I Gifted My Dad This Unique Candle, and He Bought Three More

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Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Out of everyone in my family, my dad is the hardest person to buy gifts for, by far (and I’m sure many can relate). He’s a nature lover first and foremost, but there’s only so much camping gear and artwork you can buy for a person (hello, headlamps and wildlife photography). That’s why I was thrilled to stumble upon Parks Project, a company that sells national parks-themed home decor and outdoor items, like candles, reed diffusers, and mugs. 

I ordered the Joshua Tree Desert Campfire Soy Candle for my dad because the southern California destination is one of his favorite places on Earth — but the brand also offers Big Sur, Glacier, Yosemite, and Rocky Mountain versions. Each one has a slightly retro-looking design, plus its own distinct outdoor-centric scent. The Joshua Tree candle specifically blends notes of campfire, sagebrush, and juniper, with an impressive 80-hour burn time. I knew my dad would love this gift, but I never could have guessed that he’d immediately buy three more!

Parks Project is a surprising treasure trove of gift ideas overall — especially for the outdoorsy and travel-oriented people in your life. Beyond candles, they also sell park-inspired clothing, calendars, puzzles, coolers, and more. To top it all off, you can feel good shopping knowing that the organization has donated over $2 million to nonprofits on behalf of national parks. It’s also a Certified B Corp, meaning that it meets certain standards regarding its environmental and social impact. 

Take it from my tough-to-shop-for dad: If you’re looking for unique presents from a lesser-known company (with a feel-good mission, to boot), you can’t go wrong shopping via Parks Project.