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pop cMy dad and I are buds. We’ve been close my whole life, but especially since high school, when he started doing the raising-two-kids thing on his own. We talk every week and go on a couple trips together each year. You might think, if I know my dad this well, I’d slay the Father’s Day gift-giving thing every year—but I don’t. I never do. I’m historically a pretty atrocious gift-giver, and that’s usually because I get so bogged down with other stuff that every holiday just sneaks up on me.
But I have vowed to become better at this. I’m an adult for Pete’s sake. I know my dad too well to get him something last-minute and mediocre. So I carved out a couple hours to scour Amazon and just figure this out. While I’m still not entirely positive what I’m getting my dad for Father’s Day, it’s definitely going to be something (or a few things!) from this list.
Hopefully seeing the mental half of my gift-giving process laid out like this will guide you on your gift-giving journey, too.
1. Fancy tea (and a box to hold it)
My dad and I are both tea people. OK, I’m a coffee and tea person (my need for caffeine doesn’t discriminate), but he’s been a tea guy for as long as I’ve known him (25 years!!).
Right now, he has four massive containers of a few kinds of tea. But I know he’s down to try other stuff. To encourage him to keep his palette experimental, I’d buy him this starter pack of teas he doesn’t usually drink ($26.59, Amazon)—and I’d get him a box to put them in ($11.88, Amazon); the man loves organization, and the huge containers he currently has are simply too large to accommodate such small portions.
What’s nice? If he finds a new favorite, he can stock up on it in bulk—just as he has with his other go-tos.
(I’d also probably snag these adorable tongs ($5.34, Amazon) that squeeze your tea bags so you don’t have to. Who knew that was even an option??)
2. Or—if I want to go full trendy—blooming tea (and a pot to hold it)
I’ve had my eye on the ever-Instagrammable blooming tea trend for a couple years now, and I still haven’t tried it. (For those who’ve never heard the words “blooming tea”: Blooming tea is a variety of tea that literally sprouts blooms when you put it in hot water. No idea if it tastes as good as it looks, but it looks like it’s worth a try—and a photograph.)
Since tea is a shared interest between us, I’d buy this pack of blooming teas ($10.44, Amazon) for my dad and I to experiment with together. Because an Instagram trend is best enjoyed in all its photogenic glory, I’d also grab this teapot ($14.99, Amazon) that’s specifically crafted to show off the blooming part of the blooming tea.
3. An Air Fryer
The last time I was home, one of my dad’s best friends went on and on (and on) about his new Air Fryer ($21.34, Amazon). He loves it. It’s great. He uses it all the time. By the end of that conversation, my dad decided he needed one of his own. I’m 95 percent sure he hasn’t yet bought one, so—Father’s Day, let’s go.
4. A really fun tie
My dad is pretty sartorially savvy, so I’m mostly avoiding clothing-based gifts. That said, this sleek tie ($69.49, Amazon) is crafted from high-quality silk, and its appearance is inspired by what HSV-2 looks like under a microscope. I know, I know—isn’t it weird for me to get my dad a tie inspired by herpes? Maybe. Except that I’m pretty confident he’s going to love wearing this statement-maker everywhere he goes. And that he’s going to love making jokes about it being herpes-inspired, too. (As if that weren’t enough, he’s also really into science. So he’s bound to enjoy the backstory this accessory has to offer.)
This tie is basically fashion’s equivalent of the dad joke, and I’m here for it.
5. Whiskey ice that doesn’t melt
My dad is a whiskey man. He’s so much of a whiskey man that he’s planning to open up his own distillery later this year. These whiskey ice cubes ($22.99, Amazon) have been on my list of things to buy him for a couple years now—I just keep getting distracted by other gift options. Maybe 2019 will be the year in which these cubes go from wishlist to cart.
6. A miniature whiskey barrel
You know how I just said my dad loves whiskey so much he wants to open up his own distillery? I scoured the internet to find him a whiskey barrel-shaped paperweight, or bauble, or something that he could keep in his home to stay focused on his entrepreneurial ambitions. Instead, I stumbled upon this veritable treasure ($33.98, Amazon). My boyfriend is trying to convince me to take it off my list because it’s “a bit too cheesy in his opinion.” But I think it’s cute. And sweet. And kitschy—but in a fun way.
7. A whiskey book (or two)
While we’re on the topic of my dad’s entrepreneurial ambitions, it’s worth mentioning that a whiskey book would basically be a no-fail gift. He loves to read, he loves to drink whiskey and he’s already binge-listened to at least one podcast series entirely dedicated to distilling the spirit. A few coffee table books would be great to have around. I’m specifically eyeing A Field Guide to Whisky ($17.95, Amazon), The World Atlas of Whisky ($29.32, Amazon) and A Short History of Drunkenness ($12.23, Amazon). (That last one isn’t whiskey-specific, but it’s still fun.)
8. An entrepreneurship book (or two)
I’d be remiss to not include a couple entrepreneurship books in my gift haul, too. Entrepreneurship is something my dad and I have both become pretty passionate about, so one of my favorite things to do is buy him books we can read and discuss together. Right now, I’m thinking The 4-Hour Workweek ($16.32, Amazon) (I’ve been trying to get my dad to pick up Tim Ferriss’ podcast for what now seems like forever) and The Effective Executive ($12.23, Amazon).
9. A mandle (“man candle”)
I’m really pleased to announce that within the last two years, I’ve managed to get my dad into candles. This sleek black treasure ($38, Apotheke) has been sitting atop my wishlist for a while, and I bet my dad would enjoy it, too.
10. An essential oil diffuser
Another great way to elevate my dad’s scent situation would be to hook him up with an essential oil diffuser ($24.99, Amazon). My dad is definitely the kind of person who could get really into essential oils, and I’m sure he’ll be into the idea of having less fire around. (He has two cats, and them + open flames is definitely a bad combo.)
11. Sleek coasters
So. I tried to buy my dad sleek coasters for Christmas. He recently finished renovating a new condo, and since so much of his social life revolves around drinking—you guessed it—whiskey, coasters that fit his new decor aesthetic were a must. My boyfriend and I thought black leather coasters would be a cool idea. And my dad did, too—until he started using them. He quickly realized the condensation from a cold drink caused the glass to stick to the coaster every time he went to take a sip. Oops.
Naturally, these **absorbent** felt coasters ($14.95, Amazon) seem like a better option. Just as cute. Far more practical.
12. Some bartending necessities
As my dad moves further into the whiskey distilling phase of his life, he’s begun embracing other spirits, too. (Whiskey takes a long time to age, so it makes sense to have a couple other liquors—namely, gin—in your repertoire to rely on in the meantime.) We’ve talked about playing around with cocktail combinations—even crafting our own simple syrups.
So I’m eyeing a few bartending necessities that could really elevate his hosting set-up. First, a bartending mat ($13.97, Amazon). My dad keeps a clean house, and mixing drinks can get sticky. Not only will a bartending mat keep all the mess where it should be, but it’ll also look pretty badass every time you pull it out. I mean, you have to take your at-home bartending pretty seriously to casually whip out a bartending mat.
Next, simple syrup nozzles ($8.99, Amazon). When I first looked into this gift option, I searched for “simply syrup bottles,” and I didn’t find anything I loved. These nozzles are cool, because you can stick them in bottles you already have around. (The less clutter, the better.)
Finally, some mixology dice ($24, Amazon). My family is more of the “throw in a dash of this and see what happens” type than the “follow the recipe to a tee” type. Given this, mixology dice—which loosely suggest an outline for a cocktail—are way more our speed than, say, a cocktail book that lays out very specific recipes. Plus, mixology dice offer a more social way to build cocktails; everyone can get in on the process, which is fun—even if it goes awry.
13. Whatever this table/cooler combo is
Look, I have no clue what to call this ($59.99, Amazon). But when I saw it—and noticed the very affordable price—I knew my dad needed it. As I’m sure you’ve surmised, he’s hoping to host a lot of parties at his new condo, and the backyard is ready for this thing.
14. A really badass kitchen knife
My boyfriend swears by fancy kitchen knives, and his zeal is definitely starting to rub off on me. When my dad moved, he upgraded a lot of his kitchen necessities (pots, pans, etc.), but I’m fairly certain he didn’t touch his knives. Perfect opportunity to introduce this blade ($65, Misen) (which my boyfriend specifically recommended) into the mix.
15. An Amazon Echo
My dad is super obsessed with Amazon. He buys everything there. I have no idea why he doesn’t already own one of these ($49.99, Amazon).
16. An ice tray that makes super clear ice
Hear me out on this one. Apparently, when you go to a cocktail bar, the ice they serve you is super clear. Like, stunningly clear. This isn’t a thing I’ve ever noticed. But it’s a thing my boyfriend has noticed, and a thing my dad has noticed. And they spent at least an hour theorizing about the chemistry behind getting such clear ice the last time they were together. Do you boil it first? Do you freeze one small container inside another container? I have no idea. But apparently this tray makes clear ice ($20, Rabbit Wine), and I’m sure they’d both find it delightful.
17. A bottle of Pappy Van Winkle
I’m not even going to pretend I have the money to buy one of these ($1,899.99, Woods Wholesale Wine). But if I wanted to be daughter of the year, spending a small fortune on this precise bottle of whiskey is exactly what I’d do.
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