If you want to nail your Father’s Day gift choice this year, think in terms of finding something that really goes to the essence of who your father is, what he most enjoys, what you most admire about him.
Is he a sportsman? Is he into technological gadgets? Is he a bookish intellectual? Is there a special kind of music that touches his heart, that perhaps he’ll associate with special times you and he have had together? Does he have an outrageous sense of humor?
One caution to keep in mind, though, is that the more your dad is into something, the more important it is to get something worthwhile in that area. Don’t think “He’s a golf nut, so I’ll get him a golf club,” unless you’re going to educate yourself about which golf club fits him and his game. Don’t think “He’s big into Shakespeare, so I’ll get him this fancy hard cover book about Shakespeare,” unless you are very confident it’s in fact a high quality, critically acclaimed work, and not just some well-packaged schlock for the masses. Because even if you don’t know, your dad the Shakespeare buff will.
Who are the most important people in his life? Could you give him something personal that somehow relates to someone he loves? For example, perhaps you have a photo of him with his late wife that depicts them in one of their last truly happy moments together on vacation, and you could have this enlarged and professionally framed to present to him. Or perhaps you have an hour or two of random home movies of him with his first grandson, now ten years old, and you could edit this down to a fifteen minute DVD of highlights that you know he’ll treasure, maybe even with some music and special effects.
It’s a cliché to say that so-and-so is “hard to buy for,” but a lot of times it’s because we just haven’t thought that deeply about who they are and what would mean the most to them.
No one can know better than you and the people closest to him what is the best gift for your dad, but here are a few intriguing Father’s Day gift possibilities to get you started thinking:
1. Heart Rate Monitor
If your father runs, plays sports, works out (or is always insisting he’s going to start real soon because he needs to get in shape), a device like the Polar M61 Heart Rate Monitor Watch can be just the thing to fit his health-consciousness. When he wears the watch, he can view his heart rate easily while walking, running, swimming, biking, cross country skiing, etc. This handy little device displays exercise time, current heart rate, and average heart rate, with target heart rate zones triggering audible and visible alarms, and a calorie counter to keep track of energy expenditure for one session or accumulated sessions.
2. Jewelry and Eyeglass Cleaner
How’s this for an intriguing little gadget most folks have never heard of? Just place eyeglasses, jewelry, CDs, DVDs, watches, even dentures, into the 25 ounce tank of the Sonic Power Professional Digital Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine, and with no harsh chemicals or anything else that can damage the item, after a three minute cleaning cycle it’s good as new.
3. Palm Pilot
Let’s say your dad is really not of the wired generation, and is perhaps only willing to try one of those newfangled gizmos the young folks are so into if you give him a bit of a push and some encouragement. A good choice might be an earlier handheld like the PalmOne Zire 31. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles he likely wouldn’t use and that would just complicate things for him, and you can get a very good deal on them now since most people of course are eager to buy the newer models. So it functions as a very nice entry level unit that he can use to organize his contacts, create a schedule, keep photos of his family to show off to people, etc. It lets him step into the 21st century at his own pace.
4. Remote Controlled Gutter Cleaner
Make one of the most tedious of Dad’s chores easier, safer, and actually kind of entertaining with the iRobot 12601 Looj 135 Remote Controlled Cordless Electric Gutter Cleaning Robot. Just set it at one end of the gutter and use the remote control to direct it forward and back. Spinning at 500 RPM, the high speed augur dislodges, lifts, and tosses out leaves, pine needles, and other debris from the gutter. The remote control works from up to 40 feet away.
5. Stock Car Experience
Is Dad a big NASCAR buff? Surprisingly priced at only $150, Cloud 9 Living offers a Stock Car Ride Along at the famous Pocono International Raceway in Pennsylvania. A professional instructor will whisk Dad around three laps of the 2.5 mile oval at speeds that top out over 150 MPH. (Yes, he’ll have to sign a waiver, but isn’t that invariably the mark of an awesome experience?)
Show Dad you love him with a thoughtful gift that fits him as an individual. A lot of dads tend not to be the mushy sort who make a big deal out of gifts, but deep down inside it’ll mean a lot to him.