A Dad’s Guide To Father’s Day

At last, it’s our turn. We celebrated Mother’s Day in May, with a thoughtful card, flowers, and a few well-intended gifts.

I’m a relatively new Dad and this is only my second Father’s Day. I’ve learned that most of us Dads are a peculiar bunch, combining pride and ambition for our offspring, with nerve-wracking fears that we’re missing a key moment to educate, or will irrevocably scar the poor child by missing a subtle non-verbal need for assistance, resulting in years of psychotherapy during adulthood. She’s probably fine though.

We’re trying our best to raise a loving, happy soul. We get up early, we wake up in the night, straining our ears for signs of movement, and have developed a sixth sense for sharp corners, potentially rabid animals, and devastatingly lethal pointy toys.

It seems a little self-indulgent to provide this list of gifts that would make this Father’s Day a real treat, as all I really want is some guarantee that my daughter will continue to be as happy and cared for as she has been this far.

For Father’s Day this year, I’ve been flipping between having a nice quiet day to relax and to get on with some reading or catching up on Doctor Who episodes, or spending time with my family. Of course, when sanity hits, the latter is by far the preferable option. In any case, I’m going to treat this as an opportunity for sharing my wish list. So here are a list of shiny things that I’ve had my eye on all year, but couldn’t justify buying for myself, and wouldn’t be sad if I received them all in either a Christmas stocking or hand-delivered pile of presents. I’m not fussy.


Tile Mate

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Ever lost your wallet when you’re already late? Dropped your keys while on a picnic and you’re already packed up and back at the car? Me too. Which is why I want the new version of the old whistle-to-beep key ring gadget.

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The Tile Mate goes on your keys, luggage, car, baby, or backpack and helps you find them with the magical power of Bluetooth. They’ll also work in reverse if you find your Tile but can’t find your phone, even if it’s on silent.


A Turntable (and some records)

Records are back in a huge way. Records actually outsold CD sales in the US last year, which is a huge deal for all those small record stores who clung on through the cassettes, CDs, and even the mini-discs. Then came live streaming and the end was in sight, until hipsters and music-lovers united and brought back the living room must-have, a turntable.

This isn’t your Dad’s old record player though, today’s offerings are complete with bluetooth to speakers, USB recording from your old records to your PC and impressive audio quality.

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Gadhouse Brad Vintage Record Player 3-speed Turntable Built in Bluetooth

The Gadhouse Brad Vintage ($119 on in retro green is a pretty nice looking blend between old style and new tech – and I love mine.  Feeling generous? Get a few records too. Here are some classics, via Amazon:


A DJI Spark Drone

Of course I’d love a drone. These things are amazing and I’d love to be able to do some aerial shots of some of the beautiful scenery here in Vancouver, BC.

The DJI Spark is the latest mini-drone, but is packed full of features, including gesture control, a 12pm camera and active-tracking, which means if you’re surfing, running, snowboarding, or running from bears, the drone will capture every second of it. And to be honest, a video of you running from bears would be pretty epic.


I love to read. Making this a priority, or actually being able to keep my eyes open long enough to read a few pages before bed is another issue. For those times where I make myself (am made to) sit in one spot long enough, a good book is perfect. I usually pour over James Bond or Sherlock Holmes novels, or try to look clever while getting through a brief history rundown, there’s nothing nicer than getting something really, really funny.

Dad is Fat, is written by comedian Jim Gaffigan. He shares his stories from life with five children. “…everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.” – Amazon

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All gifts aside, what I’d really like is a little card with a few crayon scribbles from my lovely daughter. It’s my time with her that I cherish the most and will always remember and hold onto as she grows older and I stop becoming her “Daddy” and evolve into the taxi driver, the bank, and the landlord. To me she’ll always be as precious as she is now and I can’t get enough of her.

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  1. Danielle Gould

    May 31, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Great ideas! I think my dad would love to have a drone. My husband is only a father to our crybabies but he really needs the tile device as he is always losing his stuff!

  2. Cara

    May 31, 2017 at 3:03 am

    These are some great ideas for Fathers Day. I think my dad would like the tile mate or the book.

  3. Lynn Woods

    May 31, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Your daughter is so cute! These are great choices. My Dad would like the Tile Mate.

    1. jamesrcsmith

      May 31, 2017 at 5:48 am

      Yeah it’s really useful. And if you can’t find your phone but have your keys, just press the tile and the phone starts singing!

  4. Sharon Collie

    May 31, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I struggle so much trying to figure out what to get my partner from our daughter on fathers day! Thanks to you I think I have it sussed this year!

  5. Kelly

    May 31, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I’d want the record player but I’m pretty sure the sir would want the drone!

    1. James

      May 31, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Get them both and say the record player is for him too! 😉

  6. Debbie S.

    June 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Hoping you have a wonderful Father’s Day! The Dad’s on my list would love a drone for sure.

  7. Sou

    June 10, 2017 at 6:19 am

    These are fantastic ideas.

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