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Give Dad the Best Fathers Day Gift, You!


Midsection of boy and father holding hands while standing at park
Katja Kircher/Maskot/Getty Images

Bored with the prototypical Fathers Day tie? Tried every new recipe for Fathers Day Dinner? Running out of money, or options for dad? Consider giving him a part of you!

Sure there are some dads who live to fish, golf, or hunt. And there are some that seem to love the latest gadgets. But all dads share one thing in common: they love making memories. Here are a few suggestions on making memories with dad on Fathers Day.

Get the Lead Out. Even though some dads have washboard abs, many of us are more "washtub" abs kinds of men. Offer a Father's Day gift to help us get moving again. How about a long walk, especially in a natural setting? A family bike ride (if you can get all the flat tires fixed in time)? How about a little front driveway basketball? Or for the more fit, register him and a couple of the kids for an upcoming 5K or 10K walk. He will appreciate the thought, and will enjoy the time together more than the exercise itself.

Play Spielberg. If you have a video camera, plan to make a memory by making a Father's Day movie. Prepare a "script" and gather material for costumes and props. Have a couple of brief rehearsals and then get it on film. If you really want to be creative, pick a couple of dad's favorite songs and make a music video with the whole family! The result will be a cherished memory with a great video to go along with it.

Another variation on the movie idea is to get some of his favorite people to talk about him on video and then have a party and show the video. Think about including his family members, his wife, his employer, his minister, neighbors, friends, fishing buddies-you get the idea.

Make a Coupon Book. Are there some chores Dad gets but really hates? Are there some things he loves to do with family members but can't seem to find the time? Consider the creation of a Father's Day coupon book with five to fifteen coupons offering various services or activities. These might include things like washing and waxing the car, taking him miniature golfing, going on a picnic, giving him two hours alone with his favorite novel, etc. The list is endless. And he will appreciate a tailor made gift of your time and interest in him.

Old Photos Can Be Fun (and Embarrassing). Surely in a closet somewhere are some old photos of the family at play. Find the box (or boxes) and bring them out on Father's Day. Pass them around and ask Dad what he remembers about the experience in the photo. This is guaranteed to generate both laughs and tears. And it will help you connect with the "old man." And remember, no snickers about his hair, his clothes, or those funky sideburns!

Try a Board (not "Bored") Game. Ok, they are kind of out of favor now, but odds are Dad had some favorite board games growing up. Did he like Dominoes, Scrabble or Yahtzee? Or more recently, Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit? Try sitting down on Father's Day with some treats and a board game as a family and see what happens. You might find that these games are not as boring as you think and offer some great chances to laugh and interact.

A Progressive Dinner Among Relatives. Try this idea on for size, and involve your extended family in the process. Get a group together of Dad's siblings, cousins, in-laws, etc and plan a progressive dinner. This is where you have an appetizer at one house, a salad at the next house, a main course at the next house and a dessert at the last house. Then as a group, you go from one to the other all afternoon or evening long. Trade passengers in the cars so the dads get to visit with their extended family. Prepare food that can keep well for a while so that everyone can participate. With a little planning, you can give several dads a great and memorable Father's Day.

Long Distance. If you aren't at home or near enough to make a personal visit on Father's Day, consider some ways to narrow the distance. Instead of a card, how about a letter sharing your feelings and memories about your dad? Could you make a picture collage of some of your favorite dad times? How about a long and chatty phone call? You can still give of yourself, even if the miles and the time zones might separate you.


Promise yourself this year that you won't resort to the old standbys for Father's Day. After all, how many neckties, pen and pencil sets and smoked sausage can one dad stand in a lifetime? Offer something to your dad that is unique to you and to him. Give him the gift of your time, interest and thoughtfulness.

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