1. Help clean out the garage/attic.
I was told that a clean garage or attic was at the top of almost every dad’s list, but tackling the task alone just seems too daunting. They dread the complaints that come with asking their kids to help. After all, who wants to spend the day hearing “When will we be done?” One dad actually said it is easier to deal with his wife’s nagging than to deal with forcing the kids to help.
Sometimes the best gifts can be free. Offer to help dad clean out the garage or attic. The added bonus is an opportunity to possibly find a treasure and learn something about your dad that you never knew. (Or even better, learn something that you wish you never knew.) If you want to surprise your dad, but are not sure how to get started, check out this garage cleaning checklist.
2. Grilling out.
The grilling wish was a common reoccurrence in my informal survey. Although there were variations on this idea, the consensus was that men love grilling, PERIOD. They love to receive grills, grilling tools, and meats of all kinds that they can grill up. Grilling.com has a list of creative grilling gifts, if you need some inspiration.
However, more than anything they love grilling with their family around. Just having everyone show up for a family afternoon in the yard grilling is enough to make any dad happy. You can’t beat another free gift at the top of many dads’ lists. Clean out that garage, find the old badminton set, and fire up the grill. Just remember it is dad’s day, so he mans the fire.
3. Tools, but not actually tools.
Men love their tools, but not just any tools. I learned that it is ill-advised to purchase tools for dad just for the sake of giving him tools. Dads want to pick the perfect tool for themselves. Unless, you know exactly what brand and model of saw, drill, or worktable that your dad longs to have, you are much better off giving him a gift card to his favorite hardware store.
Surprisingly, men don’t find gift cards impersonal, but that does not mean you cannot personalize your gift card. At GiftCards.com you can order a Visa gift card with a personalized family picture and a matching greeting card.
Most men I spoke with are tradesmen. These men find jewelry cumbersome. However, on occasion they would like to have a nice watch that has not been beaten up by the tools of their trade. Men are also fascinated with wood. I found some unique watches made by Earth’s Watch. Not only are they fashionable, but there are at least 7 reasons why a wood watch is a good investment, according to Earth's Watch.
5. A book, but not just any book
For the reading dad, a good book is a treasure. There are millions of books and it pays to know what interests your dad. A book that combines his interest with a good story is a sure bet. Here are a couple of suggestions.