Friday, May 23, 2008

What To Get Dad For Father's Day - 3 Mistakes To Avoid

It's easy to get in a panic about buying the wrong thing for your dad. Fact is you thought of him, fact is you wanted to give him something, fact is you actually did go and get or make something for him. All of that is utterly precious to your dad. Nothing will diminish that.

If you're looking to move it up one notch and aim to give your dad something a little more unusual, perhaps a little more surprising, or fun, here are three itsy bitsy things you'll want to steer clear of:

1. Going too far out there

Even when wanting to surprise your dad, aim to push his comfort zone in very small doses.

For example, if he's not outdoorsy and never has been, he probably won't immediately start going off camping at weekends because you got him a luxury four-man tent. He may however go with you on a gentle walk broken up by a fabulous picnic you have packed up. Just you and him. You take a photo or two and you both have a precious memory for ever.

Also he just may start taking himself off on these kinds of walks. So you then get to give him a good pair of walking boots the next time you get him a gift.

2. Guessing his size

If you've seen a fabulous article of clothing you know your dad will love, and you want to get it for him, don't just guess his size. Don't accept a guess from his wife or partner, either.

Yes, he can always go back and change it if it doesn't fit right but what if he really doesn't enjoy shopping? What if he can't get this gorgeous color he's already fallen in love with, in the correct size?

If possibly, you want to avoid all this faffing around afterwards.

And you can.

With this super tip, you'll avoid this mistake completely. Okay, okay, the tip ...

From your dad's wardrobe, get an outfit your dad wears often and you know fits him well. Measure it. Then take your measurements to the clothes shop and measure every item before you buy.

That's it.

3. Getting the man-equivalent of the last sad-looking bunch of wilting carnations from the gas station forecourt

Which is - the key chain snatched from the auto parts counter, just before the other crazed soul lacking in the father's-day-gift-department could get it.

If it is very last minute and you still haven't got a clue, a gift token from your dad's favorite shop will be treasured. He probably already has his eye on one or two items. So he'd be overjoyed to trot in and get it.

To put a huge smile on your dad's face, you want a father's day gift with an edge. Here are some fresh, unusual ideas for what to get dad for father's day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day gifts can be a tricky proposition. Fortunately, most men have similar basic needs and wants that don't change much, regardless of their age or situation. This Father's Day gift buying guide will help you figure out how to buy a Father's Day gift that will tell Dear Old Dad that you care -- specifically, that you care enough to think about what he would really like to receive on Father's Day.

Electronics -- Gifts for the Techno-Dad

Men don't like asking directions, so help Dad get where he's going with a global positioning system. A basic handheld GPS or mobile GPS unit displays coordinates over a map. Fancier GPS systems go from a simple dash-mount GPS navigation system to multi-component in-dash car audio-video units loaded with everything you want and a few things you may never figure out.

Most LCD televisions are called flat panel televisions because they are thin and light enough to hang on the wall like a painting. LCD technology has seen huge improvements in recent years and LCD TVs are becoming the most popular TV set. Big screens are fabulous, but not a necessity -- a 26-inch LCD TV is affordably priced and works in most rooms. For the serious movie or sports fan, a 32-inch to 42-inch wide-screen HDTV is a thing to be envied. If you have a very large TV room or just like your action life-size, go 52 inches or bigger!

Home Theater Audio
If Dad already has a widescreen TV, well, what's dazzling video without astounding audio? Pick out a home theater! For small rooms, a home-theater-in-a-box -- a package containing the amplifier, tuner and speakers -- is enough but not too much. For Dads who never shout, "Turn your stereo down!" go with surround sound speakers -- a multi-speaker system identified by number: 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1; the ".1" is the subwoofer (the deep notes); the other number is how many speakers are in the group. Spread them around the room and they'll reproduce theater-quality audio.

iPods & MP3 players
Dad probably grew up with "boomboxes" or "ghetto blasters," big radio-cassette tape players. Today's Dad still wants to listen to Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash or Rachmaninov (or maybe SheDaisy), but on pocket-sized iPods and MP3 players. iPods help keep distractions down while working. MP3 players make excellent companions driving or exercising. If music isn't Dad's thing, help keep the gray matter from getting stale with audio books.

Video game consoles and games
Lots of Dads grew up with video games then outgrew them. Now that they have children to game with, video games make brilliant Father's Day gift ideas. A new video game console can be a great way to get some one-on-one time with each child. It's also a way for Mom and Dad to keep an eye on the video games the kids are playing.

Sports -- Gifts for the Active Dad

Think you've run out of Father's Day ideas because Dad has a room full of electronics? Here's an idea: Turn them off! That's right, shut them down, throw the kids in the car and take to the great outdoors! What good is a Father's Day present that brings the whole world into your living room if you never get out and experience the real thing? Fishing gear gifts or camping gifts for Dad can be simple and economical, or you can buy enough camp gear for a crusade. (By the way, if Dad really isn't the Lewis and Clark type, Mom might still get him to pitch a family tent in the backyard, if she buys a cozy double sleeping bag to go with it!)

Whether Dad is a duffer or the local club pro, if the man likes his links, he needs something. (Don't buy him golf lessons unless he knows he needs them.) Fortunately, the great thing about golf gifts is the range -- not the driving, range, the price range! They start with useful, inexpensive gear like rangefinders and electronic scorecards, going all the way to a golf club set including the best handmade woods or latest high-tech irons.

Do the Q!
BBQ, that is. Barbecue may be America's most popular lawn sport, and like any great athlete, the right equipment is important in making the point spread. A classic charcoal grill or a new-style gas grill plus grill accessories are cooking essentials that abound in the home store. By the way, Dad will enjoy this even more with Father's Day baskets full of gourmet foods, tasty treats or other goodies!

Dads work hard, so they appreciate Father's Day gifts that help them relax. "Poker night with the boys" is more common in late night reruns than most suburban homes, but it hasn't gone the way of the vinyl record yet. Poker is more than just a way to trade money; it is something to do with the hands while men talk about manly things. Dad doesn't gamble? Not a problem with the many indoor games on today's market. Board games include chess, backgammon or darts. For the bigger game room, a billiards table or billiards accessories. They are all gift ideas for Dads they will be grateful for every time they play.

Other gift ideas -- Gifts for the hard-to-buy-for Dad

Gear and gizmos work for most Dads, but not all. Personalized Father's Day gifts -- meaning gifts that reflect Dad's personality, not just something with his name or initials -- require thought. For Dads with other tastes, Father's Day can be an interesting challenge:

Superior style
Men's clothing and men's jewelry are great choices for the Dad who's serious about his appearance, but it can be tricky. Solid research for truly personal items means you avoid the ever-present Father's Day gift-giving risk -- getting something you like instead of something Dad likes. Some Dads always dress casual; some always dress for business; some like to mix it up. Whatever his taste, there are plenty of Father's Day gift ideas in the clothing store (especially in the designer section!). Likewise, the right men's jewelry, including fine men's watches, could be a Father's Day gift that really hits the mark; one he'll wear for life and could become a treasured family heirloom.

Academic advancement
For Father's Day ideas for the practical Dads whose business or profession demands they keep up with the latest advances, or for Dads who simply like a good tale well told, choose something from among the classics or latest releases in books, movies, music and videos.

"Back in my day..."
Is Dad waxing nostalgic? Is he always talking about "the way things were"? If so, maybe a retro-gift is the Father's Day gift he'll love. Get him a candlestick telephone, a collectible framed photo showing someone he admires, a collegiate souvenir or something else to remind him -- with a gentle smile -- that's he's getting on in years.

The Pro from Dover!
Is Dad a professional man? Most professionals still carry briefcases or attache cases and these do wear out eventually. Practical gifts are excellent Father's Day gift ideas for the practical man. Pick a prime-leather business case or some new luggage.

What's his size?

Getting the right size can be a tricky proposition. If you want to get personalized Father's Day gifts like clothes that really fit well, take a look at what Dad wears most often. Generally, this is what fits him best. If you can't measure the Man, measure the clothing.

What doesn't work on Father's Day?

A keychain -- unless it contains keys to a new car, leave this one at the auto parts counter.

"Oh, I don't really want anything." Yeah, right.

Phoenix Roberts has been a journalist, freelance writer and desktop publisher for over 10 years. His work has appeared in local, regional and national publications and he's worked for numerous corporate, community and political clients. Presently, he is an SEO Content Writer for Internet discount retailer ( (C)2008 Rights Reserved.