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What not to give your dad for Father's Day
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Father’s Day never fails to stress me out, and I’m not just saying that because I’m convinced that no one will care that my birthday is the very next day.

No, around this weekend every year, I’m usually making desperate phone calls to my sisters for last-minute help in figuring out the perfect gift to give the only man in my life who refuses to ever ask for anything.

Ask any woman what she wants for Mother’s Day, her birthday or Christmas, and she’s bound to whip a page-long spreadsheet of gift ideas out of her purse.

But men, they’re different. They never seem to know what it is they really want, which leaves the rest of us completely stumped in the days leading up to Father’s Day.

And while I’m sure that I won’t wait until Saturday night to buy my father a gift -- I figured that I should throw that out there just in case he reads this column -- I’ve already seen far too many stores trying to push bad Father’s Day gifts onto unsuspecting shoppers.

So for those of you who haven’t gotten the memo on what not to get your dad this Father’s Day, take note:

·         The novelty necktie. Sure, your dad may chuckle at “Family Guy” reruns. But that doesn’t mean he wants to go to work with Stewie Griffin hanging from his neck. Classy neckwear can always be a great gift, but a man trying to conduct an office meeting while wearing a Donald Duck necktie will never be taken seriously.

·         The gift that’s really for you. Nearly 10 years ago, my mom completely duped my father -- who spends most of his free time on the computer -- into agreeing that he wanted a recliner and reading lamp to go into their bedroom. To this day, my mother spends most of her free time curled up, reading a book or watching television in “his” mauve recliner. Hilarious? Yes. But not completely fair to my dad. (Sorry, Mom.)

·         The “World’s Best Dad” certificate. If you’re around 5 to 7 years old, you might be able to pull this one off. Maybe. But for the rest of us, I think Dad would appreciate a gift that took a little more effort than just plopping down at the computer and clicking “Print.”

·         Big Mouth Billy Bass … or any gift that sings, dances and would amuse a 2-year-old. Aside from being annoying to anyone within earshot, this gift probably won’t last much more than a day before your mom decides to toss it out.

Of course there will be a dad who loves every single one of these items, but in general, these are the ones to avoid. But, hey, if your dad is into things like a ready-to-hang singing fish, then go for it.

Over the years, I’ve found that my dad seemed to just be happy with anything we gave him -- or at least he said he was happy with the gifts. For most fathers, it’s really the thought that counts.

So Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there. Here’s hoping that you don’t get another macaroni-glue craft project from your 19-year-old son.