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Christmas Gifts for Retired Dads - What to Buy Any Dad?

Updated on December 20, 2019
Victoria Lynn profile image

Over the years, my family have downsized, sometimes giving yard sale gifts or making items.Still, there are standard gifts for certain folks

A Simple Gift for Dad

Most dads are grateful for just a simple gift.
Most dads are grateful for just a simple gift. | Source

Fathers are hard to buy for!

Do you find that your dad is hard to buy gifts for at Christmas? Or at any other time? Maybe your dad isn't, but I find that the older mine gets, the harder time I have in finding a gift for him. As fathers get older, they usually have what they need, it seems. At least my dad does.

My dad is retired, he has the things he wants, and he buys what he needs. I have become challenged as the years go by. I find it increasingly more difficult to buy things that I think he will need or like. I have brainstormed a lot, so here are some of the things I've found that my dad--and probably most dads--will like . . . at Christmas or any other time throughout the year.

Consumable Food Items for Gifts

When dads have all they need, what about buying practical gifts for them--things they can use that don't take up space. Many dads don't want or need stuff taking up room, but consumable items that they enjoy eating are always good gifts--for dads or anyone.

Does your dad like chocolates, nuts, or other snack items? My dad likes those chocolate covered cream drops. My step-dad likes any kind of nuts. Or what about coffee? It was only recently that I learned that my dad loves spicy pickles. Who knew? That gives me a whole new avenue to look for gifts for him!

Different kinds of candies or specialty coffees are a nice gift for the man who has everything he needs. Other snacks such as beef jerky or summer sausage might be another idea that will please your dad. What about a basket of jerky, crackers, and specialty cheeses? All of these are great ideas for the dad who doesn't "need" anything. Give him consumable goods that he enjoys without having to give him "stuff" that he might not need or want at all.

Comfortable Slip-on Shoes for Dad

My dad has a small farm, mostly goats and chickens that he buys and sells as a hobby. The chickens lay eggs that he sells (and gives to us kids!) He is far from sedentary, as he tends to things around the house, in the barn, in the field. He is continually running in and out of the house. (My stepmother doesn't know where he is half the time.)

For many years, I would get my dad some comfortable slip-on shoes. Hmmm . . . he might be due for another pair! They're not expensive, and they are very useful. Perfect for a father always on the go!


Along with comfy shoes, socks are another practical gift for retired fathers. One year I gave my dad some diabetic-type socks that offer more support than the average sock. Although he isn't diabetic, he was pleased to try these socks.

I would think that these kind of socks would help most people as far as support goes. Heck, I might try them myself!

Warm Items: Hats and Gloves

Hats and gloves are another appropriate item for dads. My dad always throws on a hat when he goes outside. Like me, he can't stand to be cold. I'm sure he could use a few extra pairs of work gloves stashed here and there to be handy, too.

Don't count out practical items. Just some cheap jersey gloves and a knit cap will fit into any Christmas budget--and dad is sure to use them.

Mental Stimulation Activities

I never thought of my dad as one to do crossword puzzles--until he retired. Now, every time I visit, he is doing the crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper at some point. I have bought him books of crossword puzzles over the years. He started out with the easier crosswords, but, over the years, he has moved on to more difficult puzzles.

As an avid crossword puzzler, I know that the crosswords in the newspaper are more difficult than the crossword puzzle books marked as easy. The easy ones, however, are a great place to start. You might see if crosswords--or even Sudoku--are something your dad might like, even if he has shown no interest before. You might be surprised.

Crossword and other similar activities are fun and excellent ways to keep the brain stimulated.

Digital Photo Frame

How is your dad, especially if retired, with electronics? Mine can turn on the television or radio, but he couldn't do the same with a computer. Still, there are some electronics he might really get a kick out of--such as a digital photo frame.

These are great little gadgets! Dad is sure to enjoy seeing favorite pictures of his kids and grandchildren going across the screen. Make sure you set it up with all the pictures before you give it to him, however. Otherwise, this gift may stay in the box for a while.

Hobby Gifts

Does your retired father spend a lot of time out in the garden? If so, get him something to make things easier on him. A gardening kneeling pad can help make kneeling on the ground more comfortable for aging knees.

What other hobbies does your dad like? Hunting or fishing? Think of what his hobbies are. Look into what he doesn't have. Think about warm clothing for hunting. And what about a fun fishing hat for the fisherman?

Whatever your dad's hobbies are, he will appreciate getting a gift that he can use when enjoying his activities.

Final Ideas for Christmas Gifts for Dad

Tired of racking your brain for the perfect gift for your father? Try the above ideas. Or maybe there's something else your dad enjoys, such as movies or books.

Maybe a potpourri of all the above would be fun--a hat, some gloves, a crossword puzzle book, and some candies or other snacks. Stick all the items in a basket or bag, and voila! A grab bag gift is always fun, as dad will enjoy pulling out all the different things--items he can use.

Many of us become more practical in our gift-giving as we get older. We need less "stuff," preferring gifts we can really use. I know this is true with me and, of course, my parents. Get your dad something he can put to good use, and he is sure to appreciate it.

© 2013 Victoria Lynn


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