Dad’s Christmas Wish List

Dad’s Christmas Wish List

Last month, less than 24 hours after the presidential election, Macklin became the first American to get screwed over by President-Elect Donald Trump. History books likely won’t make mention of the incident, so let me share the story with you now.

On Wednesday, November 9th, Macklin made his television debut on Valley News Live’s North Dakota Today morning show. I was there, too, supposedly as the feature attraction, but Mack quickly stole the show and I was rightly relegated to a supporting role. He wowed the hosts, the producers and the audience… I can only assume.

Why only assume? Because thanks to Donald Trump’s electoral college victory the night before, Hillary Clinton’s world was rattled so badly that she couldn’t bring herself to deliver a public concession speech until the next morning… at precisely the same time as Macklin and I were going on the air. As a result, KVLY’s computer system switched over to NBC’s national feed in order to cover Clinton’s speech, unintentionally preventing any recording of our segment. Trump won, Clinton lost and we got screwed out of potential fame and fortune.

The good news is that the people who were there in studio that day liked us enough to invite us back for another segment. We’ve got another shot, because this is America—the land of second chances. At least for another few weeks. So, tune in Wednesday, Dec. 7, at approximately 9:45am to see Mack and I back where we belong, in the spotlight, talking about Christmas.

(Update: Since I wrote this in the past and now we’re in the present, here’s the video of our appearance!)

If you recall, back in June I wrote a less-than-serious post with some gift ideas for Father’s Day. Today, I present a mostly-serious list of Christmas gift ideas for dads (stay-at-home or otherwise).

Wireless Headphones

If you played the deserted island game with Macklin, his “any three things in the world” that he’d bring with would be cords, cords, cords. The kid loves cords. I happen to love music, podcasts and talk radio. I am not a fan of having my headphones ripped off my head, however. A pair of wireless Beats would really come in handy to drown out the world without interruption.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphone. $299.

Portable Powerpack/Jumpstarter

I already have one of these, so I can actually vouch for how awesome they are. First, they’re ultra compact, so you can store them in your glovebox, boat, snowmobile, etc., and have it ready whenever and wherever you may need some power. Second, most come with a built-in flashlight, and why I’m always a sucker for a flashlight I don’t know, but there it is. Third, they work really well. I’ve got a full-size SUV, and this little thing jumped it no problem.

Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger Power Bank. $79.

Kelty Kid Carrier

Another item that I already own and gleefully recommend is a kid carrier. Specifically, a Kelty brand kid carrier. They’re not cheap, so keep an eye on Craigslist and Facebook garage sale-type group pages to see if you can pick up a used one. I recommend the Kelty because it’s really well-built, easy to use and makes you look like you’re in better shape than you actually are. Even if you’re not an outdoorsman, backpack style carriers are easier to wear for longer durations and keep your hands much more free than with the harnesses or slings where they baby rides up front.

Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 Kid Carrier. $225.

Thermapen Mk4 Cooking Thermometer

I think it was Aristotle who once said, “When you’ve run out of good ideas, get Dad a gadget for Christmas.” It’s true, dads love gadgets, especially kitchen gadgets. I’ve gone through many cheap food thermometers in my life and hated every single one of them. The Thermapen Mk4 promises to change my cooking life forever… and deliver perfectly grilled steaks to the dinner table.

Thermapen® Mk4. $99.

Quadcopter Drone

I don’t really know what to even call these things, I just know they look like hours of fun. Thanks to my colorblindness, I’ll never be able to become a real pilot. Flying a drone with an HD camera attached to the bottom will be the closest I’ll ever get to piloting a plane. They’re way out of my price range, but this is a wish list, right?

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter 4K UHD Video Camera Drone. $899.

Costco Membership

There’s an enduring fallacy floating around that Disneyland is the greatest place on Earth. Not so. Does Disneyland hand out free samples at every corner? No. Does Disneyland offer the cheapest gas in town? No. Can you stock up on cheap booze, food, clothes, cars, appliances and giant teddy bears at Disneyland? Well, maybe the teddy bears. Costco is literally a one-stop shop for everything I could ever want. It’s my greatest place on Earth, and unlike a ticket to Disneyland, a Costco membership pays for itself.

Costco membership. $55-$110.

Amazon Echo

When I shout out questions and commands at home, my only audience is my 16-month-old son and our 7-year-old dog. If I’m lucky, I might get a smile from one and a sigh from the other. Neither has yet to answer a single question. It’s absurd. I need an Amazon Echo in my life. “Hands-free convenience with voice-control”… yes, please.

Amazon Echo. $179.

Apple Watch

Sure, having a super fast computer that fits in my pants pocket is plenty convenient… but not as convenient as having one strapped to my wrist. There are many times when I simply cannot, for any number of reasons, reach into my pocket to retrieve my phone. Thank you, son. And dog. A super expensive computer watch that requires daily charging may sound ridiculous, but I think I still need one.

Apple Watch. From $269.

Really Good Slippers

I spend much of my day walking around in a bathrobe and 10-year-old UGG slippers, and those dogs are starting to wear out. (I’ve already got a second bathrobe…and a third, if it really comes to it.) Parents of all genders need a reliable pair of slippers, because you never know when the Diaper Genie is going to overflow and require a quick trip out to the garage. Or perhaps it’s 11:00pm on a Sunday night and you realize the carton of milk you thought was plenty full is actually half a sippy cup short of half a sippy cup and your Monday morning is at risk of complete meltdown. Slipping on a cush pair of slippers makes that late night trip to the grocery store much less dreadful.

UGG Australia Men’s Scuff Romeo II Slippers. $99.


It sounds like a luxury good, but with a small child in tow, you can easily guilt whomever may be buying you presents into thinking an auto start is a safety thing. “It’s for the kids,” you can say. “But $400?” they’ll ask. “Yes, to keep the children warm and alive,” you respond. Guilt. Get it? It works every time.

Two-way auto start. $worthit.


As a single-income family, we’ve been trying to keep our frivolous spending to a minimum. Thus, happy hours have become few and far between. With a kegerator at home, I can feel like I’m out at the bar drinking a fresh pour off the tap without dropping $7 per pint. A “home bar” is also a healthier option—without a deep fryer at the ready, my intake of chicken wings, onion rings and pickle chips will remain at their current all-time low. The short (safe) commute from basement to bed is yet one more perk any caring family member or friend will surely take into account this Christmas.

EdgeStar Full Size Dual Tap Kegerator & Draft Beer Dispenser. $499.

Something Manly

If the dad in your life is the type that chops his own firewood, changes his own oil and uses that old oil to maintain his beard, perhaps this list is a bit too soft. In that case, I refer you to the the Offerman Woodshop, where even the most manly of men will find something to smirk at whilst honing their favorite blade on granddad’s old strop. For example, he’ll adore this DIY hatchet kit… 

Handmade gifts and decor. $3.50 on up… way, way up.
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