Dad is notoriously the difficult person on your holiday gift list. Here are a few gifts that might please.
Only suitable for guys who do wear ties, but this one will make a unique tie that the man of the family can wear as a conversation piece. Lion Yarn has an easy free pattern for download.
You will need three yards denim, a grommet tool, and grommets. Cut a piece of denim, 24 inches width by about 1/3 of Dad’s belt length. Fold in half, stitch down the open long side and across one end. Turn. Press the fourth side under to form a hemmed edge, and stitch all around it. Cut a piece of denim 4 inches wide by Dad’s belt length, plus twelve inches. Fold in half, stitch down one side to make a long tube. Turn, press flat, stitch the ends closed. Position one edge of the big piece in the middle of the long piece. Sew the long tube piece to the big piece. Stitch a rectangle on the skinny piece to help hold it securely. (It will fasten around dad’s waist.) Cut a piece of fabric 8 inches by the length of the big piece. Hem one edge. Press the other three edges flat, position the piece so that the hemmed edge is near the belt-tie piece. Stitch around the pressed edge of the 8-inch fabric, then stitch up from the bottom to the top, leaving the hemmed edge open. This forms pockets for nails or tools. Tack all the corners with grommets. This will help the apron withstand heavy use. Add a bib to turn it into a BBQ apron.
Pointed sleep hat
Accompany this with a copy of the Night Before Christmas – it’s a joke gift, but it can also keep ears warm. Using an existing hat, crochet or knit a tube that is the same size around as dad’s hat band and twelve or eighteen inches long. Slip a length of yarn through the end of the tube, and pull it tight to close it. Add a tassel. Crochet strings to add to the open end. These are for tying to keep the hat on. This is an easy project for a youngster who is learning to crochet. It is an intermediate project for a young knitter as it requires a round needle or four double pointed needles to execute. You can find basic crochet stitches here, and basic knitting stitches here.
Save glass jars with lids. Fill each jar with assorted dried legumes, rice, and pasta that can go together to make a basic soup base. Fill one jar with beef bouillon crystals or cubes, and another with chicken. Visit your local whole foods store, and look for dried vegetables and spice mixes, as well. (This is pretty cool for mom, too, or even for the kid that has just moved out on their own.)
Gifts can be useful, they can be funny or practical. But they should always be from the heart and should keep the taste of the recipient in mind.