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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Certified, necktie-free gift guide for Father’s Day

Georgea Kovanis Knight Ridder Newspapers

Give Mom a card and a pretty bouquet — even if it’s dandelions — and she has a perfectly happy Mother’s Day.

Dads are different.

In the past I’ve gifted my own dad with an assortment of rose bushes, pine and maple trees, gift certificates, a garden bench, a grill and so many clothes he’s forbidden me from giving him any more. (“I’m one man ,” he says, “why do I need enough pants for an army?”) He’s always gracious, but I know these aren’t things he really wants.

What he really wants is a chain saw.

And what he will never get — at least not from me — is a chain saw.

I refuse to be party to the disaster I’m certain such a gift would cause. I will not be responsible for my dad losing an arm or accidentally cutting off his leg. Or the trauma my mom would endure knowing that Pop’s out back with a chain saw — or even worse, up a tree trying to trim branches.

Father’s Day is June 19, and I’ve started shopping for the perfect alternative.

If you’re struggling as well, here are some ideas!

Grills For Guys

A steak dinner at a restaurant is always nice — gift certificates! — but lots of dads like to play with fire.

They like to grill.

Which is why Omaha Steaks is offering Father’s Day specials online.

The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift Ensemble — four 10-ounce boneless strip steaks; four 8-ounce top sirloin steaks; 16, 5-ounce steak burgers — is $99.99 and is available through June 19.

I’ve heard the cheesecake at Omaha Steaks is quite good, too.

•Order online at To request a catalog: 800-960-8400.

The P-O-P Ranch

Speaking of steak …

Here’s a way to make it more personal — an 11 1/2 -inch-long monogrammed branding iron from Williams-Sonoma!

Hand-forged in Texas, pardner, it’s available with two initials or three — it’s $39.95 either way.

You’ll have to allow 3 or 4 weeks for delivery — but give dad an IOU. He won’t mind the wait.

•It’s available at and in the catalog; call 800-541-1262.

Novelty, Thy Name is Dad

If you haven’t checked out the Duluth Trading Company catalog or Web site lately, give it a look. It contains everything a guy could ever need — including clothing made from the fabric used to encase fire hoses (I have no idea why), stuff for the job and a baseball that measures the speed of your throw. A “smart chip” inside the ball detects when it leaves your hand and when it is caught.

However, my absolute favorite item is the Crack Spackle — a spackle bucket with a Longtail T-shirt inside .

What’s the Longtail T? It’s a 100 percent cotton T-shirt that’s 3 inches longer than most , eliminating the age-old problem of Plumber’s Butt!

A great way for Dad to cover his …

The Crack Spackle bucket and shirt are $14.99. Or you can buy the T-shirt separately for $11.99.

•To order: To get a catalog: 800-505-8888.

Pleasant Dreams

Give dad a good night’s sleep on some really nice sheets!

I’m hearing the most fabulous things about the Essential Home line of 100 percent cotton, 250-thread count white sheets from Kmart!

I’m hearing these fabulous things from people who can afford to spend a fortune on sheets — including one woman who orders her linens from Austria.

•The Kmart sheets are $14.99-$34.99, depending on size.

They’re available in a variety of white-on-white patterns — dots, circles, stripes and herringbone. Just the thing to add a little flair to your room.

Look for them at Kmart stores and at

I’m planning to celebrate Father’s Day by buying some for myself; I’m sure my father would want me to have them.

Do Collect New Monopoly

Monopoly is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a new collector’s edition of the board game — so if Dad’s not a real estate mogul in real life, he can pretend.

The tokens are bigger now. The racecar is a stretch roadster, the old shoe is now a sassy high heel. The hotels and houses are bigger, and the board is more colorful. Plus, it all comes in a tin box.

It’s $39.99 where toys are sold.

And to be nice, think about slipping Dad an extra Get out of Jail Free card.

A Kiss for Hubby

And now, a special word to moms.

It’s always good to do something nice for the father of your children. So give him a big fat kiss — and think about wearing Almay Long Lasting Lip color.

It’s supposed to stay on for 12 hours, though I find I have to reapply. But unlike some long-lasting lipsticks — and I’ve tried tons — this doesn’t leave my lips dry. It doesn’t seep or bleed either, leaving me looking like Baby Jane.

And the absolute best thing about this lip color is it doesn’t kiss off.

After a peck on the cheek — or something more intense — your guy won’t end up wearing more lipstick than you are.

•Look for it at drugstores. It’s $9.99.