Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Father’s Day Gift Giving Ideas
With Father’s Day less than a week away and if you are like me and have procrastinated longer than usual on gift buying, I hope you will find these gift suggestions helpful. In the quest to find the perfect gift for not only my husband but also my father I headed out in Downtown Burlington with some ideas in mind. I would soon find out however, that there is so much more to choose from than I had considered.
My dad is notoriously hard to buy for. With the onset of “old age”, he has given up most of his hobbies and activities in favor of a life of relaxation. My go-to stop for his gifts is the LCBO as nothing goes better with a little relaxation then a libation. Back in the day my dad was an avid golfer and I thought that it would be a fun twist to get him some wine from Mike Weir’s winery. The knowledgeable staff at the Village Square location recommended the Mike Weir Sauvignon Blanc featured in their Vintages magazine. This white is described as crisp and refreshing with green apple, tropical fruit and citrus, perfect for a lazy afternoon on the deck. Some other Ontario Vintage considerations for the wine-loving dad include Wayne Gretzky’s Cabernet Merlot or Chardonnay (and you could win dinner with Walter Gretzky), Malivoire Guilty Men Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot or Megalomaniac Homegrown Riesling which is getting great reviews from many of the restaurateurs that I know. If you can’t decide an LCBO gift card is always appreciated and come in your choice of denominations.
With my dad crossed off the list, it was on to my husband who presents his own unique set of shopping challenges. But I digress my goal is to help you.
Do you live with a music-lover? If this is your man then Looney Tunes on Brant Street is the perfect place to go. Unlike the big box stores, this small shop in Downtown Burlington is packed with new and used CD’s and Vinyl. The staff here knows their stuff; they have a passion for music and can share some cool and interesting tidbits on as you peruse the store. I spent some time in the vinyl section checking out everything from punk to jazz (they’ve got it all!) and came upon the Beatles Abbey Road album which, according to staff, is the only title currently available in vinyl. This store is not fancy (think of the record store in Pretty in Pink) but it is a must visit music shopping stop, especially for those hard to find rarities and special orders.
Any woman will tell you that when it comes to fashion they are usually leading the charge and trying to get their man to step out of his fashion comfort zone. My husband is no exception to the rule and “likes what he likes” however, he can be stylish and comfortable and my visit to Jeff’s Guy Shop on Brant Street showed me how. For me shopping is an experience. For my husband shopping is a once or twice a year necessity so when I walked into Jeff’s Guy Shop (located in the back of Joelle’s) I was ready to break out the credit card and re-style my guy. The selection is great, the brands are top quality and the staff can help you create a look that is right for you. I had a great chat with David and he gave me two great suggestions for Father’s Day gift giving. The first is shorts, which are a staple. David showed me a great line of lightweight cargos by Jet Lag that come in a wide variety of colours and patterns so you can go neutral (for hubbies like mine) or step it up with some vibrant hues. These shorts look great paired with a plain tee for casual wear or, dress them up with a patterned top like David in this shot.
The second item is from Borje Salming (yes the former Leaf defenseman) whose line of under and active wear has made him the Lululemon ™ of Scandinavia. Jeff’s Guy Shop carries the Salming underwear which is proving to be very popular with their shoppers. Joelle tells me the men start with one pair and like them so much they come back and buy a week’s worth. The comfort fit boxer has a modern look and comes in a variety of colours and patterns. At Jeff's Guy Shop, you can build an entire outfit or pick up a few pieces, but one thing is certain, if you are looking for personalized service and excellent quality in the heart of downtown then you have to stop here.
If you are like me and have a guy that likes to cook, then a visit to Stir Kitchen Store is in order. Located on Brant Street in the downtown, this store is a playground for home chefs and backyard grillers. With a wide variety of high-quality and unique cooking products it’s hard to choose just one gift idea. There are BBQ tools, a really cool set of whiskey stones (so your aficionados drink is not diluted by melting ice), knifes, cookware and so much more! The one item that was recommended to me was the Lodge Logic line of cast iron cookware. This cookware is pure cast iron and pre-seasoned plus the more you use it the more seasoned it will get. As a layman in the kitchen I could never understand what difference your cookware made but after speaking with the staff at Stir Kitchen, it’s starting to make sense. This line of cast iron will get incredibly hot and hold the heat plus it durable and can be used stovetop, in the oven or on the grill. This father’s day pick up a few steaks and try out your new favourite pan!
Is your guy still drinking out of a glass he bought in University? Art Etc. Gallery Shop at The Burlington Art Centre has a line of one of a kind, re-cycled glassware perfect for dad’s beverages. Created by Artech Glass Blowing Studios in Tory Hill, Ontario this glassware is made from beer, Crown Royal and wine bottles. Fun and unique yet manly, these beer glasses will be the hit of the party or choose a decanter and shot glasses for something a bit more sophisticated. The shop also carries a wide range of ceramics including sturdy coffee mugs which would be perfect for the stylish coffee drinker. The great thing about the Art Etc. Gallery Shop is that it supports local, regional and Canadian artisans that create unique and collectible pieces.
For the outdoor enthusiast there is no better place to shop in Burlington than Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). This store is home to everything you could imagine and probably a few things you didn’t for cycling, camping, paddling and more. The expert staff doesn’t just sell the product; they use it which gives them a real perspective on function and fit. I could fill a blog with gift ideas from MEC but in keeping with narrowing things down and keeping the price point moderate I will leave you with two suggestions. For guys like mine that like to be prepared the Leatherman multi-tool is a great gift choice. As the name suggests it has multiple tools that can be opened with one-hand, a large bit driver and scissors that can cut through cloth, plastic and paper (this would be great for moms too!) plus it comes with a 25 year warranty. But that’s not all; in stock now is a version that also includes a bit kit and flashlight for the same price as the tool alone. If your guy is more of a weekend warrior then consider the MEC Chilli Cooler. This lightweight cooler will maintain a cold interior temperature to ensure that your food and beverage are ready to use even when you are out on the hottest days. There is an integrated bottle opener so you’ll never be without, and from what I hear it will comfortably hold a 12-pack of your preferred beverage. The store manager, Anita also shared this handy tip. Fill four 1L water bottles half-way and freeze them, then use them as icepacks in your cooler and as they thaw you can stay hydrated with some cool H2O.
We would be remise if we didn’t give consideration to things like dining out at one of Burlington’s great restaurants – check out some dining ideas on our website. Send the duffer out to one of our many golf courses or for the impossible to buy for, a gift card from Mapleview Centre or Burlington Mall takes the guess work away.
I am not sure which of these gifts will end up wrapped and presented by my two little girls to their daddy and papa along with their handmade presents and cards. No matter what you give it’s always that it’s given with love that matters.
Happy Father’s Day