Maybe it's because dads are inherently easier to please than moms, but it seems like most Father's Day gifts wouldn't hold a candle to the elaborate Mother's Day rituals that have come to define the second Sunday in May. You can do your part to bring Dad back into the fold with five practical gift ideas that he'll actually appreciate.
1. Personalized T-Shirts
Ditch the "Bestest Dad In the World" coffee mugs and give your dad something he'll use for more than half an hour each morning. Personalized T-shirts are perfect for indulging your creativity: You can revisit old inside jokes with your dad or write a heartfelt message that might get lost in a greeting card or gift wrapper. If you think he won't proudly display that shirt in public, you're probably underestimating your dad's sentimentality. Best of all, you can find high-quality personalized T-shirts online for a pittance.
You don't have to get your dad a deluxe riding mower to satisfy his craving for power equipment. If he has a decent spread behind his house, he'll appreciate a chainsaw to mop up after downed limbs and trees. You can find a decent one for three hundred bucks. Power drills are even cheaper and far more versatile. If you're feeling generous and have a little extra cash to spend, invest in a table saw and make this the year that Dad finally opens that furniture shop he's been going on about.
3. All-Purpose Knives
Every self-respecting dad should have a Swiss Army knife or a similar multi-purpose pocket tool. While it's true that the corkscrew and bottle-opener features are by far the most commonly-used features of these utilitarian gadgets, Dad will might just find the nail filer, screw driver and wire cutter bits useful too. Leatherman Rebar Tools are slightly more expensive, but they pack a professional punch if he's looking to get some real work done around the house.
This is why Father's Day happens during the summer. If the weather is at all nice this year, chances are you'll be spending the holiday on the deck or patio, standing around the grill and basking in the sweet scent of manliness. As a gift idea, few man-made devices are as versatile as the standard backyard grill. Gas grills tend to be more expensive than the charcoal variety, but they produce a cleaner taste and require less cleaning. Dad won't be disappointed either way.
5. Kitchen Implements
More and more guys are bonding over nice kitchen-cooked meals these days. You can reward Dad's chef turn this Father's Day with any number of fancy kitchen implements, from solid maple cutting boards to power juicers to knife sets far superior to those loose-handled grocery-store shivs. Here's an idea: Buy Dad something practical for his kitchen and then cook him a Father's Day dinner with it, just to make sure it sinks all the way in.
Don't let Father's Day get lost in the shuffle this year. Shopping for your dad should be relatively inexpensive and free of stress, but that doesn't mean it has to be an afterthought. Head to the hardware store or go online armed with these five simple starter ideas and make this the most memorable Father's Day of Dad's life.
Brie Northerlund is a full-time writer and blogger. She writes for www.personalisedtshirts.com. Find out more about designing your own shirts and hoods at this site.