Below you will find a list of ideas for dad on Christmas. These ideas are based on the things that I've received, bought, or coveted over the years. They may not be right for your dad or baby daddy, or grandpa or baby grandpa (is that even a thing), but then again, they might. If they are right for you and yours, you are welcome. A blog post of ideas for mom and a post of ideas for children will follow in the coming days. We'll start with dad because he's the toughest to buy for, in my opinion.
#10* - A Rugged Rosary from Real Life Rosary - Yes, am starting with a shameless plug for my own rosaries. I'm not only the owner, I'm a customer. Seriously though, this picture shows the rosary I carry with me everyday. These rosaries will stand up to anything dad can throw at them. They won't snag on stray thread in the pocket, rattle in the woods and spook that big buck, or make you think there's a cat in the dryer if it gets washed and dried. If it ever breaks, send it back and it will be replaced, no problem! Where else can you get a rosary that will last a lifetime for $10 or $12 for one with a metal crucifix?
Nalgene Wide-Mouth Loop-Top Water Bottle - I've had my Nalgene for 6 years and I use it everyday. It's rugged, I've even used it to roll on when trying to crack my back or massage my legs. You can put warm or cool liquids in it. I've put hot coffee in it with no ill effects on it or me... Even if dad isn't a camper or backpacker, it's great just to have on the desk. It holds 32 oz so dad can keep track of his daily water intake. The only thing that has happened to mine is that the lid loop broke. I bought a new lid for a couple of bucks, good as new.
#8* - French Press Coffee Mug - Yeah, that's right, a French Press MUG!!! I have two and I seldom drink coffee any other way. These mugs work just like a regular French Press but it is a mug. So, put in your coffee grounds, pour in some boiling water, wait a few minutes, stir, put the press/lid on and begin pressing the grounds down, drink, and enjoy. It makes incredible tasting coffee for one at a fraction of the cost of those sissy Keurig things. This mug even has a hidden compartment for storing more coffee. Dad will love it...as long as he doesn't like cream and sugar with his coffee, if that's the case, move along to the next idea....
#7 - Wilderness Expedition with Wilderness Outreach - Does your dad love the outdoors? Does he love the mountains of the American West? Does he love his Catholic Faith or growing in his Faith? Does he enjoy work, asceticism, camping, praying, hiking, and brotherhood? If so, an Expedition may be something to offer for Christmas. I've been on two expeditions and they are life-changing. Click on the link to learn more.
#6* - A gift subscription to Audible - I love to read but I love it even more when someone reads to me. I don't always have time to read all the books I want to so thankfully there's Audible so that I can listen to the books while doing other things like walking, driving, or making rosaries. The audio books are very affordable and yearly subscriptions make them even more so. Plus, dad can listen on his phone, computer, tablet, or MP3 player! My Audible library has hundreds of titles that I've purchased over the years. With over 180,000 titles, dad is sure to find a great book. I'd recommend The Gates of Fire and The Count of Monte Cristo to start. Plus, you can get two free books to start!
#5* - Beer Making Kit - I've been making my own beer for 10 years and love it. It's relatively easy to do with a little patience and a minimal amount of equipment. Now, these aren't the Mr. Beer kits that you see at Wally World (I've heard good things about Mr. Beer). This is genuine, honest to goodness, brewing ingredients. The kits have been tried and tested over and over so messing it up takes some real genius. If dad is a guy who loves trying different micro brews, cooking, or is a mad scientist, a beer making kit would be a perfect gift. You can get him started for less than $100 and that includes some crucial equipment and ingredients. If you are really not sure if he'd like it or not, there are also small 1 Gallon Batch Kits for around $50.
#4* - A Personal Journal - I know, most dad's aren't going to be jumping up and down with joy when they receive this gift. However, it's a gift to them that they, in turn, can give back to you. These are more than mere journals. They contain 12 questions or statements per month to help dad get started on writing down his life, experience, and wisdom. I'd love to have a shelf full of these from my dad, grandfather, great-grandfather and so on. He'll see the wisdom and beauty of passing on his memories if you but ask.
Pocket Knife - I cannot remember a time that my father did not have a pocket knife. My grandfather always had a pocket knife as well. In fact, when he died, they discovered loads of pocket knives and the grandsons each received one. I now have at least half a dozen pocket knives sitting on my dressing shelf. Each one has it's own history, personality, and use. Don't roll your eyes, I'm serious. Where I'm going or what I'll be doing that day determines which knife I bring along. DO NOT CALL IT AN ACCESSORY!! I'm not a fan of sheath knives, nor is anyone in line at the bank. Nor am I in favor of pocket knife so big I walk with a limp. I prefer a compact, old fashioned 2-3 blade knife that is sharp, easy to use, and fits well in my pocket without being bulky. If you are really trying to win points, have it engraved! Click here for reasons why every man should carry a pocket knife.
#2 - Of the Month Clubs - Oh my, there are so many awesome "of the month" clubs I don't even know where to start. You can see some great ones here but I'll list two of my favorites. A) Taster's Club: Great Whisky Every Month and Learn all about it. This is awesome. I love whisky and I love learning about whisky and other drinks. Each month they send you not only a bottle of whisky (bourbon, scotch, etc) but also an educational piece on How to Properly Taste Whisky, How Whisky is made, and more. B) Mystery Tackle Box - do I really need to go into detail on this one. Each month you get a box packed with lures, baits, and more. Of the month clubs are a great gift that keeps on and on and dad remembers you each time that shipment arrives.
#1 - A Handwritten Note - This is probably the least expensive gift on the list but one that costs us the most. It may not be easy to do but it will be worth it and you won't regret it. Take time to write dad a note. Tell him what he means to you, how much you appreciate all he has done for you. Recall wonderful memories and jot them down for him. Chances are he may not even remember the event or think it was significant and will be moved to know how it affected you. I've spoken to too many people who regret not doing this simple act with a pen and paper. Even if your father is no longer with you, write the note. If your father wasn't the best, write it to a father figure in your life - a priest, grandfather, cousin, co-worker, etc. Tell a the man/father figure in your life that you love him, admire him, and are praying for him. We dads need it, even if we act like we don't. Merry Christmas!
* Contains affiliate links. No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room. Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy. All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something, just so you know...