Design

Gift Guide #8: Your Awesome Dad Whose Quarantine Beard Makes Him Look Like an Old-Timey Sea Captain.

j. crew sweater

Rugged cotton sweater for looking good while lounging, $40 (on sale).

saxelby cheese

A cheese plate featuring the three winners of the American Cheese Society competition, $55.

Obama memoir

Barack Obama’s stirring memoir, $41.

hay rainbow tray

A rainbow catch-all for the coins, bills and keys he scatters on his dresser every evening. $12.

hyperchiller

HyperChiller, $36, to cool his drink right away. All you do is pop it in your freezer, put your glass inside and one minute later you’ll have the coolest cold brew/wine/iced tea ever. Genius.

the rounds cheese cookies

Cheese cookies, $45 for 35 pieces, to snack on while watching The Crown. Think: Cheddar Chive, Gruyere Date and Parmesan Olive.

gray whale gin

Gray Whale Gin, $40, small-batch gin from California inspired by the migratory path of the Gray Whale. (Alex is a fan.)

Family photos printed in 3-D because he loves nothing more than those smiling faces. $35 for 10.

nytimes puzzle

New York Times front page puzzle, $50, for whichever date you’d like — say, his birthday, or the Biden/Harris win?

onegoal donation

A donation in his name to OneGoal, an amazing organization that mentors low-income students in the U.S., helping them graduate high school and succeed in college.

P.S. The 2018 gift guide for dads, the 2019 gift guide for dads and the 2020 gift guide so far.

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. Tori says...

    I just wanted to say thank you for the gift guides – I was so moved by the Hydrochiller that I just ordered one for everyone in my family (and myself), haha.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      nice!! I got one for myself too! :)

  2. Kp says...

    Oh good lord in heaven! Such good ideas here! I ordered two of the Biden / Harris win puzzles (one for the hubs, one for our friends) – and I think I’m gonna get him some sweats because that’s who we are now. Tysm!

  3. Molly says...

    Do all of our dads have quarantine beards?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg we should do a post about them! they’re the cutest.

    • Valentina says...

      My dad has always had a beard, but during quarantine things got really out of control… After several months he went to the barber to trim his hair, but the beard remains the same. Kind of a Letterman vibe. I must admit he can pull it of! Hahaha

    • Sarah says...

      In 30+ years, I have NEVER seen my dad with more than a five o’clock shadow until recently (he also coincidentally retired this year, so that may have something to do with it as well). In a recent email to him, I pointed specifically to Jo’s title in this post as I bemoaned the fact that I’d already purchased his Christmas gift and didn’t have a cable knit sweater to finish off his old-timey sea captain look!

  4. Lucie says...

    Thank you so much for making these gift guides! I look forward to them every year :-) Does anyone have tips for a gift for someone you’ve just started dating? I’m thinking something fun/small/light that’s still a sweet gesture for the holidays :)

    • I like quirky socks because they’re an inexpensive opportunity to both be practical and inject some gift personality (Blue Q and Uncommon Goods are easy places to start).
      Also, a book about a particular passion of theirs can be a good way to show you know them without being too risky. Good luck! :)

    • Tori says...

      I like finding something small shop food related – not risky but sure to be a hit if you know his taste ha! I’ve done a half dozen cookies from a quirky shop where each one is fun & different, and we taste tested them all together 😆

  5. Lauren E. says...

    My dad TOTALLY looks like an old timey sea captain with his quarantine beard! Thank you for the laugh.

  6. Jill says...

    Love the gift guides! I would love to see a guide for grandmas/grandpas or grandparent figures. The lists for parents are great, but often the needs, interests, and abilities of our elderly friends and family are quite unique. So, I am always looking for gift ideas for my frail grandmother and elderly great aunt!

    • Mette says...

      Bought My granmother a pair of warm gloves and a suscribtion of her favorite magazine.

  7. Maire says...

    Thank you so much for featuring OneGoal today! This is an especially challenging year for students who aspire to be the first in their family to graduate from college, so supporting these kids is so important. I’m a longtime Cup of Jo reader and have worked on the OneGoal team for three years, so I couldn’t have been more delighted to see these worlds colliding today! Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s amazing, Marie!!! thank you so much for your note, and for the work you do. xoxo

  8. Hannah says...

    Speaking of quarantine beards…. my husband has a lovely one but has asked for a better electric razor for Christmas. After looking high and low I am feeling at a loss – willing to invest in a good one, too! Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Meghan says...

      This is not a specific recommendation but I swear by Wirecutter’s reviews and recommendations, I bet they have thoughts!

  9. Claire says...

    I love these guides for both the gift ideas and the cheerful, friendly vibe.
    I have an idea to share: I got my husband a 3-month subscription to Beer of the Month Club for his birthday, and it turned out to be an especially terrific gift. I don’t even drink beer but getting the boxes each month and sitting down with him to discover the contents was fun and interesting. We had the microbrewery subscription that included beer from small, independent breweries around the US, so there was the added bonus of supporting family owned businesses.
    Here is the link, in case anyone is interested: https://www.beermonthclub.com

    • Katie says...

      Check local beer shops too. For the last three years, my husband received an early Christmas gift from me, a beer advent calendar from a local beer shop who works with local breweries. It’s so popular that breweries will do limited editions just for the beer calendar.

      He was especially excited for his beer today. And yesterday was a raspberry sour, which he never would have purchased but was surprisingly good.

  10. Hi, Joanna! I’m not sure if this is just on my end, but I wanted to tell you that I think you might’ve accidentally put 7 instead of 8 for this guide. If I’m not mistaken, the guide before this was Gift Guide #7: Your Adoring Wife Who Watches Jeopardy Reruns and Lights Candles Like It’s Her Job. This one is marked Gift Guide #7: Your Awesome Dad Whose Quarantine Beard Makes Him Look Like an Old-Timey Sea Captain.
    But thank you for this guide!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Good call! Thank you!

  11. Lydia says...

    Missing your usual closing line, “Plane tickets to visit each other, since that’s all he really wants anyway.” It always makes me well up even though I know it’s coming! It’s so sad not to be able to travel to see family in the same way this year, I’m sure more than ever it’s all we really want anyway if we could. Holding onto hope for next year!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, I almost wanted to put that in this year anyway, maybe plane tickets for next summer? but didn’t want to jinx things :)

  12. Janey says...

    I absolutely love this gift guide. I gave my husband a cheese subscription for his birthday earlier this year and it was the best gift – I love a consumable gift, no more space for “stuff”, and it was so exciting receiving interesting new cheeses to try every month! That gorgeous looking gin and Obama’s book and he will be a very happy man

    • Laura says...

      Janey – Can I ask which cheese subscription you went with? That’s a great gift idea!

    • Abigail says...

      Not Janey, but I highly recommend Cowgirl Creamery!

  13. soph says...

    Loving your Gift Guides this year (and every year), Joanna! Picked up the Gray Whale gin and some cozy JCrew sweats for my husband, and am considering swinging back for the Nov. 8 Times puzzle (he put so much time and effort into volunteering for the campaign). Such great reccs!

  14. Lesley says...

    Love!

  15. Michaela says...

    This gift guide is amazing for so many on my list! Thank you!

  16. Frédérique Poirier-Patenaude says...

    Hi! I’m a long fan reader of your truly beautiful blog. I just have one small comment: I notice that a lot of previous post were missing their links. For example: the sales on CyberMonday, and also, in the gifts guides. :) Xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I think you might have an ad blocker on? that sometimes affects links. I’m sorry for the hassle!

  17. Sarah says...

    THAT PUZZLE! I chose November 5, 2008 – the day after Obama’s first election. I love how you can see a preview of the page instantaneously – it says “OBAMA” in large print and my brother and his partner will love it. Thank you so much!

  18. Sadly, my teetotaling, stinky-cheese fearing, conservative father would be horrified by most of these gifts. But *I* like them quite a lot!

    • Em says...

      Donate to OneGoal in his name/honor!

    • L says...

      Hah! I have had similar thoughts about many of these gift guides, which are so unlike my much-less-functional family. (“Gift guide for your conspiracy theory-touting dad whom you haven’t had an actual conversation with in three years,” anyone?) They do give me ideas of things I want for myself, however!

    • Sarah says...

      we must be sisters

    • Michelle says...

      Ha, same! I did get my dad to watch an episode of the Crown once, during the first season… so maybe the cheese crackers?!

    • AT says...

      LOL same boat. A “conspiracy theory-touting dad gift guide” would be fitting for many of us.

    • Claire says...

      Ha!
      no kidding, the struggle is real.
      (y’all are funny though – thanks for the laugh)

    • M says...

      Omg yes to this! You are not alone! I love the gift guides but every year a tiny piece of me wonders if I’m the only one in the cupofjo universe with a wholly dysfunctional family – mom is gone, dad is an old, ill, cranky Trump supporting conspiracy theorist, siblings are conservative and/or fundamentalist. Thanks for cheering me up, Leah by reminding me that I’m not the only one!

    • K. says...

      Hahaha! I was getting ready to comment the same thing. My conservative-i-only-eat-meat-and-potatoes-father would hate all of these things. Sigh.

    • Jessica says...

      Seriously. I couldn’t help thinking, WHOSE chill, woke Dad is this for? (Sorry Dad)

    • Lauren says...

      Hahahaha I’m right there with you guys. I wish I had a cool, sane dad to drink that nice Gin with.

    • Sadie says...

      lol, hi all my exvangelicals sisters! see you not a church :)

    • b says...

      Same here, Jessica. My dad is not conspiracy theory level, but he’s not chill OR particularly woke. It’s very hard to be a feminist in my house.

    • I’m so glad I’m not alone. This year has been rough.

    • Stephanie R says...

      Yes. Yes. Yes. I always wonder, what’s it like to grow up with a father who would like these gifts? And what would a gift guide look like for those of us with more conservative, meat & potato fathers? I don’t even know – but I wonder if CoJ might tackle this next season? But not in a sarcastic way – in way where I love my father and want to honor his interests and I’m not trying to pretend he’s more liberal/arty/foodie than he is. Like, what are some quirky but practical hunting gadgets?

  19. LS says...

    Oh my gosh! I thought the 3D pictures were the best idea ever but they were quickly surpassed by the NYT Biden/Harris idea. I’m already done my shopping but those might push me into splurge territory…

  20. Hali says...

    The puzzle. Are you kidding me?
    I can see the tears welling up in my mom’s eyes already. That front page fist bump on Nov 8th? *clutches heart*
    Dad got the pan, mom is getting a puzzle. I’m all over the map with these guides!
    Joanna, do you consider yourself a good gift-giver?
    You are. The best!
    This blog is suchagift, too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Awww I’m so glad, and thank you so so much. <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh, that is beautiful, Hannah. Thank you for sharing.

    • Robyn says...

      Well doesn’t James just sound awesome?!

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Hannah. Thank you for sharing this article and a tiny insight into your cousin with us. I will raise a glass to him and your family tonight x

    • nadine says...

      Hannah I’m so sorry for your loss.
      “Always go to the show” is a wonderful motto and Jimmy sounds like a special person. Thank you a lot for sharing this beautiful tribute