TIME Family

The 7 Dumbest Things You Can Buy Dad for Father’s Day

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Boy and girl watching father open Father's Day gift Blend Images - Ariel Skelley—Getty Images/Brand X

Searching for a last-minute gift for your dad? Here's what not to buy

Sunday is Father’s Day, and you’re still searching for a gift. Sure, you could buy him a tie, but does that really say, “Thank you for changing my diapers and helping me with my homework and picking me up when my car broke down?” Here are seven other gifts you should probably avoid.

A day to himself

A day off from fatherhood may sound nice, but telling dad he can have the day to spend alone or with the guys in front of the TV watching the game is depressing. Make plans to watch sports with dad or better yet, get cheap tickets to a minor league baseball game.

Power tools

Don’t let those commercials with dads having so much fun fixing things in the garage fool you. They’d have way more fun spending time with you: throwing a ball in the yard or watching a movie together. Unless your dad has been complaining about how terrible his old set of tools is, he’s probably set on the toolbox front. And if you get him power tools, he might feel the need to fix things, and who wants to spend a relaxing holiday fixing the sink?

Cologne

Even if you know the scent he likes, he probably has more than enough. Be more inventive, people!

Man candle

Not caring whether a room smells like lavender or ginger is not the same as wanting the room to smell like bacon or pizza. That’s just going to make you hungry all the time, and it’s going to make your house smell like a dirty dorm room.

Apron for grilling with a joke on it

Moms shouldn’t have to cook or clean on Mother’s Day, so dads shouldn’t have to grill on Father’s Day. If he wants to, fine. But getting him an apron implies that you expect him to fire up the grill. It’s even worse if it’s an apron with a joke on it like “The Grillfather” that will no longer be funny in a month but that he has to wear when you do actually have people over to grill.

Something that’s really for you

I’m unapologetically mining my “7 Terrible Mother’s Day Gift Ideas” here, but the rule still applies. Don’t get dad tickets to a concert or game or movie or play that you want to go to. That’s selfish. And definitely don’t buy him a pet that he is going to have to end up taking care of just because you want a puppy.

Useless tech toys

Sure, dad’s a gadget nut. And yes, you want impulsively want to purchase everything in that Brookstone or SkyMall catalogue. But dropping big bucks on something your father will only use once—a virtual keyboard, a fork with a digital meat thermometer in it, a remote control that looks like a magic wand—is not worth it.

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