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Father's Day gifts dad really wants

Friday - 6/15/2012, 11:39am  ET

According to TechBargains, gifts that get the family involved are best for Father's Day. It suggests tickets to a sporting event. (WTOP File)

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Nathan Hager,

WASHINGTON - Father's Day is this Sunday, so if you haven't bought a card or gift for Dear Old Dad yet, it's getting close to the last minute.

The problem with Father's Day is there isn't an easy, go-to gift that'll express in one small gesture how much your Old Man means to you.

Mother's Day is simple. Send mom a nice bouquet, and she'll at least pretend to be grateful for the gesture.

For Father's Day, on the other hand, if you send dad another coffee mug or necktie he doesn't need, he'll probably make no bones about letting you know just how much he doesn't need it.

A recent survey cited by SmartMoney magazine finds nearly two in three dads would rather get nothing at all for Father's Day than another tie.

On the other hand, (and perhaps surprisingly, given the cliché that the best Father's Day gift is letting Dad have control of the TV remote) that same survey finds five in six dads would rather have dinner with the family this Sunday than a night alone in the man cave.

That may explain SmartMoney's ideas for ideal Father's Day gifts. They're all about promoting more quality time with the man who helped bring you into this world.

Among the suggestions:

  • Daily deals from Groupon or LivingSocial. Groupon even has a section devoted to Father's Day, with deals on paintball outings, stock car driving experiences and hot lather shaves.
  • Tickets to a sporting event. Cheap ones are relatively easy to find on the Internet.
  • Family-friendly gadgets. Nintendo's Wii, for example, offers a wide variety of games that can include the whole family.

The National Retail Federation estimates the average person will spend $117 on Father's Day gifts this year.

That's 10 percent more than 2011, but still far less than the $152 the average American lavished on Mom last month for Mother's Day.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)