What Not To Give Dad This Father’s Day

multi-racial family blowing bubbles in parkFather’s Day is only days away, and some people find dear old Dad is a challenging recipient when it comes to gift buying. Read on for a list of gifts to avoid this year—and what you should buy instead.


Ties are the safe go-to purchase for Father’s Day—they’re at every department store and come in a rainbow of colors and patterns. But frankly, the idea is played out, and how many ties does he really need?

The Switch: Instead of something that reminds him of work, why not help him feel relaxed on his special day? What he most wants is to spend time with you, so take him out to a movie, or join him for anything else he loves doing in his precious time off the clock. Experiences are always more memorable than material things anyway.

Grilling Accessories

Fancy grilling tools may be marketed as Father’s Day musts, but we have a hunch Dad doesn’t need more items to clean and store. Depending on where you live, grilling season may only be for a few months, and you don’t want your gifts to go unused for months at a time.

The Switch: Rather than make him feel pressured to don a “Kiss the Cook” apron and stand over hot flames flipping burgers, let someone else do the cooking.  Father’s Day is the perfect time to treat Dad to his favorite restaurant.  Bonus: no dishes!

Fad Items

Tempted by late-night infomercials? Admittedly, some of those “as seen on TV” gadgets are pretty intriguing. But we’re guessing your Dad won’t be using a 30x sound amplifier or high-def night vision glasses by next Father’s Day.

The Switch: If your Dad loves being surprised and receiving deliveries by mail, what about giving him a shave club subscription? Other fun subscription box ideas perfect for the special father in your life: phone cases, retro candy, t-shirts and BBQ items.

Homemade Gifts

It’s a labor of love to knit Dad a sweater or make him a homemade craft. While no Dad would be unappreciative of something his kid(s) made for him, and he’d proudly display a paper mache pen holder at his desk, things don’t provide the same long-lasting happiness as experiences do.

The Switch: Make a craft or meal together, or get creative with a “Take a Load Off” coupon book of offers of help around the house, like mowing the lawn.  You can even pre-select one of the vouchers and tell him you’ll take care of that errand or chore on Father’s Day.

By Stephanie Levis

Next article: What Not To Give Mom This Mother’s Day

Originally published June 2016

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  1. Edward Rowe says

    An 8 by 12 picture of my daughter and I and a poem underneath that she made up herself title Heroes

  2. Tom Caro says

    Food to be cooked on the BBQ – anything but not Burgers and Franks and be there to just talk and have a good beer or two.