I’ve never been unprepared for Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day seems to creep up on me every year. The Onion got it right with this one.
But for a father, this sneaky June holiday is a perfect excuse to celebrate being the man of the house. My dad treats it as the one day he has total immunity to do what he wants. For the past couple of years, I have taken the approach of egging him on and choosing a gift that makes sure he’ll have one of the best days of his life. Here are some of my best ideas from the past few years - pick one up for your Dad by June 19!
An afternoon at the cigar shopPhoto by Elliot P
My mother always looked disapprovingly at my dad when he lit up a cigar on a special occasion. He claimed that it was “only for the taste” and that he never inhaled, but she was unappeased. That was enough to get him to stop for the most part - but if there is ever a day when it would be appropriate to unwrap a nice robusto, Churchill, or presidente, Father’s Day is it. This year, pick him up some delicious cigars from your favorite Latin American country at a fine tobacconist, such as Grant’s in downtown San Francisco.
The James Bond DVD CollectionPhoto by ralphhogaboom
I grew up watching Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger on TBS. My little sister and I didn’t believe in the bogeyman, but we believed in Jaws - in my opinion one of the best Bond villains, aptly played by Richard Kiel. My father told us that Jaws would take us away if we were bad kids (part of me still believes him). Anyway, my dad continues to get pissed off when TBS swaps out Sean Connery for their Love Actually marathons. Make sure he never has to settle for Hugh Grant’s awkward grin instead of Connery’s brilliantly self-assured Bond with this classic collection. I got him this gift a few years ago, and it has been one of his favorites.
A trip to the trackPhoto by OrangeAcid
The interesting thing is that it doesn’t really matter what kind of track. A dog-racing track is good. Horse-racing track– better. A high-school-track track… if your dad is the gambling type, I’m sure he’ll make do. Bonus points if you can somehow turn it into a business meeting. The Golden Gate Fields are a fine example, and a short day-trip away from San Francisco.
Wine tasting / Beer tasting
Fathers love to see the places where their adult beverages of choice are bottled. This tradition goes back to conquistador Ponce de Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth, a supposed brewery of sorts with the ultimate bottling - the elixir of eternal youth. Case in point: when my father came to visit me in San Francisco and I brought up the remote possibility of a trip out to Napa to see where his favorite wine was bottled, he jumped at the opportunity. From there the primary purpose of the trip changed from a college visit for my sister to a 50 mile trip through California’s beautiful wine country. This Father’s Day, buy Dad a tasting at a vineyard or a brewery tour at his favorite brew producer.
Grilling meats and equipment
Summer is here and that means grill season is on. Steaks. Lamb. Venison. Ribs. Hickory wood. A grill so hot that you can only run it on low heat. Smoke pouring out making all of the neighbors jealous. 7-year-old girls get ponies. 60-year-old dads should get lamb shoulder and some dry rub. Omaha steaks