A Dad's Advice on the Best Presents (Yes, Duct Tape)

Philip Long


When Mother’s Day rolls around, I’m the guy freaking out about what to get my wife. Come to think of it, the same goes with birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. So that means every year, my culture tells me that as a husband, I am bound to not only celebrate my wife once, but four times a year, or I’m a failure. That’s a lot of pressure. Thankfully my wife is gracious enough to let me miss a few even though, in my humble estimation, she deserves endless celebration.

So in an attempt to help you mothers out there, and in-so-doing honor my wife (see how this is working) here’s a list of ideas for what to get dad for Father’s Day (approved by other fathers out there):

  1. Lots of us like duct tape. Make us a duct tape wallet. And if you’re lazy, we understand that, just give us some duct tape and the instructions.
  2. We may like Star Wars. If so this book should do the trick: Vader’s Little Princess or Darth Vader and Son. If we don’t like Star Wars we may need to see a doctor.
  3. We like being honored. So make us a throne already.
  4. Frame a handwritten note or tribute. For more on a tribute check out Dennis Rainey’s article.
  5. Some of us like ties. Not me, I loathe them with great intensity. But you could have each of the kids paint their names or pictures on a white tie. I might even get over my intense loathing to wear one of these.
  6. Buy a children’s book that has dads in it. The more pictures the better. As you read through, write notes, beside each picture or section, stuff that reminds you of us. Be kind, if you have to.
  7. This is an easy one: We like to eat. Feed us. We’re not picky.
  8. Give us a shoebox full of things from around the house that make you think of us. You know, twigs, loose change, lint…meaningful stuff like that. Oh and be sure to include our favorite candy-bar.
  9. We forget things. So frame us a picture of yourself and the kids. Be sure to write a note on our hand to hang it up at the office.
  10. You know that task we just can’t seem to get done around the house? If you can pull this off without making us sad or mad, hire someone to do it and give us the credit anyway.
  11. Some of us have feelings. I have lots, but I’m a writer. Reminisce about fond memories together asking us how certain events made us feel. Campfires, s’mores and/or cookies might help us with this difficult task.
  12. And finally one for us fathers to do on this grand day: if we happen to have kids who have had kids, making us feel old and grand-pappyish, it might help us to write a blessing for our son who’s done all grown up now (sigh). Then give that man some duct tape.

While the above was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek, with a little tweaking, many of these would make many of us happy.

Also, many of us may be unable to be father’s in the strict sense, but we love adopting and mentoring and interacting with your children. These tips might work well with us as well. Happy Father’s Day!

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