How to Avoid Giving Terrible Father’s Day Gifts

Sometimes, purchasing a great Father’s Day gift can be difficult.  Your dad may be at the age where he has everything he needs or wants.  He may be a man with few hobbies and interests.  But everyone still wants to find a Father’s Day gift that will delight their father.  Because some of the traditional gifts for dads are underwhelming to the average man, here are a few pointers on how to avoid giving your dad a gift that will end up in the bargain bin at the Salvation Army within a week.

Tip #1: Do not sign him up for a new hobby.  There is probably a reason your father doesn’t golf, collect stamps or garden.  Most people have no desire to start a random hobby that someone else has chosen for them, at any age.


Tip #2: Do not give your father useless gadgets. While a high-tech gadget may be perfect for your dad, he definitely does not need a set of magnetic balls to swing to and fro on his desk.  Fight the urge to simply buy a gift for the sake of giving something.  Instead, make an effort to find a present that fits his personality, activities and hobbies.


Tip #3: Do not send your dad unhealthy treats if you know he has high cholesterol, high blood sugar or another health issue.  Over 1 million people are admitted to the hospital for heart failure every year in the United States, often times after consuming holiday foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat.  If you are one of those people who gets mad when they see a stranger in a restaurant feeding their tiny toddler a huge sugary desert, don’t think you’re any different when you do the same thing to your dad, even if you do it with love.


Tip #4: Do not attempt to clean up or rearrange his garage or hobby area as a gift. Chances are, your dad has trouble remembering where he put things in the first place.  He certainly does not need someone moving his tools or other items in an effort to clean up an area that suited him just fine before you arrived.


Tip #5: If all you can afford to give your father is your time, consider bringing a homemade meal with you to his house. Otherwise, he might end up taking your entire family out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, which is more of a gift for you than him. Being ‘the one who pays’ is often a big area of pride to many men.  He may feel emasculated or guilty if you insist on paying, even if it is Father’s Day.


Tip #6: Bear in mind that Father’s Day is on the weekend.  If your dad works hard during the week, allow him some time to relax as he would on any other weekend.  More likely, he will enjoy a low-key celebration without a lot of fuss.  Monopolizing both his ‘free days’ by setting up a plethora of family events – even if enjoyable – is more like work for him than relaxation.


Tip #7: Do not purchase a live animal for your father.  If your father does not already have a pet, there’s probably a reason for that. Some people think owning a pet is a gift in itself; others simply see it as a hassle.  There are also costs involved with keeping an animal, such as food, preventative medicines and grooming.  That adorable tiny kitten may have only cost you $5; he will cost your Father upwards of $50 a month in cat food and litter. If the cat lives to be 12 years old, he’ll have cost your father $7,200 in food alone, not counting vet’s bills, pet insurance and other expenses.


Last, but not least, remember that a gift from the heart means much more than an expensive gift.  While everyone loves expensive gifts from time to time, not everyone can afford to give them.  If your father knows you are struggling financially, he will not feel good about accepting an expensive gift for Father’s Day.  The most important thing is that you acknowledge the day and the man who was first in your life. 

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