Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Man Way: Father's Day Gifts

Don't be this person.
If you can't afford to buy something, your time is valuable.
Father's Day (I always think it should be Fathers' day - isn't it the day for all fathers, not just one?) is coming up on June 16th, and since we are all adults here I don't think I need to get into the whole 'what not to buy' spiel. Instead I will get right onto what to buy for the paternal figures in our lives.

There are two parts of shopping the Man-Way, the Well-Met Way: the man part and the well part. The goal is to find things that a man will like but also have the socially-responsible or conscious aspect to it. That can come from things that help a cause, those that are locally produced (American-made or even more locally like right here in Wisconsin or Milwaukee), or things that reduce impact on or even help the environment. I have been keeping my eye out on various sources and listed here are my selections of things to buy or places to shop.


instead of a tie, get him
a hat from Brass Rooster
  • Get him an old-school shave at Shag Barbershop
  • Buy him a classic hat from Milwaukee's own Brass Rooster
  • Buy him a case of MKE Brewing beer, they are local and green
  • Take him to a class at Braise's Culinary School like their Whole Hog Butchering session, or Tequila tasting.
  • Get him a pint of Purple Door Whiskey ice cream. They use all local ingredients, are in a green building, and their 'super-premium' designation is well-deserved. If you can't fimd the Whisket flavor salted caramel, cinnamon, and espresso are all man-friendly flavors. 
  • Stormy Kromer was started by a Kaukauna, WI native baseball player and railroad engineeer and has stayed American owned and made since he started making his famous caps
  • Shinola products including watches, leather products like bags and folios, even bicycles all made in America (the bike frames are made right here in Wisconsin at Waterford Precision Cycles)
  • Kaufmann Mercantile has very man-friendly curated accessories, many of which are chosen for being American-made
  • Ball and Buck is all American-made and has a section of gifts under $50
  • If you won the lottery - buy him a Tesla, it's green and the Model S is the best tested car ever in Consumer Reports history
Wait a minute, did I just make my own wish list? I won't be getting any gifts for Father's Day but sure, if I was, I would like any and all of those things.

In the end, maybe he doesn't want more stuff, just wants to spend some time with you. Take him out or maybe donate to a cause he might have a passion for. As I often say here, the gift of giving can often be the best gift of all. For any gift-giving the saying goes that 'its the thought that counts'. I truly believe that and its not just that you thought to get the person something, but that you truly thought about what to get them. It's one thing to know what they like - a movie, character, team, or whatever - but its another thing to get a gift that includes that but they will also use. For example, I know my dad likes Speedy Gonzalez, but there's no point in me getting him Speedy band-aids or something just to prove I remembered. That just creates waste.

The biggest thing is to get him something he likes and will use, and from there you can probably add on some other meaningful aspect without too much trouble, which may just be giving him your time. Even if you can't get to see him, call.