12 Days of Giveaways: Day 11: What to Buy Dad

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Thank you for your entries, and happy holidays! Here at XOXOAD, we love doing something special to usher in the holidays, and this year, we’re celebrating with 12 Days of Giveaways! Enter each day for your chance to win a different prize pack of books perfect for any reader—and we hope you get everything you wished for. Our eleventh day of giveaways is brought to you by Gallery Books senior editor Adam Wilson! To enter the contest, please leave a comment telling us a memorable gift you either gave or received from your dad, uncle, grandfather, or other difficult male.

I suppose it was only natural that being the resident dude (read: gentleman!) at XOXOAD I got asked to write the Gifts For Dad post for our holiday guide.

Natural, yes. Helpful: unlikely.

Like many people, I’ve always struggled in shopping for gifts for the big poppa of the household. I’ve gone with ties, tools, uhm . . . ties . . . probably a high-five thrown in there once or twice when I forgot gift-giving was in order. Basically, it’s been horrible. I’ve been a horrible child. And with my dad’s birthday only a week before Father’s Day, I’m usually caught in a double bind. It means that in the same week he has to celebrate both the fact he’s getting old and that he raised a non-dad-gifting son.

In addition to this, my dad is a top-notch stocking stuffer at Christmas. And I mean top-notch. He’ll scour 99¢ stores the entire year to find the goofiest wind-up toys, the weirdest trick card decks, the tackiest McTackery. And then he’ll add in delicious Colorado beef- or moose- or elk- or venison-jerky to boot. And I’m like: here’s a . . . gift card for a hug.

egg cuberOnce he got an egg cuber for his own stocking—and then I took it! And now, on the average of once per week, I look at the top of my fridge, see it sitting there, and wonder why in the heck I was soooo enthusiastic about it at one point. (Yes, I even tried it once. It’s great, if you want a hardboiled egg that stays square for about 62 seconds and makes you feel like you’ve dirtied perfectly good food.)

So, what I’ve learned over the years is to do one of three things: 1) buy my dad a boatload of exotic jerky (when I’m already there at the jerk store) and beat him to the punch, 2) donate something in his name (I often do Heifer International myself), or 3) buy him a book about something he’s mentioned lately.

Yeah, I’m in publishing, so #3 is really not all that tough. Plus I get them for free. It’s a little weak on my end. But it’s the thought that counts . . . right?

While not all dads are like this, mine happens to enjoy both sports and sarcasm. To that end, I’m currently deciding whether to grab from the Gallery bookshelves the collection hilarious, bitter Brad Garrett essays, a memoir by NFL-player-cum-cruise-director Rob Gronkowski (both sporty and sarcastic, since we are Broncos family!), the informative work of sports radio jock Colin Cowherd, or a legal thriller by Adam Mitzner.

I’ll admit that in addition to Mr. Mitzner being a top-rate legal thriller author, I’m kind of hoping that maybe, just maybe, my dad will be confused enough to think I was the author and wrote it for him, finally giving him that fantastic Christmas present he deserves.

Happy shopping!


Today’s giveaways are:

When the Balls Drop by Brad Garrett

Losing Faith by Adam Mitzner

It’s Good To Be Gronk by Rob Gronkowski

Raw by Colin Cowherd

<< read previous read next >>
When the Balls Drop

When the Balls Drop

Brad Garrett

A refreshingly candid and wickedly funny look at life's second half from Everybody Loves Raymond TV sitcom star and comic Brad Garrett. In this no-holds-barred book of comedic and personal essays, Brad Garrett waxes hilarious--and irreverently honest--about the gaffes, challenges, and ultimately the joys of middle age as he advises us on how to best approach the dreaded "second half" of life.

Losing Faith

Losing Faith

Adam Mitzner

Adam Mitzner’s critically acclaimed legal thrillers have “more loops and flips than Coney Island’s Cyclone” (Kirkus Reviews) and “more twists than a California cloverleaf interchange” (Bookreporter). His latest, a captivating examination of justice and ethics, will leave you guessing until the last page.

It’s Good to Be Gronk

It’s Good to Be Gronk

Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski

It's Gronk's world...we just live in it.



Colin Cowherd

In his no-holds-barred, unapologetically controversial voice, New York Times bestselling author and ESPN radio show host Colin Cowherd gives an insider’s look into all things sports, including behind-the-scenes scandals, inter-team rivalries, and players’ lives on and off the field.



31 comments so far

  1. old used romance book. don’t know what they were thinking. I don’t remember if it was for Christmas or my Birthday gift.

  2. Hand made wooden jewelry box!

  3. My dad is so hard to shop for.Once for his stocking I got him bacon flavored tooth picks.

  4. Mbrowningasea

    It was only a few days before Christmas, and I wanted to attend a horse auction in Walnut, IL. As I hugged my father good-bye, these words echo in my mind. He said. ” you can buy all the tack that you want, but don’t you dare come home with another horse! ” I have a huge weakness for Arabian horses and while I was at the auction, I spotted an Arabian mare in very poor condition and in foal. She also had a foal at her side that was approximately 4-5 months old. The foal was so weak she couldn’t stand. I sat beside her gently petting her. I went to the vet clinic next door and asked Doc to please, come and look at her. He told me she wasn’t well, and she’d be lucky if she made it. I found the owner, which was a bank representative. He had repossessed the horses and only cared about the money. I made him an offer fully aware that I was not to bring another horse home. The banker refused my offer of $100. I went back to Doc’s clinic and called my dad. I told him about the foal, and the incident then Doc talked to him on the phone. Within thirty minutes, he arrived and wanted to see this sickly horse. Upon seeing her it took the hand of God to hold him back from wanting to beat the tar out of the banker as they negotiated payment on this little filly. My dad threw $75 at the man and told him he was lucky to get that. He picked up the little filly and laid her in the back of his Suburban where I sat with her on the way home. People say Christmas is a time of miracles. It just so happened that my mare had a foal that was the same age. I didn’t wean her at five months; I reckon when the mare was ready to wean her; she would do it naturally. Motherly instincts kicked in, and my mare accepted the new filly and surprisingly let her nurse. Her love, acceptance, and milk gave the filly strength to pull through. Doc come by to check on her and was amazed that she took her in. Over the years, the bond between my father and this little horse that shouldn’t have lived grew strong and wherever he went, she went. I don’t know if she was his Christmas gift, or he was her gift that year. She lived a long happy life free roaming the 60-acre farm.

    • Adam Wilson

      Wow! That is quite a story, and so inspiring to hear. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • This comment is making me tear up! Hooray for you and your dad!

    • NormaStar5

      Dear Mbrowningaesa,
      Truly wonderful! Your dad shown brightly his humanity – Yes! – He is an inspiration that when things look hopeless – Miracles step in to work.

      • NormaStar5

        Dear Mbrowningasea,

        Sorry I misspelled your name.

        Truly wonderful! Your dad shown brightly his humanity – Yes! – He is an inspiration that when things look hopeless – Miracles step in to work.

  5. Oh forgot to mention I used to always get oranges in my stocking.Which was amusing since I grew up on ranch where we grew oranges.I thought Santa was stealing our oranges and giving them to us.

  6. Girlwhocriedmurder

    Before he passed my Grandpa gave me a giant jar of pickles every Christmas. I do love pickles though.

  7. that would be my mom’s childhood roll top desk and chair that her grandfather made for her. My Great Grandfather was a jolly man whom I remember quite well. When we had the chance to visit he would always cut my brothers hair in a buzz cut!

  8. BookDivaReads

    When my parents retired a few years back, my siblings and I paid for a combined bday/holiday trip, one week in Vegas. Glad we did because a few months after Xmas, my dad went into kidney failure and began dialysis. The Vegas trip was their last big trip out-of-state.

  9. I made my Dad a yard ornament in my wood shop one year and it was the perfect gift at the time for him from me. Otherwise, I get him new release books because he loves to read.

  10. i once gave my brother, who is a big pittsburgh steelers fan, steelers game tix as his present. they were way more money than we usually spend on each other, but i knew they were something he would love. it was so funny to see his eyes light up and the look of disbelief cross his face when he realized what they were.

  11. NormaStar5

    When I moved in with my mother, the best thing I gave for Christmas for each of my three brothers and best friend Fr. Quintin was dress shirts with the ties-gift sets. Every year they would wait for it while my mother bought them, except Fr. Quintin, socks and underwear! Fr. Quintin would also get a handmade scarf (way too long) and would comment that it was like getting a gift from his mom (she was a knitter). My brother Juan also got a handmade scarf that he wore to strings. Father and Juan since passed away but I still feel happy to have done given them something warmly appreciated. Mom still remembers.

  12. Dragon_ladyjo

    My dad gave me a pearl earring , necklace, and bracelet set after my mom passed away. I don’t know if he actually picked it out or if he found it in moms stash of stuff hidden here and there ( she was a bit of a hoarder lol)

  13. Dad gave me Microsoft stock before Microsoft was really huge. I’m not rich, but it paid for college.

  14. A Caribbean cruise vacation for my Dad.

  15. Connie Fischer

    Since my father died when I was a baby, may I comment on things my boys have done for their Dad? They love teasing him and the gifts have been funny. The latest birthday gift my husband received from one of the boys is a coffee mug which says: COFFEE MAKES ME POOP! Oh, how he loves it! Not ever having a father in my life makes the relationships with my sons and their Dad very, very special to me.

  16. The most memorable gift from my dad was forgiveness of a somewhat sizable loan (which I’d been paying back as agreed). I’ll forever be grateful.

  17. gave my dad an old potato chip tin (Twin Pines) -his father used to be a milk man for the company

  18. My Dad gave me a turquoise ring that he actually picked out. He never bought gifts, he always left it up to my mom. I loved it. But my home was broken into and the ring was stolen.

  19. gave computer

  20. sjhendrix06

    My father passed away a 5 year ago 2 weeks after Christmas. I cannot remember what the last thing I bought him was. I remember getting him Timberland Boots one year. One year I bought my husband one of those things where you can name a star after a person.

  21. My most memorable gift was a Cinderella wrist watch. It signaled that I wasn’t a child anymore and I was on the verge of womanhood.

  22. In the good ole days, my husband used to give me jewelry for Christmas!! Happy holidays!!

  23. My family isn’t very big on showing affection so the very first time my dad gave me a great big hug and told me he loved me on Christmas was very special to me.

  24. I got a homo connective joint for my car from my boyfriend once…he wrapped it and everything…I said what the heck is this. He said you really need it. Sigh..not the most romantic thing I ever got.

  25. When I was little, I used to until my grandfathers shoes and tie them together. He warned me to stop doing it or I would get his shoes for Christmas. I did. I cried.

  26. We used to get play dough for Christmas, and we would make deserts for a tea party. My dad always pretended to eat the cakes and drink the tea.

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