Design

6 Gifts Guys Secretly Want for Father’s Day

Joanna Goddard Alex toby Anton

Alex has been a dad for 11 years (here’s a post he wrote as a newbie) and we’re so grateful to have him in our lives. In anticipation of Father’s Day on June 20th, I interviewed Alex, and he shared six gifts he’d love, in case they resonate with you…

Monthly meat subscription, $30/box, full of local, humanely sourced pork and beef. Butcher Girls, a women-owned company, makes sure that all the animals are raised simply and naturally — on pasture with access to clean water, beautiful grass, and the great outdoors.

Perfect shorts, $75, made with sustainably-grown French linen. They’re a splurge, but, says Alex: “Shorts in general are really tough because most are way too baggy. These are a beautiful cut — not too short and not too long, which is EXTREMELY hard to come by. I’ve worn these almost every day since I got them. With linen, you can feel the air go through them; they’re so, so comfortable for summer.”

“My favorite thing in the universe is sitting around a fire pit, anywhere, anytime,” says Alex. This portable one, $199, would do the trick and gives off minimal smoke.

Hoagie towel, $45, to make your kids laugh at the beach. (The PB&J one is funny, too.)

Have you ever tried a Spaghett? Alex discovered the drink at Ray’s Bar and has been drinking it ever since. You just add a bittersweet aperitivo to a beer; plus, if you’d like, a squeeze of lemon. Light, tart, refreshing. $35.


A card listing 20 very specific reasons why you love him, $5.25. (We did this for Alex last year and he cried!) (And he never cries!)

Thoughts? What would your partner or your own dad like? Any other recommendations?

P.S. 8 more Father’s Day gifts, and Alex’s beauty uniform (including his dating advice).

  1. Megan says...

    Thank you so much for this suggestion, Kristy! My dad is in Kansas City — this is perfect for him!

    Also, thank you COJ team for all of your thoughtful, timely, amazing posts day after day after day. So appreciate the wonderful community you’ve created here, despite its challenges.

  2. K says...

    Up until the past year, I had been steering myself towards a vegetarian diet. But then I also came across thinking that (good quality) animal products provide essential nutrients (see: GAPS diet). Bonus is I feel satisfied eating meat like beef, as in I don’t feel the urge to grasp at a snack to satisfy a craving nearly as much, and stay full (not bloated) for much longer. Not only that, but this line of thinking also claims that good quality animal farming is beneficial to the soil and environment as well.

    So anyways, as of now, that’s what I’m doing. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide vegetarianism is the better diet once again, based on these and those studies in the future.

  3. Casey Glanzer says...

    Ribs shipped from Dreamland BBQ in Alabama. I sent this to my dad and my parents loved it. Comes with sides.

  4. Alex R says...

    I love these suggestions. The hoagie towel in particular had me lol-ing, and then descending down a rabbit hole searching for a bagel beach towel.

    I’m from Massachusetts and my husband is a born and bred New Yorker. We were once on a Gloucester beach with my entire family. My husband was sitting in his beach chair, enjoying the everything bagel he had packed for lunch, when a Masshole seagull snatched it from his hands and took off. My husband sat there, stunned, while the rest of my family collapsed in laughter. I do not think I have ever laughed that hard in my life. I expect that I never shall. My daughter, who is now 3 but was about 6 months old at the time, constantly asks me to “tell the bagel story.” Every time someone mentions bagels in her earshot (which is a lot), she says, “I sure hope there are no seagulls around!”

    My husband needs a bagel beach towel.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahaha I love that!!

    • Alex R says...

      Literally, tonight at dinner:
      Me: Eve, do you want to bring a bagel for lunch tomorrow?
      Eve: Yes. I hope there are no seagulls at preschool!!!

  5. gina s says...

    Can I suggest that everyone calm down? Piousness should be canceled. Jeesh.

  6. Sarz says...

    This is a good list – even the meat subscription – perhaps *especially* because of it! For better or worse, I’ve met very, very few male vegetarians/vegans in my lifetime. Giving them the best possible version of something they’re going to have either way is the most moral choice that’s still *realistic*. If we love someone, we try to lead by example – not to change them. Great work, as always, dear CoJ staffers.

  7. Cynthia says...

    Joanna, thank you for your suggestions. I’m sorry so many people are criticizing you for having a meat gift, but it’s an idea. They can select another gift from your list or come up with one of their own. I don’t criticize people’s dietary choices, because what they choose to eat is their business.

    • K says...

      I agree! I have been reading for over a decade and love the content.
      We are all doing the best we can…..which means different things for different people. I have loved learning from this blog over the years and think Joanna and team do an exceptional job of providing thoughtful, important and relevant content. And fun stuff too!
      I have noticed lately that some of the commenters are quick to pounce on anything that does not fit into their framework of what is best. It is helpful to learn different outlooks from readers, and different perspectives from all around the globe. However, some of the comments of late, just seem downright snarky. Which, in my opinion is not helpful. My eyes and ears are always open when presented with a new or different perspective when done so with thought and care.

  8. Helen says...

    thank you cupofjo team for this lovely list and all that you do! it is a tough time out there and i really appreciate the thought and care that goes into keeping this little corner running. as others have also noted in the comments, i can’t imagine how tricky it is to navigate a climate where a) everyone is especially sensitive after a year of feeling hard done by and b) there are 100 different perspectives about any one thing happening around the world each day. i’ve read your blog for years and years and just wanted to say that i’ve always felt like you do such an incredible job (and like yolo if you don’t, you’re only human). thanks again, keep on keeping on xx

    p.s i really love this font. my god, how sweet how the y’s.

    • Julie says...

      Yes to all of this, and I’m so glad someone else is in love with the font! Kindreds.

  9. claire says...

    I recommend a Beer of the Month club subscription as a fun gift. I don’t even drink beer, but it was a kick to see what showed up in the box every month. I got him a 3 month subscription for the US Microbrew selection, and he loved it.

  10. Kristy K says...

    Another meat box subscription option is https://showmekansasfarms.com/ They are GREAT! Beef straight from the pasture to your freezer! :)

    • Megan says...

      Thank you so much for this suggestion, Kristy! My dad is in Kansas City — this is perfect for him!

      Also, thank you COJ team for all of your thoughtful, timely, amazing posts day after day after day. So appreciate the wonderful community you’ve created here, despite its challenges.

  11. M says...

    M
    Adding my voice to group to say AMAZING JOB CoJ team. Huge fan for over 10 years and the team/content is always topnotch, thoughtful and considered. I LOVE your gift lists and have bought from them many times or passed them along to friends. Like so many others have said, you can’t make everyone happy (and there are always going to be people who just have to nitpick) but you make SO many of us happy every day and we so appreciate all the the thought that the team puts into every post.

    • Emilie says...

      AGREED! Joanna and team, thank you for putting up with so much criticism and negativity, and with such grace!

      I am all about the debates and discourse in CoJ comment sections, and I have eliminated most meat from my diet because I can afford to, but humans eat meat (and always will) and sourcing ethical meat is awesome – and featuring a women-owned company makes it 10x more awesome.

      I love Alex’s style and it’s similar to my partner’s — even though he is not a dad, these lists are so helpful for gift giving in general! Thanks for your input Alex!

    • Aya says...

      Same! I find them so useful and thoughtful and return to them all year long for ideas and inspiration. Thank you!

    • Allison says...

      Agreed!! ❤️❤️

    • K says...

      I agree!

  12. Stephanie says...

    Love this post. Thank you COJ team! Also here for the comments to get more ideas. Finding good gifts for my friends and family brings me so much joy.
    I also looked into smokeless fire pits and ended up going with Breeo over Solo for a few reasons – 1. You can cook on it! So fun for entertaining. 2. It’s made in the US by a small company in Pennsylvania

  13. Nat says...

    “humanely sourced pork”…. really no such thing, pigs are extremely intelligent animals. not be totally annoying but now that we know how bad meat is for the environment do we really need this on a list in 2021?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you for your note! Please see the discussion below… xoxo

    • Caroline says...

      THIS! I didn’t give the meat gift a second thought as I read the list, but now that it’s been brought up, this is something I wish people understood. Chickens and cows are much less intelligent and MUCH less miserable being penned up in close quarters than pigs. Ideally we would all be vegan, but if you’re going to eat meat, please don’t eat pork, or somehow only eat pork that’s been raised on land and not concrete. Cows are skittish prey animals and being crowded together can give them a feeling of safety, whereas crowded pigs get bored and start fighting to the point of needing to have their tails and part of their ears preventatively cut off cleanly to avoid the dirty open wounds of having them chewed on and ripped up by their now-aggressive pen mates.

  14. Amrita says...

    Just want to share my support and admiration for Joanna and the CofJ team. You bring so much (free) joy to us despite being put under the microscope for every single thing you post.

    I hope you know how many of us think you are all doing a terrific job!

    • Alefredo says...

      Thanks

    • Katie says...

      Agreed! Cup of Jo team, I don’t know how you do it, but I appreciate that you do. I used to enjoy reading the comments on your blog and actually used to come here partly for that, but in the past year or two, people seem so quick to jump all over you in policing the boundaries of progressivism. And I say that as a progressive! I eat almost entirely vegetarian for environmental reasons (no beef or pork ever, and extremely limited locally raised chicken), but my husband does not and will never eat the way I do. It would damage my marriage if I pushed him on this or tried to control what he eats, and I’m not willing to do that. So given that, I appreciate suggestions of ways to help him eat in the most sustainable way that I can.

      Also, I’m often struck by how inconsistent people are in supporting environmental causes. For example, people below have been recommending fire pits while simultaneously vilifying meat for the harm it does to the environment. Burning things unnecessarily also harms the environment and contributes to climate change, but nobody is jumping on you for recommending a fire pit. Or just look at the fashion industry! I’d love to see more posts on sustainable clothing choices, but I also get it that I’m reading a lifestyle blog and I’m not expecting you to break your partnerships with J Crew or Nordstrom. We’re all just making the best choices we can in our individual circumstances, whether that’s going vegan, only relying on sustainable heat sources, buying exclusively second hand clothing made from natural fibers, or avoiding air travel. I completely agree that all actions aren’t equal in protecting the earth, but I also know that there are lots of things we can all do.

      Anyway, I just wanted to say that I always appreciate your gracious response to criticism. I enjoy your work!

    • M says...

      You said it! So much support and love for the CoJ team. Haven’t stopped coming here every weekday for over 10 years!

  15. For some reason the idea of building a backyard fire seemed overwhelming to me (one more thing to clean up!) but the Solo Stove makes it seem so doable and easy. The first time we used ours was for an outdoor Christmas celebration with my parents, which made it seem more like a party rather than “isn’t it a bummer we can’t all be inside together safely.”

    I totally get the criticisms about meat–in our family we don’t eat beef anymore and I could probably be vegetarian if it weren’t for the *so convenient* tabula rasa of a (locally raised) chicken breast when planning dinner. But the criticisms of meat and meat-eaters often strike me as elitist. The sad truth is that it can be very expensive to eat vegan or even vegetarian and the food preparation often requires more time (chopping, peeling, washing) than working-class families have. I also struggle with the fact that meat has an important place in many cultures and celebrations, and doesn’t preserving that culture have some value? (Thinking of the Netflix show High on the Hog which documents and celebrates African American cuisine, and a college friend in Montana whose family has raised cattle for three generations. Cattle ranching grosses me out personally, but how do you tell a family that the livelihood that has anchored and shaped their collective identity for decades is immoral?) Also, in developing countries meat is sometimes the only nutrient-dense food people are able to eat, and for growing children this is important. Bottom line: I agree that those of us who are able to do so should eat no meat or less meat, but also that we should be careful in our criticisms of those who do. It’s complicated.

    • gfy says...

      Doesn’t preserving the planet take priority over any cultural preservation? We must ensure a healthy place to live before prioritizing culture. It worries me that so many intelligent people are either not aware of the danger, (how??), or simply cannot be bothered to take responsibility for leaving a healthy legacy so that future generations can also enjoy a life on Earth.

      And you don’t have to judge anyone as immoral – just quietly stop supporting it with your dollars. At family gatherings simply stand up for your self by politely saying you are eating less meat, no need to judge or make anyone feel bad. Worst case scenario – eat meat if it will disrupt a gathering and eliminate it from your personal life.

      The point is to live your truths. It is so easy. If anyone, in turn, tries to shame or judge you for not eating meat you can easily recognize that they are not supportive of you which makes it easy to disregard their bullying. Extended family are often the worst offenders so it is a personal decision whether you accept that abuse to “keep the peace” or not. I recommend ignoring or laughing off anyone who does not support your life choices.

    • SO says...

      Careful GFY, your white environmentalism is showing.

      Also, at this point, even the most drastic efforts will only mitigate the effects of climate change, and corporations are at fault for most of what’s happened. So stop insisting indigenous people and people of the global south should stop eating meat, it’s not a good look.

    • Aoife says...

      Renee, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I would second this and add another point that expands on this: in many cultures where meat is consumed on a traditional level, there is less of a household-centric consumption and more of a ritualistic shared consumption that is nose-to-tail which does in many ways equal sustainable meat-eating both in terms of respecting the whole animal as well as feeding a group of people. One major issue with how we’ve consumed meat en masse in the industrial era is that we don’t eat seasonally, we don’t eat nose to tail, and we largely consume from a convenience standpoint via mass market means.

      I will acknowledge here that I’m still a meat eater yet I eat less and less of it for ethical reasons. I grew up largely vegetarian yet I have a range of health issues that mean I struggle physically if I’m more purely plant-based. Ironically I also have a digestive health condition that requires me to eat a plant-heavy diet/vegetables with every meal otherwise I have problems quickly. I know how hard both aspects can be financially, socially and for overall health.

      I am fully in favour of eating more plant-based, prioritising ethical sources and revising our approach to food from the aspects of micro and macro sustainability in personal and public contexts. Ultimately, taking responsibility on an individual level is a positive step yet governments are in the most influential role in terms of the longevity of our planet. This article is really good in terms of discussing consumption and the role of policies around sustainability as a whole topic: https://atmos.earth/ethical-consumerism/

      Thank you for the enjoyable roundup, Joanna!

    • Anon says...

      It is complicated. First: I think it is great that COJ is offering sustainable meat choices for non-vegetarians. I also believe in respecting people’s decisions. But I am hesitant to say that preserving one aspect of a culture should take precedence over preserving the planet. Example: what about cultures that have traditionally enjoyed eating endangered species, such as whales? Should their right to partake in that tradition over-ride saving members of a dying species?

      There are many aspects of cultures that eventually have to or should be left behind because they don’t seem right any more. Female foot-binding and clitoral castration come to mind, and there are many other examples.

      I am not saying all cultures need to become vegetarian or that I know all the answers. But I am saying cultures need to evolve with the times, and dietary choices are a part of that evolution.

  16. Ann says...

    For my sentimental husband, I sent the onesie that we brought both of our daughters home from the hospital in to Framebridge and they’ve framed it. I got the idea from a house tour on this blog! We’ve also been going back and forth about a 3rd child, but, I know I am done, so this is also my way of closing that door/chapter. (Although it can always be unframed for emergencies :) ).

    • Sarz says...

      Such a sweet gift! :*-) I’m sure your family will be the perfect size whether or not the frame stays on the wall!

  17. CS says...

    My husband will always be a meat lover. So thank you for promoting more sustainable options! That is a change he is happy to make and a change that makes a big difference if enough people are encouraged to switch. Yes, big corporations need to change. Yes, vegan is best. But we need to start somewhere.

    Also thank you for creating such a thought provoking platform! People have such mixed reactions to the posts and to the comments. Me… I think, hey… as long as people maintain a respectful tone, all of these different perspectives on a simple gift suggestion make this blog a fascinating read. These comments are such a peek into the reactions and ideas of other people, such a mind-expanding forum! Even the reactions to the reactions are interesting!

    Keep up the amazing work, Joanna and COJ team! You provide a truly unique space that opens us up to worthwhile debates and a range of ideas. Fantastic. I am giving you an A+.

    Sending love xoxoxo

  18. Becky says...

    I love that it is called a “hoagie” 😂💖

  19. Anonymous says...

    What I really want to know is how you, Jo (and team) have the courage and grace to get up and do it all again every day in the face of such growing and intense policing and criticism on your blog. Like, truly — is it therapy? Friends? Family? Meditation?

    I am so in awe of your persistent kindness, thoughtfulness — and authenticity — thank you for including the sustainable meat — part of why I love you is not everything feels like an angle, but is an actual reflection of a life being lived.

    Bless you.

    • K says...

      So well said, anonymous. I echo the sentiment… Really impressed by Joanna and the entire CoJ team. Sending you guys hugs and encouragement and gratitude.

    • Maria says...

      I just had to comment here. I so agree. Yes, your contribution is appreciated. Thank you Joanna and team.

    • M says...

      Beautifully said & I’ve had the same wondering. Joanna, your loveliness of time while holding your own is a model for our world. 💗

    • M says...

      *tone not time

    • Cathy says...

      Yes yes yes. I see both sides of the meat argument but thank you for modeling grace always. It is noticed by readers and always reminds me to show more grace myself when I notice it. Thank you for being a little corner of the internet that helps perpetuate kindness, etc.

  20. Kathryn says...

    I was already going to buy the solo stove! Glad to click thru from here!

  21. Tina Crisas says...

    As soon as I saw the meat option in the roundup I immediately felt for joanna as I knew she was going to get utterly bombarded. Jeez.
    Great choices, loved them all!

    • Maya says...

      I think it’s all right to have critical (but respectful, of course) conversations around meat, especially if we care about animal rights and climate change!

  22. Rebecca says...

    My sister got my dad (who is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for) a customized calendar with a different photo of our family for every month and he loves it! There’s something universally appreciated about a good photo, and it’s something he uses and brings him a smile throughout the year!

  23. Rachel says...

    We are excited to be able to travel in 2021. My hubs has been using the same nylon duffel bag for a decade. “It was free,” he will tell me. I’m getting him an upgrade: a canvas and leather duffle from a local boot company. It will hopefully relegate the old duffle to the gym.

  24. Alexis says...

    I have been getting the Butcher girls meat box for the entire pandemic and I can personally attest to the high quality, sustainable meat delivered to our door every two weeks and great customer service. We also get amazing eggs, whole fresh chickens and homemade roast beef with our order. Everything is super fresh, always delicious and produced by farmers in the hudson valley. I feel good knowing where my meat is coming from, that they have helped to keep farmers in business when many restaurants stopped ordering and that it is processed/prepared with such care. Also- its pride month and the business is owned by two super awesome queer women who are married, good to support now and every month of the year:)

  25. Jen says...

    Thank you for continually putting out such thoughtfully curated gift ideas. I always check in your gift list for my most difficult to gift to loved ones.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that makes me so happy, Jen!

  26. Kat says...

    Does Alex have a rec for a lightweight zip-up hoodie? My hubs has worn his old navy one to shreds and I’d like to get another one that’s a little better quality that could potentially stand up to some serious long-term wear & tear better than the old navy one did (and maybe a little more stylish :D )

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Alex says these: https://shop.reigningchamp.com/collections/mens-tops/style-hoodies

      “It’s the only sweatshirt I will wear. The cut is perfect. Great quality, great fabric. It’s worth the splurge, it will last forever. I don’t like hoodies on me but I love these. They’re slightly tapered, on the best way. During the pandemic, I moved up from regular hoodies to these and Joanna was immediately like… wow.”

    • C says...

      Look at Pact. Organic Colton and super cozy.

    • Kat says...

      just got one, thanks a bunch!!

  27. Courtenay says...

    I always tease my husband for being so nostalgic all the time. He is always reminiscing about the past and I’m more of a worry about the future kind of person. But this year I’m creating an opportunity for him to be nostalgic by taking an overnight trip with our kids to the city he became a father in. It’s only a 1.5 hour drive away from where we live now but we’ve only been there once in the past year (normally we would visit much more often). We’ll drink coffee at his favourite coffee shop where he would get his caffeine fix after sleepless nights with a newborn, visit the museum he worked at where our now 6-year-old learned to walk, and get take out from our favourite restaurant where we first attempted to take a toddler out for dinner. And I’ll smile through all the stories he recounts… even though I already know them all.

    • C says...

      That is so lovely!!

  28. Emma says...

    fun fact: you can make a fire pit out of the interior of an old washing machine. it is extra pretty if you drill a couple metal legs onto it.

    less fun fact: people should stop advertising meat subscriptions and meat generally. meat consumption is absolutely devastating for the environment even if it is raised humanely. (and “raised humanely” is very subject to interpretation.) something for the blog to consider. there are a few ways to have a positive impact on the environment and not eating meat/not supporting the consumption of meat is one of them.

    • J says...

      other things are bad for the environment – like commercial air travel! Life is full of tradeoffs and everyone has to make their own choices, but drawing a line in the sand that advertising meat is bad but talking about travel isn’t (or a particular vegan food that might be hard on the community that grows it) is a bit reductionist and absurd. this is about father’s day gifts. this is a lifestyle blog. it’s ok!

    • Karla says...

      I was just about to point this out. No shame in what people choose to consume, but totally unnecessary to ADVERTISE for meat.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      But I think it is, Karla. If people are eating meat, we should advertise GOOD meat, so they can move away from frozen supermarket meat sourced in unethical ways.

    • beth says...

      I was a vegetarian for many years but was forced to do an about-face due to health issues and switch to the autoimmune protocol diet (essentially a more restricted paleo diet). My diet is actually much more plant-based now then it was when I was strictly vegetarian, but I now also consume grass-fed/pasture-raised meat and wild-caught seafood, and my health has improved. I completely respect everyone’s right to eat as they think best, and completely agree that the standard (American standard anyway) industrial meat production system needs to be changed, but I am so grateful to small companies like this who have made my necessary diet changes possible.

      Joanna, I am always so appreciative of your gift guides!

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      Well, in my part of the world, only a small group of extremely privileged people can decide not to eat meat.

    • Jane says...

      Can I just say I LOVE how Joanna, Beth and Nigerian Girl’s responses illustrate perfectly how many nuances there are to this topic? There are very very few topics in this world that are genuinely just black and white and there is a lot of gray, always. It would be the greatest achievement of humankind to date if we recognized that and tried to sit with something, anything we have an (initially negative) reaction to and try to look at it from different perspectives before we acted/spoke. Consider other people’s realities, views, our own privilege, if applicable, etc. Just sit and think a little, THEN speak/act. It would make the world a little better, for sure.
      One can dream…

    • Kendra says...

      Jane, you reminded me of a quote from a Cup of Jo comment that I have posted, “Be curious rather than critical.” Yeah for that!

    • NM says...

      @Kendra— yes! I this that applies to EVERYTHING.

      Be curious, not just critical.

    • Megan says...

      I wish we could “like” (LOVE) other people’s posts. Jane – your response to this is incredibly said. Thank you for reminding us to be curious and understand the many nuanced perspectives of any issue.

  29. Erin says...

    Thank you for wonderful content I’ve been enjoying daily since I found Cup of Jo via your Glamour writing (so long ago)! I rarely comment but just wanted to say thanks for creating content that has been uplifting and engaging every day for so long – quite a feat.

  30. Rae says...

    Shorts ordered! They come in so many great colors. My husband has great legs so they are a gift for me too ; )

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwww so sweet :)

  31. Alice says...

    I appreciate the Solo stove love but definitely look into the Breeo stove. It’s also smokeless but made in the USA (PA to be exact)! We have one and love it.

    • Samantha says...

      Thank you for sharing!! I was considering the solo stove but i actually like the look of the Breeo better!

    • C says...

      Thank you!!
      I held off on buying the solo as we try our best to buy more locally or USA made. It doesn’t always ensure that things are made ethically but it’s nice to add them to my research!

  32. Anna says...

    I got my husband a grilling basket based on Jenny Rosenstrach’s recommendation.

  33. Kate says...

    Can we all maybe stop judging COJ so much for everything that is posted? There’s always so many comments about how COJ should be doing this or that and should be addressing all the ills of the world. COJ has done an admiral job learning from these critiques, but I feel like there is a certain point when we need to take a step back and realize it is a lifestyle blog run by a small team who are humans and have lives of their own.

    • Katie says...

      Here, here!!!! I wanted to say something similar and you expressed it much better than I would have.

    • Lori says...

      Agree wholeheartedly!!

    • Mary says...

      Agreed. I come to Cup of Jo in part because the comments are usually so wonderful and thoughtful! I hope there isn’t an increase in moral policing because the team should not be expected to provide a stance on every issue facing the world and man, some of these comments are exhausting.

      Thanks Cup of Jo for providing my favorite place on the internet, for providing inspiration on how we can all be better humans, and for realizing that sometimes you just need to enjoy the fun, frivolous things in life. Keep on keeping on!

    • Betsy says...

      Yes, yes, and more yes!! Well said, Kate. (Love your name- you share it with my daughter!)

    • Bec says...

      Well said, Kate! Agreed 100%. It’s so exhausting.

    • M says...

      SAME. Seconded. Agreed. OMG.

    • Teresa says...

      Thank you, my thoughts exactly!

      I think COJ is consistent in their efforts to be open minded and expose their audience to different lifestyles and opinions while keeping the activism light.

      Thank you for keeping it real!

    • Sara says...

      Couldn’t agree more! I’ve read COJ for years and always enjoyed the comments & community, but lately so many comments seem strident. It can feel exhausting to read & I imagine to moderate.

    • Laura says...

      I agree. Jo asked Alex what gifts he liked and he told her. There is no need to judge his choices. We weren’t asked to do that. I have this crazy thing I do with blogs that I disagree with or dislike, I stop reading them.

    • Rose says...

      Amen!

    • Chloe says...

      YES. Thank you.

    • Eileen says...

      Yes!! Wholeheartedly agree with this!

    • Tracey says...

      Agreed, it’s so stressful to read so many people slamming Joanna instead of just offering a positive, alternative position. Like for instance saying “I got my husband a bunch of spice rubs and an ottolenghi cookbook, he’s been trying to cut down on meat and I’m hoping this scratches the umami itch, the eggplant dishes alone look incredible”.

      If you want people to join your party, make the party fun.

    • AN says...

      agreed, kate! my goodness, y’all. give them a break, and if you don’t enjoy the content – move along and leave it for the rest of us ;)

    • Megan says...

      Yes to this! I heard a media personality say recently, “I’m just going to stop with the negative reviews.” What is their purpose, really? So you can feel superior to a bunch of strangers on the internet? If you are upset about meat consumption, consider the ways you can go about it constructively.

    • Katie says...

      Completely agree. I keep wondering if I’ve changed or the community has changed, but it feels like there has been such a shift the past year in the comment section. I use to see it as such an amazing place with different perspectives and POV’s offered in kind ways, not this moral policing and one stop shopping mentality.

      Jo and team – you’re doing an amazing job. The blog is still my favorite place on the internet. You’re always so receptive to feedback and willing to learn. Don’t let the negative nellies bring you down, you never pretended to be anything other then a lifestyle blog and that’s ok, in fact it’s wonderful.

    • Claire says...

      Yes, thank you, and no kidding. I enjoy the content here, but so often the comment section reminds me of The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.

    • Deb says...

      I totally agree, Kate, but also I love your typo. COJ does an admiral job! Joanna puts on a hat like Russel Crowe’s in Master and Commander and charges in with a sustainable meat recommendation!

    • Maggie says...

      Hi, Tracey! I just wanted to come back and say how much I appreciate your positive, alternative position. It had never occurred to me to try an ottolenghi cookbook with fun new spices as a way to have less meat-based meals, but the presentation of a solution rather than just a complaint really resonated with me. (This may be my love language?) I think this combination is something I will gift myself this month, which will hopefully be a gift to my whole family and the planet. Thank you!

      And of course, thank you Cup of Jo and team for providing such wonderful content and for being so gracious in response to your readers.

  34. Amanda says...

    My husband’s birthday was this weekend, and my toddler and I “collaborated” on a gift – I framed a cute snap of them for his desk at work, using one of the kiddo’s scribble drawings as a matte behind the picture. It turned out so cute and colorful!

    • Becky says...

      That is such a cute idea!!!

  35. Peggy says...

    My husband loves his coffee hot, hot, hot and adores his temperature control Ember mug. I gave it to him a couple of years ago and he uses it every day.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that idea!!!

  36. Somebody Toucha My Spaghet! – is what instantly and stupidly came to mind when I read the drink name.

  37. Susan says...

    We have a solo stove and LOVE IT. It was our pandemic porch winter splurge. Totally worth it.

    • Betsy says...

      Same! We joke that our Solo stove literally got us (and our neighbors!) through the pandemic.

  38. Michelle says...

    I was buying Crocs for my toddler and got Daddy a pair too as an early Father’s Day gift. It was kind of a joke on my part, but my husband loves them and has not worn another pair of shoes since!

    • Jules says...

      My husband and father never wear anything but their crocs. Makes me laugh because both of them scoffed at the idea before we got them a pair.

  39. Marisa says...

    Hi Joanna, I just wanted to say that your style of writing with your (Alex’s) suggestions is just so spot on! This post does resonate with authenticity and warmth. That’s why we all love you so much <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, thank you so much, Marisa. that makes my day:)

  40. Alexis says...

    I got my partner a mokapot for Christmas, but he has been using bodega coffee grounds in it. So I signed him up for a customized coffee subscription where he can input his preferences and work with a coffee expert to fine tune the next month’s box.
    I’m also going to splurge on some wagyu steaks for dinner and make him his favorite dessert, chocolate souffle.
    All tummy-related, but that’s all he really cares about! Going to check out the meat subscription. Thanks, Alex!

  41. Kattia says...

    What kind of Beer does Alex use for the Spaghetti?

    • G says...

      Not Alex, but I bet a Moretti or Peroni would be so good!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask him! he’s on a walk right now :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Says Alex: “Ray’s Bar uses Miller Highlife or Tecate or something, but at home I take a hoppy IPA and drop this aperitivo in. Instead of a knock-you-off-your-socks cocktail, it’s a drink you can savor on a summer day. It’s crisp, light and unpretentious.”

    • Annie says...

      Kattia — I drink something similar as my official “drink of summer.” I use Allagash white with a splash of Campari (and an orange slice, if I am feeling extra fancy). 100% recommend.

  42. Eloise says...

    No two-legged kids here, but my husband has been lusting after the solo stove

  43. Nina says...

    I think the growing consensus is that there’s not a truly sustainable way to produce meat… Animals outdoors are still producing methane and consuming food and water – the land use and water consumption numbers still apply. Just putting the word “sustainable” on it feels like green-washing, without going into the details of what you mean by it. I’m not suggesting CoJ needs to become a veganism blog, but just quietly ceasing to promote meat would be a good thing to do for the planet. Dietary change is one of the few ways we can really make an impact on an individual level. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/06/cut-methane-emissions-rapidly-fight-climate-disasters-un-report-greenhouse-gas-global-heating

    • Andrea says...

      Hi Nina! Rotational grazing farmer here. I appreciate your points, but animals grazed and moved to new grass daily/weekly are actually working as carbon sinks, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. Yes, when animals are in CAFOs/raised on cement and fed hay, methane and water usage are very large problems. But, if instead of annually plowing fields to grow hay to then feed to animals on feedlots (and eroding soil every year), if animals are raised on those fields, replenishing the soil, living the way nature intended, it can easily give a family one night a week with meat in their diet. A chicken raised on pasture from a local farmer is much more environmentally-friendly than an Impossible Burger that is created in an emission-outputting factory, then semi-trucked across the country to a freezer case in a supermarket.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      DC, I get that completely. I actually called Maureen (our marketing director) to ask if it felt weird to include meat in a Father’s Day gift guide because it feels so stereotypically masculine! But at the end of the day, these were the six things Alex really wanted. He’s trying to eat less meat overall; and the meat he does eat, he wants to be really good quality from thoughtful local farms. Hope that makes sense.

    • Mel says...

      Hi Nina, I disagree with you on this one. Sure, a vegan diet might be better for the environment, and if you’re able to follow one good for you! But there are a lot of folks out there you would have a hard time convincing to become vegan. I take for example my mom who grew up on a dairy farm. She would never in her life become vegan. However, if presented with options that are maybe not perfect but at least somewhat better for the environment (like encouraging people to eat less meat rather than zero meat, choosing chicken instead of beef, or meat from farms that strive to reduce GHG emissions like the one Joanna presented), I think she would definitely consider those. I think offering intermediate/moderate options is a more realistic approach for many people than expecting them to make an extreme lifestyle change overnight. So, I personally am happy to see CoJ promote meat options like this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes, Mel, this was our thinking here: Some people will still eat meat, and a more responsible way to do that is to get meat from local, ethically sourced places. Butcher Girls is an incredible company. I encourage everyone to read more about them! https://ny.butchergirls.co

    • Em says...

      To expand on Nina’s comment, I was vegan for 8 years and had to reintroduce animal products for health reasons. It was challenging on an ethical level but, in the process of coming to terms with the adjustment, I learned that livestock did not begin producing large quantities of methane until human fed them antibiotics. Thus, purchasing pasture-raised animal products from the farm up the road that does not artificially bulk up their animals may be a good option for those who want to do right by the world while still consuming animal protein.

    • Karen says...

      I think that trying to make an impact on an individual level is admirable, and we all can be doing more, but emphasizing that shifts the blame from the corporations that do most of the polluting. They also have a lot of control over legislation and regulation through well-funded lobbying. Normal consumers shouldn’t feel the weight of that responsibility on their shoulders. There’s a lot of cultural value in eating meat, so offering a sustainable alternative to source ingredients is a win-win in my opinion– people get to keep their traditions and the industries causing the lion’s share of emissions lose profits to more sustainable producers. I’m all for reducing our meat consumption and de-industrializing our food, and I appreciate CoJ for showing tools to make that happen.

    • DC says...

      Joanna, that does make sense, and thanks for taking the time to respond. I do really appreciate the care and thought that goes into the posts here, as well as the thoughtful discussion that happens (well, that doesn’t just happen—that the CoJ team fosters and moderates so well!) in the comments.

    • Yael says...

      The Butcher Girls also specifically mention some of their sustainable pracices like grass feeding and regenerative farming: https://ny.butchergirls.co/pages/how-were-helping

      Also, “The Beef with Beef episode of the “How to Save a PLanet” podcast is super interesting and informative and breaks down the climate change impacts of beef, whether individuals cutting out beef makes a difference, and what we all should do about eating beef to help the climate. Highly recommend! https://gimletmedia.com/shows/howtosaveaplanet/94hrd52
      They mention that the percentage of Americans who are vegetarian have remained pretty stagnant over the past few decades. Like other commenters mentioned, asking people to cut out meat on a large scale is not a realistic approach. Reducing beef consumption and buying from local farms implementing sustainability practices is a great way to go. (Also, usually the higher cost of beef from these farms is more reflective of how it should be incorporated into a diet–infrequently.) I think they also mentioned this on the podcast – said that a world where everyone ate meat once a week would be great.

      p.s. Joanna, I would LOVE if you had Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on the blog (maybe for a beauty uniform)!! She’s one of the hosts of “How to Save a Planet” and is a fabulous climate scientist who is able to make these issues understandable and relatable. And she also wrote a book “All We Can Save” an anthology of women writers on climate. She’s just very cool.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yael, Dr. Johnson sounds amazing! Thank you for the introduction.

    • Miranda says...

      Wow! Despite the strong feelings in this thread I feel like the vibe is overwhelmingly kind and smart and gentle. I’m a vegetarian & just to be 100% honest the opening shot of just raw meat wasn’t just icky to me, but it also bummed me out on behalf of my husband. I was hoping to see some great gift ideas for him (he’s a great dad and we’ve got a 2nd baby coming in a few weeks so I really want to spoil him!), but man, seeing that two of the items were like “MEAT! Men like meat!”was a surprise and kind of a bummer. We’ve been vegetarians for about a decade and it’s been a real shock to me how many people — peers as well as members of our parents generation— really do have this twisted thing about meat and manliness. My moms significant other told my husband before we had kids that he’d never be able to have kids if he didn’t eat meat, and my dad has always implied things along those lines, too. I appreciate Joanna weighing in on this convo, and I understand that these are genuinely Alex’s picks! It’s helpful to know that. But nonetheless the meat/ masculinity thing is just SO strong in our culture, even in otherwise progressive people, and it was disappointing to see it pop up here, too.

    • miranda says...

      I feel weak and unhappy if I don’t eat meat. Hence a big big fan of the paleo diet which changed my life, improved my sleep, and made it so easy to keep the weight off.
      This after being vegan and vegetarian for 6 years and gaining 20 lbs…

      “Good for her, not for me.”

  44. Lydia says...

    Leading with meat, a bold move these days…
    The responsible and moral trend is to move towards a plant based diet.
    A reduction in animal products.
    Making meat MORE accessible–via delivery no less, a method rife with exploited overworked, underpaid and underappreciated contractors, is frankly disappointing and irresponsible, IMHO.
    Secondly, using the term “sustainable” in relation to any consumption of new clothing is misleading. Read the article in NYT today that discusses this very topic: marketing companies are using “sustainable” to encourage increased consumption (the opposite of sustainable, see?).
    I realize this blog can’t be all things to all people, but I have come to expect a bit more awareness, synergy with the zeitgeist.
    Thanks as always for creating a safe space to disagree and discuss. :)

    • shannon holt says...

      This. I ‘m not expecting activism here, but I’d love to see zero promotion of unsustainable practices, like the meat industry. I’d also enjoy more focus on green/cruelty free beauty products mixed into the content. There are so many affordable

    • M says...

      I so, so, SO agree with the meat + masculinity comment! I’m raising two sons and my oldest–a kindergartner!–has already gotten comments at school along the “but boys love bacon!” track. Ridiculous, and utter BS we’re putting up with it in 2021. Would love to see less meat=manliness content. :)

    • Yael says...

      I totally get that you guys want to less of industries that are viewed as unsustainable…but these issues are more nuanced and the science behind sustainability of these issues is much more complex than I think it seems at first glance. For instance, there are proven ways to reduce carbon emissions from animal farming and especially beef production, some of which are employed by the Butcher Girls.

      Also, the unfortunate truth is that the burden truly lies on industry and government policy. Individuals can make a difference, but (1) individuals are not responsible for how the majority of carbon emissions get into the atmosphere (2) it’s not feasible to expect people (or blogs) to cut out every type of activity that results in carbon emissions. And where emissions actually come from is somewhat surprising…airplane travel is a huge contributor. So is transportation. There’s a balance to be had between awareness of these issues and pushing for changes, while also understanding that taking a boat across the Atlantic a la Greta Thunberg is not something that most people are ever going to sign up for. And on a blogging level, I personally don’t think it’s reasonable to ask CoJ, which is a lifestyle (!!) blog, to not feature any activities that cause carbon emissions. I think Joanna does an amazing job of featuring vegetarian recipes and looking for sustainably minded companies to feature. Maybe when we give feedback on these issues we can be more constructive and ask Joanna to highlight more ways where people can get involved in climate advocacy and environmental justice, and more posts that help the CoJ learn how to bring carbon emissions into family decisions around where to live, what to purchase and more.

  45. BeckyB says...

    I can vouch for the Solo Stove. It’s awesome, and it’s one of my favorite purchases of the last few years. Worth every penny.

    • AN says...

      1000% agreed. And since it sits up on its ring, you can use it on a wood deck no problem (I mean, still keep an eye on it!). It’s just so beautiful and well-designed.

      Also want the Alex Crane shorts for myself!

    • Bevin says...

      I second (third?) this about the Solo Stove. We got it last summer, and it was great to sit around all winter, even in Colorado snowstorms.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This is great to hear!

    • Rose says...

      Came here to say the solo stove is the best! By far my favorite purchase this year. One tip – make sure you use very dry wood or it will get smoky. We live in the PNW and learned it was better to store the wood in the garage when possible for best results.

    • Erin Keast says...

      I bought my husband a solo stove to open on FD! He’s been talking about one for two years now, so I was already feeling confident, but this post/comments are making me feel even better.

      The kids are so excited! They’re giving him roasting sticks and s’more fixings, and we’ll have hot dogs for dinner.

    • Lizzie says...

      Agreed! Honestly, I was skeptical, but my husband loves to sit by the fire in our backyard and I always dreaded it because the smoke irritates my eyes and throat. We got a solo stove last fall and I love it! So much less smoke, I truly notice the difference.

    • Nikki says...

      Another five star review for solo stove. I got my husband one for Christmas. They even sent it to our military base in Japan! It’s portable to bring to the beach, it doesn’t bother our neighbors and we can sit by the fire and go in without stinking of smoke.
      Also they offer a great military discount and have amazing customer service.

    • Claire says...

      I’ve wanted one too and have wondered how they work out for people. Thanks for this comment!

  46. Leslie says...

    My husband likes when we don’t make plans, and let his fun spontaneous spirit run wild and free all father day weekend.

  47. Sarah K says...

    Love these suggestions- I find myself checking your website for gift ideas every time I have a person to buy for that is difficult. I love the fire pit and the hoagie towel made me smile (would also be a great gift for a kiddo or a teen). Happy Fathers’ Day!

  48. Briana says...

    My father was diagnosed with late stage prostate cancer in March, and I’d really like to give him something thoughtful this year. Beyond writing a letter to tell him how much he means to me, does anyone have any ideas? Maybe some kind of experience gift?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a lovely idea, Briana. yes, maybe something you could experience together?

      I also interviewed my dad this year and it was really meaningful for both of us, in case that resonates:
      https://cupofjo.com/2020/11/interview-your-parents/

    • Leslie says...

      I’m so sorry to hear that!
      Is there something special you two enjoyed while you were growing up you could recreate in someway? My dad often took me out for Saturday morning breakfast, it wasn’t fancy, but it was special. For Christmas 2019, I gave him 4 breakfasts at our different spots we used to hit. Now that we’ve gotten our vaccines, I can’t wait to put those little coupons for our breakfast dates to good use.
      Sending love.

    • Katie Weltner says...

      Briana, maybe as an experience you could relive something you’ve done before? My dad used to take me on motorcycle rides as a kid, and we’d often cruise out to a nearby waterfall and end with ice cream. After he was diagnosed with cancer, we recreated the event in a car. It wasn’t quite the same but it put us both back in that nostalgic space and cemented some special memories.

    • Jennifer says...

      I’m so sorry Briana.

      I got my mom Storyworth last year and it has been a huge hit. She hasn’t been very well this year and I am so happy that we will have all of her stories collected in one place. It is a lot of work for the recipient though. Maybe you could ask your Dad the questions and type the answers for him? Big hugs. I hope that you find something meaningful

    • b says...

      What about StoryWorth? We did that for my grandma a couple of years ago and it was a huge hit. Also, hello to a fellow Briana (I have an extra N).

    • TanjaK says...

      My father is going to be 90 years old this year and he is frail. The biggest gift to him has been me staying with him and Mum in the lockdown bubble. So, I would say that you do something your father enjoys and you do this with him and the people he loves. And just enjoy the time together, find ways to make him and you laugh. I’ve noticed my Dad likes to sing, so whenever he starts humming a tune, I join in and more often than not we finish singing in harmony and as loud as we can, which makes him very happy. So even if it is for a day, or a weekend, it’s also the little things that matter, probably more than one grand gesture, I think. I hope this helps you a bit. Wishing you and your father all the best.

    • pearson says...

      I love your ‘experience’ idea: whatever type of thing is a pleasure for him, organize it as an event you can share. My father liked fishing but mostly because it was something that provided a reason for him to be out in nature in an engaged way – I wish I could have given him a weekend gourmet cowboy ‘glamping’ trips to ride horses for example. He would never have done that on his own but would have loved it so much.

      Or maybe he’s more into culture? Fly to Paris or NYC or even just your closest big city for a weekend at an airbnb for museum crawling/a play/a big name orchestra performance, with dinner somewhere notable.

    • Andrea says...

      I am sorry.

      Ask him to teach you something. Maybe he makes something delicious, have him teach you. Maybe he has advice about a favorite subject like how to build wealth, landscape or get kids to sleep. Ask him how he approached being a father and what he thinks is important in raising kids.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Andrea, I love that. It feels so good to be the expert in something.

    • Rose says...

      I’m so sorry, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April as well <3 sending you love and prayers.

    • Briana says...

      Thank you all for these lovely suggestions. I think I’m going to go with the Storyworth idea. I actually only met my dad 12 years ago, when I was 27 (long story), so unfortunately can’t recreate any childhood memories. But that’s also why Storyworth resonated with me. I’d love to fill in some of the gaps in what I know about him.

      I really appreciate the comments here. I think this will be a great gift, not only for him but me and my siblings too.

  49. Agnès says...

    My partner loves flowers and he loved the bouquet of beautiful pink peonies I got for his birthday last month. They re called “mother s choice” and are amazing. I m sure he would love a drawing from our son or going to the cinema. Love the idea of the card! Might steal it. Have a nice day Joanna, lately your posts have been so caring, sensitive and uplifting. Thank you, love from Paris

    • beth says...

      I love this suggestion, Agnès. My husband made a comment a few months ago that the majority of men are given their first flowers at their funeral, which really broke my heart when he said it. I think flowers this Father’s Day it is! Merci!