Looking for that special tie, that new golf club, that cool collection of grilling tools for your Dad this Father's Day? Don’t look here.
This year, forget everything you know about buying for Pops and get creative. Surprise him with something unusual, and watch him surprise you with how much he likes it. In other words, this year, think outside the boxers.
Need help? Here are some interesting ideas:
Hold Him at Knifepoint
Hand-crafted pocket knives make as great a gift for the outdoorsy dad as they do for the sophisticated city-dweller.
Garrett Wade has a beautiful collection with a wide range of prices, with these Classic Handmade Folding Knives from France representing the upper tier.
On the lower end, this German Sodbuster will fit his pocket just well as it fits your budget.
If he’s a boater, this Captain's Nautical Knife will undoubtedly raise his sail.
For the Literary Lion
Another surprising treat for the Sportsman Dad might be to introduce him to America’s original sportsman. Ernest Hemingway’s niece and nephew put together a collection of his brother’s stories called "Hunting With Hemingway" that includes some of the most chilling hunting exploits ever committed to paper.
From tracking tigers in Asia to pursuing king cobra in India, this book promises to engage even the most seasoned sportsman.
Get Under His Skin
Speaking of prey: for a man’s man, skin is always in. Croc wallets, sharkskin money clips — there’s nothing more masculine than the hide of a dead animal in your pocket.
This company goes whole-hog, if you will, offering a veritable ark of options to chose from, from ostrich to “fish” to, yes, that’s right ... chicken skin. Check ‘em out here.
Meat You Can Eat
Another surprising treat for your red-blooded American male: red meat. And white and pink and zebra striped.
Exotic meats can make for fun treats for poker night. An outfit out of Wisconsin called Safari Snacks has a sampler of exotic nibbles that includes over 25 different exotic meats. They have three different types of gator alone.
Dad Goes Green
If the Dad in your life is more interested in preserving nature than consuming it, another way you can get creative this year is to think green. Honor your father while giving a major shout-out to your mother — Mother Earth, that is. These eco-friendly ideas are gifts that truly keep on giving — for generations.
Did you know that if you took all the razor blades American men throw out in just one day you could make a razor blade the size of Cleveland. No? That’s because I just made that up.
But the truth is, men dispose of a lot of razors. Help your Dad stop being part of the problem with a sustainable razor that gets up to a 130 shaves from just one blade. Even if he doesn’t care about saving the Earth, he’ll at least appreciate how this helps save his money.
This next green gadget is just practical. It’s a solar-powered charger for all your on-the-go gadgets. It’s called the Solio, it can plug into practically anything that needs charging and well, how much more do you need to know?
Assorted other cool green pieces:
If he’s a golfer he can help save the trees with Ecotees, synthetic golf tees that are also fully biodegradable.
If every day he’s got a lot of stuff to do, he can make a stuff-to-do list with these notepads made from elephant dung.
And if he’d rather hug a crocodile rather than make a wallet out of one, he can actually sponsor one at Oxfam America.
For the Dad-Next-Door
Maybe these ideas are all a bit too creative for the Dad in your life. Here are a few more that are different without being too far out there:
This oil lamp is perfect for the city dweller who wants to project a woodsy atmosphere — literally. Whether it be for a party or just a cozy night at home, The Lumen by Adam Frank brings the outdoors inside in a chic, modern way by projecting one of three different silhouettes onto a wall using a gently flickering flame.
Also for entertaining or just plain relaxing are these super sleek speakers for the computer. Neil Poulten’s Firewire Speakers give you great form and outstanding functionality.
Another entry from the world of gadgetry: check out this timepiece from Japanese design house Takumi. It’s basically the coolest LED clock available to mankind.
So this year, try to find something that says "Dad, you are unique — you are not just another guy in a golf hat." What’s the worst that could happen? Even if he hates it, he has to love you: he's your Dad.