Choosing gifts for anyone outside your immediate family can be a little bit tricky, especially if they're the ones who brought your significant other into the world. To alleviate some of the pressure of picking out gifts for parents besides your own, here's a round up of gift ideas for your significant other's dad that are sure to impress. In the beginning, interactions with your SO's parents are inherently awkward. Sometimes even time doesn't eliminate all of the awkwardness. The mere role you play in their son or daughter's life puts you under — at the very least, playful— scrutiny any time you're around them. No matter how long I've been dating someone, when it comes to their parents, I always find myself in an odd dance of trying to act natural but also trying to be and say the right thing.
The holidays might be your first time meeting your SO's dad. With a first encounter there's added pressure in gift giving because it will be part of your first impression. If you've met him before, there's the pressure of knowing him well enough to find a gift he'll actually enjoy. Either way, you want whatever you choose to be just right. The following suggestions promise not to insult, offend, or disappoint. Read on to find a roundup of gifts for dads of all different interests. Whether his passion is music or microbreweries, fishing or football, or some combination there of, there's just the thing for him on this list.
1. For the sports fanatic dad
If your SO's dad is a die hard sports fan, give him a gift he'll truly treasure. This personalized and handsomely bound hardcover immortalizes the history and highlights of his favorite NFL or MLB team with the pages of the New York Times. He can relive his team's "triumphs, heartbreaks, and unique history through articles presented in the context of full pages direct from the world-renowned paper."
2. For the rock 'n roll dad
This attractive "catalog of visual rock" pays tribute to the art form of album covers and is the perfect addition to the coffee table of a rock 'n roll lover of any generation. A collection of over 750 album covers "from legendary to rare record releases," the book contextualizes the artwork with fact sheets and insider interviews. "In celebration of the cover art that defined their albums and their cult status," his favorite rock artists like Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, and The Beatles are gathered together in this art anthology.
3. For the dapper dad
For the dad who's always presentable from head to toe, give him this little kit to spruce up his shoe game. "It's the perfect gift for any gentleman who loves a sparkling pair of shoes."
6-Pc. Buff and Shine Shoe Kit, $23, Dot & Bo
4. For the grill master dad
This briefcase opens up to a heaven-sent set for the backyard grill master. Featuring 20 stainless steel utensils with heat-resistant handles, the portable BBQ kit is ideal for the griller on the go. He'll be prepared for "flipping kabobs or charring fresh corn" at the park, at a tailgate, in the great outdoors, or in his very own backyard.
5. For the handyman
For the dad who can do it all, this compact multitool streamlines his gadget inventory. The device is composed of 15 brushed stainless steel blades and tools, something for every possible task and occasion.
6. For the outdoorsman
The outdoorsy dad will be able to take on anything with this compact waterproof case chock-full of wilderness survival tools. Small enough to fit in the palm of his hand and light enough for him to carry around his neck, the kit comes outfitted with a compass, signal mirror, fire striker, fishing tackle, folding-blade knife, and more. The knife alone has a handy 10-lumen LED light and 100-decibel whistle.
7. For the troutdoorsman
If your SO's dad is a recreational fisherman, he'll love this crate brimming with all the equipment he needs to take his sport to the next level. The kit includes a canvas creel, folding filet knife, fire grill holder, a collection of "Avant-Garde Recipes for the Trout Enthusiast" and "O'Fishi'ial Blend Trout Seasoning."
Troutdoorsman Crate, $80, Man Crates
8. For the gentledad
If you're in need of a little something for a true gentleman, this soy candle makes for a sophisticated stocking stuffer. Combining the scholarly scents of cashmere and leather, the all natural candle is sourced and hand poured in the U.S. and presented in an attractive amber jar. A welcome addition to the gentledad's office or study.
Cashmere & Leather Soy Candle, $15, Lord Wallington
9. For the event-going dad
Give your SO's dad the chance to immortalize his favorite memories with this ticket stub diary that preserves "precious memories from concerts, museums, movies, sporting events, Broadway shows and more." The clear sleeves and acid-free pages will preserve the best of times, and there's space to write in the margins so he can recount to his grandkids how he "met The Boss" in detail.
10. For the dad in need of a little organization
This handcrafted leather hide organizer rolls up to keep small items neat and in order. It can hold anything from pens to tools to brushes for whatever his on-the-go needs.
Bandito Leather Organizer, $90, CB2
11. For the dad with heightened olfactory acuity
This gift not only makes scents, it adds some humor to gift exchanging with some well-appreciated wit while still being practical. The high-end air fresheners come in varieties like European sports car ("worn leather, excessive horsepower and a hint of aftershave"), distiller ("charred oak, sour mash and enough bourbon to kill an elephant"), and hunting lodge ("hearth stone, gun powder and damp timber"). The "barrel-aged" whiskey-inspired dish soap provides some added toughness for cleanup duty, harkening back to the time when "cowboys used whiskey to clean their bullet wounds."
The Lot: Three Air Fresheners and Dish Whiskey, $54, Archer Men
12. For the beer-loving dad
Any self-respecting beer aficionado deserves his own personalized steel growler. This beauty is built to quench the biggest of thirsts, holding up to 64 oz. of his favorite brew, and laser-etched with his name so there's no confusion.
Personalized Growler Crate, $75, Man Crates
13. For the coffee-loving dad
For the dad with a discerning taste for Joe, this pour-over coffee maker helps to extract the full flavor of his favorite roast. The Chemex coffee maker has been in use since before your SO's dad was probably born, and is a design icon that deserves to be on every coffee-lover's shelf.
14. For the whiskey drinking dad
Ensure the best whiskey drinking experience every time your SO's dad pours himself a glass. This wedge ice block keeps his favorite rye cold and strong until the last sip, never watering down his drink but instead keeping his Old Fashioned glass (included) looking next-level cool.
15. For the cinephile dad
Now your SO's dad can reenact a night at the movies from the comforts of his own home. These vibrant red snack bowls made from sturdy ceramic are inspired by retro movie theater containers. The set contains one oversized bowl and four individual bowls, for a night in front of the big screen with the whole family.
Couch Time Ceramic Popcorn Bowl Set, $35, Home Wet Bar
16. For the foodie dad
Give the food-loving dad a culinary tour of America with the latest by renowned essayist Matthew Gavin Frank as he takes on signature dishes across the States. In his illustrated examination, Frank dissects "the myriad intersections between history and food" while examining each dish's origins and cultural associations to present "a beguiling flavor profile of the American spirit."
"The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food" by Matthew Gavin Frank, $19, Amazon
17. For the bicyclist dad
Giving the term "re-cycling" a whole new meaning, this catch-all bowl — made by hand out of a recycled bike chain — is perfect for the cyclist dad's keys and change.
18. For the nautical dad
This subtle suiting essential has a not-so-subtle sailor twist for the dad who wishes he were out at sea.
Stainless Steel Anchor Tie Bar, $25, J.Crew
19. For the rockstar dad
The guitarist dad can showcase his axe like the work of art it is with this minimalist wall mount made of hand-turned wood and hand-stitched buffalo leather. The stainless steel supports securely "rock 'n' hold" the guitar.
Guitar Holder, $30, CB2
20. For the executive suite dad
This handsome gift for golf enthusiasts brings the fairway to the office so your SO's dad can work on his short game between meetings. Complete with a travel putter, wooden practice hole, two golf balls, and a portable cherry wood travel case, the set allows him to practice putting on the go and away on business. The case's engravable brass plate can be personalized (included in price).
Engravable Executive Putting Golf Set, $50, Home Wet Bar
21. For the wilderness-loving dad
For the outdoorsman who must sometimes be indoors, these cedar incense sticks and burner are the inside-voice answer to the call of the wild.
22. For the music-loving dad
This miniature take on the original JAMBOX is small enough to fit in a pocket so your SO's dad can carry around unbeatable sound wherever he goes.
23. For the old school "gamer"
Promote some family time by giving your SO's dad a leisure game loved by dads.
Backgammon Game Set, $20, Urban Outfitters
24. For the jet-setting mixologist
With this pocket-sized kit, the classy dad can whip up an Old Fashioned wherever he goes. Packed with a coaster, muddler, bitters, and cane sugar, the tin includes "everything but the bourbon to create two proper old fashioned cocktails at 35,000 feet."
25. For the everyman
If you're still not sure what to get, this "Every Day Carry" or EDC is perfect for any guy. The "all-star" kit comes with a freekey, survival pod, screw key set, and tiny lighter on "the best keyring money can buy."
Images: Dot & Bo (3), Uncommon Goods (4), Barnes & Noble, Third Drawer Down, REI, Man Crates (2), Lord Wallington, CB2 (2), Archer Men, Williams-Sonoma, JackThreads (2), Home Wet Bar (2), Amazon (2), J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, Huckberry