Selecting the Right Gifts for Dad Has Never Been Easier

Has your hunt for father's day gifts ever collapsed into feelings of resignation that dad will just have to make do with one of the tried and true items from previous years? Does finding the right gift for dad seem to take too much time and effort?

Selecting just the right gift is an important way to say you care, and itís not so difficult as it might appear.

Some people give up before they really get started considering what to buy, because historically their efforts have been frustrating. So dad gets a shirt, a tie, socks, or maybe a book, because they're the obvious choices and he hasn't complained about those gifts in the past.

But it's the rare dad that will even hint that the gift is not needed or desired. Most will make something of a fuss over the gift and express copious amounts of gratitude. But did he really want another shirt? Maybe. And maybe he even liked the style and color. Or maybe he is resigned to getting the same range of items for father's day, year after year. Low expectations can temper disappointment.

So who will break the cycle of dull, predictable repetition? Looks like it will have to be you! And if you're ready to do so, please realize that you're not taking on a giant challenge. In reality, gift buying for dad has never been easier. Online
shopping is safe and secure, fast, and there are enough options to suit any need, interest or taste.

And in those three words -- need, interest, taste -- lies the key to your choice, along with the always-relevant term, budget. Get those four concepts aligned and you can't go wrong. Three out of four wouldn't be awful either, so long as taste
is included in the mix.


So let's be clear: if a shirt is the right gift for dad, then a shirt it should be. But before making any decision, consider these points. First, unless dad relies on you to stock his wardrobe, then clothing should be only one of many options in the equation. Second, if you bought clothing more often than not in the previous few years it could be time for a change.

So spend a few minutes reflecting on your purchase history. Have you fallen into a rut? Have you been too predictable?

Then consider his range of needs. If you don't have the knowledge to do that, get some help from other family members or friends. If he has no needs, then you will have to go with these other three concepts.


What does dad do with his time, and what does he say he would like to do? Has he talked about learning to fly fish or roller blade? Or does he stick to tried and true activities? All dads have at least one special interest, even if it's just watching every sports event that appears on TV. And if that's the case, selecting from an array of items from his favorite team is a sure way to please him.

Here's a critical point about interests. Never, ever project yours on to him. Doing so can lead to big problems. For example, if he hasn't directly expressed a desire for a pet, buying him one is a substantial risk. Again, if you're uncertain about what new interests he might have, get some help from others. If you have siblings, through a discussion about options you might decide to present dad with a joint gift this year -- a good way to extend buying power for something that he wouldn't otherwise get.


Even though you may think he should learn to appreciate the finer things in life like opera, or he should learn to cook deluxe desserts, gift buying for dad is not about "should." It's not about you, except as a way to show your love and respect. So stick with his tastes in music, books, clothing --whatever. If he has never worn purple, don't bother buying it just because it's the color flavor of the year.


Finally, factor all these issues into how much you want to spend. In this case, tradition might be your best guide.

If you have been buying modest gifts, showing extravagance now might be unsettling and embarrassing for dad. However, if your financial situation has improved after years of pinching pennies, then he will likely accept that your more valuable gift simply reflects your desire to share your change in status with him.

In your price range you will find plenty of options, though the more flexibility you have financially the greater the selection. Spending big bucks isn't necessarily the answer, however.

Your gift should simply feel right. If it reflects needs, interests and taste, the gift will tell him that you cared enough to consider who he really is. Most dads won't be concerned about the dollar value.

Most of all, your dad is likely to care whether you are able to spend time with him in person or, if you live at a distance, via phone. That's a need and an interest you should address first and foremost. The gift you buy is just a token in comparison to what you can give of yourself.

About the Author

William Mathis is the owner of, a quick and handy guide to choosing gifts for men, whatever the occasion.

William Mathis