dad and daughter

 

Finding a present for Father’s Day can be a challenge. What do you give the guy who taught you how to tie your shoes, how to catch a fish, how to drive and how not to dress? No doubt a proper gift for Father’s Day would be a palatial country estate with a team of prizewinning horses, or at least a steak dinner at the priciest place in town.

But, you’re broke. You don’t even have the cash for a Reno 911 DVD set, a chocolate bar or an ugly tie.

Never fear! You can still show your Dad how much you care with these creative and cost-efficient ideas. It truly is the thought that counts, and besides – he always taught you to be thrifty, right?

  1. Does Dad have a gaggle of young children (or dogs) that he is constantly attending to, wiping noses (picking up poo) and keeping in line? Take them away. To a park, to a playground, to the movies, it doesn’t matter: The gift of several quiet hours of peaceful rest alone will be priceless. Try to keep the kids out of his (thinning) hair as long as possible.
  2. Write your father a poem or letter describing your favorite childhood memories of times you spent together. You don’t have to be a Nobel laureate; remember, the thoughts contained in the words are what matter, not the words themselves. Your father will be touched to know that trip to the Yankees game or the tree house he built for you so long ago meant so much.
  3. Every Dad has chores he routinely engages is that he is none too thrilled about: Mowing the lawn, dusting the furniture, washing the car, trimming the bushes, cleaning the windows, etc. Find out your father’s least favorite chore and do it for him. Even better, do it for the next week, or month.
  4. Can’t get around to mowing that lawn today? Give your Dad coupons for various duties with a year-long expiration date, and INSIST he use them. Don’t forget.
  5. Arrange a day off with his boss. This takes some finagling (and a really cool boss) but nothing is better than getting a day of your life back from The Man to do anything you want.
  6. Take your father on a walk to a park, a lake, a mountain or another beautiful natural setting. Ask him about his childhood, what he has learned in his life, and what he wants his future to hold. Ask him how you can be a better daughter or son.
  7. Find a free Father’s Day event in your town, and drag him to it. Google “Free Events (Your City)” or check one of the many local events discovery websites like Yelp, Eventful, Flavorpill or Citysearch. There are heaps of free events out there; you just need to put in a little web time to find them.
  8. Cook his favorite meal, from the vegetables to the meat to the beverage to the dessert. While not entirely free, you probably have many of the ingredients already in your kitchen, and you were planning to eat that day anyway, right? If he had a favorite dinner as a kid, try to recreate the food that made him happy.
  9. Trade services and barter with a friend. Do you have a friend who is a masseuse, or landscaper, or chef or car detailer? Have them pamper your Pop in exchange for something you can do, whether it is babysitting, cooking or cleaning house. He gets an awesome gift, and since it was purchased with your energy and talent, it will mean even more.
  10. Give Dad a hug, your time and presence, and a reaffirmation of your determination to make the very most of your life and be the best person you can be. After all, his greatest pleasure is to see his loving child happy and successful. Everyone wins!

“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” Bill Cosby

 image: aarongilson