Gift Guide

Fathers Know Best

Seattle dads want books, knives, and heartfelt handmade gifts.

By Laura Cassidy June 7, 2012

Would your dad look good in these?

When it comes to gift-giving, my message is always don’t make it any harder than it is. Case in point: Our poll of 15 Seattle dads yields lots of sweet sentiments and some fun ideas along with the reminder that dads just really like golf, baseball, and barbecuing.

Have fun with your Father’s Day Shopping, yes, but don’t overthink it.

Skillet founder and chef Joshua Henderson
Dad of: Huxley and Wallace
Favorite gift: Wally (who is four weeks old) hasn’t been able to access any cash yet, so that hurts my chances. But in all reality, I love any time that he smiles at me, and any time that Huck gives me a real hug. Those are Father’s Day gifts that happen all the time.
Top gift picks: Well, aside from the bacon jam we sell at Skillet, what I have been into recently is perfecting the Tartine bread book. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Matt Brown, director of sales at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club
Dad of: Eleven-month-old Hudson
Top gift picks: Tickets to the Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers, camping gear for the family from REI, golf lessons with top instructor Luke Brosterhous, or a steak night at John Howie.

Brian McGuigan, program director at Richard Hugo House
Dad of: Sonny
Favorite gift: This is my first Father’s Day, and because my wife can’t keep a surprise, she already gave me my gift: a subscription to MLB TV, which allows me to watch any baseball game on my iPad, cell phone, or any WiFi-enabled device. For a Yankees fan trapped in Seattle, this is an amazing gift!
Top gift pick: My ultimate Father’s Day gift would be the private lunch at Salumi, which has the best sandwiches in Seattle.

Butch Blum, co-owner of Butch Blum
Dad of: Three boys
Favorite gift: My all-time favorite present was when all three of them wrote me personal notes telling me why I was special to them. My greatest joy as a dad is hearing from others that our three sons are "good" boys.
Top gift pick: I love to receive anything to do with golf. Of course, I recommend giving a beautiful tie or cool shirt.

Triple Door talent buyer and, on the side, DJ Self-Administered Beatdown, Scott Giampino
Dad of: Two boys, 11 and six
Favorite gift: Two years ago Amanda and the boys bought me a birch tree and we planted it in our front yard. We also went out for pizza and we all drank far too many sodas. I loved it. Last year I received breakfast in bed.
Top gift pick: Anytime I receive something handmade it makes my heart swell, and I love records.

Canlis managing owner Mark Canlis
Dad of: Three kids ages six, four, and one
Favorite gift: Time, money, and enough trust to let me build my kids a zip line. Our tiny yard became the greatest kid place on earth and our porch a quiet place for sipping sweet tea in the sun, drinking wine in the evening, holding hands, and catching up.
Top gift pick: A sport kite: easy to learn, packs down to nothing, and provides take-anywhere fun. But on really windy days, these are just for dad; they pull pretty hard! My favorite is the Snapshot 1.9 sold at the Gasworks Kite shop. You could also just consider saying, "All I could find while shopping for you was this lingerie…” or, “Oh, your friend Joe called; he’s going fishing all day. I think you should join him.” You could also just get a babysitter. A good dad needs time with his good wife.

Tom Mackenzie, director of sales and marketing, Claar Cellars and Le Chateau Winery
Dad of: Lauren and Maddie
Favorite gift: One year I received a painted rock from Lauren with her pictured glued to it; another year I received a ceramic turkey sandwich made by Maddie. To this day both are proudly displayed in my home.
Top gift pick: Anything from the Mariners’ team store.

David Masin, Masins Fine Furniture and Interior Design
Dad of: Two
Favorite gift: I remember when I used to give homemade cards to my parents for both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Upon receiving the card, my mom would say, "This is soooo much better than a present," and I never believed her. That was until I received a homemade card from my kids last Father’s Day. I knew exactly what she meant.
Top gift pick: If I wasn’t able to receive a homemade card, I would like a new pair of these Cole Haan shoes.

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Visual Artist, curator, co-founder, Tarboo
Favorite gift: A three-way tie: Akirah, Musashi, and Zy, my kids. I would love to receive an all-expense-paid vacation to somewhere warm for Father’s Day.
Top gift pick: Some Tarboo wares to wear. Hugs and handwritten letters (the latter is unfortunately rare these days).

Jamie Hamilton, Microsoft
Dad of: One
Favorite gift: The simplest things are sometimes the best things. I realize this may seem cliché, but a framed photo of my son remains my all-time favorite Father’s Day gift. I place it on my desk at work so he’s always by my side.
Top gift pick: I would love to receive a bottle of one of my favorite Washington wines, The Creator by K Vintners, where there’s some subtle irony given it’s Father’s Day. I’d like to treat myself to a golf excursion to Chambers Bay; a nice day on the greens has definitely been lacking lately. Or a weekend away with the family to Alderbrook Resort where we can slow down and get away from the yard work and errands.

Top Pot Doughnuts’ Mark Klebeck
Dad of: Two sons: Wolfie and Otto
Favorite gift: My all-time favorite gift from my kids was a couple of handmade cards. Seeing what these little minds come up with is incredibly fascinating. Their creativity is endless, and honestly, these are the things I treasure and that will be a lifelong reminder of who they are. No material item could trump this.
Top gift pick: A vintage Fender Telecaster guitar from the 1950s. Yes! I think everyone should own a vintage Telecaster. Or, out-of-print books on architecture and design.

Matthew Lewis of Where Ya at Matt
Dad of: Brady, 4.5
Favorite gift: The best Father’s Day gift to date would be the school craft ones that he makes. I can easily get the visual of him in class, and he is always super excited to give them to me. I still have the handprint air freshener that he gave me two years ago hanging in my car. Other notable gifts would be tickets to go together to a Sounders or Mariners game. Cookbooks are always nice; new knives and wine are always welcomed gifts, too.
Top gift pick: This year, gift certificates to Home Depot or cash for second-use stores for materials to finish the tree house are high on the list.

Dean Holly of Thomas Dean & Co
Dad of: Two girls; both my daughters now work in our company. Every day they come to work with a great attitude, eager to contribute to our success, which makes me very proud of them.
Favorite gift: I love it when the family and friends get together a couple times a month on the weekends to barbecue (no matter the weather) and enjoy each other’s company. When the girls where young and before we had our own men’s apparel company, they would give me a Father’s Day shirt in bright colors they chose. This may have been the inspiration behind the styling of the today’s Thomas Dean & Co collection.

Wedding and event DJ Austin Beaver
Dad of: One beautiful 4.5 year-old girl.
Favorite gift: My favorite gift has been breakfast in bed, served by the cutest little girl that I have ever known, and my wife!
Top gift pick: Take me somewhere I never knew we would be going. Show me something that we haven’t see before. The greatest thing that I get from my girls are the memories; the more we make, the happier I am. As an alternate: Barbecue! Anything for the grill, and a little time to use it.

Brad Glaberson, owner and executive chef of Cucina Fresca
Dad of: One daughter and two dogs. I receive gifts from all three.
Favorite gift: On my first Father’s Day, it was my daughter’s hand- and footprint on paper. And cards from the dogs written like they were from them, with words spelled wrong, like, "lub mi" (that’s “love me” in dog speak).
Top gift pick: Now that my daughter is six, I can honestly say that the best Father’s Day gifts are the cards and drawings she makes for me. I am definitely that mushy daddy who keeps everything she makes for me. My office is filled with artwork on the walls from past Father’s Days, sprinkles and all. I have grown to enjoy the experiences I get to share and not the stuff I receive.

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