The best Father's Day presents are FREE!
This year I've been thinking about free gifts that aren't cheap cop outs for Father's Day. What could I get my husband, who is an unbelievably amazing father to our son and, somehow even, to our unborn daughter, that won't break the bank or make him feel like he's getting the shaft--after all, it seems Mother's Day dwarfs Father's Day on most counts (which is unfair).
So what can we do for dear old dad? One thing I've always found fun and sweet is to go through all the old photographs and put together a collection of dad, mom and the kids through the years. I try to turn up long lost friends as well. That's totally free, and as much fun to create as it is for dad to peruse. Another idea? Head to the park for a picnic. Ok, yes, you may wish to go to the grocery to pick up a few of dad's favorite treats, but you were going to eat anyway, right? Take everyone to a nice shady spot, lay everything out and promise to provide clean up duty so dad can just relax and enjoy.
Another idea is to take over dad's tasks and chores for a week. If dad normally takes out the trash or does the laundry or mows the lawn, give him a break from those things for a few days to let him know how much you appreciate his contributions to the household duties. Take the kids off his hands and out of the house for the day so he can watch television, sleep or lounge around and do whatever he wants without having to supervise.
What dads--and moms--really want is for someone to take over their day jobs, their household duties and their finances for about a week so they can just hang out. If you're in a position to do so, I highly recommend it. Of course, that's a fairy tale, but it sure sounds good, doesn't it?
I think what dads really want doesn't cost a thing, and that is simply to be told they're good fathers and good husbands. Laugh if you will about how much time and effort a dad contributes to the household chores or minding the kids, but many dads these days put in as much as moms, only they don't ever get to bask in the warmth of that like moms do. Moms are celebrated for their mom-dom year-round, while dads get relegated to one day without having to mow the lawn or do some other stereotypical manly thing.
So, tell dad that you love him, that he's doing a great job and that you appreciate him for everything he is and does. Have the kids tell him too (if they can speak, that is). They can make their own cards or try to be on their best behavior for the day, or two, if you're lucky. Maybe they can walk the dogs or take out the trash or polish the silver--whatever it is dad does. This year I'm going to see if I can make it through the day without micromanaging my husband as he vacuums! He'll appreciate that more than any gold watch.
Pic of mower by todbaker.