Let's face it, buying gifts for guys is not easy. Whether its my husband, dad or brother, I have always struggled with what to get them. I don't know the latest and greatest video games and I can't fulfill their dream of owning a Porsche or a fancy watch, so I completely understand why men are often gifted with neck ties and socks. I am not saying that that's the way to go, but I can understand why people end up resorting to those practical pieces of apparel.
Father's Day is Sunday and this year I felt like I had to come up with something pretty special after I set the bar for myself with my Mother's Day Gift. I got to work brainstorming and honestly the best advice I can give when trying to think up a gift is to ask yourself "What would (insert name of gift recipient) really enjoy?" You really do have to take a quiet moment to think about a genuinely fitting gift for the individual. When thinking of what to get my dad, I realized that I hadn't seen him since February, which was just entirely too long to have been without a visit. So I decided that whatever I was going to give him would be in person and flew down to Florida last night for a surprise visit.
My surprise visit has beyond thrilled my dad. While I wanted to share a bit of what I am doing for Father's Day with you all, I also wanted to provide you with helpful gift ideas in today's post. Below are a few great ideas to fit a variety of interests and a range of price points.
Vagabond House Steak Knives (Set of 6)
My husband and I received these rustic Vagabond House steak knives as a gift this past year. Initially I wasn't sure how much I would use them since they are extremely unique in appearance. Of course it only took one try with these very sharp steak knives to realize how fabulous they are! Thanksgiving, winter holidays and even rustic picnicking have all been great opportunities to use these Vagabond House Steak Knives (*Currently on backorder through Vagabond Houses Official Website, but available here with free shipping!). In addition to their functionality, I love that the knives are made in the USA and the handles come from naturally shed elk antler. This is a perfect gift for the dad who loves a good steak and/or appreciates fine cutlery. *Note- If you plan to give these knives (or any cutlery) as a gift, always make sure to include a penny with the gift.
The Nest Thermostat
I learned about this product from a friend of mine, who is very environmentally conscious. After she bought her home, she was left speechless when she received her first utility bill (more than double the cost of what a normal apartment utility bill should be for the month). She immediately got to work researching ways to reduce her energy consumption and came across the NEST Thermostat. This device is replaces your current thermostat and has been engineered to create cost effective energy usage in your home by learning your heating and cooling habits and then adjusting the temperature accordingly. What makes this gadget even more fabulous is the fact that it hooks into your WiFi and can be operated from your cell phone through the NEST App. The month after my friend had the NEST installed in her home, she her utility bill reduced by more than half! My husband and I bought one for our home and we now pay less each month in utilities than we in our old home (and this house is 500 square feet bigger!). The NEST is a great gift for the dad who loves gadgets and of course, saving money!
"High Tech" has never really been my thing. When my husband and I first moved in together he declared that the first order of business was to purge the house of all of my box TV sets for more updated models (my boxed TV sets worked perfectly fine, but in the spirit of "Pick and choose your battles," I let him have this one). In addition to the television upgrades (ala Costco!- Love that place!), he then started in on upgrading our sound systems and movie watching capabilities. While there were plenty of technological additions to our house, there was one that really stood out to me as being noticeably fabulous, Apple TV. Apple TV give you access to Netflix, Hulu, media purchased through the iTunes and much more. You can also sync your Mac Computer or other iOS device to your TV using the Apple Airplay feature. Installation is super easy and I have found it to be extremely user friendly. If your dad doesn't have a Mac Computer or other Apple products, Google Chromecast is another option that works similar to Apple TV, but it's PC-friendly.
A Framed Photo
This is a low cost idea that is extremely personal and something that my dad absolutely loved when I gifted it to him for Christmas last year. You can take any photo to your local pharmacy photo center and they can print a larger version for under $5 and then I would suggest looking into one of these pre-matted silver plated picture frames (a personal decor favorite of mine--see this recent post). Bonus- Frames are currently 30% off at Pottery Barn this weekend in celebration of Father's Day!
This was an idea that came to me after binging on both seasons 1 and 2 of The Mind of a Chef. The Mind of a Chef is a television series on PBS that profiles various chefs, their cooking, travel, history, humor and science into a beautiful cinematic journey. One of the episodes featured Benton's Smokey Mountain Country Hams. Benton's prides itself on tradition, producing slow-cured hams and bacon that have been aged for 9-10months. Chefs, food critics and culinary professionals laud Benton's Hams as being some of the best in the country. Since my dad has always been a ham lover, purchasing gourmet hams for all special holidays, I decided to send him a Benton's Ham for Father's day. He actually had the ham for breakfast this morning and his immediate response after trying it was, "WOW!" Although this is not a great last minute gift option, since you need to order the ham by mail, it is an extremely high quality product that makes for an excellent gift.
In short, my surprise visit went off without a hitch and my dad was truly touched that I flew down to be with him this Father's Day. We have lots of activities planned during my stay, but on Sunday I am taking the reigns and plan on serving him a very special Father's Day Breakfast, followed up with a fun Father's Day Cocktail Party that evening (complete with a Cheesescape of course!). Even though I am giving him an actual gift (See Benton's Ham Gift Idea), I still wanted to incorporate a personal/homemade touch into my Father's Day plans. I know I have said this before in previous posts, but I think it is important to reiterate that it really is the thought put into a gift that always seems to go further than the actual gift itself. Whatever you end up doing to celebrate the father figure in your life this Sunday, just make sure it's full of thoughtfulness and about them.