Gift Guide for Difficult Dads

I don’t know about your dad, but I do know that I find all the dad gift guides I always see never having anything my dad would actually want on them. My dad does not barbecue, is not really into whisky/whiskey or any other drink, he’s not techie, he is incredibly fussy about his clothes, he doesn’t need a dopp kit or whatever men’s toiletries bags are called and anything he wants that I can afford he typically already has and what he really wants is like a new tractor or farm implement or grain bin or some other thing that I will never have a spare 10k to 100k to drop on a Christmas present.

One thing I am considering is Storyworth, it’s a service(?), I think. You set it up to email questions to the recipient of the gift and they get to write a story answering that question. And then the questions are meant to be things that you might not think to ask your parent or grandparent. You could send it to anyone, but it does seem to be designed more so for a parent or grandparent than like a sibling or partner. And then at the end of the year the answers and any photos they have uploaded to go along with the story get printed and bound into a book. My dad is such a good storyteller and I feel like parents and grandparents have had these whole lives before we entered their lives and we almost never learn about them.

The first category is tools and tool adjacent items. This magnetic wrist thing is so cool, it feels like it would be useful if you are working under something or in an awkward space and you don’t want to constantly be going back to your tool box or need to carry multiple nails and don’t want to put them in your mouth like a normal person. I kind of want one of these for myself lol. Leatherman multi-tools are legendary. There are so many options and you can spend anywhere from $75 to $300 depending on which one you choose. My brother and my dad both love their Leatherman multi-tools. The next thing for a tool buyer on a budget is to get those kind of niche fill-in items, which is where this extender thing comes in. But also talk to your dad and see if there are things that he needs or wants. The thing with tools especially, but really all Christmas gifts that have a purpose is that you want them to actually be used, so if you are going beyond the kind of standard tools that you know they don’t have, or they already have every tool you know of or think they could need.

Clothing. I don’t really understand men’s sizing, which is why I didn’t go beyond socks. But also, socks are generally a good and safe Christmas gift. I got these SmartWool Socks for Christmas from work for the past few years at my old job and they are some of the best socks that I have ever had. They would be great winter work socks, especially in wellie boots because they are so cold. We also do sock wars each Christmas as a family, and while these would not be winners, socks are an important part of a Duncan family Christmas.

TheraGun. I probably won’t be giving it because it’s out of my budget this year, but this is something I think that both my parents could really benefit from as they age. They are complaining of aches and pains increasingly often now and can’t or won’t always make time to go get something seen.

Books. Books always go over well in our house for Christmas, especially because winter, especially January and February are my parents’ down time. Now that we don’t have animals there isn’t as much to do on the farm in the winter months and they tend to read a lot and watch movies a lot. So books always go over well with us. Never, by Ken Follett, State of Terror by Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny, The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield, The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, and Silverview by John Le Carre, are all options that I am thinking about.

Oh and chocolate generally does well.

Exhibit A.

Do you have any gifts that you’ve given to your father figure that you are super proud of?


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