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How to Choose the Perfect Gift for Your Dad


Girl giving gift to dad
Getty Images / Digital Vision
Men are notoriously hard to buy gifts for. Sometimes we are hard to figure out and we know that we create stress for the people in our life who are looking for that perfect gift. It isn't intentional and we are not proud of it. We are just busy and don't take the time to stop and think about gifts.

If you are looking for that perfect gift for your dad and you just can't seem to get any ideas, you might want to consider these questions as you plan and prepare to go shopping for dad.

Has your dad left any hints? Dads often won't drop hints, but if you are watching closely in the weeks before the holiday or birthday, you might pick up some clues. Was he out in the garage looking for a tool he couldn't find? Was there a moment when he said something like, "I wish I had ________?" Has he mentioned something he would like for his car, his computer or his golf bag? Be on the lookout for little hints, whether they are unintentional or he is trying to send a not to subtle idea your way.

What is your dad's special interests and passions? Just about every dad has something he enjoys or has a special interest in. Maybe he is a golfer or a runner. He might just enjoy cooking outdoors or trying new recipes in the kitchen. If his favorite evening activity is tuning into the History Channel, he might enjoy a gift related to history. Perhaps your dad just loves the latest tech gadgets. As you think about his specific interests, they might give you a clue as to something he would enjoy as a a gift.

How would you define his personality type? Is your dad kind of quiet and perfers reading to socializing? Or maybe your dad is creative and likes to work with his hands. Is he a strong leader that inspires others? Does he enjoy self-improvement and becoming better in how he lifes and works? As you consider your dad's unique personality, identifying some of his traits may unlock some ideas about possible gifts he would enjoy.

What are his favorite foods? It has often been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Getting Dad a gift of his favorite foods can be a fun idea. My kids know that I love chips and salsa while watching football during the holidays, so gourmet chips and my favorite restaurant salsa are frequent gifts under the Christmas tree at our house. A basket of his favorite fruits, some crackers and imported cheeses, or a case of his favorite soft drink are all ideas that you might consider. However, if Dad is trying to lose weight, you might want to consider that before giving him a food gift.

Would he appreciate a gift from the heart? Many dads who have a lot of stuff, or who just have strong feelings for their families, might prefer a gift that comes from your heart. You might want to make a video for him of some of the family's favorite activities or memories. A heartfelt letter expressing your love and admiration, being specific about his important character traits, could be a welcome change from the ordinary. Or you could create a gift made with your own hands. Gifts that take time are often even more meaningful than those that required money.

Does he enjoy remembering fun moments in the past? If your dad is one to enjoy old memories, consider a photo album, a memory box with mementos from past experiences, or maybe a video with photos and music from past family vacations and events.

What has he bought recently for himself? Often dads will simply go out and buy what they need rather than suggest it as a gift. Did your dad just go out and buy a new tool for the workbench? Did he maybe get some new dress socks? Ask yourself whether he might need more of what he purchased. Or is there something that would complement what he purchased? You know the thing is important when he buys it for himself, so it might gie you a clue about something related.

Does he enjoy reading? If so, you might look for a great book in his area of interest. Magazine subscriptions can also be good because it just keeps on coming during the year and reminds him of your gift all year long.

Just remember - with dads more than others, it is often the thought that counts. Taking a little time to consider Dad's personality, interests, passions, and preferences will help you find that perfect gift for your father.

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