Get Dad What He Wants This Year

June 17th . Don’t worry my brain hasn’t gone to mush–not yet at least. I know that date is still a few days away. I’m telling you, you’ve got just five days left till Father’s Day.

Yea, it’s freak out time if you haven’t bought or at least decided what to get dear old Dad for Father’s Day this year.

Dads are never easy to buy for. If it was Mom we’d send her flowers, a card, maybe a bottle of her favorite perfume or a necklace containing jewels to represent all of her children. It’s much easier to buy gifts for her.

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Dads never know what they want. Mine always tells me he doesn’t want anything. Not for his birthday, Christmas, or Father’s Day. But there is no way I’m going to stop buying my dear, ol’ Dad a gift every year. It just feels wrong. It makes it even harder that there are no obvious gifts to get Dad, like there are for moms.

This fact also tends to make me overspend on his gift. I don’t approach this holiday with a specific budget in mind, but I do generally try to keep my spending to $150 or under. The National Retail Federation told me my budget is a little higher than the national average. According to their data most Americans spend about $117 on gifts for Dad on Father’s Day (we spend about $152 on gifts for Mom on Mother’s Day comparatively). But what can you get Dad for under $117?

Tools. If your Dad is handy and has a “honey-do” list that requires more than just elbow grease then tools maybe the perfect gift for the father on your list this year. Tools never go on sale, except for this time of year. It’s the one holiday retailers actually put the item we want to buy on sale at the time we want to buy them. As for what specific tool Dad will enjoy most? You got me there. I went to Home Depot one year to get my Dad tools as a gift and immediately upon entering the department my eyes glazed over. There were so many! Not to mention all the add-on’s for tools that make the decision making process that much harder. I ended up going with a power drill. I think most people go with a more general gift of a tool-kit. If there is a project on your Dad’s “honey-do” list, perhaps get him a tool that would help him complete the project. It may just be the push he needs to start!

Man cave materials. If your Dad is lucky enough to have a man cave at the house, then getting him gifts for his special room is a good idea. Update what he reads while hanging out down there with a magazine subscription for sports, or a hobby of his like hunting or golf. Why not help him define his man cave with a personalized plaque to hang on the walls. Or how about a set of personalized drinking glasses for just his room.

Typically man caves are the only rooms in the house Mom allows Dad to display his sports memorabilia. This year however instead of getting him another pennant to hang on the wall, think about taking him to a game. Admittedly, your options for sports games are limited by June. Basketball is nearly over, so is hockey, and football doesn’t start up again till September. Baseball though is in full swing. A bonus is that baseball tickets are among the cheapest sports tickets to buy. You can get decent seats at most stadiums for $40 a pop. Check out fansnap.com or stubhub.com for deals on baseball tickets. And truthfully going to a game is more about spending time with you Dad and sitting in the warm sun than it is about the game at this point in the season.

If your Dad is getting a little too old to hit the course anymore or climb the steps at an arena, consider getting him a tech gift that still allows him to play. Most tech gifts like tablets and smart phones will be beyond the budget. Consider instead a game console like Nintendo Wii. Now before you say, video games are for kids, let’s me assure you it’s not. The Wii made video games interactive. When you buy a new game console you get a sports package that includes such games as bowling, tennis, baseball, golf and boxing. The bending, stretching and moving one does while playing the Nintendo Wii can become a real workout. It’s become a favorite of physical therapists in nursing homes across the country. Have a family game night seeing who can get the most strikes, or hit the ball the farthest or Ace a serve. A new Wii console will run you about $150 at a retailer. I suggest you check out amazon.com for a better deal though. I saw sellers there offering new ones for $116 and used ones for about $60.

Another good tech gift that won’t break the bank is The Nook by Amazon. It’s an e-reader that allows Dad to download his favorite books to read at his leisure. The reviews indicate it’s an easy to use gadget. Plus if Dad can’t get to the library anymore, this tech toy will bring the library to him. I choose The Nook because it’s the cheapest of tablets and can be read in harsh outdoor lighting easier than most of the others. A Nook will run you about $100.

The most highly rated gifts seem to be ones that include an experience. Dads would rather do something together than get another tie. Gifts that give experiences are therefore highly rated. Gifts like golf lessons, movie theater tickets, sports tickets, boat trips, batting cages, are all experiences Dad’s would love. Check out daily deal sites like groupon or living social for half priced sales to local attractions and events. This week they’ll be turning out deals for dad’s nonstop.

I’ve decided to get dear old Dad a pair of tickets to a Miami Marlins game this year for Father’s Day. They have a new park and tickets are reasonable. Plus it’s an experience gift that will give us time to hang out, which I know is what he really wants. What do you plan to get your Dad for Father’s Day this year?

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