I'm very fortunate to have a dad that's pretty great, I think! Although my dad got married when he was only 19-years old, he has always been there for me. When I think about my dad, what comes to mind is a series of generous gestures. I fondly remember the chocolate chip pancakes that dad would make for my brother and I, on Sundays -- his day off. He still makes these very same pancakes for his grandchildren, four decades later!
Or how about the barbecues dad would make at the cottage up north? I remember him trying endlessly to light the charcoal barbecue -- in the wind -- so our family could enjoy a hot meal. As well, I remember my brother and I begging our dad for a "special visitor" before bedtime. Yes, my dad would dress up as a friendly character to send my brother and I off for a good night. We had a cowboy, a native chief, and a visit from a friendly zombie even! Good, happy times.
To honour my dad and dads like mine, check out this list of 10 Gifts Your Dad Will Love for Father's Day, 2013!
1. Samsung Galaxy S4 Phone - I own the Samsung Galaxy S3, and can vouch that it's a great phone! The S3 has an amazing camera and very sharp resolution, which apparently has improved with the S4. My phone impressed my husband so much, that he wants to replace his current phone with the S4. I can't afford to buy him the Samsung Galaxy S4 this Father's Day, but hopefully the price will come down by his birthday!
2. Weber Barbecue - My husband very thoughtfully received a Weber barbecue for Father's Day from my dad years ago, and it has been such a useful and reliable gift! In fact, each and every winter we grill on our Weber barbecue in our snow-filled Toronto backyard. He'll feel like the king of the grill on a Weber!
3. HP Laptop & Wireless Printer! - This is the present I'm giving my cool husband this year for Father's Day! He alternates between using my laptop and the kids' tablet, so I decided on the HP Envy x2. It's a laptop computer with touchscreen, which uncouples into a stand-alone tablet. I also got him the HP Envy 120 e all-in-one printer, which allows wireless printing from the HP tablet or a smartphone. High-tech: the printer also has a mini touchscreen!
4. Baton Rouge Steakhouse! - My dad loves Baton Rouge restaurant, and is crazy about the ribs there! For almost any special occasion where a gift is required (including Father's Day), I just slip a Baton Rouge restaurant gift card inside his envelope and he's delighted. Baton Rouge also serves amazing hot appetizers, like cheddar dip with crispy tortilla chips or Louisiana spinach dip! Locations in Ontario and Quebec.
5. Costco Membership! - It's a big joke in my family that my dad is seriously addicted to Costco! Whenever I tell my dad what I just bought, he always tells me he just saw it for cheaper at Costco. If I tell him I bought a package of 8 frozen hamburgers, he'll tell me that Costco sells a 16-pack...for $10 less! He also loves Costco's little restaurant and lunches himself on the giant hotdogs and bottomless soda pop. My dad would be lost without his Costco membership, so allow me to suggest one as a Father's Day gift for your dad!
6. Blu-ray Player - Does your dad still have his favourite movie library--on VHS? If yes, it's time to transition him over to the wonderful world of blu-ray! Father's Day is as good a day as any to ease dad into the digital world, and prices on blu-ray players have really fallen over the past year. Just imagine dad's delight when he doesn't have to rewind the movie when he's done watching it!
7. Baseball Tickets - If your dad is a sports fan, why not get him tickets to a baseball game for Father's Day? There's nothing like watching a homerun live in the stadium, when you hear that perfect crack of ball on bat. It's electric the way the fans rise to their feet, the way that they roar, as the batter glides across home plate...but I digress! Take your dad to a baseball game and enjoy quality time spent together! Can't afford tickets? Take an hour or two to play catch with your dad, regardless of your age.
8. Reclining Chair - Dads everywhere can benefit from a reclining chair in order to relax after a hard day's work! Let's face it, if dad falls asleep on the couch, there's nowhere for anyone else to sit--and it's so much more dignified! Get dad one with a pull-out footrest to rest his poor tender tootsies this Father's Day!
9. Gym Membership - Is your dad still a size 31" waist, just like in his youth--except his stomach hangs over his belt? Then maybe it's time to get dad a health club membership for Father's Day! Facilities like the YMCA have amenities for dad like a swimming pool, walking track, weight room, and cardio equipment. Dad can play a pick up game of basketball, badminton, or even table tennis. Psst, they offer a 2-week trial membership for free, big spender! Locations Canada-wide.
10. Classic Gifts - If you dad prefers classic gifts for Father's Day, he will be very easy to shop for! Tried and true gifts for dads include: tools, car stuff, golf clubs, a new watch, speaker system, necktie, belt or golf shirt. Think 3 times before buying dad cuff links or a tie pin, its 2013! If you're on a tight budget, take dad out for wings and a pitcher of beer, or plan a morning of fishing off the pier together (don't forget your fishing licence)!
The TaskOne iPhone case is ideal for dads that like to tool around and fix things on the go. The case is made of aircraft polycarbonate and the Swiss Army-like tools (screwdriver, bottle opener, mini-saw, wrench, etc.) are stainless steel. Available for iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 in three colours. <a href="http://thetasklab.com/products/" target="_blank">The TaskOne iPhone case</a>, $90, available at Task Lab
It's easier for Dad to strap this on instead of lugging around a clunky camera bag. The compact cases come in various artistic designs, five different sizes, are padded, and are also waterproof. <a href="http://www.cameracoats.com/" target="_blank">Camera Coats</a>, $30-$55, available at Camera Coats
This is for the dad that spends as much time in the kitchen as he does in the tool shed. The Artisan Series model has a 325-watt motor, 5 quart (4.73 L) stainless steel bowl, and comes in 26 colours. If your dad is into sausage parties, you can even include a Sausage Stuffer ($20) attachment. <a href="http://www.kitchenaid.ca/flash.cmd?/#/product/KSM150PSER/" target="_blank">Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer</a>, $499, available at suppliers of Kitchen Aid
It's tough for Dad to grill the best burgers while also entertaining his guests. The Talking BBQ Thermometer will literally tell him when his meat is ready by wirelessly transmitting to a display unit that can be moved up to 100 feet away. <a href="http://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/product/Talking-BBQ-Thermometer/200640" target="_blank">The Talking BBQ Thermometer</a>, $59.99, available at Sharper Image
Woodchuck Hard Cider features a clean, apple finish that is also naturally gluten-free. So dad has no excuse for having a beer belly. <a href="http://www.woodchuck.com/cider/" target="_blank">Woodchuck Hard Cider</a>, $13.95/six pack, available at <a href="http://www.woodchuck.com" target="_blank">Woodchuck</a>
If you can't get your dad tickets to an NHL playoff game then you can at least make his living room sound like a hockey arena with the Sonos Playbar. The wireless HIFI system produces full Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, so dad can hear every slap shot, every crunching body check, and eventually, every sobbing Leafs fan. <a href="http://www.sonos.com/playbar" target="_blank">Sonos Playbar</a>, $749, available at Sonos
Your dad breaks his back trying to give you a good life. So the least you could do is help him shave it. The Mangroomer Professional Do-It-Yourself Electric Back Hair Shaver features a handle you can extend so Dad can shave in hard to reach places. Accessories included are a new protection cap, a cleaning brush, an A/C recharging adaptor, and an instruction booklet (just in case he asks you for a hand). <a href="http://www.mangroomer.com/products/professional-do-it-yourself-electric-back-hair-shaver" target="_blank">Mangroomer Professional Do-It-Yourself Electric Back Hair Shaver</a>, $49.95, available at Mangroomer
Even dads need to wax every now and then. The Cordless Car Waxer's rechargeable 18-V cordless orbital waxer and built-in liquid wax reservoir makes sure he doesn't get tied up while buffing and polishing his pride and joy. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Diversified-Dynamics-dba-HomeRight-200556-01/dp/B0077AL050" target="_blank">Cordless Car Waxer</a>, $79.99, available at Amazon
There are many great things about being a dad – carrying a diaper bag isn’t one of them. Fortunately, there’s the Diaper Vest - a cool looking jacket that secretly stashes baby essentials. Older dads can even store Depends Adult Diapers for themselves. <a href="http://www.dadgear.com/gear/All/4/3/25/All" target="_blank">Diaper Vest</a>, $79, available at DadGear
Give your dad some Spanx to help him cheat on his diet a bit. The Spanx for Men line of undershirts (Manx) is designed to aesthetically improve dad’s physique with cooling features and compression zones that transform the torso and chest. The Manx shirts even come in “Medium” and “Hard Core” compression power levels. <a href="http://spanx.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=3955558" target="_blank">Manx</a>, $79 for a Zoned Performance Crew Neck Undershirt, available at Spanx <em>Price: for a Zoned Performance Crew Neck Undershirt</em>
Let your dad relive his dreams of being a famous musician with the Lester Classic Unfinished Electric Guitar Builder Kit. Unfortunately for dad, groupies are not included with the kit. <a href="http://www.overstock.com/search?keywords=lester+guitar+kit&SearchType=Header" target="_blank">Lester Classic Unfinished Electric Guitar Builder Kit</a>., approximately $210-$260, available at Overstock.com
Papa’s Got a Brand New Man-Bag and it looks like a classy bowling bag – so he doesn’t have to feel self-conscious about carrying a male purse to work. <a href="http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/ca/en/zara-nam-S2013/358066/1184056/BASIC+BOWLING+BAG" target="_blank">Zara Basic Bowling Bag</a>, $95.90, available at Zara
If you are making your foodie dad a special meal, spice up his day with some PC Black Label Hatcho Black Miso Marinade. The sauce combines black miso, sake, and toasted sesame, which is perfect for beef, pork, chicken and seafood dishes. <a href="http://www.presidentschoice.ca/en_CA/products/productlisting/pc_black_label_hatcho_miso_marinadeprod1960003.html" target="_blank">President's Choice Black Label Hatcho Black Miso Marinade</a>, $5.99, available at Loblaws
Help your dad feel like an international man of mystery by equipping him with a gadget watch that would make James Bond jealous. The timepiece allows you to connect to your iPhone 4s or to the new iPhone 5 using Bluetooth 4.0. The watch will alert you with a discrete vibration whenever you have a message on your iPhone, with the second hand automatically sweeping to point at various indicators on the dial ring so you can see whether you have an incoming call, email or calendar alert. <a href="http://watchit.ca/citizen-22635" target="_blank">Citizen Eco-Drive "Proximity Bluetooth" watch</a>, $412.50 (sale price), available at Watch It
Usually, the recipient of this honour receives a standard “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mug. But your dad is so special that he deserves a unique coffee mug that stirs itself. With a press of a button, the mug instantly blends in cream and sugar without a spoon – or in the case of most dads, his finger. <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/cf68/" target="_blank">Self-Stirring Mug</a>, $18.99, available at Think Geek
The Toronto Maple Leafs were toasted from the playoffs in grizzly fashion — and now you can make sure dad remembers his beloved team’s meltdown every morning with toast featuring the Leafs’ logo. The two-slice toaster features adjustable settings, so you don’t have to worry about your Leafs getting burned – again. Just make sure Dad has some orange juice nearby — in case the Leafs toast makes him choke. Dad not a Leaf's fan? The line of toasters, sandwich and waffle makers are available in all Canadian NHL team motifs. <a href="http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/pangea-brands-toronto-maple-leafs-toaster-panhprottml-panhprottml/10243966.aspx?path=9d6c98e1b493d111f24cd353b2060096en02&SearchPageIndex=1" target="_hplink">Canadian NHL toasters</a>, $39.99, available online at Best Buy
Forget the tie. Think bespoke booze for Father's Day, specifically a beverage tailor-made to suit the hobbies father knows best. Of course, to do that you first have to decide who, exactly, is your daddy. The type of guy who likes to putt? Or someone who's happiest when merely puttering? Is he sporty? Handy? Or maybe he's that most challenging of giftees, the man who has everything. Whatever the type, we've got a few suggestions to help you pick out that perfect bottle. <em>With files from The Canadian Press</em>
Lots of choices in this category, including a number of wines by NFL greats such as legendary coach <a href="http://www.vermeilwines.com" target="_blank">Dick Vermeil</a> of the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs as well as former Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers player <a href="http://www.twentyfourwines.com" target="_blank">Charles Woodson</a>. Is dad more of a brew guy? <a href="http://www.radebergergruppe.com" target="_blank">Radeberger Pilsner</a> is a classic German Pilsner made with barley malt, hops and water from the brewery's own well.
Port isn't what comes to first mind when selecting a summer wine, but a chilled tawny port can be delicious as a barbecue aperitif or paired with dishes such as grilled scallops. Two to try are <a href="http://www.taylor.pt/en/" target="_blank">Taylor-Fladgate</a> 20-year-old Tawny and <a href="http://www.grahams-port.com/section.php?id=1314" target="_blank">Graham's 20-year-old Tawny</a>. Does your dad's typical backyard bash involve inviting the whole block over? Consider <a href="http://www.ravenswoodwinery.com/wines/release/2011_vintners_blend_old_vine_zinfandel" target="_blank">Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel</a>, a hearty, meat-friendly wine that's priced reasonably enough at $10 to $12 a bottle to allow you to grab a case.
For 007 fans, a No. 1 choice might be <a href="http://www.themacallan.com" target="_blank">The Macallan</a>, a single-malt scotch featured as James Bond's favourite drink in the recent box-office hit "Skyfall." Interesting fact, Macallan did not pay for product placement of the scotch, which Bond and M are shown drinking and which is also used in an edgy scene featuring an unfortunate game of William Tell-style marksmanship. Another option is the <a href="http://www.franciscoppolawinery.com" target="_blank">Director's Cut wines</a> from director-turned-vintner Francis Ford Coppola of "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now" fame. The limited production wines sourced from Sonoma County come with a wraparound label modeled after a Zoetrope strip, one of the earliest moving picture devices.
Is your dad the kind of guy who disappears into his workshop for hours in search of a better mousetrap? He might like <a href="http://www.drinklucid.com/" target="_blank">Lucid Absinthe</a>. Popular in the 19th and early-20th centuries, especially in France, the anise-flavoured spirit was banned due to concerns that it contained dangerously high levels of the chemical compound thujone, found in the key absinthe botanical ingredient Artemisia Absinthium. But environmental chemist T.A. Breaux wasn't convinced the experts were right. A Louisiana native, Breaux had some pre-ban bottles of absinthe. He ran it through the mass spectrometer and, hey presto, found only trace amounts of thujone. In 2007, Lucid, produced in France, was approved for importation to the United States.
Scotland is the home of golf and of Scotch whisky (no telling if those two are related), and a good gift for the dad who golfs might be <a href="http://www.johnniewalker.com/global/AgeGateway.aspx" target="_blank">Johnnie Walker</a> Double Black, a smoky, complex whisky. Or, try a single-malt whisky like Oban 14-year-old, which balances sweet and smoky with a slightly briny finish. If dad likes wine, a number of golfers have gotten into the wine business, including South African <a href="http://www.ernieelswines.com/" target="_blank">Ernie Els</a>, who produces wines from his country's Stellenbosch region and <a href="http://www.arnoldpalmerwines.com/" target="_blank">Arnold Palmer</a> who collaborates with Luna Vineyards in the Napa Valley.
<a href="http://www.turn4.com" target="_blank">Turn4 wines</a> are named after the most exciting turn in the track. Try the California cabernet sauvignon, fruity and elegant. The <a href="http://andrettiwinery.com" target="_blank">Andretti Winery</a> in the Napa Valley founded by race car legend Mario Andretti is another option.
There are a lot of people to look up to in the world of wine, but maybe none so literally as 7-foot-6 former NBA star Yao Ming. <a href="http://www.yaofamilywines.com" target="_blank">Ming's Yao Family Wines</a> made its debut in 2011 with two choices, Yao Ming 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Yao Ming 2009 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. They're both priced in the special occasions category, the first coming with a suggested retail price of $150 and the second tagged at $625 and are available at a few fine wine shops by signing up on the winery mailing list. In the spirits category, cognac offers elegance and finesse, just the ticket for a dad with sophisticated tastes. <a href="http://www.camus.fr/en/" target="_blank">Camus cognac</a> fits the Father's Day theme well since it's now being run by fifth-generation member Cyril Camus. The line starts with the reasonably priced VSOP Elegance at $24; try it over ice for a refreshing change. But if you recently won the lottery or are celebrating a VERY special Father's Day, how about the Cuvee 5.150 which marks the family-owned company's 50th anniversary and rings up at $13,500 a bottle. Or maybe you need a bit more time to save up for that one.
<em>Mantry: curated products to update a man's pantry, $75. Available at <a href="http://mantry.com/" target="_hplink">Mantry.com</a></em>
<em>PC Muskoka chair with Ottoman, $99. Available at <a href="www.realcanadiansuperstore.ca" target="_hplink">Real Canadian Superstore</a></em>
<em>Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel, $424. Available at <a href="www.j.crew.com" target="_hplink">J.Crew</a> </em>
<em>Le Clos Jordanne Talon Ridge Pinot Noir, $40. Available at the LCBO and <a href="www.greatestestatesniagara.com" target="_hplink">online</a> Etro tie, $150. Available at <a href="http://www.harryrosen.com/" target="_hplink">Harry Rosen</a> </em>
<em>Stainless steel grill tools with case, $144.95. Available at <a href="www.williams-sonoma.com" target="_hplink">Williams-Sonoma</a> </em>
<em>Aviators, $14. Available at <a href="http://www.joefresh.com/en/product/aviators-4" target="_hplink">Joe Fresh</a></em>
<em>Sperry's authentic 2 eye, $109.99. Available at <a href="http://www.sportinglife.ca/sportinglife/" target="_hplink">Sporting Life </a></em>
<em>Kindle Touch Wi-Fi, $139. Available at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Touch-e-Reader-Touch-Screen-Wi-Fi-Special-Offers/dp/B005890G8Y/ref=r_kdia_h_i_gl" target="_hplink">Amazon</a></em>
<em>Polo shirts by Britches, $29.99 - $34.99. Available at <a href="http://www.tiptop.ca/" target="_hplink">Tip Top Tailors</a></em>
<em>Engine-turned money clip in sterling silver (engraving not included), $185. Available at <a href="http://www.tiffany.ca/" target="_hplink">Tiffany & Co</a></em>
<em>Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS4, $399.99. Go to <a href="https://panasonic.ca/" target="_hplink">panasonic.ca</a> to find a retailer near you. </em>
<em>Dive Master 500 gunmetal, $750. Available at <a href="www.swissarmy.com" target="_hplink">Victorinox Swiss Army </a></em>
<em>Denver Hayes vintage double-layered shirts, $39.99. Available at <a href="http://www2.marks.com/" target="_hplink">Mark's </a> </em>
<em>Three cup classic series glass coffeemaker, $34.90. Available at <a href="http://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/products/classic.html" target="_hplink">chemexcoffeemaker.com</a></em>
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