One thing my dad and my husband have in common is that they are both notoriously hard to shop for —when you ask them what they might like, the reply is almost always the dreaded, "Huh, I really can't think of anything." Sigh.

In reality, though, nobody wants to be unthought of, especially on a day that's supposed to be honoring them. That's when it dawned on me — dads just want to be thought of, more than anything else. It's not so much that they want some thing, so much as that they want some reminder that we know them well and think of them often.

Related: 45 of the best Father’s Day gifts for every dad on your list this year

The solution? Go with a gift that's personal — or better yet, personalized. When someone sees their name on something, it's like instant reassurance that they weren't an afterthought. You clearly didn't just go to your local department store, buy 10 of the same ties, and give one to him. His name on the item shows you made or ordered something specifically with him in mind.

There's a plethora of personalized gifts for dad out there, but here are some of our favorites:

Personalized ‘I Am Your Father’ T Shirt

Celebration Factory

$20.99

Personalized ‘I Am Your Father’ T Shirt

Are there any dads out there who *haven’t* made the “I am your father” reference from ‘Star Wars’? I didn’t think so. Dad will get a huge kick out of this personalized ‘I Am Your Father’ T shirt from Etsy—and you can customize it with up to four kids’ names!

Brewski Crate

Man Crates

$29.99

Brewski Crate

My husband appreciates a good craft beer, just like he appreciates an easy way to open the bottle—and to remember which glass was his! This set of personalized pint glasses and speed opener is an awesome way to make things easy—and make things personal.

Cuisinart Portable Grill

Cuisinart

$259

Personalized Portable Venture Gas Grill

Whether he’s king of the tailgate party or a camper extraordinaire, he’ll be pleased as punch to show off this personalized portable grill. The compact cast iron design features a wooden top that doubles as a chopping board or charcuterie tray and is perfect for grilling up all of his specialties while enjoying the great outdoors.

Corkcicle Whiskey Wedge Glass

Corkcicle

$24.95

Whiskey Wedge Glass

If a glass of whiskey is his favorite way to end the day, treat him to this clever design from Corkcicle. Tuck it in the freezer with the silicone form to create an ice wedge that’s optimal for whiskey chilling. Add his initials to make it extra special.

Yeti Lowball

Yeti

$20

Personalized Drinkware

The gold standard for day drinking and coffee transporting, Yeti’s line of insulated drinkware can all be personalized with monograms, names and even custom logos. Consider his favorite drink (beer? coffee? a stiff Manhattan?) and favorite color and gift him something he’s guaranteed to reach for on the daily. Prices start at $20.

Gifted Frames Lego Art

GiftedframesCo

$39.41

Personalized LEGO® Super Hero Frames

Want to really make dad feel like a hero? Create one of these awesome personalized frames from Etsy, which feature LEGO super hero figurines. One of the extra sweet things about this gift is that it lets you call out the specific personality traits that make the dad in your life so uniquely lovable.

Personalized BBQ utensils

Personalization Mall

$49.99

You Name It! 4-Piece Personalized BBQ Utensil Set

This set of personalized grilling tools makes Dad’s title as grill master of the family official. Plus, I love that every time he looks down to flip a burger in the backyard, he’ll see that his hard work making meals for everyone is appreciated.

Personalized Apron

Personal Creations

$23.79

Family Fun Embroidered Grill Apron Set

I feel lucky—and genuinely grateful—that my husband is the cook in our house. Not only does that shorten my daily to-do list, but also, I love that he teaches our boys to cook, as well. This parent-child apron set is absolutely perfect for the dad who loves to grill or cook with his kiddos.

Tribute Custom Video

Tribute

$29

Custom Video

The video montage trend peaked during the pandemic as a way for people to connect virtually, but it’s continued to be a really touching way for loved ones—especially those who live far away—to reach out. With Tribute, you can collect group video messages, email reminders to friends and family, and create montages. Sound like too much hassle? Tribute even has a concierge package, in which they handle the whole process for you. Dad will really feel the love as he opens and enjoys each message on his day. After all, sometimes all a person really wants is to hear the voices and see the faces of the ones they love most.

Action Face I Love Dad Action Figure

Action Face

$49.99

I Love Dad Action Figure

Nothing says “I love dad” quite like an action figure of his own kid that well, literally says “I love dad.” Turn his pride and and joy into a 3D avatar-like figurine that’s certain to become an instant conversation piece. Just download their free app to scan your face, choose from a variety of customizations and you’ve created a one-of-a-kind gift!

Engraved Wood Watch

MyFaveGift

$49.99

Engraved Wood Watch

What I love about these watches is that they’re sophisticated, but not “stuffy” looking (my husband refuses to wear anything that looks “stuffy”). Seriously, they look equally great with jeans or a suit. The ability to engrave a message on the back makes it personal and meaningful on a whole other level.

llbean wxed canvas duffel

L.L. Bean

$159

Waxed Canvas Duffel

I started thinking of all the places my dad and husband would use this duffle bag —travel, gym, golf, etc.—and then I realized that I can’t really think of anywhere they wouldn’t use it. It’s an L.L. Bean classic that’s rugged and versatile and the monogramming will show this was truly a gift specifically for him. And, any mom who’s had to label a million things for kids’ school or camp knows it always helps to have items clearly labeled with names!

Groovy Guy Gifts Portable Phone Charger

Groovy Guy Gifts

$39.99

Personalized Portable Phone Charger

Before buying a gift, I usually find myself questioning how often the recipient will really use it. Well, there’s no concern about that with this personalized phone charger ! Dad will use it—and enjoy the personalized message from you—every single day.

personalized brass plate

Things Remembered

$14.99

Brass Plate

Does the dad in your life have a favorite spot at the table? Engrave this brass plate from Things Remembered with “Dad’s Spot” and attach it to his chair, so that he—and everyone else—knows he’s got a meaningful place in your home.

personalized video game
$100

Personalized Video Game

You can create a personalized video game for Dad, completely customized with his favorite people, places, and even pets! If that’s not a way to “level up” your Father’s Day gift giving, I don’t know what is. Prices start at $100.

Hooray Heroes Personalized Book

Hooray Heroes

$43

Personalized Book

Make the dad in your family cry this Father’s Day—in a good way! What’s extra special about this personalized book is that it features both daddy and child, making them both see just how loved they are. Get the tissues ready!

Art of Yellow Custom Portrait

Art of Yellow

$45

Cartoon Portrait Drawing

Some gifts really say, “See? I get you,” and these portraits by Art of Yellow do exactly that. With one of these, you can turn dad into a cartoon character for a totally one-of-a-kind gift that’s also a forever conversation piece.

Personalized Golf Balls

golfballs.com

$15.95

Personalized Golf Balls

I love it when the thing that makes a gift special is also what makes it more practical. That’s why I’m obsessed with these monogrammed golf balls —not only do they let golf-loving dads know they were really thought of, they also help them identify which balls are theirs in the fairway. Prices start at $15.95

Photo Engraved Wallet

My Photo Wallet

$19.95

Custom Photo Engraved Wallet

This photo engraved wallet is a beautiful way to infuse an item that Dad looks at every day with reminders of the ones he loves most. Bonus perk: If he loses his wallet somewhere, it’s that much easier for the wallet to find its way back to the rightful owner.

A version of this story was published May 21, 2021. It has been updated.