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Need some last-minute gift ideas for dad?

By Alex Lurie, Contributing writer
Published On: Mar 12 2012 02:48:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2014 09:54:58 AM CDT
father's day gift

iStock / elvinstar

For the dad who's always tied down at the office, consider gifts that will lighten his mood or bring him closer to home. Even though he spends the vast majority of his waking hours sitting behind a desk, you can still do plenty to make this Father's Day a memorable one. Here are just a few ideas for the working dad:

Office Toys: Get him something that will give him a brief repose from the daily grind. From Newton's cradle to magnetic art, there a lot of things that will provide a requisite distraction. Other ideas include perpetual motion devices, a mini Zen garden, or a synthetic putting surface. Just make sure that whatever you choose doesn't sidetrack him so much that he's forced to spend all his time at home. If he won't like any of these, an elegant picture frame will always fit nicely on his desk.

Electronic Gadgets: While he may always be at the office, it's very possible that he's not equipped with the best devices to do his best. A PDA is a must for those in the workplace. They're extremely handy, and he'll never have the "I forgot" excuse again for a meeting, or (more importantly) a family get-together. Another option is a new laptop. Chances are that he has a computer, but with the continual advancement in technology, he could probably use a new laptop. Newer versions seem to get smaller and smaller while holding more and more data. He'll barely notice it in his briefcase. One more possibility is a new cell phone. If you have to cut your conversations short because he's out of minutes or out of range, look into several of the affordable plans offered by carriers.

Cheaper Alternatives: If you're tight on budget, make him something yourself. A scrapbook should be a welcome present. With any luck, it will keep his family in his thoughts wherever his work might take him. Or if arts and crafts aren't your thing, you can make him a nice meal or plan an outing to a local park or lake. Whatever the idea, he'll probably enjoy any sort of considerate and well-thought-out gesture of appreciation.

Clothes: OK, this is the obvious choice. But if you can't think of anything else, a tie or a belt can be the backup plan. However, because this is so generic, be sure to get something that he will really like. He already has a brown belt and a striped tie; he has to wear one to work five days a week. Instead, consider what would go well with a new jacket or pair of shoes. One final warning: This idea has the greatest backfire potential, so choose wisely. The bottom line is that no matter what you get him, he'll appreciate a heartfelt gift. It sounds cliché, but it's almost always true. Just remember that whatever you decide to give him should make him think of the people that make this day possible for him: his children.