Whenever Father’s Day rolls around, I instantly feel the limited scope of “Dad culture” and some of the interesting narratives around masculinity. Typically, Father’s Day ads fall into a narrow pool of products and services that lean towards home remodels and golf enthusiasts. Need proof? Head over to Target at the beginning of June and look at the cards and Father’s Day gift section. With the exception of a few electronics, the categories I mentioned will be there in full effect. Nothing is wrong with any of these, it’s just that it seems like our imaginations around fatherhood are limited by a few stereotypical categories.
I’ve always felt a bit on the outside of overly “manly” dad stuff. For example, I’m really not into tools. Honestly, part of me wishes I was, but it’s just not me. I enjoy music, theater, and reading a meaningful book. I’m a sci-fi nerd with an affinity for fashion. What I enjoy most of all though, is engagement with people and organizations doing good work in the world.
If you enjoy those other things, fantastic.
I celebrate you.
I have a hunch, however, that there are a lot of dads out there who don’t fall into some of the stereotypical “dad gift” sections at the local retailer. Thus, I have created the alternative Father’s Day shopping list for the “softer dad.” No tools and no grills. There’s plenty of that already out there for you to find. Hopefully someone out there might see their dad or themselves in some of the following items.
1. A SPA DAY AT THE ASHA URBAN BATHS
Mom isn’t the only one who appreciates a day at the spa. If you are local to the Sacramento area, I highly recommend a gift card to the Asha Urban Baths. Spoil him with the massage.
2. MISTO BOX COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION
For those dads with an affinity for quality morning brew, I recommend doing a subscription to Misto Box. I recently got this for my brother (who is bit pretentious about his beverages) and he loved it. When you get a MistoBox coffee subscription, you get matched with a coffee curator – a coffee expert who learns the kinds of coffee you like and sends you coffee based on your preferences. Very cool.
I’m not kidding about this one. This underwear has literally improved my life. Best. Fit. Ever. Plus you get to pick from a variety of designs that are a lot of fun. Now you might be thinking “I’m not getting underwear for my dad.” And you are right. You should absolutely not get underwear for your dad. But if you are married, dating, or partnered to a dad…change his life. Get him a pair. They also offer a subscription.
4. THE BEE AND THE FOX FAMILY MAN TEE
Embrace the life. I recently came across this clothing brand and love it. They are mostly focused on women’s clothes, but the men’s pieces they have are very cool. Check ’em out.
While I will always prefer the feel of actual pages against my fingertips, in this day in age audio books make a lot of sense. Audible has the widest selection at the best prices (at least in my experience). Sign up Dad and he’ll receive a free credit.
6. VINYL ME, PLEASE RECORD CLUB
For anyone looking to build their record collection, this is great place to start. Each month, members receive a new record essential to their collection, pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please members. Couple bonus features, shipping is included in the membership and they always ship in special casing so it doesn’t damage the actual record packaging. Pretty cool.
7. AN OXFORD PENNANT
Oxford Pennants designs and manufactures vintage style pennants and flags that are inspired by American sports traditions. They do custom banners as well. Check out the various designs. Great pricing as well. We proudly hoist several in our home.
8. A BOOK SET FROM JUNIPER BOOKS
These book sets are BEAUTIFUL! There is something there for all tastes in literature. From Tolkien to Vonnegut, you can find something to match dad’s taste in books.
9. A POP CHART LAB PRINT
These prints contain infographics about everything from coffee to popular haircuts of celebrities. I own few myself and they are VERY cool. There’s something for everyone one here and the pricing is good – even for framed pieces.
10. DONATE TO AN ORGANIZATION DOING WORK DAD CARES ABOUT
Find out about an organization that is doing work in the world that resonates with dad’s passion. Donate in his name! Here are a few ideas: