When it comes to pleasing Dad it often seems hard to do. I know that my Dad was always someone who was hard to shop for. I never knew what to get him. As I got older however I began to see what he enjoyed and what he did not. My mom was very different. Where she wanted a personal gift full of thought and meaning, Dad didn’t care so much for that. What he wanted was practical and useful. That is where these gift ideas come in:
- Food – I know that food is not really something you give as a gift most times unless it is a box of chocolates. However in my case my dad loves nuts. Any kind of nut. So my family has made it into a tradition to get him a variety of nuts for every occasion. That way he always has something to snack on and he doesn’t feel bad for ‘wasting his money’ on frivolous snacks. Another way we celebrate is to make him his favorite meal. Even though we all do not agree that it is tasty (meatloaf, yuck) we all make the effort to sit down together for dinner and have polite conversation. His favorite dessert is also on the menu, though through the years we have found ways to lighten it up a bit in consideration for our health. Even kids can help out in making the meal, sitting the table, and cooperating so that everyone can have a fun family meal. Sometimes when the day has been too busy we take him out to eat as well. It is fun for him to eat out without having to pay for the meal like he normally does. Although his favorite restaurant is not exactly fancy eating, he does enjoy himself and that is what counts.
- Gift Cards – After many years of including receipts with gifts we knew he would take back we finally wised up and started getting my dad gift cards. There are certain stores and restaurants that we knew he loved to visit so it was not hard to pick up a card for those places. Unlike cash we knew he would not be able to spend it towards the bills and could actually enjoy what he purchased. For the do it himself dad you can get a card to your local hardware store. For the dad on the road a card to his favorite drive through restaurant. You can even give dad a ‘date night’ with a movie gift card. It does not have to be a lot of money. Even small children can save up their allowance and give dad a five dollar card to Starbucks for a cup of his favorite coffee or an iTunes card for a few rocking oldies.
- Office Supplies – This is one the kids can really have fun with. Dads always love useful gifts and creative, crafty kids can have fun making pencil holders, paper weights, mouse pads, special mugs and more for dad to use at work. Not only are they useful but they give dad a reminder of what is waiting for him at home. Other options that you can buy include a new pen, a wireless mouse, a thermos to keep his coffee warm, or even a nice picture frame with a family photo to keep on his desk. For the dad that doesn’t have an office you can still help him out. My dad was in construction and always needed a kerchief or bandana to shade his neck from the sun under his hard hat. These came in a variety of fun colors and usually only cost a dollar so we kids could all afford to get him one. He also loved new pocket knives and coolers for his lunch. A traveling dad could use a travel pillow, a new laptop bag, or even a new phone!
- Clothing – Speaking of work my dad was always on the lookout for work boots. He wore them out so fast that he often had to glue them together when times were lean. As a child I remember buying him undershirts and socks for Father’s Day. Mom would get him the boots and he would be all set until Christmas. Jeans, slacks, shirts, shoes, belts, underwear, and more are all great gifts for dad. Instead of another tie he won’t wear why not give him something he will? For the weekends you can buy him a cool fishing shirt with vents so he can work and play in the heat without sweating to death. Or maybe a nice pair of sandals for the beach?
- Grooming – From cologne to razors and combs all dad have to keep their appearance in tip top shape. Kids can have fun decorating a mirror for dad to keep at work and make sure his hair is in place. Or they can buy him some bath wash with a manly scent. Carve soap into fun shapes or save up your allowance money for some aftershave.
- Sports – A lot of dads are really into sports. Golf, basketball, baseball, hockey and more keep their interest. The great thing about sports is that there are all kinds of ways you can give gifts related to them. Kids can buy dad a new set of golf balls or paint some special tees. A big screen TV to watch the game on is always a hit. A gift card to the sports store, a vintage baseball card, infielder gloves for him to play catch with the kids, or even a cute ‘baseball card’ photo of the kids make fun gifts for dad. Take dad out to see a game, get him season tickets or buy the premium sports channels for a year. There are so many ways to make sports a part of your Father’s Day celebration!
- Chores – Last but not least is every dad’s favorite. The chore gifts. Kids and moms alike can get away with spending nothing and leave dad with a smile. Kids can draw up chore coupons like washing dad’s car, cleaning his golf clubs, or free hugs and kisses whenever he wants. Moms can get in on the action too with coupons for feet rubs, back massages, and other, more personal, touches.
There are many ways to make Father’s Day special foe the dad in your life. Another thing that I have found makes my dad happy is the gift wrap. He doesn’t care much for expensive wrap you buy at the store. What makes him smile the most is a gift wrapped in comics from the Sunday paper. It was a tradition with his dad that brings back happy memories. Try to think about what makes the father in your life smile and what traditions he may have grown up with that you know he enjoys. By making the day all about him you can be sure he will enjoy his Father’s Day.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.