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Buying gifts for adults is tough. The older people are, the more likely it is they have everything they want already and don’t want to accumulate any more worldly possessions.

Getting someone a gift certificate is an option, but it always feels like a cop-out. Cash is even worse. Greenbacks make a great gift for someone under the age of 18, but after that, it just seems like you’re paying someone off for Christmas.

Fortunately, there’s always the option of clothing. No matter how old or young you are, you generally always need to wear clothes. And helping someone update their wardrobe is never a bad thing, especially for those older adults.

That brings me to my dad, who actually has a pretty good assortment of newer clothes to wear, thanks in large part to my mom. But, I just can’t bring myself to buy him some generic sweater or a pair of socks.

My dad deserves a unique gift, I thought to myself this past weekend. Thankfully, we live in a world where you can make your own customized t-shirt with just a couple hours of work on a website.

I just needed an idea. My parents live on a lake in northern Minnesota, and my dad is the longtime president of the lake association, so that got me thinking. He loves that lake, and he also loves corny humor. I can work with that.

I uploaded an overhead map of the lake and slapped it on the front of a blank t-shirt. Inspiration hit and I came up with a nice, ironic title to overlay onto the top of the image: “Lower South Long Lake Yacht Club.” There are no yachts on the lake, of course, and the very idea of a yacht club should bring a few smirks from my dad’s neighbors on the lake.

But I still had empty space to fill on the front of the shirt. Any good yacht club needs some kind of slogan, I thought. It came to me as if I had already read it on a northwoods barroom wall somewhere: “The only thing bigger than our boats are the Northerns” (referring to the pikes in the lake). It sounded exactly like the kind of goofy “dad joke” my dad might post to his Facebook page.

All I had to do was make a few design tweaks and I was ready to place my order. The website, Zazzle, warned me that the image I was using had been significantly enlarged from its original size, but I thought I should take a chance. It arrived in the mail yesterday, and I was not disappointed.

I’ll be celebrating Christmas with my parents this upcoming weekend, so we’ll see how the gift goes over. Of course, the real test will be next summer, when I see how often he appears in public with his new “yacht club” shirt. Knowing my dad, it should at least make a few appearances on out on the lake, when he’s fishing for one of those big Northerns.