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5 Rules for Father's Day Gifts

The 5 Rules for Buying Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to show your dad how much he means to you. But you should know that not every gift is a good gift.

Father’s Day is a custom that’s been around since the middle ages. 

For centuries, it represents a day when people appreciate fatherhood and family ties. It’s a day when sons and daughters honor their fathers, typically with a small token of gratitude. 

A gift can be a proper reflection of a strong father-child relationship. If you get it right, you can further enhance this bond. 

But as mentioned, that’s the tradition. Today it’s common practice to wish anyone a happy father’s day as long as that someone is a father. You don’t actually have to be his son or daughter to send your well-wishes or gifts. 

Companies can just as easily celebrate Father’s Day with their employees or clients who are fathers. 

Unfortunately, not all gifts are going to work.

Believe it or not, dads also like to get a nice gift, even if the gift giver thinks that any sign of appreciation is enough. 

According to an article on, some dads don’t anticipate their father’s day gifts so eagerly. 

For example, there are always dads who know beforehand what they’re going to get every year. One of them said: 

“My kids always got me the stereotypical dad gift: a tie. I now have a massive tie collection including several Looney Tunes prints.” 

Another dad said that he always received mugs, some with funny prints and some not.

The point is, if the gift seems desultory, it’s likely to have an opposite effect. You wouldn’t want that kind of reaction from anybody you give a gift to.

Luckily, here’s a list of rules that will help you avoid these mistakes.


Rule #1 – Don’t Waste Money

A father who’s spent most of his life raising the children and buying them gifts may feel uncomfortable when the tables are turned.  

That experience can worsen if they overspend on the gift. The last thing a father wants is for the children to waste money on his gift - it doesn’t matter if you have a nice job and a hefty paycheck.

A father would much prefer a meaningful gift more than anything flashy.  

He may think that he’d raised a child believing in the wrong values if he or she were to buy him unnecessarily expensive things.

Don’t be mistaken, as fathers probably know how to enjoy big, shiny things. But they may not want to receive those things from the children.

They’d much rather get something small and meaningful that can enrich the relationship. Maybe a board game that they can play together with the children, or a fishing kit with which all can spend some time out in the open.

They’ll enjoy using such gifts, especially if it includes the children’s participation.


Rule #2 – Dads Value Experience Over Material Things

No matter how you put it, fathers want to spend quality time with their children. 

As the children get older and lead a life of their own, these opportunities become rarer. That’s why fathers will appreciate gifts that encourage spending time together, more so than material gifts.

Some fathers may even already have everything that they need. 

But what they could always use is something to remember. A lasting memory and something that the children can talk about in the future. 

A gift is redundant unless you can tie it to a feeling or a memory. For example, a father may like for his children to spend a day with him on a short road trip. Father and children can use that time to talk about all the little things that they didn’t have time to talk about.

Or, sons and daughters can even buy a small thing that they can tie into an experience. 

As mentioned, a son or daughter may buy his father a fishing rod so they could spend some time by the water. Or, a pair of hiking boots for a stroll in the wilderness.

All of these gifts will work much better than the default gifts, such as ties, socks, and mugs.


Rule #3 – Gift Them Rest 

When you get older, it gets harder to do chores. Unless he’s retired, a father probably spends a lot of his time working.

But when he’s done with his job, he’s still not finished for the day. There’s still plenty of stuff that he needs to tend to at home.

That presents a great opportunity to gift a father one day of rest. 

A son or daughter could present their dad with a morning coffee or breakfast. Do grocery shopping, mow the lawn, and perhaps do other housework. It’s something that he’ll appreciate more than any gift. 

Furthermore, the gift giver could also spend the rest of the day with the father. Maybe watch TV or do something else together and have a talk about everything.

That’s like killing two birds with one stone. 

The father can relieve the burden of his chores for the day and spend it instead with his loved ones. 


Rule #4 – Stay Away From the Cliché

How many times have you come across those t-shirts and mugs that proclaim World’s Greatest Dad?

Do you honestly think any father would like such a gift? 

A son or daughter can easily end up giving their father something that he’ll never wear. For certain fathers, such gifts could be clichéd and distasteful. 

On top of that, no father is going to think that they’ve earned that title. They’ll think that there’s still room for improvement. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should scrap all those accessories. One can still buy the father a t-shirt, poster, or a mug of another theme. 

Think about something that he likes. He’s likely to have a favorite sports team, for example. An official or replica team apparel is something that he’ll definitely enjoy wearing. 

Better yet, he’s going to remember or boast about the gift giver whenever he wears it.


Rule #5 – Don’t Use Gifts to Send Subtle Messages

As much as we all want to keep our parents healthy and fit, all those years are going to catch up. 

That’s why all children would wish for their parents to take better care of their health. However, this doesn’t mean that the children should use father’s day gifts to send them these messages.

A father may know full well that he’s put on a few pounds. He’s not as fit as before and he knows it. 

There’s no need to buy him a scale or a weight loss program. The same applies to any medical equipment, or quick fixes like mani/pedicure or trimmers.

Father’s day should be a happy and relaxing time. Does anyone think it’s helpful to remind a father that he’s getting older and more out of shape? 

Why not focus on allowing him to enjoy life? That will definitely motivate him to do something for himself. 


Honoring Fatherhood

Father’s Day is one of those days when you are more important than the gift. Always remember that no matter how hard you try to find the perfect one, your father already has his greatest gift - you.

The only thing you can do to make it better is to give him something he enjoys. It can be an experience or a clothing item that you know he’ll love.




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