Lifestyle & Culture

Last-Minute (mostly) Father’s Day Gifts

Make a guy’s day with, clockwise, from left to right: a colorful pickle ball paddle, a tumbler that will hold 20 ounces of his liquid of choice, a tangy, smoky barbecue sauce, a grill pan for veggies and a boost of caffeine from New Orleans’ Café Du Monde. 

By Janet Kelly

TO THE companies that have sent me e-mails asking if I’d prefer not to receive their Father’s Day–related gift suggestions because of any sensitivity on the subject, here’s my reply-all message: Stop! We grown-up girls can handle it. My contemporaries and I may no longer have fathers, but we do have men in our lives—sons, sons-in-law, grandsons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, friends—whom we’d like to celebrate. To that end, see my suggestions below. (If not noted, expect delivery in time for Father’s Day.)

First published in 1974, the new edition of this guide ($14.99) to the mental side of the game by sports psychologist Gallwey offers tips on how to overcome nerves and self-doubt, concentrate and improve skills with smart practice. The ideas apply to athletes in general but also to anyone who wants to step up their performance in any activity. Check local bookstores for copies or order now from Amazon Prime for delivery this Friday.

For the guy in your crowd who’s a mosquito magnet, the Bug Bite Thing  ($9.95) works on bites from menacing mosquitoes,  no-see-ums and chiggers—and bee and wasp stings by removing insect venom with suction. A handy-dandy weapon that’s compact, lightweight and easy to carry.

Grandpa will love watching the rotating display of photos that can be uploaded from a smart phone to Aura’s Carver, WiFi-connected picture frame with a 10.1-inch landscape display. Although he might need help from the younger generation on using the free Aura app, he’ll be able to add unlimited photos and videos to fill the frame. Screen brightness and photo cropping are adjustable. The frame, which turns off automatically at night, sells for $149. Delivery expected within three business days.

For your favorite barbecue meister, head to the grocery store to create a basket of goodies for the grill. Don’t forget to include Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce, a tangy tomato, vinegar, molasses and black pepper concoction made from scratch by Christopher B. Stubblefield, who learned to cook while serving in the 96th Field Artillery, the US Army’s last all-black army infantry, in the Korean War. After managing two barbecue-based restaurants in Texas, “Stubb” began bottling his sauces and selling them to grocery stores in the 1990s. The company was sold to McCormick in 2015. An 18-ounce bottle is $6.99.


Speaking of grilling, All-Clad’s 11-inch square stainless-steel basket with its large perforations for circulating heat is ideal for cooking vegetables and adding smoky flavor to food. Large handles make it easy to move and carry. Reduced from $105 to $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma, delivery is not expected until late June. A less expensive option is Weber’s 30-inch Deluxe Grilling Basket (13.8 x 11.8 x 2.5 inches), which sells for $30.99 and should arrive in time.

My own special guy loves popcorn. I’ve heard good things about Amish Country Popcorn, so I plan to treat him with the company’s Baby White kernels. I won’t tell him it’s gluten-free, vegan and has no preservatives. A two-pound bag sells for $9.99 and may be popped in a saucepan on the stove or in a freestanding popcorn machine.

Replace his old plastic digital alarm clock with a minimalist design (6 inches wide and 3 inches high) that not only tells time and date, works as an alarm with LED lights, and has an adjustable brightness display, but also announces the day’s temperature and humidity level. Available in bamboo, brown, black, and white, it sells for $23.99.

Satisfy the caffeine cravings of your favorite cousin who loves a strong, French roast coffee. Make his mornings better with New Orleans’ best from Café Du Monde. Sold by Amazon and made from a blend of 100% Arabica beans, three 13-ounce cans sell for $39.78. Sorry, no beignets included.

If he keeps talking about taking up pickle ball, surprise him with Nettie’s Ashbury paddle ($79.99). Named after the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco with its big bay windows and colorful streets, it’s lightweight (7½ ounces) and durable, has a cushioned grip to limit stress on hands and elbows, and a fiberglass face that helps with ball control. A two-pack set with two paddles, two balls and two sweatbands sells for $149.99.


The 20-ounce Rambler Tumbler with a slider lid that uses magnets for opening and closing is made from stainless steel with a no-fade color-coded finish. Double-wall vacuum insulation keeps cold drinks cold and hot ones hot for hours. The Rambler is dishwasher-safe and fits in most car cup holders. Available in 33 colors, it sells for $35.

With this portable rocking chair that folds flat for storage, fathers and sons can comfortably cheer on their soccer-playing granddaughters and daughters. Constructed from powder-coated steel, this foldable chair can handle up to 250 pounds and includes padded armrests, a mesh backrest, and beverage holder. It comes in gray, black and two shades of royal blue for $75.

“What’s a packraft?” I cluelessly asked my husband’s adventure-loving cousins at a family gathering. Duh—it’s a raft that can fold up small enough to fit in a backpack, such as Alpacka’s 3.6-pound Scout. It’s just the watercraft for summer trips to the local lake or for floats on a nearby river. According to the company website, it can be shipped in one to two business days. It sells for a splurge-y $775.

MyLittleBird often includes links to products we write about. Our editorial choices are made independently; nonetheless, a purchase made through such a link can sometimes result in MyLittleBird receiving a commission on the sale. We are also an  Amazon Associate.

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