Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for, and the reason why isn’t rocket science. “I don’t really ask for gifts, because I don’t need anything,” Tim Melideo, photographer and parent to 4-year-old Leo, told us of his (nonexistent) wish list. We’ve heard this humble response countless times from our own fathers, especially around the holidays. Perhaps this is why our first instinct is to get him something that is as no-fuss as he is: a pair of socks, a new wallet, a tool kit for the grill. After a while, though, these practical presents lose their spark.
On the hunt for some fresh ideas, we asked the most creative dads we know—many of them design industry veterans and tastemakers with a natural eye for cool objects—to share their top recommendations. Before you settle on yet another tie, consider these picks. Turns out, you can never go wrong with something sentimental.
Mason St. Peter, Architect and Cofounder of General Store
When I found out my wife was pregnant with our first child, Wild, we had been trying for about two years at that point and had just about given up. Then, there it was, the photo of the three pregnancy tests.
Tim Melideo, Photographer and Owner of Shop Stay Classic
I think the best gifts are those that people will use (so not things like whiskey stones and shaving stuff). Alcohol is always a great idea—get your dad something you know he likes or a premium bottle he may not normally buy for himself.
Graham Kostic, Creative Director and Choreographer
A massage, a weekend in New Orleans alone, and a new pair of terry sweats from Brownlee.
Chris Marcum, Renovator and Part-Blogger Behind Chris Loves Julia
I always ask for kitchen stuff. I will never be disappointed opening a new enamel-coated Dutch oven or a chef’s knife or large white serving platters. My wife’s canvas is our house, and my canvas is the plate. I love to cook and love presenting food in a beautiful way.
Jeremiah Brent, Designer and TV Host
Our daughter, Poppy, always gives Nate and me art, which we love to frame.
Jeff Mindell, Lifestyle Photographer and Creative at Studio DIY
As I get older, material things mean less and less. I would much rather experience something, be it a concert, spa day, a trip, etc. The best gift I’ve ever received: tickets to a live taping of my favorite podcast. My wife surprised me when the host was doing a show in L.A.
And she took care of the babysitter.
Ian Berry, Illustrator
See more gift ideas:
All Eva Chen Wants for Christmas Is This Planner and a Fountain Pen
Oprah Found 79 No-Fail Gifts on Amazon—These Are Our 3 Favorites
Pinterest Just Revealed the Most Popular Gift Ideas of 2019