Ideas for Christmas gifts for Dad – & none of them are socks…

Co-author: Dhayana Sena 

“Dads are most ordinary men, turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.” – Pam Brown

Ah, good old Dad. Whether he’s our biological Dad, our Stepdad or foster Dad, or the uncle or friend who stepped in, Dads can play a pretty important role in our lives. 

But, when it comes time for Christmas, Dad can be the hardest person to buy for! “I don’t need anything,” he’ll say. “But a trip to Hawaii would be nice!”

So, forget about wrapping up yet another pack of socks and undies for Dad. We can’t promise to miraculously help you find the funds for a trip to Hawaii, but here are our hot tips for gift ideas for Dad this Christmas, instead. 

Pricey gift ideas for Dad

For the active Dad, it’s hard to go past a fitness tracker. Good options include the Fitbit Ionic ($378 from Harvey Norman) or the Apple Watch (starting from $649 from PB Tech). 

One gift that is great for both the adventurous Dad and the techie Dad is a GoPro. Try him out with the Hero ($364 from The Warehouse).

Many Dads don’t need more “stuff”,  but they love the thrill of trying new experiences. Get them the Introductory Stunt Driving Course ($200 from Red Balloon) for the ride of their life.

Affordable gift ideas for Dad

For the coffee-loving Dad, it’s hard to go past the LEGO Compatible Brick Mug ($14.95 from NotSocks) or the Star Wars: Original Stormtrooper Vacuum Flask ($52 from Mighty Ape). 

For a Dad with young kids, Darth Vader And Son by Jeffrey Brown is a hilarious and adorable picture book for Dad to enjoy with his young kids ($20 on Book Depository).

And Dads with newborns will probably just thank you for a simple pack of ear plugs ($7 from The Warehouse). 

Homemade gift ideas for Dad

homemade gifts for dad

Punching bag – you can make a DIY punching bag for Dad using almost anything, from a duffel bag (see this tutorial from, PVC pipe covered in carpet (see this tutorial from WikiHow), or even old car tyres if you’re feeling strong (see YouTube for tutorials on this method).

Don’t have the money to buy your coffee-loving Dad one of the mugs we listed above? Make a DIY coffee cup holder (“coffee cozy”) with felt and a button (see this tutorial from Practically Functional).

Does Dad need a new T-shirt? Forget about printing photobooks – just let your kids scribble on a T-shirt with Sharpie and you have an instant homemade gift. You can make it look more interesting by blocking off an area with masking tape so that the kids’ drawing is more stylised (see this tutorial from

World-changing gift ideas for Dad

world changing gifts for mum

What about if Dad already has everything he needs? Or, when you asked him what he wanted, he said, “A cruise to Hawaii”? When he doesn’t need any more “stuff” to fill his home with, give him a gift that changes the lives of Dads around the world.

One great option is the Gift for Life catalogue by Tearfund New Zealand. All proceeds from purchasing gifts go towards a specific life-changing project. Options include a community vegetable garden ($250), farmer training ($25) or even something as simple as a chicken ($15).

How to pay for Christmas gifts for Dad

When you’re buying Christmas gifts for Dad, don’t rack up a credit card debt and spend the rest of the New Year regretting your Christmas debt hangover. Use your everyday transaction account so you know exactly what your budget is, how much is left in your account for your usual weekly expenses, and so that you don’t pay interest on your gift purchases.

Haven’t got an outstanding value transaction account with your bank of choice? Use Canstar’s comparison tool to find the best transaction account that meets your needs here.  And, if you are using a credit card, just make sure the credit card you use is working for you. 

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