Father’s Day Gift Picks


This article needs to come with a warning:  I suck at this.  

Mike and I have married now for…uh…almost 14 years?  Whoa.  And over the years, I have botched birthday gifts and Christmas gifts and now…Father's Day gifts.  "Botched" might be a tad strong…let's just say that Mike is typically underwhelmed by my gift choices, or completely unsurprised: "Hey Babe.  I picked up a new iPhone.  You can claim that's my birthday gift".  Um.  Ok.  

In my defense, this is not completely my fault.  If I surreptitiously check his Amazon wish list, I find things like external hard drives, or books titled "PMML in Action:  Unleashing the Power of Open Standards For Data Mining and Predictive Analysis."  OMG.  Kill me.  I mean, sure…he probably would like an external hard drive or snoozeville book but I just…can't.  Can these really be considered gifts?  Really?  

And Mike is no help.  None.  When I ask him what he wants for _________ [fill in the blank], his standard answer has been – for the last fourteen years – blowjobs.  So yeah…that's helpful.  Actually, if you are totally desperate for a good gift (and I've been there), you can order coupon books from Datevitation.  Most of their date ideas are really cute…but they do have an adult-only section.  With, uh, hysterical illustrations.  Ahem.  

This is just the beginning for this naughty duo…..

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Anyway.  I know I'm not alone in this.  I came across this old MODG article where she forced her husband (who prob also wants blowjobs) to come up with a gift list and it's just…sad, really.  Hysterical, yet sad.  Socks and lawnmowers and a gym hat (wha???) and OMG it's as boring as math books.   As MODG summarizes, "Buying gifts for men is the stupidest activity on the whole earth."

Sing it, sister.

But over the years, I've had a few wins, although ironically, most were things I just randomly picked up, rather than official gifts.  Also, Mike has been humoring me quite a bit more lately (upside of cancer? Ha Ha…Ha…too soon to joke?) and actually sat down and helped identify a few things he liked.  I hope this helps, Mamas.  It's all I got.




1.  Lightning Bolt Tie Clip, $20 Kevin Cross Designs

Have you heard?  Tie clips are a thing.  This Etsy seller hand-makes them in either standard size ties (for old guys) or skinny ties (for young guys).  Mike has both (*cough*almost40*cough*).  He likes the lightning bolt, but you can also get a mustache, a snake, or for the more conservative, art deco or carbon stripe (Mike's other fav).  See them all here


2. Leather Excursion Garment Bag, $450

I know, I know.  I'm cringing over the price.  But Mamas?  Mike, the guy who wants nothing and who virtually never excites?  He lost his mind over this one.  "Babe!  BABE!!!  This!! See this???  I've been looking for something exactly like this!!  So look – it fits just one suit…"  Mike clicks over to a new pic.  "And YUP.  Socks, here."  He jabs a finger at the screen.  "Underwear, here.  BAM.  This is perfect.  PERFECT."

Whoa.  That's as excited as I've ever seen Mike get about anything in 14 years.  

Red Envelope was kind enough to send one out to us gratis.  (God, this blog thing is nice sometimes.)  And while pricey, it's really, really nice.  The leather is soft and rich, the monogram (Mike's exact – and classy – words were "Yeah, I wanna monogram that shit!") is subtle and understated, and Mike is thrilled that he can now fly without checking luggage.

"What about shampoo and stuff?" I ask him.  He looks at me, baffled.  "Baby, I use the hotel's." he says.

Ew.  Gross.  Moving on….


3. Baseball Cuff Links (Made from real baseballs), $170

Mike also loved these.  These cuff links are made from baseballs used in actual MLB games – you pick the team.  Each pair comes with some identifier on the back that shows which exact game the baseballs were used in.  To often whimsical cuff links end up cheesy (Hi!  I Am Not Really An Office Drone As Evidenced By My Quirky Cuff Links!!)…but these are actually pretty cool.  



4. Warby Parker Sunglasses, $95

I love Warby Parker's designs for guys: retro and cool.  And I love that you can get them with prescriptions, if necessary.  Mike finally bought prescription sunglasses last year and it changed his life*.  For realz.

*If your guy is blind without his glasses, you might want to go with a higher-end brand…they tend to be more comfortable for all-day wear.  Mike and I both like Salt…stupid expensive, but worth it for our PPW (price-per-wear) calculation.

5.  Handy Dad Book, $15

If your guy is knocking down walls and adding rooms and wiring stuff…he probably doesn't need this book.  But if your guy keeps his tools in one small (fabric) tool case (or if he falls somewhere in between)…than this book might be a fun gift from the kids.  It has awesome step-by-step photos on how to build things like tire swings, tree houses, climbing walls, etc. 

6.  Me + Ro Love Bead Bracelet, $105

Mike isn't a jewelry kind of guy, but he loved the courage bracelet I got him last year.  These are understated, manly-man bracelets.  The kind he can wear to work and be reminded of how much he is loved at home.  



7. K Way Classic Men's Windbreaker, $54

Something random I picked up for Mike that he wears all the time.  It shoves into it's own pouch, is wind (and rain!!) proof, and looks surprisingly cool.  It's a French brand, so order up a size.

8. Corter Leather Bottlehook Keychain, $40

We don't have fancy keychains and we're always losing our keys (like…always)….and Mike only likes snobby beer, which typically requires a bottle opener.  So yeah – this keychain/bottle opener is his latest obsession.  

9.  Rocket Launcher, $30

After Raines' final T-ball game, a few Dads launched rockets into the air.  The kids went ape-shit (girls and boys both)…and the other Dads were almost as bad.  The rockets go shockingly high into the air, and Fun Was Had By All!!  The set they used looked just like this…but it's the real deal, so you'll also need to buy some engines and igniters
(a pack of three is $12).

If this is all too intimidating, I saw some kids and dads at the park a few weeks ago playing with this ginormous foam glider ($13 at ToysRUs).  It was awesome.  



10.  Waxed Canvas Toiletry Case, $53

I bought one of these for Mike 10+ years ago.  He still uses it on every trip.  And I am no longer responsible for making sure he remembers to pack a toothbrush.  (Although, since he uses hotel toiletries…now I'm wondering what else he packs in there….??) 

11. Cool Sneaks, $80

The easiest way to upgrade your guy's look is to buy him some cooler shoes.  Mike and I both love Nike's retro sneaks…but TOMS' Paseos are also really awesome ($64).

12. AE Board Shorts, $30ish

Board shorts for guys are getting shorter and less…wide.  AE nails it, and hits that perfect hybrid between swimshort and regular short.  Mike would love these.  (I also seriously love these, but they are sold out. BOO.  Maybe these, then?)


Anyway, Mamas, I hope this helps!!  Now I just have to plan something fun for that day…and Mike's Birthday, which is just a few days before.  OH THE PRESSURE.



ps.  Remember when our friend B wrote a Christmas gift list for guys from a guy's perspective?  There are some great ideas there as well.  Especially Part 2, where he covered cool ideas for experience gifts.






  1. My husband totally just buys himself stuff and then justifies spending the money by telling me it was his gift…kinda drives me crazy:/. For Father’s Day early(just the way he likes it….), we just spent 2 grand on a new bike..,.
    FYI, my husband needs a guide for buying me gifts…..I like the surprise….but just guessing he’s not reading any blogs that would make one;)

  2. My most successful present ever for my geeky husband was when I stole a black hand towel that he already owned and had it embroidered with “Don’t Panic”.
    He also appreciated sterling silver pi cufflinks from this etsy shop (which has a lot of other unusual designs): http://www.etsy.com/shop/dedalo

  3. The most successful gift I’ve ever given the hubs was just in March for his birthday. I picked up this
    http://m.sears.com/productdetails.do?partNumber=00915206000P&reviewCount=239&itemSrc=Online&threshold=59.0&fullFillment=TW s
    Air compressor nail gun thingy. He was GEEKED (do people still say that? This is why I don’t blog. ..) BUT! even better than his excitement about it, or BECAUSE OF his excitement, I’ve since gotten rooms full of crown moulding and an entire new fire place. BOOM! NAILED IT! (You’re welcome for that TERRIBLE PUN πŸ˜‰ )

  4. I’m going to copy what Belinda said, but, you are so right! My husband says the same thing, too: all I want is a bj. So romantic.

  5. My husband also asks for BJ’s. What is with that?
    I would also recommend the book, “Dad’s Are the Original Hipsters.” Just for fun. Hubby thought it was hilarious and we spent a good 15 minutes laughing over it and reminiscing about our dads’ jorts and epic mustaches.

  6. OMG, Shana, what a great list! I have tie clip and baseball loving husband, and you’ve just made my June (FD and anniversary) so much easier! I’ve always thoughts tie clips were dopey, but the lightning bolt is cool. You’re right that’s it’s hard to find cuff links that aren’t boring or silly. The baseball ones have gotten it right. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  7. So my husband is totally into beer (he’s a certified Cicerone and he is a Craft Beer Educator- basically he’s paid to “educate” bars/ retailers on new beers). Ever since his first Father’s Day I’ve done a “beer a year.” He gets one craft beer for every year he’s been a dad. On the plus side I know it’s something he’ll really enjoy and I don’t have to do a whole lot of prep work besides find x number of cool beers. It does add up though! πŸ™‚

  8. First off: My husband’s bday is two days after Father’s Day. Argh. And in addition to just wanting blowjobs for presents, he has also informed me that I am free to write whatever I want about him on my blog, in return for the same thing. He drives a hard bargain. (Pun wasn’t intended, but I just can’t bring myself to delete it now.)
    Finally, it is never too early. (For the cancer jokes, I mean.) If you can’t laugh about it, the terrorists win.

  9. Random husband here… You ladies are missing the point. A husband joking about blowjobs wants a blowjob for Father’s Day. You could spend a week thinking about a gift and 2 hours shopping for it, or you could just give him 10 minutes of what he wants.
    If my wife figured out the perfect store bought gift, showed it to me and then said “or I could give you a blowjob and return this to the store”, I’m taking the BJ every time. That’s no joke.

  10. I’m with the guys here. Lets all just give them blowjobs. Then blow the $450 we saved and spend it on ourselves! Brilliant.

  11. BJ – is that your real name? If so, what a lucky coincidence. But let me thank you for commenting – on behalf of husbands everywhere. πŸ™‚

  12. Wow, all husbands are the same πŸ˜›
    We’re still pretty new on the parenting scene, but this year my hubby is getting a Fisher Price basketball set for father’s day. I checked with my SIL (who has a decade of experience under her belt) and she approved. I figure the best way to celebrate what an awesome dad my hubby is to our toddler is to facilitate more quality time between for two of them. And then maybe they’ll stop playing football/basketball/soccer in our apartment.
    But since you linked Warby Parker, any recs for ladies sunnies??? I just found out they have a showroom down the street from my office!
    I love the cancer as terrorist analogy. Terrorists are assholes and so are cancer cells. Nuke ’em, sharpshooter, whatever you want… just kick their asses.

  13. Personally, I don’t believe BJs should be a special occasion only thing, I’m just saying.
    So, here’s an idea for the sentimental guy who adores his family – every year since my son was born I collected digital photos from that year and put them together in a book which I created at Shutterfly (we’re on book 3 now). I have written it from my son’s voice telling his dad all about the fun year they had and the things they did and why he loves him so much. Obviously, it’s coming from me but I hope my son will help me write them as he gets older, too. As I’m writing the words in my son’s voice, I’m often overwhelmed by the love that we all have for each other and I get all choked up. I know my husband does too, when he reads it. Because I’m telling him what a good dad we think he is. Isn’t that what Father’s Day is about?
    I make the same size book each year, the number of pages varies, but they stack nicely on a shelf and it’s fun to go through them. Since we so rarely print all our digital photos anymore, it’s nice to have something physical to look at – I know my son will LOVE to look at these in years to come and it’s a lot easier than saying, “here, kid, look at my iPhoto album.”
    Anyway, if you’re looking for a sentimental idea – this is my go-to and my husband loves it. It will be something you’ll treasure in years to come.
    And then give him a nice BJ.

  14. Shana Christine. I have the vapors. You posted that word……..and your MOTHER is going to read this. OMG. It’s too much for me. I can’t take it. I’m Southern. I am in need of a drink right now.
    But, what did you get him for father’s day? We gave Scott golf with the guys (Hohn, Dinges) and the girls made dinner. They drank to their happy hearts content. Then we had brunch at Brown Palace with a full view of Pridefest. :O)
    Where coincidentally a grown man walked by dressed as a p-e-n-i-s. I can’t say the word.

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