Holidays Vivian | 15 Jun 2011 10:39 pm

The Girly Girl’s Guide to Father’s Day

If you have trouble coming up with the perfect Father抯 Day gift, you抮e not alone. Choosing a thoughtful gift for Dad can be fairly easy, but choosing a thoughtful gift that he抣l like is another story.

Mushy yet manly

When we抮e buying gifts for Mom, sentimentality is often the guiding force. A delicate ceramic figurine that symbolizes your bond of friendship and trust will mean a lot to her. Try giving Dad the same gift you gave Mom and you抣l get a confused look and a collectible item that sits in its box on a shelf in the garage. That抯 not to say that Dads don抰 appreciate sentimental gestures, you just have to know how to do it right.

Usually, men and emotions don抰 mix. They抳e got their own ways of telling the people around them that they care. A slap on the back, a cold beer, an awkward joke ?those are Dad抯 ways of saying, 揧ou抮e important to me.?So how do you get your communication styles to mesh?

A personal gift is worth a thousand embroidered words

To some women, a fish gutting knife is not a gift that says, 揟hanks for being a supportive and caring father.?But to guys who love the great outdoors, this Father抯 Day gift is a statement that you really understand your dad.

To show Dad how much you care, you have to show that you get who he is. If he抯 into sports, tickets to a game, a jersey from his favorite team or a cushion for stadium bleachers are all wonderful gifts. If he抯 into techie gadgets, anything iPod, a laptop accessory or a digital camera memory card will leave him smiling.

The point is to think about the things Dad loves doing best and find gifts that relate. Does he barbecue dinner every night in the summer? Does a fine cigar make his weekend? Does he read The Economist cover to cover every week? Giving Dad a gift that reflects his hobbies and interests shows him that you love the guy he is and think he抯 altogether fabulous.

Say it right

The art of the Father抯 Day card is a subtle and difficult one to master. The same rules apply as above. If you and your dad don抰 exchange 揑 Love Yous?on a regular basis, an overly sentimental card may leave him uncomfortable and unsure how to respond.

We suggest finding a blank card with a nice design and writing in a few heartfelt words. Thank him for something specific like helping you learn to drive or supplying funds for extracurricular activities in college (shopping should be a sport). You don抰 have to go overboard on the mushy thoughts. A few phrases of appreciation for his support and hard work show him that you know how much effort he抯 put in to providing for his family.

No two dads are the same. If your dad has a sentimental streak and has kept every one of his #1 Father trophies, you抮e on the right track with your gift giving strategy. If he抯 not particularly open about his feelings, focus on the things you do know about him. Showing Dad that you love him for who he is can be the best gift he gets.

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