Father’s Day Gift Ideas

by Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Don’t know about you, but I’m always struggling with good gift ideas for all the men in my life—ya know, stuff they will actually like, and use

So with Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s all I can think about. Don’t know about you, but I’m always struggling with good gift ideas for all the men in my life—ya know, stuff they will actually like, and maybe even use. There’s nothing worse than giving someone a gift that gets tossed in the back of his closet and never sees the light of day (both my husband and my father are notorious for holding onto gifts and never actually taking them out of the box, or returning them). In fact, my husband told me just last week that I should stop buying him clothes, so he doesn’t have to deal with the aggravation and pressure of me nagging him about why he hasn’t worn them yet or why he hasn’t returned them either—I think I’ve officially become my mother. Have I mentioned that my second favorite person to shop for, next to Preston, is Jay? I love picking out clothes for him. And I love dressing them alike. It’s a sick and twisted fetish, but it gives me so much inexplicable joy. Anyway, there will be no clothes this Father’s Day unfortunately, I got the message loud and clear, honey. 

For Mother’s Day we went to one of those quickie photo places—called The Picture People—with my brother, sister-in-law and their three kids, my nephews and niece whom Preston is very close with—and we took the cutest photos of all of us. Some photos with just the kids, so cute you could cry (see photo above, my favorite), and some of each of the families: Jay and Preston, Preston and me, just Preston, my brother and sister-in-law with their kids, etc. We were in and out of our photo session in 20 minutes; it took another 10-15 to wait for the photos to be processed; and yet another 45 minutes to pick out the ones we wanted to buy (we had the one above framed on the spot for my mom, since Mother’s Day was the next day). But rather than hemming and hawing over all the other pics we wanted, which was all of them, we bought the disk, split the cost, and now we can buy the high-res photos off Kodak for a fraction of the price, for every occasion from here on out.

Not to spoil the surprise for anyone in our family, but that’s what everyone’s getting this Father’s Day—photos. What grandfather doesn’t want a photo of his precious grandchildren? I swear, I could buy all my gifts from Kodak Gallery, I think they do a phenomenal job and the printing quality is always good. For my dad’s birthday this year I made him a calendar, with photos of all four of his grandchildren that I corresponded to the month, and then I wrote in the important dates for him to remember (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). It was $20, and it was probably his favorite gift. He put it up in his office, and I know that calendar brings him more joy than any golf shirt ever could.

I love the photo mugs, too. And at, you can create T-shirts with your favorite photo on them—love, love, love! That’s what I did for my husband last year, his first Father’s Day, with a photo I took of the two of them that was ADORABLE, and I included the words "World's Greatest Dad." (I've worn the T-shirt more than he has…shocker.)

Father's Day 2010: I also had a shirt made for Preston that says, "I love My Daddy." And Jay's wearing the shirt from

I think monogrammed robes are a nice gift, too, albeit a little more of a splurge—but it’s the kind of thing you wouldn’t buy for yourself. And books. I love buying books as gifts, specifically books that speak to the person you’re buying them for obviously. For the SportsCenter nut, I recommend the new tell-all about ESPN: Those Guys Have all the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. And a great gift for the golfers in your life: personalized golf balls with the kids’ names on them from Dick’s Sporting Goods. We’ve done this a few times, and it always goes over well. (Until the golf ball lands in the water…)

What do you plan on giving as Father’s Day gifts this year, for your husband, uncles, cousins, or grandfathers? And where do you draw the line? Do you give all the men in your life a gift, or just your husband and father? I love giving gifts, but it can get costly if you're not careful. Please post your ideas in the comments section below, always looking for new ideas!

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