Gift Ideas for the Overworked Dad

Sometimes dads are so busy working and taking care of other family responsibilities that they rarely take time for themselves. This Father’s Day, or special occasion, why not show him you care by giving him the gift of rest and relaxation? It may be a little tricky getting him to ease up, so make it easier for him:

One. Gift certificate to a local spa. If your dad has never been to a day spa before, he may have a mixed reaction, so you can include a pamphlet or hand-out to show him exactly what he’ll get at the spa, anything from a massage to a swim to a Jacuzzi. To ease his doubt, you could always join him for the first time. Then, once he gets the hang of it, he could actually make it a weekly or monthly trip and learn to unwind.

Two. Tickets to a sporting event. What is his favorite sport? What is his favorite team? Maybe it’s been years since he’s been to a game. Watch his face light up when you take your seat. It will make him feel like a kid again, and gives you a chance to spend some quality time together.

Three. A freebie day. This is where you help your dad chill out for one day at home. No work, no obligations, just the two of you kicking back in front of the TV with a ballgame or a movie, a lot of his favorite foods, snacks, and beverages, and people. Yes, you can make it a party if you want to by inviting a few of his best friends, or surprise him with his old college or high school buddies.

Four–A day on the town. Just the two of you. Pick your dad up and hit the places you know he’ll like. It is a trip to the museum? A concert? Fishing? Boating?

Five. Membership to a gym or fitness club. What better way to say I Love You on Father’s Day than by giving him the gift of health? If you already belong to a gym or fitness club, then your dad will have the added bonus of hanging out with you. Make sure the gym or club has the things he likes to do, whether it be weights, or biking, swimming, or running. An extra gift idea is a new pair of athletic sneakers or workout clothes.

Six. A fish aquarium. Studies show that the lazy, slow movement of fish through an aquarium can have relaxing, therapeutic benefits to humans. If your dad likes to relax around the living room in a recliner, consider buying him a fish tank full of beautiful fish that he can watch. To make it easier on him, you’ll want to outfit the aquarium with everything it needs to be basically self-operating, except for feeding and rare cleaning. The accessories you’ll need include a filter, a pump, a heater, and a few other items. If you need a little help deciding which aquarium to purchase, you can visit pet supply sites like, which lists helpful guides and reviews.

New fishing tackle. If your dad loves to fish, then he would really appreciate  some new fishing tackle. Do something creative like put it in a tackle box, to serve as the gift basket. What to put in? Lures, a reel, a fishing book or DVD, a knife, a hat, some floaters and bobbers, bait. If you don’t fish yourself, then browse the aisle at your local big box store for ideas.

Sports memorabilia. If your dad is into collecting, then do something a little different like buy him a sealed box of sports cards. You don’t have to be an expert to know which one to buy or if they will be valuable someday. Start with his favorite team. You can always ask for expert advice, either at a hobby shop or online. A second gift along these lines is a magazine which tells the features and the value of the cards.

A sports scrapbook. This is a personal gift that you can make yourself, but it is also a gift that you can order online, as long as you provide the pictures and other customized ideas. Your dad will treasure a scrapbook containing photos and other memories from when he played a sport in grade school, junior high, high school, or college. You can decorate with his uniform numbers, toss in some photos of yourself when you were playing sports, or add a few sports card to the scrapbook.

Whatever the occasion, you can be creative and think of ways to help him relax on a very special occasion.