Father’s Day Ideas for a Dad Who Wants Nothing

Father's Day - Dad

Each year, Father’s Day rolls around and my siblings and I are typically at a loss for what to do for my Dad. You see, (like most dads, I would venture to say) my Dad wants for nothing. When I say that, I don’t mean that my Dad has every material thing his heart has ever longed for, but rather my Dad is one hundred percent content with the absolute basics; work, family, and YouTube (he has yet to venture into the other functions of his iPad). If you do any online research for Father’s Day, you’ll find the general consensus is that your dad must fall into one of the following categories: gourmet chef (no), tech geek (def no), fine scotch-drinker (um, nope), car fanatic (not so much), mister fix-it (never), or suave fashionisto (haha). Hi Dad! (kidding…there’s no way he reads this).

So I thought this year I would put together a realistic list for those of you who have dads who are just dads. Dads who are wonderful, and smart, and funny, and excellent sounding-boards, but they just couldn’t care less if they eat the same chicken for dinner every single night and don’t want you spending your hard-earned cash on them. Despite their protests, you can’t show up completely empty-handed so here are just some little token bits and bobs to brighten his day and let him know that you care.*

Framed Family Photo

Father's Day - man carving turkey

Nobody prints photos anymore. You know it, and I know it. It’s not super convenient to get yourself to a photo lab (or bother to fill your home printer with the right quality ink and paper) so put a little effort in and get an old family photo printed and framed for his desk at work or a prominent spot in his home. Extra points if you track down an old photo of him with his dad.

Novelty Booze

Father's Day - Costa Rican coffee liqueur

Hit up a liquor store with the widest selection possible (in Ontario that would be a flagship LCBO). Take a bit of time to research an alcohol that’s a rare find; whether it’s a limited edition, sparingly distributed, specifically seasonal, or local to a region that would be symbolic for your dad. For example, one of our most memorable family trips was spent in Costa Rica (known for its coffee) so a Costa Rican coffee liqueur to bring back the good memories would be a great option. A case of wine from a region where your dad grew up or studied abroad would be awesome too.

Tickets to a Show

Father's Day - admit one tickets

Surely your dad is into SOME kind of live performance, be it theatre, music, comedy, (Cirque de Soleil?). Check online to see what’s coming to your area in the next few months and grab him tickets. Better yet, go with him!

A Biography of Someone Fascinating

Father's Day - Steve Jobs book cover

Who doesn’t love an inspiring read? Take his favourite topic or industry as a cue and find a great biography (or autobiography) about a leader in that field; from brain surgeon to a star athlete, or anything in between. You know your pops best, but here’s a short list that should cover the spectrum of dad interests:

Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson | Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela | Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, Steve Martin | Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer | Life, Keith Richards | Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi

Gift Card…to Anywhere


Unlike moms, dads are the perfect candidates for gift cards. Moms are all ‘this is so impersonal!’, but dads are like ‘yesss!’. Take yourself down to your dad’s favourite store and grab him a gift card; dead simple! In my case, I will be picking one up from Dollarama. I kid you not. My dad love loves Dollarama (that was not a typo, he just loves it that much). I would not be surprised if he told me he went there every week. He’s quite a fan of joke gifts, gags, and general party-hosting-tom-foolery so this is the perfect fit.

*what he actually really wants is for you to finally take your old crap out of his basement, cut the grass, or just hang out for a few hours without checking your phone, so you should probably do all that too.

Happy Father’s Day!

xo Ali

4 thoughts on “Father’s Day Ideas for a Dad Who Wants Nothing

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s