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Birthday Gift Ideas for Picky Men and Dads

Updated on August 16, 2014

Gifts for Picky Dads

I'm not sure if other fathers are like me, but I'm a bit picky about the gifts I like. Usually, surprise gifts aren't a good idea, but as a father, here are a few gift ideas for dads that I would like.

Guidelines for Selecting a Gift

There are few guidelines for picking out a gift for your dad. The best policy is to ask your father what he wants. Often times people will think they know what fathers want, and usually fathers are polite and thankful, but if you really want to get your father the perfect gift, just ask him what he wants. If you think that is boring, and it is a bit, but the downside is getting him another gadget or thing that quickly turns to junk status. So, if you're going to surprise him with a gift that you think he will like try to see if it passes these rules.

  1. Never give him a decoration. Fathers get way too many of these and it's rude to project your personal taste on another person even if he is your father.
  2. Look for gifts that can be consumed quickly. Things like homemade cookies and pies are good because if he doesn't like them, they will go bad quickly and he won't be constantly reminded of another lost opportunity to get a gift he would actually like.
  3. Similar to gifts that can be consumed are gifts that die like plants and flowers. The point is the gift is temporary. If he likes it great, if he doesn't he'll throw it out once its dead.
  4. It's never acceptable to surprise your father with a live gift like a puppy or kitten. This gift is incredibly insensitive. Owning an animal is a very personal decision and should never be a surprise gift.
  5. If you have to give an item, make sure it has a gift receipt.

Here are Some Gift Ideas for Dad that fit the rules above

  1. Cook his favorite dinner for him and clean up:)
  2. Rub is back and feet.
  3. Teach him how to make Hubs or something else that is new
  4. Give a gift of labor like pulling weeds, raking the yard or washing his car. Even better, do all three. You can give him a book of coupons he can redeem for the tasks.
  5. Take him to a movie. Just the two of you, but something he wants to see.

If you don't care that the man or dad is picky and you're getting him a gift anyway

I don't recommend this, but if you insist on surprising your father with a gift and you really want a great idea that he'll love here are a few things that I really like and if if your dad is anything like me you'll have gotten him the perfect gift.

  • A Hug and a Kiss, plus some money. My seven year old daughter gave me this for Fathers day and I have to say it was my favorite gift.
  • My wife gave me some Lululemon shirts and sweats. These are pretty expensive, but I really like them, accpet for the Lululemon shorts. They fit me kind of strange because I have big legs. These shorts are better for skinny people.

I'm big on themes. So if your dad likes to barbecue like I do, here are some great gifts for people that like to bbq.

  • An instant read digital thermometer. Get him the Thermapen. You'll have perfectly cooked meat as a bonus.
  • Get him a great grill that looks beautiful as well. I have a Kamado Grill. It's awesome, but the company that sells them is bad. You might get him a big green egg instead, although they aren't as pretty.
  • Spices for his barbecue
  • A shop vacuum. Shop vaccums are great for cleaning barbecues and fireplaces out quickly, although they will kick up some dust.
  • Go to the best steakhouse in town and get dry aged beef for him to cook. Delicious.

List of Unique Gifts for Dads 2012 - 2013

Sometimes Dads don't know what they want, so it helps to give them options. Here's a suggestion. Give them a list of five great gift ideas that range from unusual to practical and see what they want.

Here is my list of top gifts for 2012 - 2013

  • An instant read thermometer or a digital wireless thermometer or both. The thermapen is my favorite. It's super easy to use and the big numbers make it easy to read. I also really like the William Sonoma wireless meat thermometer for roasting meats.
  • The Contigo Aria 20 ounce coffee mug is my number one rated travel coffee mug. See the bottom of this Hub on the top coffee mug. This is a super cool gift that most people don't know how great this mug is
  • Lululemon sweats are about as stylish and comfortable gift there is for men. They are pricey, but fantastic. If he doesn't have any, he'll love them. This is one gift that is worth the risk.
  • Wine club membership. My favorite winery is Laetitia, but almost all wineries have a club where they will get a few bottles of wine delivered every quarter. Most clubs will let you pick the varietal. Ridge in Healdsburg, CA has a very good wine club as well.
  • Blue Bottle Coffee. It's a gourmet coffee that is roasted fresh daily. You can order the coffee direct from the website or even get him a subscription. People love this gift, although, the coffee comes in a whole bean, so the person needs to have a coffee grinder for this gift to work well.

What's the top 2012 Gift for Dads

What is the top gift for Dads

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    • alphagirl profile image

      Mae Williams 

      8 years ago from USA

      Great suggestions!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What if you have a dad who hates books and reading, laughs at homemade presents and has expensive taste and high expectations? Usually I work with my mum to come up with a good present, but she wants to get him something we might not be able to find on time, and is rather non-impressive. I want to get him something he will really like, but i'm STUMPED!!!

    • profile image

      dirtblonde boot 

      9 years ago

      i love this thankyou so much for your help:)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Sometimes, i prefer not to give gifts to a guy, whether it's my husband, a friend, or my dad. I really find it difficult choosing the right one to give them that they will like. My simple greetings on their special day would be enough. However, i realized later the importance of material things to give as a gift. It can leave a greater impact most especially if the gift is useful enough for everyday.

    • Kaye McCulloch profile image

      Kaye McCulloch 

      9 years ago from Australia

      LOL, I like your reasoning for temporary gifts. Think my Dad my appreciate that too :) Luckily my kids' Dad is a bit easier to shop for!

    • almasi profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful hub. Would have never thought of some of your suggestions like the thermometer

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      9 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      This made me laugh so much (not sure if it is supposed to be funny) and it's so true. This is a great Hub and I'm going to take your advice re husband and get son to read it.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      12 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      I agree with gredmondson, there are some gifts that cost so little, yet mean so much!

    • gredmondson profile image


      13 years ago from San Francisco, California

      A terrific gift is a letter you write by hand that recalls a time when your father did something that had positive meaning for you. Trust me, he will appreciate it (and it won't take a lot of room to store it). And, years later, when your father is no longer with you, and you are going through his things, and you find the letter your wrote forty years ago, you will understand the meaning it had for him.


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