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6 easy and thoughtful Father's Day gift ideas

©iStockphoto.com/pinktag Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/pinktag Author: Canadian Living

Family

6 easy and thoughtful Father's Day gift ideas

Dads are too often reduced to vague stereotypes around Father's Day (fishing! cars! neckties!) and that's probably because trying to pick the perfect gift -- one that encompasses all of your feelings for your husband or father on his special day -- can be a challenge.

A necktie or a set of barbecue tongs just don't seem like enough recognition and acknowledgement for the man who has played so many important roles in your life: chauffeur, tutor, referee, coach, mechanic, financial adviser, bear-hugger and king of practical jokes.

With that in mind, we put together a list of distinctive gift ideas brimming with personality.

1. For fathers who love coffee
Coffee connoisseurs are the new wine snobs, haven't you heard? If he's particular about his beans, give the dad on your list his very own coffee grinder. We like the sleek KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder (available at The Bay). Grinding your own coffee really does make a difference in taste. Add some fresh coffee beans in his favourite roast to the gift bag and he'll be a happy man.

If your dad isn't interested in the daily grind, no caffeine addict can resist the Keurig B60 Special Edition Brewing System, which allows you to enjoy a single-serving of gourmet coffee instantly (available at Home Outfitters).

2. For fathers who love tech gadgets
If your dad is always the first to grab his camera to capture special moments and family gatherings, but never gets around to actually sharing or enjoying the resulting images, a wireless digital photo frame might be the perfect gift. Try the Sony 7-inch Digital Photo Frame. Your dad can easily upload photos from his camera or just plug his memory card into the frame directly. With no wires or cords to worry about, it's a great way to display his precious photos as a continuous personalized slideshow at home or on his desk at work.

Gift tip: Preload the frame with some great photos of you and your dad or, if you're getting the frame for your spouse, pictures of him and the kids.

3. For new fathers
Impending fatherhood can be daunting. Shawn Bean's funny and practical handbook, Show Dad How (Weldon Owen, 2011), from the creators of Parenting Magazine, is the perfect gift for a first Father's Day (available at Indigo).

A new father will also appreciate a playful gift basket filled with everything he might need to get through the night (or day) with a sleepless newborn: earplugs, a CD full of lullabies, a bottle of wine, a "Dad's first year" journal and any other tongue-in-cheek items you can think of.

Page 1 of 2 -- Does your father love the great outdoors? Find out which gift would be perfect for him on page 2.
4. For fathers who love history
Give the gift of family history by registering your dad for a six-month Canadian Deluxe Membership to Ancestry.ca. He'll be able to create a family tree -- and because it's done online, it's easy to invite family members to view the images and information, add their own details and photos, and even attach historical records. It's a great project that will bring the whole family together.

Another lower-tech but equally thoughtful option is to create a scrapbook filled with family memories. Scan any nondigital images, ask family members for copies of cherished photos and add any other memorabilia you can find, from ticket stubs to events you attended together to old cards you made for your dad. It's a keepsake sure to make him feel appreciated.

5. For fathers who love the outdoors
Never underestimate the fun of a good old-fashioned shopping spree. Lee Valley Tools is one of Canada's largest mail-order companies. A gift card will give your dad hours of enjoyment poring over their colourful catalogues filled with over 5,000 tools from around the world. Whether he's into birding, building projects, gardening or camping, he's guaranteed to find something here. Plus he'll be getting exactly what he wants, rather than you having to sweat over the choice (or discreetly ask your mom what he's been hinting at).

6. For fathers who want to relax
Rest and relaxation are key elements of a perfect Father's Day, and where better to snooze by the lake than in a hammock? We like the Pawleys Island Deluxe Original Polyester Rope Hammock from hammockcanada.com. Stylish, comfortable and durable, this Canadian-owned and operated shop even offers free shipping.

If your dad prefers to spend his time at the cottage working with his hands to really earn those long afternoon naps, consider giving him a Dremel Rotary Tool Kit (available at Canadian Tire), which includes everything he needs to make those repairs he keeps talking about, including a bolt cutter, polisher, sander, engraver, tile cutter and much more.

To avoid scrambling at the last minute for the perfect Father's Day gift this year, draw your inspiration from all of those interesting, unique aspects of your dad's personality that make him such a special presence in your life.

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6 easy and thoughtful Father's Day gift ideas

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