. So instead of a 'World's Greatest Dad' neck tie, buy him some socks if you notice that his socks have holes in them. Or replace his worn out boxers and undershirts. Since many dads don't like to shop for clothing, getting gifts on holidays is the only way these things get replaced.
Be CreativeEspecially if you have younger children, some kind of arts and crafts project is often the best way to make a gift for dad. Even a simple card can make a great Father's Day gift if the kids took the time to make it themselves.
Other fun ideas, which don't cost a lot of money, can include:
- serving dad breakfast in bed
- making dad a special lunch or dinner
- a collage of pictures of fun times the kids have had with dad
- a special dessert, like a cake shaped like a tie
Personalized ItemsFew things can express the true meaning of Father's Day as those gifts that help dad celebrate and remember that he is a father. Some fun ideas for gifts in this category include footprint keepsake plates, with your child's footprints on the plate, either incorporated into a special design or just alone with their name and other personal information.
Other nice personalized gifts can include a special 'dad and me' type t-shirt or a personalized tote bag or mug, etc.
Interests and HobbiesA careful review of dad's interests and hobbies can make it easier to find a nice gift that is also useful. For example, if dad is a golfer, get him some golf balls or a golf shift. Or if dad is handy around the house and like building and fixing things, a new drill, laser level, or tool kit might make a nice gift.
For an even more thoughtful gift that will likely catch dad by surprise, think about or try to discover some interests and hobbies that dad hasn't had time for lately and give him something to help him reconnect with them. Did he have to give up playing golf to spend more time at home with the kids? Then consider some lessons with a golf pro to help him get playing again. Or buy dad a bike trailer so that he can begin biking again and still be able to spend time with the kids.
GadgetsFor the average dad, you can't go wrong if you buy some kind of high-tech gadget, such as a:
- universal remote control
- MP3 player, like the iPod Shuffle
- palmOne or Pocket PC Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
- new cell phone
- digital picture frame
Gifts To AvoidIf you are really looking for a practical present that won't just sit in the closet, there are some things to avoid. Gag gifts, which might sound like fun, often quickly become annoying and should be avoided. Do you really expect dad to wear a tie to work that has dogs playing poker on it?
You might also avoid gifts that involve a specialized interest that dad has. For example, if he is a computer programmer, you probably don't want to buy him a book about computers. And don't buy a pro golfer a golf club. These types of gifts usually fall into the realm of 'he would have bought it if he wanted it' gift. It can work if you discover a new version of something he already has or are replacing something that is broken or lost.