What do you get when you combine a handkerchief with a notebook? Answer: More terrible Father’s Day Gifts

Welcome to Part two of my review of terrible Father’s Day Gifts. Due to unforeseen events happening over the last month in my life unfortunately this is quite late. But luckily the lessons contained below are not only appropriate for Father’s Day, but any gift giving occasion for the men in your life.

Part one of this review focused on some particularly bizarre gift ideas for Dad and highlighted some exceptionally poor food related gift ideas. Today I am tackling the classic Father’s Day gift theme of putting two (or more) seemingly unrelated products together in the effort to create a completely useless, bizarre or downright questionable offspring as well as a couple other gifts that just make me wonder.

1. Hankie Pocket!

For the man in your life that still wears pocket squares or Hankies on a daily basis but also struggles with taking notes comes this small notebook.

Hankie Pocket Square

I have already tackled the subject of notebooks and writing utensils as gifts in my blog post on Mother’s Day Gifts and those familiar with me will know that I stand firmly on the “let’s eliminate paper altogether” side of the fence. But apparently the gift giving geniuses over at Real Simple think that not only are men out there desperate to write notes, but need to do in sneakily by disguising the notebook as a pocket square.

The description says that it is fashionable for the “grab-and-go note-taker” which is about as niche a demographic as you can get. But I can’t see how fashionable it is to be carrying what is soon to be a dog-eared, ripped, ink stained book around as if it was a fashionable pocket square?

Instead – recommend some good note taking apps to your father. I personally like Workflowy. Or if a notebook really is his thing, I say stick with a classic executive or moleskin notebook.

2. I got a Rock

Do people actually need to buy bottle openers? If your house is anything like mine then you likely have more than a reasonable amount of bottle openers turning up in every other drawer in your kitchen. And yet, novelty bottle openers seem to turn up on gift lists for Dad all the time.

Since it seems that every other week one of the beer companies is giving away a bottle opener in a case or beer or another “Hip with it” company decides to give you one to show you how “cool” they are because it’s not just another personalized pen, I fail to see why anyone would ever actually need to buy a bottle opener. But thank you country living for showing me the error of my ways with this prime example of the bottle opener taken to the next level by attaching it to a rock. Obviously, the fact that it is attached to a rock makes it totally worth the price and totally better than the bottle opener I have been using since University.

"Crack open a cold one with style"  Is style a concern for the 2 seconds it takes to open the bottle? Are men really wishing they were more stylish when opening bottles?
“Crack open a cold one with style”
Is style a concern for the 2 seconds it takes to open the bottle? Are men really wishing they were more stylish when opening bottles?

3. Do Dads really want terrariums? 

I know that there are a lot of different types of men out there and some like to garden and like plants and there are probably men who would enjoy this next gift. I can especially see it if they still have younger children at home and watching the terrarium and taking care of it is something they can do together. The reason this is making the list is that I kept seeing the terrarium theme popping up all over the place. Since this seems like a fairly small subset of father’s who really want terrariums I was definitely confused when I kept seeing them suggested over and over again. Especially on Pinterest.


Bonus: this one from Real Simple is made from a recycled wine bottle giving us another hybrid gift

4. Bookends

Bookends always make me think of the Episode of Friends where Rachel and Phoebe find the gifts from Chandler and they ask him “What is this weird metal AZ thing?”

To which Chandler replies, “Bookends, Those are a great gift”


Country Living seems to have sided with Chandler on this one, however I fall firmly in the Rachel-Phoebe Camp. Bookends are not great gifts. Outside of staged magazine photos I don’t think I have ever actually seen bookends in use in any house ever.  In my opinion bookends solve a problem that is actually already solved by the sides of a book shelf. As well, for a true lover of books, bookends actually take up valuable shelf space. Shelf space where one would conceivably rather be housing their books.


Thanks for tuning in this week I hope you enjoyed my take on Gift Guides.

What’s the worst gift you have received for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day?

“Maybe, just stick with the tie” OR Flavouring something with Bourbon doesn’t automatically make it a great gift

Welcome to the Father’s Day suggested gift round up. I have been looking forward to doing this since Mother’s day and even offered up a teaser post earlier this month. Today however I freaked out when I realized that I had a lot of material drafted and saved but nothing really put together and Father’s Day is this weekend and so I really need to get this going.

There’s a couple of common themes I see popping up in father’s day gifts and one of them is flavouring things like bourbon as well as a desire to reach out to tech savvy young fathers with ridiculous tech gifts that are borderline useless (“Gee Thanks sweetheart, a computer mouse shaped like a dolphin, this is great for my office…”).

You’ll also likely notice a trend that many of these come from RealSimple.com which shouldn’t surprise readers of this blog, as a several of my Terrible Mother’s Day Gifts also were courtesy of a website that apparently creates gift giving guides by

1. For the Dad who Loves Golf

Oh, Golf Gifts and Father’ Day. Go together like Peanut Butter and Jam. I am pretty sure you would be hard pressed to find a gift guide for Father’s Day that doesn’t include something golf related. I have even been known to give Golf Related gifts to men in my life – including Golf Gloves, Balls and even a new Taylor Made Driver to my husband. But there is a difference between useful golf items for avid golfers and ridiculous Golf Kitsch that no one really needs or asked for.

First we have a golf mug (recommended by none other than Real Simple) which comes with a miniature club and ball to try to hit into a hole at the base of the mug. There are so many reasons why this is just awful. First of all, never have I known someone who wanted to have the ability to aim choking hazards into their own drink. Second, has anyone every been drinking coffee at the office and thought to themselves “Man, I wish my mug was actually a golf game.” No, that has never happened. Any man day dreaming about golf at work is not going to satisfy his desire for golf by trying to hit a tiny ball into a tiny hole at the bottom of a mug using a tiny club. What is likely going to happen is the tiny club and ball are going to get lost to the abyss of missing office supplies, leaving your father with a mug that now actually holds less of the coffee he needs to get through the day because of the ridiculous cut out at the bottom of this mug.

golf mug

Our next golf gift is extra awful because of the description. This comes to us from Cosmo which is not surprisingly giving out terrible Father’s Day Gift advice. This article takes real people talking about what Dad wants and gives advice on it. This suggestion is particularly horrendous because they say “Victoria’s dad wants new golf clubs” GREAT! That is easy and you’ll know he likes it. But then instead of suggesting clubs they suggest the most ridiculous piece of golf paraphernalia I have ever seen. I can’t even believe that this product actually exists and they justify it by saying: “Golf clubs are crazy expensive though and very specific to the individual using them. Potty putters on the other hand, are universal and affordable!” I will give them that, coming at only $12.00 they are affordable but just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you should buy it.

potty putter

This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, it looks awful. It adds ridiculous clutter to a bathroom. Is a tripping hazard. Not to mention I am pretty sure this is going to get disgustingly germ filled very quickly.

If you know your father wants new golf clubs but you can’t afford them here are a couple of options that don’t involve adding what will become a urine soaked golf green to your bathroom.

1. A gift card within your budget to the store where he is buying the clubs.
2. Other usable golf items that wear out and or get lost (gloves and balls) because anyone who wants new clubs probably also will appreciate balls and gloves. My husband generally wears through a pair of gloves every season.

2. For the Beer drinking dad

A lot of Dad’s like beer and so I think that if the dad in your life enjoys beer there a lot of good options for him- craft beer samplers, beer of the month club, touring a brewery. What is probably not a good option is ridiculously expensive product to carry beer in.

I think most beer comes pre-packaged in containers and stores that do sell individual bottles or cans usually offer a disposable container for them. So if you have a Dad who absolutely loves to see you wasting money on overly expensive and complicated beer transportation systems then I guess this gift is for him. Otherwise move on.

Oh look. This comes from Real Simple's gift guide too. What a shock!
Oh look. This comes from Real Simple’s gift guide too. What a shock!

3. For the Dad’s who love to snack

I think that most of us know of a snack that our dad’s love. When I was a kid we used to like to buy our Dad Werther’s Originals. And I think it is really cute, especially with little kids who have used their own allowance, to buy their dad his favourite treats for Father’s Day.

What is not cute is the plethora of “Father’s Day” “Man-Flavoured” Artisinal food products making these father’s day lists.

I couldn’t limit myself to just one item here so I posted all these which are from the same list – why the list needed to have 3 over the top snack food products is beyond me.

bbq pecans

If you were to buy all three of these products and create a gift basket you would have spent $75.00 on 3 items!

The first is smoked pecans for $24.00. They are apparently “smothered in chili powder, dried thyme, brown sugar, salt, onion power and old bay.” How considerate of them! They just gave you the recipe. Save yourself some money buy nuts and make these yourself for a fraction of the price. Not to handy in the kitchen? Don’t worry about it President’s Choice has you covered for a fraction of the price. It may not be pecans but it gets the job done and doesn’t break the bank.

Next we havemarshmallows the most economical item of the bunch. At a very reasonable $8 for 16 pieces you can watch your dad make his best “WTF?” face when he opens these Bourbon Marshmallows. I can only imagine were thought up by drunk college students during a late night campfire at the family cottage.

Hey Man, I need to glaze my marshmallow before I roast it, give me the bourbon!

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Putting bourbon on something does not make it a great gift for Dad.

Last but not least is a $43 tin of pop corn. Sure there are also potato chips and pretzels drizzled with three types of chocolate and caramel but somehow I think that spending $43.00 on this would cause many Father’s to start questioning where they went wrong in child rearing and teaching their kids the value of money.

Of course, this treat sounds oddly like the ridiculous concoctions I would make as a child with my friends when we had a sleepover and were staying up late eating whatever junk we could find and now I am just sad we missed out on marketing what was clearly a great idea.


And I am sorry, just because it is “non-GMO…no hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup” doesn’t mean it is free of sugar, fats and calories so saying “he won’t feel too bad about indulging in the whole bucket” is a load of crap. I guarantee anyone eating an entire bucket of this is going to feel pretty crappy (pun totally intended).

4. For the tech savvy dad. 

This is definitely my favourite to make the list. I nearly peed in excitement when I saw it.


No, I don’t have Tourette syndrome, those aren’t random words I am shouting. This is an actual product that is actually being touted as a gift for adult men.

In most professional settings, ditching the “boring office supplies” isn’t going to win anyone respect. Unless your dad is a Marine Biologist I think this gift is better left a the store. It just makes me laugh that this is considered a great gift. Logistically the tail sticking out like that is a nightmare waiting to get caught somewhere in the bag while in transit. Meaning it is going to get lost and you are stuck with a useless mouse.

Aesthetically, I don’t even think it looks that much like a dolphin when you consider that while in use the tail is going to be plugged into the computer, meaning you’re really just buying the ability to stick an oddly shaped receiver into one of your USB ports.

wireless dolphin mouse

Thanks for tuning in everyone! Unfortunately I am running out of time but not bad gift ideas so stay tuned next week for Part 2 of this post which will appear when I return from vacation.