My father was a very good fibber.  He never let on how awful my soap on a rope Father’s day gift really was. Looking back, I am sure he never used it. Yet he always accepted it with enthusiasm. Years ago, I didn’t give much thought to either ‘parent’ holiday. On Mother’s Day, it was chocolate and flowers and on Father’s day it was soap on a rope. Funny, I just wasn’t terribly creative that way when I was younger.

My father passed while I was in college. So Father’s Day wasn’t important again until my husband and I had children. Now, I look forward to Father’s Day as much as I look forward to Mother’s Day. My cousin Nora tells me that I secretly enjoy Father’s Day more than Mother’s Day because it is a ‘gadget and tool’ day. I’ve never been much of a girlie girl and I prefer a great new tool over a dozen roses any day. Thus, I have a true affinity for Father’s Day and, to be honest, I am more excited by it than my husband is. 

My male friends have always asked me what the best new tools or gadgets are for their ‘wish lists’ so this year I am putting it down on paper and sharing it with all you last-minute gift shoppers. Go with a fun, funky or unusual gadget or tool based on your father’s tastes and you blow your siblings away in the best in gift category.

1. A universal indispensible remote control that not only changes the channels, but also ensures that dad will never have to leave the sofa to open a cold brewskie.  Originally $29.95 now only $19.99  at  http://gifts.redenvelope.com

2. For the dad that is always looking for a panel or molding to re-hang, the Campbell Hausfield,  2 Gallon 100 PSI Electric air Compressor kit with Nail Gun is a great addition to his tool collection. On sale at Lowes for $59.00. it was originally $99.00 http://www.lowes.com

3. For the dad who is a cerveza connoisseur, this Beer Making Kit will allow him the luxury to create his own brewed beer masterpiece at home. The equipment is reusable so dad can continue to brew his favorite ales at any time of the year. The kit includes a Keg Fermenter, reusable bottles and it makes up to 4 gallons at a time. Nicely priced at $59.99. Available at http://Sharperimage.com

4. Dad can’t always see his grill clearly when the sun goes down, but with this BBQ Grill and Fan Kit he can cook all night long if need be. With this clamp-on light and fan system, he will be able to illuminate his grilled steaks, ribs and burgers while the dual fans pull smoke up and away. (system does not attach to Kettle style hoods) Priced at $59.99 at  http://Sharperimage.com

5. The Garden Treasures 35- 3/8” Brown Steal Wood Burning Fire Pit could be a double hitter as a gift for dad. Dads can spend many hours entertaining around it or they can enjoy it while snuggling up to mom. Available at http://www.Lowes.com for only $299.99, What a great buy.

6. For the techie dad with multiple mobile devices, the universal IDAPTi4 is an excellent gift. This charging station allows dad to charge up to four mobile devices simultaneously, saving both time and space. This eco- friendly station is also compatible with over 4,500 devices including the ever popular iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Nintendo DS. Nicely priced at an increasable $60.00. Available at http://www.idaptweb.com/universal_chargers/i4/

7. The Grill…. I could not do this list without it. While it doesn’t really fall into the ‘last minute gift’ category, I couldn’t do a Father’s Day gift list without one. That’s because every year there is a dad out there wishing for an upgrade, or a newer bigger version of his last grill. Do research, ask him how his grilling skills have grown and if possible take him with you. My favorite grill of 2012 is the Weber Genesis S-330 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill in Stainless Steel. It provides ample cooking power and cooking space. It’s a must have if your dad is a ‘grill master’. It houses 3 stainless steel main burners, as well as an additional side-mounted burner and a sear station burner to help accommodate large grilling jobs. It’s a little pricey, but well worth the cost at $949.00. Easily found at http://www.homedepot.com

8. Last but not least, if you are searching for that extra special gift for dad that will allow you to also spend time with him, consider buying him his five favorite of all times movies on DVD. Arrange for a day when you can both sit together and watch and do what children and dads have done for decades, bond over the TV!

Now that I have given you a list of my top boy toy Father’s Day selections nix the new tie, golf shirt or other boring idea and give dad something fun and innovation this year!

Marlene Pratt is the co-founder of Casa Latina, an interior designer and on-air television host on both English and Spanish-language television. Follow Marlene on Twitter at @CasaLatinaToday and Like her FB page

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