Gift ideas for Dads & grads

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Last week I had gift ideas for Moms and teachers, but the gift giving season isn't over yet.  Dads and grads come next.  Graduation happens in late May and Father's Day is June 20th, which will get here before you know it.  So, I did a little more shopping in hopes of saving you a little money with a lot of gift ideas. 

Most Unique
If you want to splurge on your dear Dad or handy husband this year, I found a very unique gift idea from a website called Excitations.com.  The Born To Be Wild package lets you rent a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for 24 hours and also comes with scenic destination recommendations, a helmet, locks and area maps.  This is truly a gift that he will never forget!   The website quotes that this gift starts at $200.  I also noticed that the site offers ATV tours, stock car rides and drives and outdoor karting packages. 

Kodak has a rugged, yet pocket-size HD video camera that even shoots underwater called the Playsport.  For the Dad or grad that you want to splurge on, this camera will set you back $150 and allows the user to edit and share quickly on sites like YouTube and Facebook.  Get the Playsport at kodak.com, Best Buy and Amazon.com.

Gifts Under $50
One of my favorite finds is the Cool Bar that sells for $49.88 at Sam's Club.  Several colors are featured including a bright red and muted green.  It is like a cooler, party table and coffee table all in one.  To see what one looks like, check out my segment.  We bought one and it worked great in our backyard not only keeping cold drinks handy, but also functioning as a place for folks to stand around and visit.  I think a lot of Dads who plan to grill or swim this season will dig this.  And grads may also appreciate this because it is small, looks nice and will complement their college parties perfectly.

For the sports nut, Frontgate.com has some interesting options.  The Football ScoreCast looks like an alarm clock, but is actually a device that displays current football scores and standings, so that the avid fan can check team stats.  Your Dad or hubby can also check the season schedule at a glance.  So, if you have a guy who loves his football, but has to travel a lot, this device can be easily packed in his suitcase or he can keep it on his desk for up to the minute scores.  The ScoreCast sells for $49.50 and FrontGate also offers similar electronics that display real-time weather forecasts and stock market tracking.

For the entertaining Dad, the Metrokane Rabbit Wine 7-piece Corkscrew Tool Kit is one of my favorites.  Bed, Bath & Beyond sells this item that makes opening and serving wine a breeze for $49.99.  I have had mine for one year and now my husband and I open wine for guests with ease. In the past when I used my old fashioned wine opener, I have pinched my skin or watched part of the cork plunge into the pretty wine.  College graduates will also appreciate this smart gift.

Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe is a great local shop for thoughtful gift ideas for grads and Dads.  For the graduate, I found Yoga-Paws that sell for $34.95. Unique and portable, they are like gloves and pads for your feet that replace a big yoga mat.  Plus they easily fit in a purse or travel bag.  Lined with absorbent material, the paws prevent slipping and discomfort from excess sweating.  Most graduates will be moving into a small space, so the Yoga-Paws enable easy storage and encourages continued exercise through that infamous Freshman 15 first year!  If you are not familiar with that term, it refers to the 15 pounds that the average college freshmen gains during that first year away from home.

Gifts Under $25
I recently threw the hockey season ender party at our home and I decided to order our Coach's favorite candy from Canada.  He loved the gesture and his wife tells me that he has been enjoying the candy ever since!  His favorites are called Smarties and Wine Gum, which resemble our M&Ms and gummy bears.  I found the candy on line at a website called Panhandle Premium Candy Company.  Go to panhandlepremium.com to order your sweetie's sweets.  Another great local store for all kinds of candy are the Water & Ice stores.  Ahwatukee has a location on Desert Foothills Parkway & Chandler Blvd. that carries candy from the old days as well, so you can fill a basket with his favorite treats from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and more.  Tasty and inexpensive! 

For $19.99 you can create a customized clip board for Dad by uploading your favorite photo either at the drug store or online at www.walgreens.com.  This is also a great idea for a team coach appreciation gift and a clip board is something useful.
Chalktalksports.com is another unique site that sells sports candy, games, pillowcases, watches and more in all kinds of sports themes.  For fun, I got my husband hockey puck gum and hockey quiz cards because he is an avid supporter of our son's hockey team.  So, they can now chew the hockey puck gum and play the cards together.  The Chalk Talk Hockey What's The Score Hockey Quiz Cards sell for under $5 and the gum goes for $6.99 for a set of 4 packs filled with 17 pieces each.  These items and more come in all different sports themes.

When shopping for graduation gifts, consider looking in your local party store.  Although I only go in there for party supplies, I have noticed that they have a good gift aisle with reasonable prices. 

Changing Hands Bookstore also has the Your Time to Shine and Sparkle delicate necklace that sells for $12.99, which is a perfect gift for a graduating girl.

Pampering Presents
With all of the stress that Dads and grads are feeling along with everyone else these days, consider giving a gift of comfort.  For Dad, give him an old fashioned foot rub.  For the graduate pack a care basket with items from home.  See the one I made in the segment filled with soaps from local vendors that include bars called Flagstaff, Desert Aloe and Arizona Verde Springs soap. I also threw in a staple that I keep in my freezer called the Gal Pal Retro Ice Bag.  Just fill with ice cubes and keep in the freezer and if your graduate has a bruise, headache or as the package says, a hangover, this bag comes to the rescue.  I originally ordered mine from my daughter's school fund raiser gift catalog, but I found them at Changing Hands Bookstore for $14.99.  This ice pack has been a life saver in our household.  I think just the sight of it comforts my kids when they are looking for relief after an injury.

So, for all of you Dads and grads out there, I wish you a happy day.  And for all of you shoppers looking for something unique on a shoestring budget, here is hoping that I found something special for your special person.  And remember it is truly the thought that counts, so you don't have to spend a lot to say a lot.