Fathers' Day Gift Guide

07/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Fathers' day is a tricky one. Unlike moms, who are often very receptive to the fool proof formula of flowers or fancy soaps, dads can be a bit harder to please. Most father's day gift guides revolve around a presumed love of golf, or whiskey, or ties. The thing is, not all dads golf and very few are fanatical enough about the sport to appreciate golf-themed paraphernalia. Same goes for whiskey and ties.

My father, for example, is notoriously hard to impress with presents, in part because he is constantly trying to eradicate clutter from his house. It seems like most dads -- and most of us -- could do with a little less clutter this year, a little less stuff. There are so many gifts that you can give your dad that cost nothing or nearly nothing, that will likely please him every bit as much as a cookie-cutter bottle of aftershave. This year, instead of plonking down a hefty sum on designer alcohol or an impractical silky caravate, consider a slightly more off-beat -- dare I say holistic? -- token of your love and appreciation. A few years ago my brothers and I came up with the ultimate gift solution for our dad (who's birthday is in early July, making him a prime candidate for a 2-for-1 fathers' day-birthday gift.) We built raised beds in his backyard and planted him a garden of tomatoes, cukes and herbs, which we we replant each summer with new seedings as his gift. Works a charm!

Most likely, anything you give your dad will mean something to him, especially if you tuck in a nice card or even head over to spend the day with him. But here are a few gift suggestions that might mean more to him than something he could pick up himself next time he's in the airport at duty free. It's the thought that counts -- so try and really put some thought into it, and give your dad whatever it is that will make him smile.

Meaningful Gift Guide For Fathers Day

We want your Father's Day Stories! Tell us about what your father means to you.