This Christmas, don't overthink it when it comes to dad's gifties: mom's might require careful deliberation and forethought, but pops can be taken care of using this simple guide, which determines the best three choices depending on his age group:
A degree of leeway is permitted in the details. For example, if dad fancies that he can tell the difference, upgrade to Lagavulin 16 and make do with Ryobi in the shop. If he's handy, splurge on Craftsman and rein the budget back in with Canadian Mist. If he has issues with the sauce, go wild on the other two: DeWalt and cashmere.
In any case, don't skimp. If it comes in a plastic bottle, smells of glue or has the words "Black and Decker" on the side, you haven't spent enough money. Finally, if he asks for a jigsaw puzzle, don't fight it. It's a natural part of the aging process and the best thing you can do is help him accept it with dignity and grace.
(If you insist on being clever about all this, don't miss our 2010 Gift Guide)