As father’s day approaches we must do our best to make both our dad and our bank statement happy. Which can be tough when you want to buy the paterfamilias a Bentley but only have the means to buy him a can of beans. Know that dad really doesn’t care what you buy him (he’s already got the nose hair trimmer, the electric tie rack and the heaviest collection of paper weights, thank you very much), so long as you shower him with love. That said, anyone appreciates a thoughtful, useful gift, so, without knowing your dad personally, here are a handful of generically great dad gifts at a range of price points. You’re welcome, reader of this article’s dad!
Under $25: Has your dad ever read a graphic novel? If he is a graphic novelist, please disregard that last question. If he is not, browse your local independent book store and find one to suit him. For eccentric Canadiana, Seth does it best. For charming personal stories about growing up, you can do no better than Quebec’s Michel Rabagliati. For neat personal accounts of places as varied as Pyongyang and Jerusalem, pick up a book by Guy Delisle.
Under $50: Get dad a nice bottle of something Canadian. Collingwood Whisky comes in spiffy packaging that makes it look like an oversized bottle of cologne. If he likes wine, ask your local vintner to suggest a nice bottle that he might save for a special day. Or, you know, drink right away, because it is a special day! Alternately, cobble together a handful of fancy drink accoutrements, like exotic bitters and whisky stones, and make a custom beverage care package.
Does your dad have lots of media devices and no media? Consider buying a couple digital magazine subscriptions for the iPad he only uses to play Angry Birds. Another option is to buy and show him how to use your favourite apps.
Under $75: Whether he’s a fuzzy phonecam operator or a skilled lensman, a dad always wants to print his work. Compile your dad’s photos into a book via Apple iPhoto or Blurb. Alternately, take a leadership role and get his best stuff printed out at Black’s or Costco. Frame his least dodgy efforts!
Under $100: What dad most wants is quality time. With you! If you don’t live in the same town, consider a midrange webcam and helpful installation of Skype or Gchat. Hours of face to face fun. For at least one of you.
Is your dad’s home office bereft of anything resembling decor? If you think you know his taste enough to chance it, try an affordable, limited-edition photograph from Eye Buy Art. There’s a good range of stuff for all tastes.
Does your dad already have everything? twice? How about making a donation to Kiva? You can donate on behalf of dad to this microloan site, and then he can choose which entrepreneurs to support and watch their businesses grow.
Bonus idea: Unless your dad is on a strict diet, you can never go wrong with pie. Bring dad some delectable foodstuffs or make him a great dinner. Stick around to watch him eat it.
Happy Father’s Day!