TORONTO — Undoubtedly Father’s Day will look a lot different this year, as physical distancing guidelines put a damper on many families’ get-together plans. While not everyone will be able to spend time with their fathers because of the ongoing pandemic this year, sending a gift can be a safer alternative to show appreciation.
Aside from scheduling video chats and drive-by visits to substitute for the typical up close, in-person gatherings, the editor of men’s lifestyle magazine Swagger, Steven Branco, suggests considering functional gifts that can be useful while staying at home.
Because choosing a great gift can hinge on the recipient’s likes and interests, considering the amount of upheaval this year, Branco recommends finding out if your dad has changed his lifestyle, needs or preferences.
“Find things that are focused around making his life better, whether it’s his work from home situation, or personal lifestyle focused; whether he’s a fit dad, tech dad or maybe even a gamer dad,” Branco told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
Here are some gifts to consider this Father’s Day:
TECH AND ENTERTAINMENT
The many hours now being spent at home do not have to be boring. By gifting a movie and TV streaming service subscription you’re able to bring him endless of hours of entertainment. If he already has one of the more popular services such as Netflix, there are other streaming services that might offer a new show he has wanted to watch that isn’t available anywhere else. Amazon Prime, Crave, Apple TV and Roku are just among the many streaming services for binge-watching content. Or if he’s more into music, try Spotify or Apple Music.
In the case that he might already have a subscription, gift cards to renew it are an easy option that can also be sent virtually.
If he’s missing going out to see a movie, you can try to bring the theatre to him. Lifestyle expert Julia Black recommends a smartphone projector that can be used to turn any room into his very own home theatre.
“It’s a modern way to bring entertainment, but packaged the old fashion way,” she said in an interview with CTV’s Your Morning.
However, if he’s a little more old-school, Branco recommends a set of his favourite movie series on DVD. Or, if he owns a record player, a vinyl record of that one album he’s missing in his collection can be a more sentimental choice.
As for gaming, gifting consoles or video games is a great way to keep dad entertained. The Nintendo Switch gaming console, for example, is very popular at the moment. Plus, all video games are sold online for download, so he doesn’t have to leave the house to add to his collection. And if he does want to head out, he can take the Switch with him as it’s designed to be used on-the-go.
Many Canadians have taken up home improvement projects since the lockdown began, according to Branco.
“Everyone’s trying to make their at-home living space more accommodating to this lifestyle of having to spend more time at home, whether it’d be in your patio or your backyard,” he said.
With the warmer weather approaching, Branco said a new grill is likely to get dad’s fires burning.
Plants are also a simple way to revamp any home. Taking care of plants can not only give him something to do but Branco said it can be therapeutic during these stressful times.
If your dad is like most Canadians who are now working from home, useful office tools such as a computer mouse for his laptop or a prop to stand up his tablet or laptop can make for a more effective work space.
REVAMP HIS STYLE
Dads need self-care too. Since health and cleanliness are now such a high priority, Branco recommends curating a self-care collection that might include shower gel or beard lotion.
“Don’t think you have to go out and buy one big gift, why not curate a bunch of small gifts and make it into a gift basket,” he said. “And include a card with it!”
While haircuts can be difficult to do at home, a beard trimmer can be a safer gift option that won’t result in a bad new look.
Fashion shouldn’t be overlooked either. Julia Black recommends gifting clothing that will fit his style; either a sweater from his favourite store or a shirt with a personalized graphic. Black said a simple T-shirt could be a good fit, too.
“Rock T-shirts. This is a way to really help dad get cool,” she said.
For many that won’t be able to physically celebrate Father’s Day together, give the gift of a video chat with other family members. Or, gather a few family members and friends for a drive-by parade past dad’s home.
For those that live in the same household, try to recreate a meal from his favourite restaurant that he misses and pair it with his favourite drink.
“Set him up with a dinner, either prepare him his favourite meal, or order from a restaurant he really misses,” Branco said.
By now, many families have probably gone through all the board games in the house, so try a new activity such as painting. Most local dollar stores carry canvases and paints and at the end of the paint session, your art can be his homemade Father’s Day gift.
“Now, more than ever, a homemade gift is going to be well-received, so they’re definitely not off the table,” he said.
Whether dad misses the gym or wants to start his fitness journey, fitness gadgets and workout subscriptions can be useful and healthy gifts to give.
“We’ve all adapted to quarantine, so even if you weren’t into fitness before, maybe you are doing more fitness now because you have more time on your hands,” Branco said.
Workout clothes or a reusable water bottle are both useful items that can be used even after lockdown measures are lifted. If you live in the same household, coming up with an exercise routine together can also be a great bonding experience.
While COVID-19 has disrupted many special occasions across the globe, Branco says it’s important to find ways to have fun and show appreciation for one another.
“Realistically we should always celebrate our moms and dads, but for these particular days it’s all about going above and beyond to make them feel special. I think now, more than ever before, these people in our lives deserve the celebration and attention,” he said.
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