Dear Ol’ Dad: Father’s Day Gifts Beyond Soap on a Rope

Dear Ol’ Dad: Father’s Day Gifts Beyond Soap on a Rope

His hands are rough, his hugs are big, and his grilling skills are tops — just some of the many reasons we love that guy. Daddy didn’t get his own holiday until years after Mom got hers, but boy does he deserve a day to be adored! For the first time in many eras, menfolk are more involved in housekeeping and child-rearing. So put down the necktie and scan the list below to find the perfect present for your Pop.

Fathers Gift Cover 2

Give Him Style

“The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, ‘Daddy, I need to ask you something,’ he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan.” — Garrison Keillor

Repeat after me: “Daddy is more than his wallet or car.” Now show him you mean it. A little one-on-one time would be a gift in itself, but why not also get something material that says, “I will deem to be seen with you in public.”

Some suggestions: Cool swim trunks such as this tartan pair from Ralph Lauren; Canby Zebrawood sunglasses; or this red-plated steel tie clip.


Make Perfect Scents

“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” — Bill Cosby

Parenting is hard work and, to be perfectly frank, sometimes fatherhood stinks. Show Dad you appreciate all he does by helping him stop and smell — er– better.

Look for really good soap that doesn’t smell like a florist shop. Try the Apothecary Soap Set from Iozola.


You can also apply that scent advice to a candle. Let’s not even pretend he couldn’t use one in his bathroom. Try: Santal Cardamom, Feu de Bois, or Tompkins.

Get Dad a lush head of hair (or at least a scalp treat for your favorite baldy.) I love Lush everything, including the extensive hair line. Shampoo, dry shampoo, shampoo bars, etc.

Share Your Wisdom

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” — Mark Twain

Kids grow from intolerable teens into actual adults. Their fathers go from Superman to senile to Superman again. Break the cycle by educating the old man while you’re still young enough know everything.

Give your dad a subscription to GQ. Keep him up on current events, the latest technology, what’s trending, and politics, all with a side of eye candy.


Does he read? He might love Things I Learned About my Dad (in Therapy), a collection of essays edited by Heather Armstrong, creator of

I gave you some nice, unique options for Dad’s big day, but I will now offer the obvious gift: your dad wants a tablet. You know it and I know it. And, hey, a tablet does at least offer him the chance to brush up on all those things you know all about.

Now, pick out a gift and wrap it up nice. Oh, and don’t forget to work out a bit — you’ll need your strength if you’re to handle Dad’s bear hug after he sees what you got him.

Photo Credits:  Blair Pittman,,,

Dear Ol’ Dad: Father’s Day Gifts Beyond Soap on a Rope

Janice Bear

Janice Bear is still a girl despite her 30-something years. She laughs too loud, talks too much, and is certain her hair has a mind of its own. While unsure of what she wants to be when she grows up, she's positive the search will be a 5-star dramedy. Catch her when you can at Never a Plain Jane.

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