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10 Things Not To Get for Father's Day and Their Alternatives

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by Tony Dyer (subscribe)
I've made it to my life's goal - the old age pension. Now I write for fun. Hope you enjoy reading.
Published August 22nd 2014
A father knows best for Father's Day gifts
Fathers' Day is just around the corner so I thought I should lend a hand to everybody pondering the annual gift problem. I have put together a selection of gifts you should never give your father. If it's not in this list it's probably alright to give.

In an earnest desire not to be thought of as negative, I have suggested acceptable alternatives to make your dad's Father's Day as close to perfect as possible.

Here we go, worst first:

1. Socks, jocks and hankies
By getting your dad any or all of the famous trifecta of socks, jocks and/or hankies you say, 'Dad, I couldn't be bothered. I have to get you something so suck it up.' Clearly, you just don't care about your dad's feelings.

If you must buy him some kind of everyday apparel then the best alternative is a new pair of thongs for the feet not that other kind I've heard about! By giving thongs you say to your dad, 'I love you and want you to be comfortable wherever you go.'

2. Work shirt
Never, ever get your dad a Father's Day gift to use at work. It's Sunday and he's already dreading work in the morning. A business shirt only adds to the dread. Just how cruel is that?

The alternative is a Harley Davidson T-shirt. If you can't find one then try a t-shirt displaying his major interest such as a four-wheel drive, RV or sports car. Wearing that t-shirt will clear work from his mind and he'll dream of cruising the highways instead.

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father's day, gift ideas, alternatives, shopping
Leisure shirts are good; work shirts are no good!


3. Car Cleaning Kits
Oh yeah, right! Why don't you just tell him his car's a mess and he should do something about it? This is supposed to be his day but all you do is insult his car.

Instead why don't you clean his car, or even better, get it detailed inside and out by a professional? You're still saying his car's a mess but he will love you for doing something about it.

4. Yard work tools
Don't think of getting a mower, a whipper snipper or a hedge trimmer for a gift. All you are doing is telling poor old dad to get to work. It's the same as getting your mum a vacuum cleaner on mothers' day it just shouldn't happen.

To get dad out into the garden, get him a hammock and he's sure to be out there on a much more regular basis.

5. Gift box of treats
Have you seen what's in these gift boxes? There's fruit, water crackers, cheese, little boxes of expensive chocolates and tiny bottles of wine. Gift boxes say to dad, 'Couldn't get to The Reject Shop to buy some cheap socks, jocks or hankies for you. Take this instead.'

Alternatively, get him what he likes; a mixture of dark chocolate, nuts, especially smoked almonds and lollies. If his weight is a problem then include some liquorice it's said to be 97% fat-free.

6. Lunch or Dinner
Don't ever take dad out to lunch or dinner on Father's Day. The day is a Sunday in September; what happens every Sunday in September? Answer football. Why make him miss his football?

The easy alternative is to buy him a pizza, curry or chicken meal, set him up in his favourite chair, turn off the phone and take the rest of the family out to eat leaving dad alone to watch the footy in peace.

7. Books, CDs and DVDs
Have you ever been given a book, CD or DVD you have already read, listened to or watched? So why would you do that to your father?

Get him a gift voucher and let him make the decision.

8. Anything he pays for himself
In modern families Dads are human ATMs. Scrounging money off him to buy a Father's Day present defeats the purpose. How's dad going to feel when he finds out he paid for those useless socks, jocks or hankies?

Make it yourself. My daughter made me little gifts for Father's Day and they were the best presents I've ever had. Remember, it's not the gift but the love behind it that counts.

father's day, gifts, shopping, alternatives
Nothing's better than an, 'I love you, dad' from yourself.


9. Art works
Fathers don't like impractical works of art. They have no use for artistic pictures, statues and other brick-a-brack.

If it must hang on a wall or sit on a shelf then practical alternatives include a clock I've seen with a picture of a motorbike behind the clock's hands or a phone in the shape of a car or bike. Now they're stylish and practical.

10. Aftershave lotion
Do not get your dad aftershave lotion. He is going to feel obliged to wear it and will then spend the rest of his working days being reminded of the day he came in smelling like a bordello.

There is no alternative for aftershave lotion. Unless dad's a new-age metro, in which case he'd already have plenty of lotions, just don't do it.

There you have it a complete list of no-go gifts and, in the spirit of positivity, suitable go-to gifts for Father's Day. Take my advice and he'll love you for it. Happy shopping.
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Why? Because he's the only dad you'll ever have, you need to make it just right
Your Comment
My dad actually appreciates some of those things. Hell never be unhappy if you get him socks or slippers as he is always wearing them out and will never buy a pair for himself. He also often asks for practical work tools, if not necessarily for the car, then for gardening. My doesn't like football, and would much rather have a meal out.

I do, however, agree with you about art work, books, etc. It doesn't be the kind of thing dads tend to go for.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12050) 1520 days ago
I expect a follow up now of what you did get for Fathers Day.
by Lynne Cargill (score: 2|715) 1518 days ago
Great article, and coming from a dad, it helps for sure!
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1728) 1515 days ago
Interesting viewpoint Tony. I like a man who could be bothered to smell nice, so I don't agree with 10 at all, but I enjoyed reading your article.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4049) 1488 days ago
There speaks the voice of experience! Great article. My Dad's socks of choice were very expensive silk Italian ones, so he was generally quite happy to get a pair of those as a gift :)
by Fiona Anderson (score: 2|939) 1518 days ago
No to Socks Jocks & Hankies? As I never get anything for Fathers Day I would be grateful to just get a card!
by readr (score: 0|2) 1519 days ago
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