Dads kind of get the short end of the stick when it comes to gifts. When I was little I only gave my dad things I made, like an ashtray (I don't know why), a noodle necklace, or a scrapbook of crap where I just glued stuff onto blank pages and called it "art." My partner is in the same boat, and our kids make the greatest "art" to give him as gifts. But they're kids so they can get away with it. There are some things well-meaning people buy dads that are damn useless, though, and we all know it.
I'm more than guilty of purchasing something for my partner he didn't care about or use (I'm talking to you, every card I've ever spent money on). And we've been to more than a few holiday events where someone's given him the gift they thought he'd love. Yeah, he didn't. And while he always knows everyone, including me, means well — and even though he absolutely appreciates the sentiment — I know he would rather people didn't waste their time (or their money). More often than nothing, whatever is sent his way will end up in the nearest garbage can or in the back of a closet.
So trust me to say that, when it comes to most dads, they're cool with an envelope of money or nothing at all. They don't want that bulky sweater you inexplicably gifted them in July. Here are some other things that are really damn useless, too. You know, just in case:
Another Damn "#1 Dad" Mug
I can't speak for all dads, but my partner could go the rest of his life without ever getting another damn mug. Ever. He owns, like, 20. People mean well when they give any gift to him, but the best of intentions won't make room in our kitchen cabinets.
Tools That Collect Dust
The standard stereotype is that all dads like tools and use them to, I don't know, fix all the things.
My partner has a ridiculous amount of tools, usually gifted by friends and family members during the holidays. Others are from our kids, usually sent his way on Father's Day. He has a toolbox full of tools, you guys, and I can't recall more than a handful of times he's actually used them.
Gag gifts have no place in our home. They're such a waste of money, it's actually borderline offensive. Any well-meaning gift-buyer who chooses the gag gift route surely knows the gross jelly bean game will go unused (except by our kids), the whoopie cushion will end up in the trash (or, again, used by the kids), and the pretend gift card will probably get re-gifted. But thanks for the "laugh."
Traditional Gifts For An Nontraditional Dad
You know what these are: the tie for a guy that does hard labor outside for a living, freshly roasted coffee beans for the dude who hates coffee, or something cliché that says nothing about the father of your children.
My partner surely appreciates anything people give him, but if it screams "so not me," it sits on the counter forever.
[Whatever] Of The Month Clubs
Some of those overpriced clubs are cool, and the monthly meat box or craft beer subscriptions tend to get used up. But those aren't the ones my partner gets. Instead, it's more like organic honey of the month, or — wait for it — fruit bouquets. Please save your money, people. Or better yet, just hand those gifts over to me and give him the money instead.
I'm a picture-taking fiend, but even I've had it up to here with frames. So what the hell is my partner going to do with them? It doesn't matter if it says "Best Dad" or even if there's a nice photo of him inside. There should be a rule that the only people allowed to buy (or make) a frame to gift to a dad, are his children.
Gift Cards To Places He Doesn't Go
Gift cards are technically money you can only spend at one place. It's like money jail, you guys. If you seriously want your dollars to translate to money jail, please make sure it's to a place my partner actually enjoys and not a random boutique auto repair shop.
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