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The excellent Anchoress reminds me, and everyone else, that Father’s Day is coming, and that monk-roasted coffee makes a terrific gift.

But what else? An uninspired gift-giver myself, I’ve often thought that the truly sane approach to Father’s Day would be to wait for some necktie wholesaler to go out of business, buy up all their stock, and just pull out a new tie every year. If you’ve got them in a gigantic box in the upstairs closet, you can’t possibly forget, right? You’ll never sit bolt upright in bed at 3 a.m. on that fatal Sunday in June, thinking, Ohhhhhh, no. Not that I mention this out of any particular personal experience or anything, mind you.

Anyway, if the tie idea appeals — and you know, they’ve got to wear them — you might check out the Life of Christ line of neckties from

The paterfamilias in my house is strictly a scapular-wearing guy — that and a wedding ring. No other adornments, thank you very much (besides ties, I mean). So he wouldn’t wear this, but I think it’s kind of neat.

Here’s a handy list of Father’s Day crafts for children to make.

I asked the paterfamilias in my house what book he would most like to receive for Father’s Day, and his choice was Liberty or Equality by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. The graduate student living with us, who is not a father but nevertheless represents another manly taste under my roof, voted for Pope Benedict XVI’s Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions. Alternatively, you could investigate the book selections at I don’t know anything about any of them, but one never knows, does one.

Finally, what about this “DAD Greeting Card Voice Frame” from SpeedCreed?

The three-in-one frame features a photo holder, a greeting card holder, and a voice recorder. It offers three different greeting cards to choose from. In addition, a 10-second message can be recorded to make this a truly unique and wonderful gift! The frame features a sentiment inspired by 2 Corinthians 7:4.

I’m interested in the fact that the inscription isn’t a Bible verse, but a “sentiment inspired by” a Bible verse. But what I really like about this item is the voice-recorder feature. How about ten seconds of a little voice going, “Dad? Dad? Dad? Dad? Dad? Dad? . . . ”

All right, now I’m supposed to slap on a rating, but how do I do that? Except for the books, I can’t decide how serious any of these suggestions are. And I would certainly welcome better (or weirder) ones.

Can’t make up my mind. [Rating: 50/100]

UPDATE: Well, I’ve made a muddle of this post. I started out with the idea of serious recommendations, like the coffee, which I do think would make a terrific gift. My husband would appreciate it, at any rate. When you go looking for follow-up ideas, however, and you google a phrase like “Christian Father’s Day” . . . well, you get what you get. I will also confess to a degree of ambivalence about greeting-card holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day: I’m the queen every day, is what I say, which makes him the king just as often.

I agree with my commenter that the ties are tacky — that’s definitely not a serious recommendation — but do they border on the blasphemous? Is this true of any article of clothing displaying, for example, the names of Jesus? People wear these things out of piety, after all, not a desire to mock the living God. If anything, I sometimes wonder if my own squeamishness about things like this isn’t far more suspect than someone else’s desire to wear them, reflecting less a superior aesthetic than a certain weenieness. Why do I cringe? I’m not sure, and I’m not prepared to stake my life on my impulse to cringe. There’s moral relativism, and then there’s the relativism of taste, and I’m not sure the two are on the same level, at least not all the time. I am not at all convinced that a “Names of Jesus” tie is the first step towards a clown mass, though it wouldn’t necessarily be a preventative, either.

But no, the ties and the picture-frame thingy are not serious recommendations. Craft ideas for children, on the other hand, I personally welcome, though we generally tweak things we find online for our own uses.

In fact, I can predict with some certainty that Father’s Day at my house will involve a bunch of homemade crafty things of dubious use in objective reality, and a steak dinner made by me. Probably no ties, unless I see a nice one in the Good Neighbor thrift shop up the street — he does like ties, as it happens, and I’m actually pretty good at picking them out. Besides, at the Good Neighbor Shop they’re fifty cents apiece, which is my kind of price.

More on: Other Holidays, Men

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