Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kristian Bush's 2013 Father's Day gift guide

Jennifer Nettles' Sugarland partner feels "like Father's Day gifts can sometimes be a bit repetitive in our culture, and maybe for good reason. It seems the same socks, tie, craft beer or favorite author are the usual go-to gifts for the dad in your life. It's because he is predictable and constant, the way a dad should be.
"I am here to make a few suggestions that might separate you from the pack, help you rise above the fray, give you a chance to be that gift-giving son or daughter you always knew you could be, and give your dad the ultimate unforgettable gift. The one that says, "I love you, Dad, and because I love you, I tried harder this year."

Let's start with a few general observations of dads. Dads love their space. For some it's their garage; others, a den or home office where they can retreat from the responsibilities of the world. Maybe it's their car, or simply their favorite chair.

Observe your dad in his natural habitat. Identify his retreat, his man cave, his safe place. Pay close attention to what might make it even better. Simply noticing it gets you points that will set you apart for many Father's Days to come, but actually improving it -- that will put you in his favor for years.

I suggest any gift that might help him stay in that space longer:

- A refrigerator so he doesn't have to come inside the house for more beer [via ThinkGeek]
- A stylish tray so he can eat in his chair [via AllModern]
- A chair all his own to watch his favorite team [via NFL Shops]
- A wall decal to finally let him claim his space [via Etsy]

Whatever the perfect fit for your dad, pay attention. You will see the need and just slip right in, like the hero I know you can be.

Second dad gift buying tip: Grooming products.

Your dad may be anywhere on the grooming spectrum from shaved and coiffed to Duck Dynasty. No matter where he falls, a thoughtful -- and it must be thoughtful, not just picked because it was on the end cap at CVS -- grooming product of some sort will be appreciated.

(NOTE: We kind of surf from holiday to holiday on the grooming products you got us at the last one. Father's Day and Christmas are perfectly timed to make it to the end of the Edge shaving cream can or our last pack of razors. If we ration well, we can reuse our razors through September, and then just grow a beard for the winter to make it back to Christmas.)

In an effort to help guide you toward something special, here are some of my grooming product recommendations:

- My shaving cream of choice [via Kiehl's]
- Great razors. I love this company, especially their advertising [via Dollar Shave Club]
- A dopp kit is a must. I like this one because it lets me imagine that Indiana Jones loaned it to me.

Doesn't it look like it has gone on great adventures? [via Bless This Stuff]

Finally, a great dad gift -- and one that is often invoked as the perfect choice -- is some sort of clothing. You can approach this creatively, depending on your dad's style. IMPORTANT: Don't push him past his comfort zone. Try to work with what his man style will allow.

Here are some gift suggestions that might fit anyone:

- Some cool hangers to hold his jeans by the loop (no matter what year he bought them) [via imogene + willie]
- A lanyard to hold his keys to the belt that holds up his jeans (no matter what year he bought them) [via imogene + willie]
- A design-your-own baseball cap that will go with his jeans (no matter what year he bought them) [via Zazzle]
- Or maybe try a vintage baseball cap. I love these. [via Ebbets Field Flannels]

If you still haven't found anything that lights a spark in youy Holy Grail quest for your dad's heart, I have placed some additional suggestions here at the bottom to help inspire something new:

- Turntable and a record [via Crosley]
- Remote control anything [via Hobbytron]
- A way to turn off the noise [via Bose]
- If you are feeling super generous, try this.

These are only suggestions. Innovate. Create. Push yourself to search the globe for dad's perfect gift. I am always partial to the home made paper mache dragon that my daughter gave me years ago. It sits on my desk and breathes fire on all of those who challenge my rule of the Iron Throne when I am looking for peace and quiet.

Sorry. Been watching too much Game of Thrones lately.

Most importantly, wish your dad a Happy Father's Day. Where would we be without them? Share your favorite gift suggestions in the comments, and say hi to your father for me.

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