May 2, 2011

Dad Dilemma? 

The shopping tips that follow will help you make Father’s Day happy indeed!

A gift for mom is a piece of cake – moms dole out A’s for effort. Grandparents are even easier – you get a prize just for showing up. But for the eternal man in your life, your father, gift-giving poses a challenge, because dads can be both hard to impress and unwilling to fake it. Look for the adjectives in this list that best describe your dad. The shopping tips that follow will help you make Father’s Day happy indeed!

Outdoorsy: They’re rugged, ride horses and can catch a trout with their mouths. Your gift shouldn’t say “I love you” – after all, manly fathers say this with a mere stare – so much as it says “Here is something to help you cut raw meat more efficiently.” Look into knives, really loud tools or things made of old leather.

Big Softie: Whether they’re former hippies, happy-go-lucky types or just love the heck outta ya (who wouldn’t?), these fathers are comfortable with their nurturing side. Reward their eternal love by raising the meaningful quotient. Look for engraved and personal items, with a dash of a memory only you two share. A no-brainer: Make him a portrait from macaroni noodles – even if you’re a 40-year-old, a Softie will love it to pieces.

Men at Work: For the busy dad, you can never go wrong by going utilitarian. But don’t overdo it on the socks – he’s worked hard to make sure that you don’t need to. Forget about style and aim for something durable that saves him time and money, whether it’s an energy-saving light bulb or a piece of clothing with a staggering amount of pockets.

Office Suit: He’s a tough one to shop for since anything he wants or needs, he likely already has. So the name of the game is to upgrade the items he neglects. Even the most mundane stapler, computer keyboard or remote control has sophisticated versions aimed at this daddy demographic.

Techies: With a bevy of new technology launching every week, surely there’s a cool gadget that he doesn’t have. And if he does, buy him an accessory for it. Still, if he truly has every single product ever created with a microchip in it, give him the gift he’s always wanted and you’ve avoided: Accept his Facebook friend request!

Bookish: Unless he’s into teenage vampires, elementary-school wizards or stories of middle-aged women not acting their age in a vibrant urban setting, you risk buying him a book that he’ll just use as a bookend. Stick to gifts that support his reading habit. He’ll appreciate an e-reader, book light, magazine subscription or a comfortable pillow.

Single: If your father is still on the scene, upgrade his style with the details he’d neglect on a first date. Accessories such as tie bars, cufflinks and fedoras, or maintenance products like shoe polish, teeth-whitening systems and exfoliates, are important at any age if he wants a chance at a second date.

Married: Get him something that he will give to your mother, and that she will love too. There’s no better present than the gift of making him look good to her.

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