Here are some do’s and don’ts for shopping for dads and grads:
* Know what Dad enjoys. Does he like to cook? To read? Enjoy a specific sports team? It’s easier to buy a gift he’ll enjoy when you tailor it to his tastes.
* Consider giving your grad cash. Whether he or she is graduating from high school or college, there will be late-night pizza needs that pop up, and that money is sure to come in handy.
* Check your area for unique experiences. Being a tourist in your hometown can be easier than you think - whether it’s a trip to a local street fair, a specialty beer tasting at nearby watering hole, or even an afternoon at the ball game, sometimes sharing the experience can be the best gift.
* Spread your gift out through the whole year with a subscription to Netflix for Dad’s movie obsession, Hulu Plus for TV-lovers or Pandora for your grad with a music library that rivals Billboard’s Hot 100. Almost all online streaming devices from TVs to Blu-ray players and even a sound bar from LG can give him access to his subscription.
*Grads would love a place to plug in their music, and a docking station is perfect for everything from visiting a friend’s dorm room to just lounging around the apartment. With the ability to wirelessly stream from both iPhones and Androids, LG’s dual docking station can play from any phone in the area and keep them charged in the meantime.
* Buy Dad a tie. Beyond being cliche, with today’s casual workplace, he probably has more than enough already. Nothing says “forced smile” like a tie.
* Buy your grads gift card for specific stores. By now, they’ve got their own flair and style, and you’ll run the risk of missing the mark. Best to throw a cash card or two in the mix, and call it the “gift of shopping.”
* Give your grad the customary graduation pen – it will be “lost” or act as the resident paper weight until he/she moves out.
* Buy exercise equipment unless you know it will be used. Just because you think Dad should start exercising, doesn’t mean he shares your enthusiasm – and you’re implying he needs to lose weight (not what he wants to hear).
* Skimp on technology. It changes quickly – that’s why stores have those clearance tables. No need to break the bank, but don’t buy something that’s outdated the moment you walk out of the store.
Regardless of what you give a grad or Dad, she or he will appreciate it the most when your gift comes from your heart.