(Update to this post here)

Personally, I think men are really hard to buy for and I thank Pragmatic Mom for making me challenge myself in this way. My default gifts – scarves, gloves, or a nice sweater – just don’t work if your recipient lives in Florida most of the year. So I have to get creative. Luckily I had a brainstorm session with Pragmatic Mom

For instance, my dad is a gadget guy and my husband’s dad is not, but both would love a digital photo frame(especially one pre-loaded with images of adorable grandchildren). If you want to make it even nicer, have your siblings send photos,  (to tech-y grandpa) CDs of pictures, jpegs or even a flash drive. He can set it up, no problem. Or pre-load it with pics for someone who doesn’t care for that activity, then re-package the frame an you are good to go.

boats by sharon schindler photography found by capabilitymom blogPics? Art? Is he into boats? baseball? architecture? Check out this photographer’s site for a cool photo stretched on canvas – Sharon Schindler Photography.

hermes ties best father in law gift from capability mom
Detail of Hermes silk tie

There is always a tie – really? Did I just write that? Yes, not just any ties but a Hermes tie or a Ermenegildo Zegna tie. If you need to make a very nice impression then this is the way to go. Big bucks – $180 for Hermes and about $175 for Zegna (although I am a bargain shopper and have seen the Zegna’s for less).

Books! You know I am a bit of a book freak do the new Michael Pollan book (Food Rules)is s great choice another the non-fiction book of the moment. Personally, I would giveSaul Bellow’s Letters and a copy of my favorite book by Bellows (choose from some of his best-known works: The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein). I also really likeThe Match: Complete Stranger, A Miracle Face Transplant, Two Lives Transformed by Susan Whitman Helfgot and William Novak. This amazing story took place at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Here is a link to the NY Times non-fiction hardcover best seller’s list (Spoiler alert: It is top heavy with Republican politicians Bush and Palin) http://nyti.ms/i0rHTh. If he loves fiction – the NY Times fiction best seller list is full of ‘guy’ books, Patterson, Baldacci, King and Grisham dominate it at http://nyti.ms/3O8Ry. If  he is a gadget guy and a reader (especially one who travels frequently) get him an e-reader – they are light, with adjustable font size like the Kobo e-reader (which I have and love) from Borders.

capability mom finds ny giants gear on lineFor a sports enthusiasts – especially of one particular team  – it is easy – there are tons of shirts, hats, and paraphernalia – go to the team website or your local sporting goods store (especially nice if you don’t support the same team, you look gracious and maybe a little heroic). For the sporty guys, just go for nicer stuff than he would buy for himself. For a golfer – go to Titleist and order personalized golf balls (with their name or nickname). For your tennis player, get tennis balls, some court time (with you?) at a place they don’t usually play. Runners are a cinch – new UnderArmour long sleeve shirt – about $50-60.

Architect or Engineer types? Don’t overlook building kits like this from Frank Lloyd Wright and Lego – not cheap – about $100 at Target.capability mom finds great gifts for engineers or architects at target

Don’t forget the experience gift – a pair of tickets to a game or event – whether it is theatre, sports or music. Maybe you will even get invited to go along. Now, this brings us to the Mothers and Mothers-in-law, be sure to make the gifts of equal value!  Obviously, you know them best – but here are some thoughts that Pragmatic Mom – ever the diplomat – put together.

The 12 Days of Shopping

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom. Each day, please visit her blog to see the other half of each post. Thanks!

Friday, Dec 10: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

Sat, Dec 11: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

Sun, Dec 12: Personalized Gifts: Fancy Return Address Stampers and Personalized Stationery from Pixie Chicago

Mon, Dec 13: Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Tue, Dec 14: Tutors/Teachers

Wed, Dec 15: High Tech/Low Tech

Thu, Dec 16: Hostess/Doing Good and Getting Something

Fri, Dec 17: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer

Sat, Dec 18: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List)

Sun, Dec 19: Dog/Cat

Mon, Dec 20: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Tue, Dec 21: ’Cause I Am So Together, Last Minute Home Made Gifts

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11 comments on “Father and Father-in-Law – Toughest Gifts to Buy (Day 4)”

  1. You had a tough topic but it was really helpful to read your post. I am thinking that my son might also love those architectural legos so thanks for that idea! Boy, 12 days of shopping is exhausting! How are you holding up? On the other hand, I am slowly knocking off my list!

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