Ah, the age-old “I don’t want anything.” This is a typical response from my dad when the conversation rolls around to holiday shopping or his birthday. I don’t buy it. We kids still need to stock up on clever and useful gifts for dads who don’t want anything and are hard to please. I’m of the firm belief that his gift denial is a careful combination of “I don’t want you to spend your money on me,” and “Please don’t clutter up my office with crap I don’t need.” Whether it’s actually a case of the dad who doesn’t want anything, or it’s just that he’s a fan of practical yet clever items, this list has something on it for every type of father or paternal figure in your life.
In a situation like this, gift giving is all about practicality. The more useful it is, the more likely he is to love it. That’s because it’s no longer about what he wants, but what he needs. If he never goes another day without using his luxury shaving set, or another night without tossing his things onto his Catchall, then you’ve taken ample advantage of a scenario that could’ve been a total train wreck. That being said, socks are boring and ties are overdone, so check out these clever gifts that your dad might actually want after all.
Who in their right mind would say no to organization? The Catchall is entirely homemade, totally sleek, and gives him a spot to house everything from his phone to his keys.
My dad could seriously use this mini roll-up bluetooth keyboard, so he can stop using the speech-to-text function in public; it rolls up for easy traveling and wirelessly syncs up to your device or tablet.
Whether he’s a chef or a mechanic, this Mastrad Deos stainless steel soap utilizes oxido-reduction to entirely get rid of smells on his hands, and it’s got a built-in nail cleaner.
I’m in love with my Acupressure mat, and it’s a great gift for anyone who suffers from back pain. Little tiny spikes stimulate acupuncture points in the back to seriously reduce pain and promote relaxation.
Whether he’s a gamer or a movie buff, this Mira-tech portable mini projector lets your dad project his favorite entertainment onto the wall with a clear picture and built-in speakers.
Never wait for beers to chill again with these Beer Chiller sticks. They’re made from hygienic stainless steel that makes your drink ice cold in no time, and all without diluting it.
For the indecisive cook, there’s these handmade Foodie Dice seasonal dinners. Now he can leave his nightly menu up to chance with some dice that feature delicious seasonal meal options.
If his office is overrun with wires, this USB charging station is an awesome solution. It can charge up to six devices simultaneously at full speed, and it helps you organize everything from your phone to your smart watch.
If he’s a camper or an always-prepared type of guy, this RunningSnail solar crank is a flashlight, radio, phone charger, and SOS alarm all in one, and all powered by the sun or a physical crank.
Not only does this Bluetooth LED colored light bulb and speaker sync up to your phone so you can make it light up literally any color you want, but it plays super clear music, too.
If your dad is a bit of a caffeine addict, this MiniPresso GR espresso maker lets him brew quality espresso anywhere, without batteries or electric power.
Is your dad a wine drinker? If so, there's always a need for more wine storage places, such as this two-piece stackable block set. Silver and pink options are also available.
If your dad’s always forgetting things at the grocery store, the Hiku The Shopping Button is an incredible resource. You can scan or speak the items you need to remember, and they automatically get sent to an interactive shopping list on your phone.
Whether it’s for work or pleasure, this vintage canvas backpack with leather trim lets him carry everything from his laptop to his overnight clothes in style.
Musicians have a tendency to lose things, and this awesome guitar amp key holder ensures that he never misplaces his keys ever again.
Fred & Friends Swing Time Bird Feeder, $19, AmazonWhether it was you or your dad that had the idyllic tire swing growing up, this bird feeder is that swing on a much smaller scale. It captures a touch of sweet nostalgia all while letting him observe friendly visitors in the backyard.
Unlike your typical travel mug, this Contigo autoseal travel mug has a vacuum inside of it that locks when it’s not in use, so spills are never again an issue — and it stays hot up to seven hours.
Not only is this Smileto wood LED clock particularly sleek and stylish, but dad can activate all of his alarms using only his voice.
Whether he’s got a bad knee that he’s looking to strengthen, or he’s just trying to get in shape, this Fit&Me wooden balance board is an awesome way to strengthen muscles all over. It’s also durable, great for balance, and it comes with video exercises.
For the hiker or the traveler, there’s this Element men's 'Jaywalker' backpack. It’s got a sleeve for everything from his laptop to his sunglasses, and it’s lightweight, extra durable, and ridiculously comfortable.
The Lowrance fish finder ensures that he never comes home from fishing empty handed because it uses a color display that easily identifies where the fish are and where the fish aren’t.
If he’s into gardening and drinking — a strangely common combination — this Backyard Safari Company Grow cocktails lets him all the herbs he’ll need for his cocktails, like Thyme, Lavender, Thai Basil, and Mint.
He’ll never drop his phone or tablet on his face again with this Macally adjustable gooseneck device holder, which clips onto any table or surface and bends every which way for easy, lazy viewing.
This GRID-IT wrap for MacBook Air lets him carry his laptop and everything else in a cool space-savvy way with a grid-it interior.
Not only do these SoundSOUL bluetooth dancing water speakers sound great and sync up to your music without any wires, but they’ve got an epic light-up water display that matches your tunes.
One of the sleekest back-ups ever, this credit card wallet power bank fits easily into his wallet and provides some serious extra juice for his iPhone when he’s running low on battery power.
A great combination of modern and laid-back, this oversized bean bag chair is made with the most comfortable interior and the most durable exterior so he can surf the web, watch sports, or do whatever else he does in complete coziness.
Gift denial or not, as long as he shaves, your dad will end up using this The Blades Grim luxury shaving set. The brush is made from the finest bristles, and the soap has only the most moisturizing and natural ingredients.
My dad cuts a lot of garlic, and next Christmas, I’ll be getting him this mincing knife and cutting board set, which quickly and conveniently cuts herbs and garnishes with a simple rocking motion.
Not only does this Cooluli electric cooler and warmer keep all of his beers cold with any USB port, but it doubles as a food warmer to keep his lunch hot at work.
Design: Brit Phillips; Images: Amazon (30)
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