Father’s Day Gifts

My email feed blew up this week with articles about what to buy dad for Father’s Day. With only 22 shopping days until Father’s Day, I decided it wasn’t too early for this dreaded decision.

Not that buying something for dad should be dreaded. Finding something that he would actually need or value is the dreaded part. After all, he’s been around for how long without this particular item? For those of us blessed enough to have a dad in his 80’s or 90’s, there really aren’t many things he hasn’t seen or owned at some point in his life. If you ask him, he’ll tell you he doesn’t need anything.


This dread leads to procrastination which limits the choices and time available to shop. Plus, if you are a dad yourself, there is some built in awkwardness to the whole idea of shopping for Father’s Day. I don’t think I’m even going to try and explain that.


The common theme among the “Top Ten Gifts for Father’s Day” or “25 Things Your Dad Actually Wants” articles is something to contain something else he has. Can’t think of anything? Right.

Suggestions ranged from a leather box to keep his pocket change and watch in while he sleeps to a passport cover. The all-important leather shaving kit container for his razor and shave cream when he travels comes in a variety of styles. Most of these were monogramed, which we all know is important to dads.


Hobby supplies like a dozen golf balls, fishing lures, or ice cube forms and etched shot glasses seemed to be popular. I list drinking among the hobbies for no particular reason; these items just seemed to make all the lists.


Picture frames for his favorite selfie of you or the Crayola art from one of the grandkids seemed to be a hit. Again, these seemed to need to be monogrammed or at least have laser art that uses the word, “Dad” on them somewhere. These items are the main reason you’ll need to plan this far ahead. You aren’t going to be able to hit Walgreens on the Saturday night before Father’s Day and find one. Besides, who has extra selfies or art with crayons laying around?


It seems that none of the lists included the most important item your dad wants for Father’s Day. This will be more difficult for some than others but without a doubt, dad would treasure some of your time for Father’s Day more than any of the ties or shave kits or golf balls you could purchase. Carve out several minutes for a long distance phone call if he lives in a different area code. Take a few minutes to have breakfast or lunch or brunch with him. Attend church with him and sit with him while he worships.


You are the most valuable thing that your dad ever created. A piece of your life will make this Father’s Day something really special. You can even throw in a hug while you are at it.

Dr. Matt Crain writes weekly for the Sunday newspaper from his Connecting Fathers and Families ministry.