If you have trouble coming up with the perfect Father’s Day gift, you’re not alone. Choosing a thoughtful gift for Dad can be fairly easy, but choosing a thoughtful gift that he’ll like is another story.
Mushy yet manly
When we’re buying gifts for Mom, sentimentality is often the guiding force. A delicate ceramic figurine that symbolizes your bond of friendship and trust will mean a lot to her. Try giving Dad the same gift you gave Mom and you’ll get a confused look and a collectible item that sits in its box on a shelf in the garage. That’s not to say that Dads don’t appreciate sentimental gestures, you just have to know how to do it right.
Usually, men and emotions don’t mix. They’ve got their own ways of telling the people around them that they care. A slap on the back, a cold beer, an awkward joke – those are Dad’s ways of saying, “You’re important to me.” So how do you get your communication styles to mesh?
A personal gift is worth a thousand embroidered words
To some women, a fish gutting knife is not a gift that says, “Thanks for being a supportive and caring father.” But to guys who love the great outdoors, this Father’s Day gift is a statement that you really understand your dad.
To show Dad how much you care, you have to show that you get who he is. If he’s into sports, tickets to a game, a jersey from his favorite team or a cushion for stadium bleachers are all wonderful gifts. If he’s into techie gadgets, anything iPod, a laptop accessory or a digital camera memory card will leave him smiling.
The point is to think about the things Dad loves doing best and find gifts that relate. Does he barbecue dinner every night in the summer? Does a fine cigar make his weekend? Does he read The Economist cover to cover every week? Giving Dad a gift that reflects his hobbies and interests shows him that you love the guy he is and think he’s altogether fabulous.
Say it right
The art of the Father’s Day card is a subtle and difficult one to master. The same rules apply as above. If you and your dad don’t exchange “I Love Yous” on a regular basis, an overly sentimental card may leave him uncomfortable and unsure how to respond.
We suggest finding a blank card with a nice design and writing in a few heartfelt words. Thank him for something specific like helping you learn to drive or supplying funds for extracurricular activities in college (shopping should be a sport). You don’t have to go overboard on the mushy thoughts. A few phrases of appreciation for his support and hard work show him that you know how much effort he’s put in to providing for his family.
No two dads are the same. If your dad has a sentimental streak and has kept every one of his #1 Father trophies, you’re on the right track with your gift giving strategy. If he’s not particularly open about his feelings, focus on the things you do know about him. Showing Dad that you love him for who he is can be the best gift he gets.