What dads really want: A Father's Day gift guide

Find out what dads really want for Father's Day this year.

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  • Men. They're so hard to buy for. You ask them what they want, and they shrug their shoulders saying, “Oh, I don't know. Anything would be fine.” So, you end up buying them a tie. They seem happy, but you can't help but feel you could have done better.

  • I surveyed several of the men I know to try to find out what they really wanted for Father's Day. Here are some of their suggestions.

  • Dads work hard

  • Most men work hard to provide for their families. They may be stuck in an unfulfilling job because they need to keep a roof over their kids' heads and put food on the table. They might have long and strenuous hours or work with demanding clients. When they come home, they just want to relax.

  • Dads would love to have a throne of their own. They'd like a big, comfy La-Z Boy chair that reclines so they can put their feet up. It needs to be big enough for children and grandchildren to climb onto their lap for snuggles and stories.

  • Dads enjoy spending time with their families

  • Many men said they would love to have a new barbecue grill. It would let them get outside, relax and enjoy the fresh air while cooking up a mean meal. It would give them a good excuse to spend more time with their family.

  • Dads would love to receive a gift that they can enjoy with the whole family. Camping gear, passes to an amusement park or tickets to a sporting event would let your dad know that you want to spend time with him.

  • Dads want love and respect

  • Show your dad that you love and appreciate him. Dads love acts of service. You could mow the lawn or wash his car. Bring him breakfast in bed. Give him a heart-felt card with a coupon book for hugs, kisses, making his bed, bringing his slippers and more. Make something handmade using your talents.

  • Buy him a gift that reflects his interests. A new fishing reel or lures would be great for the fishing fanatic. You could buy him tools if he loves working on old cars or woodwork. Perhaps you could get him tickets to an auto show or a concert with his favorite band.

  • My husband loves music, and he passed his passion on to our oldest daughter. Last year, she made him a compilation CD of all the groups that they both liked. He loved her gift because of the thought and effort that she put into it.

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  • Dads are more than just dads

  • Our husbands want to be reminded that they are more than just the father of our children. Give your husband a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, movie tickets for the two of you, or a DVD of his favorite movie for a nice night staying home. Give him a back rub. Make him his favorite dinner, but save dessert with a glass of sparkling cider until after the kids go to bed.

  • This Father's Day, give dads the gift that they really want. They deserve it. Don't worry if you've already bought your father a gift. The dads I spoke with said they still like an occasional tie — as long as it's not ugly.

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Shelli Howells is a creative fiction writer, and a mother of six.

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