Dads are important. They’re half the reason you’re here — even if you actually like Mom better. They picked you up when you fell, scared off boys and probably said mildly racist things at family dinners. It’s amazing they all still like us so much after we continue to give them the same gifts over and over again. It’s that time of year again when we pack up all our daddy issues, buy a card, and take our fathers out to lunch to celebrate his accomplishment of getting your mom pregnant. (Or if your dad is anything like Justin Bieber‘s or Lindsay Lohan‘s dads…maybe just skip the gift all together and stage an intervention.) And hey, if you come from a family with two dads (whether they’re together or one’s a step-father)–well, then you’ve got twice the reason to celebrate this Sunday! If you aren’t going the cool and updated gift route, these classics might be a good backup plan.
Socks are essential dad clothing items. What else was he supposed to wear with his New Balance sneakers and shorts for any day you spent outdoors as a child? A stylish pair of gold toe socks, khaki shorts, and a windbreaker are practically the dad uniform, right?
It doesn’t matter that your father has more ties than seems possible, he probably needed another one when you were 8-years-old. I’m going to assume that everyone got their dads multiple ties over his lifetime and I’m willing to bet there’s a secret drawer all dads have that contain the most hideous of these ties.
3. Rhyming poem on a homemade card
You are really rad.
I don’t like you when you’re mad.
You don’t smell very bad.
When I’m with you, I am glad!
(Then decorate with Magic Marker and watch Papa’s eyes tear up at all of your talent.)
4. Tool of any kind
Dad always liked tools even though you never actually saw him make anything with them. You probably got him a drill, screwdriver, or tape measure, which he tucked away in the garage with all the other tools you gave him that he already owned.
Dads should always know what time it is, ergo, dads need a watch. This was most likely plastic, or maybe a little bit nicer when you started your first babysitting job. He probably actually wore this gift, so kudos to you.
I made the mistake of buying my dad and step-dad a wallet one year. This is a terrible idea. I found out later that men have one wallet that is super worn and hides all of the business cards he’s ever received. Introducing a new wallet into the game will only result in your sadness. He won’t part with his old wallet. This gift will hide in the ugly tie drawer.
7. Your Face Surrounded By Macaroni
This was a cherished item and nothing you say will ever make me think any differently. Everyone got a picture of me in third grade surrounded by macaroni. And everyone kept them because I was so gosh darn adorable.
8. Travel coffee mug
When I was younger, I was very aware that dads go to work and dads complain about work and dads dress a certain way for work. And if you got in dad’s way while he was at work, he wasn’t pleased. The travel coffee mug was used as a peace offering saying, “Here Dad, go to work and don’t have a sucky day so you don’t come home and complain!”
I have no idea what any of the special grilling utensils are called, but gosh darn it, I bought them all and he used them while overcooking the steak. Grilling time was always a cherished and peaceful time for dads punctuated by screams for a plate to put cooked burgers on.
10. Golf stuff
My dad never golfed so I was completely unaware that golfing was a “dad thing” until television told me. If your dad golfed, you probably got him some golf balls or maybe a polo to wear while golfing. Just typical golf things to play with around his golfing buddies while he was chilling out and not remembering that his family existed.
11. Beer stuff
When you were a kid, you were only really sure of two things in life: 1) If you swing high enough and jump off, you can fly and 2) Your dad drank beer. Chugging down a cold one after work was the norm and you realized you could win his Heineken-loving heart with a beer glass with his favorite brand on the side.
12. Whatever Mom picked out
Mom knows exactly what Dad needs. She knows what he needs more than he ever will. Listen to her. Or when Mom is not available to give her opinion, just go with an old standby and get Dad some socks.