Father’s Day is Sunday and at this point in the week, I have no big plan other than maybe a cookout. Not good!
I asked my husband to write for us his list of Top 10 Cheap Father’s Day Gifts to help you and me figure out a great present to show Dad we really love and appreciate him! (And by the way the plaster of Paris cast of the kids’ hands – he doesn’t want that.)
So without further ado, here are Michael’s Top 10 Cheap Father’s Day Gift ideas, written by Michael:
1) BREAKFAST OF GLUTTONS: I’m usually a healthy eater, but on special occasions, I, like most dads, enjoy pigging out on good food. Most working dads don’t have time for a big breakfast. But on Father’s Day it would be great to sleep in (go to church late or even on Saturday, if necessary) and gorge on eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles and all the other great foods we usually avoid. Put the whole family to work and make more than he could possibly finish, then stand back and watch the big dog eat.
2) FULL-CONTACT FUN: Most men love competition, but weekends are often filled with watching our children play the games we love. Set something up with friends, relatives or neighbors to let a team of dads play a team of kids or moms or other dads. Touch-football, wiffleball, driveway hoops, anything to get the blood pumping and let dads relive the glory days.
3) FREE LABOR: Most dads, even those whose lives are disorganized, crave more organization. Find a project he wants done, and offer free labor from you and the kids and anyone else who will volunteer. Let him be the supervisor. No one questions his authority or plan, you’re just there to carry out his wishes. You’ll end up with a clean garage or basement and dad will feel like the big boss.
4) PIMP HIS RIDE: Atlanta dads spend a lot of time in their cars, and no matter what they drive, it feels better clean. With water restrictions gone, you can actually clean the car at home, or run it to a professional. Make sure to clean out the inside, vacuum the floor and use some glass cleaner.
5) SPUR OF THE MOMENT TRIP: I don’t think I’m the only dad whose life lacks spontaneity. Every time I leave the house with the family it needs to be planned in advance, with a generous supply of pull-ups, wipes, snacks, drinks and hand sanitizer. Whatever happened to just piling into the car and hitting the road? Try a quick drive north to hike in the mountains, meet friends at the lake or grab the inner-tubes and head to the river. The key is not to over plan it. That ruins much of the fun.
6) GADGETS AND GEAR: Let’s face it, most men love new technology. Even if you don’t know what he wants, even if he says he doesn’t want anything, give him a gift certificate at an electronics store and he’ll find something he likes. Even if your gift doesn’t pay for the whole thing, at least you gave him an excuse to go marvel at the latest cool stuff.
7) DAD HAS HEROES TOO: If you don’t know who he looks up to or admire, find out. Get him something about that hero. A book or movie, an autograph or framed picture.
8) THINK BEYOND THE FRAME: Photo gifts can be so much more inventive with new technology. Use one of the big photo sites to create a photo book of special memories, a personalized family calendar, a mug, a T-shirt, a poster or a digital photo frame where your dad can show off pictures of his family.
9) CONTRIBUTE TO HIS DREAM: Dad’s real dream might be way out of your price range. Maybe it’s a trip to Australia, a vintage car or a home renovation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help get him there. Start an account and contribute something to get him started. Give him a goal and a plan to get there: “If we can all help you save just $100 a month, you’ll have enough money in xx months, years or decades.” Even if it never pays for the whole thing, the fund will let him know that others care about his dream, too.
10) GUILT-FREE TIME: Dads who work late and travel for business feel bad whenever they chose to do something for themselves. A poker game, a ballgame with the guys or a weekend trip without the family feels like we’re choosing fun over the kids. Give your dad a free pass on a couple weekend trips and he’ll remember that long after Father’s Day is over.
So what do you think of Michael’s ideas? What are your plans for Father’s Day?