This weekend is Father’s Day weekend in the U.S., and I’m sharing this post with Weekend Coffee Share.
Today, I created a “pop”-themed gift basket for my dad for Father’s Day. I filled this little plastic shoebox with interesting soda “pops,” some gourmet lollipops, and other “pop” snacks like Popchips potato chips and Popcorners popcorn chips.
There’s a few specialty items in here that might not be available everywhere in the U.S. (or outside of the country,) but you certainly should be able to take some inspiration and do your own version of this. I will take you through my whole shopping and basket-making experience and even share a few extra pop-themed gift ideas I did not personally use, but you might be able to use.
I do not call my dad “Pop” or even Papa, but if I’m in a silly mood, I’ll call him Papa (with the emphasis on the second syllable.) My brother goes by Papa to his kids and Poppop to his granddaughter, and there must be some other Papas and Poppops out there. Even if your dad is not Pop or Papa to you, it might just be a fun idea.
First, I went to a discount store near me for my basket. This discount store, called Amazing Savings, is not national, but you should be able to find plastic shoeboxes like this in Walmart, Target and similar stores and possibly even in a dollar store.
I happened to see a few other items that fit the theme while I was shopping here. First, I saw this poppable fidget toy.
It seems this toy tries to mimic bubble wrap. I know some people are crazy over popping bubble wrap, and I think this toy would be appropriate for an adult who happens to like fidget desk toys (and bubble wrap.) I didn’t think it was the best thing for my dad in particular. If you like this idea, it does seem like you can find similar items on Amazon.
I also happened to see another non-edible and non-potable item that I decided to buy … a silicone cell phone pop stand. It has a suction cup on one end and a silicone sphere on the other, for holding up a cell phone. I think my dad might make good use of this.
Then, I was off to the Kings Supermarket for some individual bottles of specialty sodas. Yes, I use the word “soda” and not “pop” for carbonated drinks. I realize that outside of the New York/New Jersey area in the U.S., nearly everyone else in the country says “pop.” It’s soda to me, but for a fun theme, I was willing to use that other term. If you live in an English-speaking country outside of the U.S., let me know in the comments what you call a carbonated drink.
I picked out several of these. I’ll show you my picks later on in this post.
I also went to the snack aisle for some popcorn and other snacks with “pop” in the title. Of course, bagged popcorn or boxed microwave popcorn would fit the theme, but I went with Popcorners chips. My mom and dad really like these Popcorners chips, because it’s made with popcorn but has no hulls that can get stuck between teeth.
There were a lot of popcorn options, including kettle corn and sweetened popcorn.
Even though I was beginning to wonder how everything would fit into my shoebox, I picked up a bag of these barbecue-flavored Popchips. Poppables chips would work too or maybe even Pringles. Do you remember that slogan, “Once you pop, you can’t stop?”
Then, I remembered an interesting popcorn product I’d seen earlier in the store. This Lesser Evil brand had very unusual flavors such as pink grapefruit, lemonade and watermelon hibiscus. Both parents (and I) are adventurous eaters, but for this gift, I still thought it was safer to go classic. Still, I thought I would show you these unusual flavors.
My next stop was at Staples, the office supply store, just because I happened to remember from the last time I was there that they were selling some gourmet lollipops with interesting flavors. I wonder how many customers go to Staples just for lollipops? They didn’t have as many as they did when I was last there, but I was able to get a few. I picked up two strawberry shortcake flavors, one strawberry banana and another in party punch flavor.
Pop Rocks, if you can find them, might be a fun idea for a Gen X or Boomer dad who would remember them from childhood, but maybe not the best one for my octogenarian dad. Cake pops, either store bought or home made, are another possible idea. Popsicles, of course, can’t be left out, but you could leave a note in your gift basket, directing Dad to the freezer.
After this, I headed home to assemble everything.
Here, you can see the interesting picks I had for sodas. There are Stewart’s brand root beer and orange and cream sodas, a pomegranate and blueberry Mash soda, pomegranate GUS (Grown Up Soda) soda and Olipop strawberry vanilla sparkling tonic. This last one was a prebiotic drink that needed to be refrigerated. I live with Dad, so I wrapped this one up in a plastic bag and put it way in the back of the refrigerator to hide it. I’ll move it to the basket on Sunday.
I decided to go with specialty sodas. I don’t know if you will be able to find all of these exact brands and flavors where you are, but you can also go with tried and true favorites. One other source of some unusual, even nostalgic sodas, is the store portion of Cracker Barrel restaurants.
I found this 5×8″ index card and trimmed it a little to fit the side of my shoebox. I then found some markers and wrote this message on it, “Happy Father’s Day to my ‘Pop’!” and decorated it with balloon designs. I used wide packing tape to fasten the card to the side of the box.
I used the packing tape to tape other items into place as well, taping the lollipops inside the sides where they were sticking out visibly and attaching the bottles to the bottom to keep them stable. The bags do barely fit, but they can prop themselves partially inside behind the bottles, and a little tape helped there too.