While I understand that the holiday spirit is supposed to be about giving and not receiving, allow me this chance to clarify something for dads everywhere before everyone finishes their Christmas shopping: We don’t need another tie. Believe it or not, dads are perfectly capable of tie-shopping on our own, and more often than not, we tend to be sort of picky about the ties we’ll wear. I get it: dads are tough to shop for and, I’ll also admit, we aren’t really the target demographic for holiday cheer. But we still like to know that you’re thinking about us amid all the holiday-hubbub.
Us dads are working our butts off all throughout the holidays — hanging decorations, taxiing family members to and from the airport, sneaking off on shopping trips, and wrapping presents after dark. We don’t do all that stuff for gifts, of course; we do it for our families. But that doesn’t mean we’d turn down a really cool present if it showed up under the tree on Christmas morning.
This year don’t give the man in your life another generic “dad gift.” Get him something he could really use. Or at least something he’ll want to use — because there’s never really a good meeting to wear a Looney Tunes tie to…
If you’re shopping for a guy that’s into military history, there aren’t many cooler gift ideas out there than a map from Battle Archives. These guys have a massive catalog of maps that were used to coordinate combat operations for the U.S. military dating back to the very establishment of our nation. These often come complete with the handwritten notes added by commanders in the field. Pick an era, a conflict, a battle or a location that’ll really hit home for added effect. From maps of battles that took place in the American soil during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to maps of Baghdad, Battle Archives has something for every war nerd.
For the Whiskey Drinker: Crate Club’s Wet Bar Kit
After a long holiday season full of Christmas shopping, end of year reports and extended family outstaying their welcome, nobody can blame dad for wanting a drink. That’s where the Crate Club Wet Bar kit can make all the difference. Dad can water down his favorite whiskey with the bullet-shaped whiskey chillers that don’t just chill his beverage… they look awesome while doing so. The kit also includes a glass, leather coasters, and a Snake Eaters Union whiskey topper that he can use to cap the bottle between belts.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to be discussing ballistic protection that can be slipped into your backpack. But being a prepared dad or husband means taking the world as it is, not as you’d prefer it to be. ShotStop’s line of ballistic inserts offers a wide range of protection (from small arms fire to 7.62) without breaking the bank. Their most interesting (and easy to hide) ballistic insert may be their BallisticBoard — an aesthetically pleasing, standard sized clipboard that weighs in at just 1.3 pounds while offering heavyweight protection. This little clipboard will stop small arms fire and, thanks to its oversized clip, can be slid into the front of your shirt and clipped onto the collar for a bit of worst-case-scenario protection.
For the Frequent Traveler: SOFREP’s Car Safety Kit
Whether it’s a long commute to work or frequent road trips for fun, any dad that spends a lot of time on the road could use SOFREP’s Car Safety Kit. One purchase gets you side-of-the-road essentials like a seat belt cutter, an emergency first aid kit housed inside an ammo can, a tourniquet, an emergency vest and for the worst of highway emergencies… a GI WAG Bag (for those times when a bathroom is just a few miles too far to reach). The holidays are all about showing that you care — and few things show that better than a kit that could save someone’s life.
For the New Dad: High Speed Daddy’s Tactical Diaper Bag
I’m not really a fan of tactical-dad stuff as a novelty, but when it comes to practicality, it’s hard to beat the gear offered by High Speed Daddy. Their tactical diaper bag inherits a lot of its pragmatism from the traditional utilitarian duty bags it’s based on, with some noteworthy additions like an easy-access baby-wipe pouch and insulated side pouches for bottles (that just so happen to perfectly fit Red Bulls as well, if you’re anything like me and dependent on them to keep up with your kids). I’ve been rocking a High Speed Daddy bag for almost two years now and it’s proven easy to manage, easy to clean and easy to use anywhere from a crowded playground to the deep woods of Georgia.
For the Dad That Has Everything: A Subscription to Crate Club
Some guys are so good at shopping for themselves that they become really tough targets when the holidays roll around. But don’t worry. The Crate Club has you covered. With quarterly and annual crate options starting at just $49.99, you can let Crate Club’s team of military and special operations veterans worry about the shopping for you. All you have to do is sign your loved one up and wait for the Crate Club to do the rest. Before you know it, Crates full of survival, tactical and adventure gear will start arriving right at his door — because the only people that could do a better job than Santa at picking presents on Christmas day are America’s most elite war fighters.