Shopping for Dad at T.J. Maxx

Thanks T.J. Maxx for sponsoring this post and being a part of my family’s Father’s Day.

This Father’s Day I won’t be in town with my dad. It’s the way my life just is right now since I live so far away. I’ve moved out, I’ve grown up — last month I graduated from college, effectively closing a massive chapter of my life and moving further away from my childhood than ever. But my parents are still very important to me, and I’m always going to be their kid — whether that means I am looking for their guidance or willfully ignoring it. (Although admittedly, I never have been particularly rebellious — mostly just eccentric and hammy.)

When searching for gifts, I frequently shop at T.J. Maxx. They have a wide selection of gifts from great brands at prices that I can afford as a fresh-out-of-college buyer. My father instilled a value in me pretty early on when it comes to shopping: “I don’t mind spending money, but I hate wasting money.” It’s this kind of thinking that has not only gotten me a ton more outfits than what would ordinarily be possible, but also allows me to find better gifts for less by shopping at T.J. Maxx.

Gift-giving is something that I take a lot of pride in. A lot of people are not as into gift-giving as I am, but for me it’s a way of showing someone that you are happy to have them in your life, and that you understand them and want to help them pursue their passions. My dad’s time is spent between work, his kayak, and his grill for the most part. He’s had a lot of time to nurture his hobbies since my sister and I left the house and my mother got a job involving a lot of travel.

I don’t know much about kayaking, so I decided to focus on work and grilling, because I have a better concept of those activities and what kinds of stuff it would involve. I feel like a lot of my gift-giving for my parents is a game of useful-and-interesting vs. weird-and-hilarious. I once bought my father a high-end slab of Himalayan Pink Salt since my dad was getting more into fancy-grilling adventures and my research on grilling revealed that these Himalayan Pink Salt slabs were the hottest thing in fine grilling … only to find out my father had never heard of grilling or cooking on these giant slabs of salt (similar to grilling on cedar planks) and he was absolutely puzzled as to why on earth I thought he would want a 5-pound solid brick of salt.

This time I’m avoiding all those shenanigans.

T.J. Maxx has a lot of clothing to choose from, but I decided to go with the classic Father’s Day gift: a tie. I remember going shopping with my mom when I was still barely shopping-cart-height and perusing all the silk ties at the department store for my dad. Now I can grab a great tie at a great price at T.J. Maxx. 

It was difficult selecting a tie that balanced my memories of my father wearing ties that skew heavily towards recollections from the 90s with the more fashionable options available today. I think I did a pretty good job picking an understated but sophisticated tie with help from my cousin Caroline, who has a much more understated sense of style than I do.

There were some cool tech items at T.J. Maxx I spent a long time considering as well. I was considering buying the portable battery life extender since my dad works long days with a long commute and I’m sure there have been moments when he wished he had some more juice in his phone. In the end, I skipped it since the cute print on it was way too loud for a guy like my dad. (I’m pretty sure he considers my sense of style to be as loud and unnecessary as a lawn flamingo.)

Onward to the barbecue section! How fortunate that Father’s Day is right around grilling season and all the grilling merchandise was set up! I looked at a lot of different implements, attempting to guess which product my father didn’t have yet, but would want. (What do you get for the man who may or may not have everything?)

I ended up grabbing some meat claws for my dad, which you can use to better grab massive hunks of meat (versus the limited utility of tongs and mitts in certain situations) and can also be used to pull meat from bone and shred it. (I am drooling as I write this.) Admittedly, I also think I had way too much fun imagining my dad pulling apart a Flintstones-esque hunk of meat with this.

T.J. Maxx also has a ton of spices, grilling rubs, seasonings, marinades, and more that make great gifts. I wasn’t sure what spice blend my dad would love, so I decided against it, but they make excellent gifts for dads, housewarmings, etc.

I got two great gifts for my dad without breaking the bank, and there’s not a whole lot more you could want on your first gift-shopping venture out of college — or any time, really. I love giving gifts, I love shopping, and I love not having to scrape to do it. T.J. Maxx has everything you need to make an occasion special: gifts, cards, clothes, shoes, décor, athletic equipment, cooking devices, and even tech accessories.

I hope my dad enjoys the gifts. I still don’t know if they’re exactly what he’s looking for — maybe the tie isn’t quite his taste, or maybe he thinks meat claws are as silly as they sound (rather than as awesome as they sound!) — but as much as I aim to be a phenomenal gift-giver, it’s not just about getting the right item. It’s about thinking through what a loved one cares about and how you can do something to be a part of those experiences, even when you are hundreds of miles away from them.

maxx savings. maxx style. maxx life.


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