Go beyond the usual tie and golf shirt to find your dad the perfect gift.
Step 1: Give Dad something he really wants. According to surveys, that means, in order: a meal out with the family; a gift card; a homemade gift; music, books, DVDs, or video games; a sports or hobby-related gift; tools or appliances; travel or a weekend getaway; or an electronic or computer-related gift.
Step 2: If you can’t gather the whole family, at least make a date with Dad for some quality one-on-one time, even if it’s just seeing a movie and grabbing a burger afterwards.
Step 3: Fulfill one of your dad’s dreams, like being a fighter pilot or driving on a real racetrack. Yes, gifts like this can get pricey, but you can always get your mother and/or siblings to pitch in.
TIP: Your gift doesn’t have to be too wildly extravagant. You can also arrange a surprise visit from an old army buddy or childhood friend.
Step 4: Reconsider those gift-of-the-month clubs, which now have gone well beyond fruit. You can have Dad receive a monthly shipment of chocolate, wine, cigars, cookies, barbecue sauces, pie, gourmet delicacies, and so on. You can even send him out to a new restaurant every month.
TIP: You don’t have to spring for all 12 months; usually you can sign up for as few as three.
Step 5: Write him a letter of thanks, and make it as specific as you can. For example, don’t just say, 'You were always there for me.' Thank him for giving up all those weekends to coach your softball team.
TIP: You can enclose your letter in a homemade card. Dads love them.
Step 6: Do something he’s been asking you to do, like get a haircut or help him clean the yard.
TIP: Whatever you do, don’t get him a necktie. Research shows it’s dads’ least favorite gift, followed by aftershave, underwear, and socks.
Step 7: If all else fails, ask your mother to find out what he wants, even if she has to ask him. It’s not as inspired, but it will guarantee that Dad will get exactly what he wants.
FACT: In the ’60s, aftershave, hair-care products, and electric shavers were the most popular Father’s Day gifts.