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