Chances are, your dad is a baby boomer or even older. With people living longer these days and more and more boomers hitting retirement age, the infamous Father's Day blue striped tie probably isn't the right gift for your still quite active father.
Sixty is the new 40, and 80 might as well be the new 60. What better symbol of the active, aging father than President George H.W. Bush, who jumps out of airplanes in his mid-80s? Our aging fathers do not need more things.
Intangibles. That's the ticket. Father's Day gifts should be consumables, which can be eaten, used, spent, sipped or enjoyed. No dust catchers for later generations to sort, no hideous Necktie of the Month Club ties.
If Wally and the Beav had given traditional father Ward Clever gifts from the five categories we'll look at, he might have been disappointed. But your modern dad would love getting such gifts.
Fathers with established hobbies are usually inundated with hobby-related gifts. How many baseball hats or golf balls can one man have?
If your dad plays golf, what better gift than tee-times? Many public clubs offer gift certificates. Even if you are a duffer, why not line up a tee-time or two with dear old dad? If he belongs to a private club, consider purchasing cart rentals or other extras that don't come with membership.
For the avid spectator sportsman, check out special sports packages. Most cable companies offer individual games or game packages. If your dad can't afford such premium sports channels, wouldn't that be a great gift?
Attending a baseball game is a summer American tradition, and the new MLB ballparks all across the country offer up an afternoon of total fun. Buy Dad tickets and pick up the food tab. After all, nothing tastes more like summer than a ballpark hot dog covered with onions and relish.
But, what if your dad doesn't like sports?