Thursday, June 09, 2011

Celebrating the Y Chromosome: Gifts for Dads

I'm sure guys go through this on Mother's Day, too. You know, the holidays where you're supposed to sum up all of your feelings for the person who gave you life, raised you, took you to soccer practice and stood in the rain all those Saturdays, not to mention wiping up the new puppy's "accidents" that you'd promised, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die, that you'd take care of all by yourself.

Yeah, fraught, right?

And for Father's Day (June 19), that pressure means coming up with something that's original, more than just a funny card about Dad's golf swing, lack of barbecue skills or affinity for alcohol. Like for moms, flowers are an option; equipment like barbecue accoutrements, tools for various activities or whatever are a choice, but still a little unoriginal.

So here's a little list of ideas I had for a gift that's a bit outside the usual tie, socks, money clip corral. And remember to slip in a card, even if it's about his golf swing.
  • "Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast" is a perfect gift for guys. It's got that living-off-the land attitude without the rough-and-tough, macho baggage. Author Hank Shaw gets readers to start thinking with great essays, plant descriptions and recipes for everything from acorn flour fritters to squirrel stew. A great read…see my review.
  • What is the bane of every man's existence? (And no smart remarks about women, please…) Shaving. So why not get Dad a gift certificate for a good, old-fashioned hot shave? The kind with the hot towel, brushed-on lather, strop-and-razor treatment? (No need to tell him it's really a facial for guys.) Here in Portland check out Rooks for the full tonsorial treatment.
  • What could be more manly than learning how to butcher a whole animal? Two places in Portland, Portland's Culinary Workshop and the Portland Meat Collective, feature classes in the art of butchering whole animals taught by experts. The Workshop also features classes in Knife Techniques and Beer and Bread for Dudes, among a plethora of others.
Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section below!

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