Best Christmas Gifts for Dad from Daughter

christmas gift for dad from daughter

Howdy shoppers, thanks for clicking through to my post. My name is Margery and I am the proud mother of two beautiful girls. This year I want to do a lot better than last year so I have put a lot of thought into shopping for the best Christmas gift for dad from daughter. Last year I let the girls do their own shopping and they thought their dad a pair of shoes that didn’t fit him. Sure, they were nice shoes, but pretty useless if they don’t fit. It was my daughter’s first foray into the world of online shopping and she didn’t do as well as we had hoped so this year I want to try to do my little bit to make sure that this story won’t get repeated elsewhere.

I have scoured the web and done my best to survey everyone I know to come up with all their horror stories in an effort to make a shortlist of online shopping mistakes worth avoiding.

  • Buying Christmas Gifts for Dad Mistake #1 – Clothing types of gifts that don’t fit.
  • Christmas Gifts for Dad Mistake #2 – Buy him a gift you want instead of a gift he wants
  • Buying Christmas Gifts for Dad Mistake #3 – Try to change him gifts

I will quickly elaborate on each one just so that you get my drift.

First up is the mistake of buying semi-formal jackets or pants, shoes, hats, sunglasses etc that just outright don’t fit. This might not be a game breaker if you purchased from the shop down the road and his item and be exchanged but when it comes to shopping online I don’t know, somehow returning items becomes a lot longer ordeal (and can get expensive too). Don’t get me wrong there are ways and means to get it right when you are shopping for yourself online but trying to covertly measure up dad’s inner leg length while he sleeps is fraught with danger. Lesson here is if you haven’t successfully purchased a similar item for dad you take the risk of getting it all wrong.

T-shirts are the safest clothing item to buy in this respect, just find his favorite shirt and see what size it is, disaster averted. Difference being that t-shirts come in a lot less sizes than slacks or jackets, or even polo shirts.

Second cab off the rank is the very common scenario when you buy him a gift that you want him to use but he has no desire to have anything to do with it. I will give you a few examples

  • Expensive aftershave,
  • nose and ear hair trimmers
  • cooking utensils
  • gift cards for day spas or massages
  • car cleaning utensils
  • gardening tools
  • anything exercise or diet related (depending on the man of course)

Last mistake on the list is what I call the “I am trying to change you gift mistake,” some of these aren’t as obvious. Here is a bunch of good examples of what I am talking about

  • clothes that are a COMPLETELY different style to what he chooses himself
  • buy the redneck a man bag (complete fish out of water)
  • buy the proudly bearded man a bear trimmer
  • gift the gamer dad a baseball and glove

I hope you get my point. The perfect gift for dad is going to build on his strengths and compliment his likes. This is actually one of the fundamental points of contention between men and women. Most men don’t want to be changed so don’t waste the gift giving opportunity by making such a bold statement. It can actually be a detriment to the relationship if you give the wrong gift.

So what can I recommend that steers clear of the above mistakes?

Father – Daughter Novelty T-shirt – “Proud Dad of a Freaking Awesome Daughter”

I showed this one to several father daughter pairs and got a different reaction every time. What I did notice is that in pretty much every instance one of them loved the shirt and the other one wasn’t sure about it because they thought that the other one wouldn’t like it. It might seem a gift gaudy so some, at first, and a bit low brow but that is kind of the point. I really like the idea of gifts that speak the unspeakable or release the locked up conversation that social barriers have hidden from plain sight. I believe this shirt does those things – give it a try.

Note the fine print down the very bottom says:   YES SHE BOUGHT  ME THIS SHIRT

Meaningful Message for Dad on a PocketWatch

This is a gift that really surprised me when I polled everyone I polled. I never would have picked it myself. I kind of thought pocket watches died off a hundred years ago but I was dead wrong. Here is a few of the comments people responded with as to why they thought this pocket watch was the perfect gift for their dad

Response 1: “Our grandfather had a very special pocket watch that he carried with him through the war and Dad always idolized what that watch meant to granddad. It was a big loss when we buried it with grand dad, it could have been a great link to hundreds of good memories.”

Response 2: “My husband is right into all that steampunk gear. There is something about the past and particularly something about gears and mechanical things that he collects. I don’t get it but it must be a man thing.”

Response 3: “Dad thinks of himself as a modern day Hipster. We all think it is pretty funny but he still walks the hipster line, inhibited by our comments. I can just image the looks of approval he would get down at the coffee stall Sunday morning when he pulls up on his fixie, orders a short black and reaches into his waistcoat pocket to check the time on his pocket watch. I may think it is corny but that is exactly the type of Dad he is.”

Response 4: “Dad has always been fascinated with history and antiques. I can just image the plethora of research and historical facts about pocket watch and old-school time-pieces that a present like this would spark in Dad. Like a light bulb going off.”

Response 5: “I can’t get him to wear a wrist watch without breaking it. Maybe something that is chained to him and kept in a pocket next to his groin will be taken care of a bit better. He is always late.”

Thanks, Response 5 was priceless. Please leave us a comment below so I know someone is reading.


12 Replies to “Best Christmas Gifts for Dad from Daughter”

  1. Though I am not a girl I found your article very useful as I have been trying to figure out what to get my dad for christmas. I like the T-shirt Idea but do you know if they make them for the opposite sex?

    The pocket watch looks neat too but I just don’t think my dad would use it as much as a T shirt.

    Thank you for the awesome article!


    1. yes mate that is a whole range of dad v son t-shirt I will probably make a separate post about one day soon.  

      I am glad you are not a girl. I am also glad that you know exactly what gender you are, I was on the train this morning looking around and I could count probably half a dozen people either cross dressing or some type of new alien-human-porcelain doll hybrid.

  2. Great points! I think another great gift option would be gifting the two could do together. I’ve done that for my brother and his kids. Tickets or Gift Card to Dad’s favorite hang out location can be great. And even better if it’s somewhere he can go with his daughter and they can have a great time. 

    I’ve been reading about gifting experiences this year instead of items and think it’s quite interesting.

    1. this has come up more than once now.  If you are buying for me I have always wanted a hot air balloon experience but there is also a lot more simple things that can be just as good.  I would kill to have a weekend away camping with my kids again.

  3. Margery,

    Looks to me as though you have this covered.  It is always hard to shop for someone else for some of the obvious reasons that you pointed out.  Nowadays, it is even harder when dealing with any type of clothing or similar accessories.  Black Friday, a lot of stores did not have the in person impact they were expecting as more shoppers are turning to online.  

    In our family, we stopped buying each other gifts years ago and took up a tradition on making gifts by hand instead.  It means much more to the recipient as they are truly one-of-a-kind type of gifts.  Just a bit of imagination and some planning throughout the year and voila, the cost is minimal and the impact in second to none.

    1. we also went through a phase of giving “eperiences” to eachother like boat rides or car rental.  My favourite one was a treasure hunt that I made up.

  4. This is perfect because I always try to help my kids get gifts for their dad, and it just doesn’t seem to work out! He’s a tough cookie to shop for though since the only things he likes are expensive things! Like cars and fancy watches. lol

    I am going to remember your no-no’s for sure when we go out shopping for him this year. The one that I always have trouble with is clothes. It’s so hard to find the right thing, and also the thing that actually fits! I love the idea of the pocket watch or the t-shirt though. 

    Actually, the t-shirt idea is one that I’ve done for my dad. I’ve gotten a custom shirt made just for him and it was funny and perfect! So that is a fabulous idea that I will definitely keep in mind. 

    1. one of the biggest revelations I made after my divorce christina was that shopping for clothes for myself isn’t anywhere near as painful as I thought it was.  I wish I had have been given the gift of freedom to shop for myself sometimes.    I know that is what my kids have asked for in the past sometimes too.

      food for thought.

  5. Nice post, I agree that when  buying a gift, you should get something that the receiver will like.  Many people do give gifts that please them.  I have been on the receiving end of such gifts many times.  A little research on the person you’re planning to buy a gift for is a great way to ensure that your gift will be appreciated.  The most common dad christmas gifts are ties and tools. 🙂  

  6. Loved reading this post and could so relate with all the terrible gifts that I bought my dad over the years. 

    I bought him hawaain shirts he never wore, pink slops, joke apron, but he never cooked so never used it and even a pet canary.  My Mom ended up looking after that one.

    Dads are usually difficult to buy for at the best of times and I quite liked the pocket watch idea, as that is something sentimental. When in doubt now I give him Biltong and chocolates as I know he loves that. Sometimes simple is best. 

    1. Have you thought about buying him a smoker Michel.  They have become all the rage lately and there is plenty of them getting around.  He can make his own Biltong.

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