A Completely Hypothetical Situation


Let’s say that you have a friend who, hypothetically, has not yet reached any firm and final plans in regards to what her child(ren) might give to his/her/their father on Father’s Day.


And let’s say that your friend asked you for some gift suggestions that don’t involve gift cards and that also don’t involve spending more than, say, $50.

And let’s also say – purely for the sake of narrative, of course – that your friend and her child(ren) have driven themselves to distraction trying to think of a gift that would be meaningful and also practical for a man who loves to be outside, especially if it involves yard work, camping or hiking (but notsomuch with the hunting or fishing). The man might also enjoy reading mysteries and keeping up with tech news (especially about Macs). He might even enjoy listening to worship music as well as playing the occasional Xbox game, but it’s difficult to say much more than that since, of course, I don’t actually know this man of which we speak.

I mean, he is fictional, after all.


What advice would you offer in this TOTALLY MAKE-BELIEVE scenario?

I’m just curious, of course.


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. JustBetty says:

    2 remote-control helicopters
    + father and son
    + an afternoon in a field, yard, parking lot, or [hypothetically] their grandmother’s delicate antique-filled living room.

    follow with ice cream and doritos [or their choice of gross/huge snacks that make the wife/mother cring],

  2. I turned to my hubby with this info about this not real person and he told me this:


    Seriously, great gift for a man who loves to grill. We got this for Jeremy’s dad last year and he LOVES it. Might be the best thing we have ever gotten him.

  3. A super fun day trip adventure together followed by his favorite meal and dessert (home-cooked or at a restaurant (pray for a restaurant!!)).


    I also like the little helicopter idea. My son got one for Christmas from his grandparents. Hy husband liked it even more than my son. They played with it (inside) until they broke it!

  4. How about a subscription to MacWorld? $25 ($20 if you pay right now). We used to subscribe and I loved reading about all the cool programs and stuff. Buy a newsstand copy and include a note about the issues to come.

    There are also magazines out there for camping/backpacking that he might like.

    For something fun, you (I mean the hypothetical man’s spouse) can always make a custom t-shirt at a site like cafepress.com or Zazzle. Use a phrase that has special meaning for your family, like the punch line to an inside joke or something he says a lot.

  5. Does he like to grill? Williams Sonoma has some great grill pans on sale and they are 20% off with the code OUTDOOR20. It’s probably a little late for shipping, but hopefully there’s a WS store in your neck of the woods. :-)

  6. Does he have an e-reader? Could you hijack said reader and surreptitiously purchase and download some mystery books he’s been eager to read?

  7. A father I know recently went out and bought himself a new lawn mower (needed terribly) and a gun. That father’s gift is taken care of.

  8. DVDs are the standard in our house – and a great home cooked meal followed by homemade strawberry pies. That’s the plan this year.

  9. keturah says:

    For Christmas one year, I bought my husband several magazines regarding things he was interested in…he picked his favorite and we subscribed to it. His favorite was something about backpacking or hiking.

  10. If he enjoys a cool one while he grills, an assortment of different beers from around the world. You could also get a great wall mounted bottle opener to be installed somewhere near the grill.

  11. I usually have a tough time with any gift-buying for my husband. Three things for him for Father’s Day this year: a weather radio, a meat thermometer, and I’m taking all of his shirts to the cleaners! :)

  12. Seussgirl says:

    I just ordered my husband a lighted kindle cover. Ironically, it came in on the same day his kindle broke.

  13. Perhaps a nice zippo, with engraving? On the track of someone else up there, if he’s into the brewskis, they make a Beer Holster.

  14. I don’t know if this hypothetical man has an ipad but my true-to-life man does and his absolute favorite thing for it is his ESV study Bible app from Olive Branch (I think). It’s about 45 dollars, so it’s no cheap app but would make a great Father’s Day gift. You can make notes right then and there on your ipad and separate notes by category (kind of like blog posts). My man L-O-V-E-S it, even more than his regular old ESV study Bible. Just a suggestion. Best of hypothetical luck!

  15. My dad loves to grill, so we got him a subscription to a club where you get a new barbecue sauce and grill rub in the mail each month. It’s called Month Club Store and they have TONS of choices for all different sorts of things! You can even pick if you want a year, nine months, six months, etc., because sometimes the entire year can be pricey. Check that out!

  16. Elizabeth Smith says:

    Does he work in an office setting? Every year I make my husband a calendar with pictures from the last year on the Mac or on Shutterfly. He loves this more than any gift I have EVER given him. He even keeps the previous years. This is man that is not sentimental and keeps nothing…but he LOVES these calendars. And they cost $20.

  17. The hypothetical father in our house is getting a new shop vac and some flat screwdrivers. I asked what he wanted. That’s what he said. That’s what he gets. Makes it easier that way. :)

  18. HYPOTHETICALLY…you could take him someplace REAL NICE for lunch like Chuy’s(is that the right name???)…you know something REAL special that he has never had a chance to do before HA!
    Hey- if you can’t tell already…I have a STRICTLY HYPOTHETICAL situation similar to your “friend” and will be scouring the ideas here in your comments all day!

  19. I will second both the suggestion for the helicopter and the magazines. I bought the helicopter off of Amazon for Christmas and he surprised me with how much he loves it! It’s really small so it’s easily maneuvered inside the house and so far nothing has been broken from it! I’ve also given him a subscription to a couple of magazines that he enjoys and he loves that as well. Good luck to your hypothetical friend!

  20. My hubby LOVES Joel Rosenberg books. They are Christian fiction/mystery about end time events based on what’s actually going on in the world right now. I’ve read several and they are SO good. You can get them at Lifeway.

  21. I just hired a lawn service to do our mowing and trimming. When my husband comes home tonight he will love his fathers day gift! I know your hub likes to do it though. Mine will love the break! Also thought about getting him one of those twisty gorilla torches, which is perfect for your price range. Good hypothetical luck!

  22. Last year I stumbled on a gold mine of a Father’s Day gift that involves sports. You see, my beloved Baylor Bears and those folks from Lubbock (Texas Tech) are playing a special football game each fall in a different location (Cotton Bowl or Cowboys Stadium). I gave my dad, who is a TT alum (I do love him anyway :-), a card that included a note that he and my mom would be joining us at the game in October. He loved, Loved, LOVED it. So I’m doing the same thing this year.

    I don’t know if there are any types of out of the box sporting events this hypothetical man may be interested in but, if so, it’s my experience that men are happy with the promise of this type of experience and gladly look forward to the family road trip for MONTHS :-)

  23. Flashlights and knives are always popular for some hypothetical husbands. One gift, hypothetically speaking of course, is a cool and yet sturdy step ladder for light chores.

    ” The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo Series” is an interesting mystery thriller involving a computer hacker. If he likes faster pace mysteries, the Lee Child’s series with Jack Reacher is very good. Jack Reacher is like Kiefer Sutherland.

    Some hypothetical husbands I know like homemade CD’s with special music to play in the car. Or downloaded on their hypothetical I Phone or other I type devices. But, one has to hijack said devices and then the surprise is gone.

  24. MissTammy says:

    Not sure how hard core of a hiker this make-believe man is, but my man likes to fancy himself a hiker, and he loves him some of these socks:


    He also loves his compass:


    And he also loves getting hiking books, so he can plan out hiking trips (which he seldom takes, but still, I figure it’s like me buying cookbooks)


    Hiking apps:


    And last but not least, I have really enjoyed Alan Bradley’s Flavia mysteries. They’re about an 11 year old girl in England during the 50s. She is a corker…kind of a cross between Tuesday Adams and Harriet the Spy. If the make believe man has a hypothetical son, they might enjoy this series! (Their fantasy wife and mama surely would, too!)

  25. Stephen White is a CO mystery writer I really like. Maybe he would enjoy an introduction to a new author. I also love the idea of buying a few magazines and letting him choose one for a subscription. Have a fun weekend!

  26. For Father’s Day last year, I took my sons to the WalMart and handed each child $10 to pick out exactly what they wanted to get Daddy for Father’s Day. I LOVED watching them debate between various gifts, consider the price of each one, and make their selections. They loved watching their Daddy open the presents, and explaining to him exactly why they thought he needed a lavender scented candle and stainless steel water bottle. My husband loved that the kids picked something out themselves with their Daddy in mind, and I loved not spending an arm and a leg for a Father’s Day experience that they won’t forget any time soon.

  27. Leanne from Canada says:

    Just a thought….a nice croquet set (you know, the outdoor game that essentially a stick that you hit a ball around the yard with). Our kids have had great fun playing this with their dad over the years (and even played extreme croquet all over the neighbors acreage….hours of fun!!). It’s a great gift for a dad to celebrate being a dad and play with his family!!!

  28. How bout a new grilling set? They have a great set (with a digital temperature fork) in a box for $15!! My other suggestion would be Donald Miller’s new book Father Fiction. I’ve heard it’s good for any father. A bunch of guys at work have read it and speak highly of it. (And now you know what my husband is getting for Fathers day:))

  29. Do you play “Cornhole” in Alabama? It’s a HUGE hit here in southern OH! A nice Cornhole set would be great for hypothetical dad and son to play together. They cost about $100, though.

  30. Has he read mysteries by PD James? My dad and I both like those.

  31. I came across a place that does a “cowboy show” complete with a BBQ dinner, cowboys with guns, and live music like Roy Rogers kind of stuff. We’re surprising the kids with it this weekend. I would have surprised my husband too but had to make sure it was something he would like before getting tickets.

  32. I don’t know about a gift because I’m still trying to figure that one out also but me and the kids are for sure gonna make the husband this card for Fathers Day. It is just too cute to pass up.


  33. I have 10 inexpensive things listed on A Simple Life today borrowed from some other blogging moms. There might be something you could use from this list.

  34. This is what my hubby is getting for Father’s Day…


  35. My husband loves to golf so I got him four private lessons at a local course. Last year, I got him a gift card for a local landscaper to come out to our house in the fall (we live in Ohio) and rake all the leaves and do a general “clean up/prepare for winter.” He travels a lot with his job, so we’re always in a big rush at the last minute to take care of yard stuff.
    P.S. I was just over at Priscilla’s blog and you were not exaggerating about those arms.

  36. If he has an iPhone, he might like the navigation map Navigon. My husband and I both have it and love it. Even gave it to my dad for his birthday this year. Cost depends on the version you get.

  37. My husband loves to play golf so golf he gets. Last year we also bought him a bowfishing trip for four.

  38. You are totally hilarious. I loved reading your post. We have some free activities/crafts that are super simple to do and most of the materials are from around the home. Here is the link: http://www.planetfassa.com/blog/dads-day-nuggets
    Look forward to reading more posts by you!

  39. I got Ace a game for our tailgates; ladderball!

  40. I’m having a really hard time thinking of something too. And all these comments just made it even harder. Sigh.

  41. Kirstjen Pratt says:

    A subscription to Wired magazine (http://www.wired.com/magazine/)…my techy husband enjoys it!

  42. apple tv. $100 though…but good Mac lover gift