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5 great gift ideas for dad this year

By Sarah McCurdy, Contributing writer
Published On: Jun 03 2011 12:45:57 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 08 2012 01:00:00 AM CDT
Father's Day gift wrapped up

iStock / _ellie_

Father's Day 2012 has rules -- OK, only one rule: Don't buy Dad a tie for Father's Day. Need a little help? Look no further.

Take a look at these tips, and you'll navigate your way through another gift holiday with no problem.

Let's focus on getting Dad something he'll really dig, something to show how much you appreciate him -- at any price point at which you currently may be.

From accessories for that most forbidden of gifts to gadgets, hobbies, food or something really touching and uniquely you, you'll find a variety of ideas. Be inspired, call other family members for tips and ideas, and find the perfect gift for the Dad or Dads on your list.

It is possible to get something for the guy who has everything?

Necktie with clip

No. 5: Get Dad some bling

Getting Dad a tie for Father's Day started out as a great tradition, but if your dad doesn't have a need for too many ties or now has a closet overflowing with the fashion pieces, let's help him use what he's already got.

Tie accessories are a great gift and can dress up what Dad is already wearing. Find a great tie tack at your local jewelry store or online. While this might sound a bit basic, know that you can personalize tie tacks and, also, you can find tie tacks from organizations such as fraternal groups and sports teams.

Tie clips can also help sharpen up a tie. They range from simple, classy looks, to clips with logos and personalization.

Try a tie rack for his current collection, or keep clicking and find an option that really speaks to you.

Android smartphone

No. 4: Dad needs a gadget

Whether your dad is really into technology, or just dabbles, there's something out there that he can really use.

Technology moves so quickly now that you can use Father's Day as a great time to help Dad update what he currently has. Do some research and see where he needs an upgrade. If he's really picky about his purchases, you may need to be sneaky and ask him questions yourself.

If it's in your budget, help Dad update his cellphone. Get something that you know he will love and that he'll use. Consider how he'll use a new phone before buying one with all of the bells and whistles.

Help him catalog his old CDs with a new MP3 player. Buy him that digital camera he's had his eye on, or a Kindle or Nook. You can also buy great accessories for the technology that he already uses.

Hamburgers on grill

No. 3: Zero in on what Dad loves

Buying items for a hobbyist can have its challenges, but have faith that you can find something within the realm of Dad's interests. Target his hobby. Does he grill? Does he have a personal home library? Does he jump on his motorcycle to relax?

If you feel confident buying him a grilling tool, a specific book or a new helmet for his motorcycle, go for it. But this is where it can be tricky and he might want to help pick out some of these things for himself.

A gift card might not seem like a very personalized gift, but it can be. Buy him a gift card to his favorite bookseller and write a personalized message about how he can use the credit.

No matter what, a gift that shows Dad that you pay attention to who he is and what's important to him will go a long way.

Family eating dinner

No. 2: Take aim at Dad's tastes

Remember how they used to say that the stomach was the way to a man's heart? That is still true, and it also applies to dads. Does your dad have a sweet tooth? What's his favorite restaurant? What's his favorite homemade meal?

This is another great way to personalize your dad's special day. Buy those red velvet cupcakes that he loves so much and present them in a special way. Offer to cook his favorite meal as a gift to him, or take him out to his favorite restaurant to celebrate him.

If you don't live near your dad, find alternatives to these things. Have his favorite sweets shipped to him, buy a gift card to his favorite restaurant and request pictures of the meal, or gift him a homemade gift certificate for his favorite meal to be cashed in at a later time.

He'll appreciate you thinking of him.

Golfers, father, son, senior, sports

No. 1: Give of yourself

The last idea is the gift of "you." Commit to spend an afternoon with dear old Dad. Take him to a baseball game, out for ice cream or for a walk. No matter what, he'll appreciate you setting aside time to spend with him.

Another way to personalize this day is in writing. How does your dad best communicate? How do you best communicate the way you feel? If writing sounds like good option, find a nice card -- or better yet, make one -- and fill it with memories of him, a top 10 list of why you love him or thank him for specific things he's done for you.

Remember, the more specific the better. It may be difficult for you, but this will mean the world to him and it's better than any tangible thing he could have received.

Make it the best Father's Day ever.

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