A Father's Day He Won't Forget: Ideas that Go Beyond Gifts

Get ideas for Father’s Day gifts that mean more than a receipt and wrapping paper.

By: Laura Franklin

It’s no secret that Dad is a hard person to shop for. Do you find yourself heading back to the mall to pick out a new tie or a “World’s Best Dad” T-shirt every June? Do you have to drag the kids to the store to pick out a cheesy gift?

Thoughtful gifts are always appreciated, but fancy presents aren’t necessary to make the holiday memorable. Father’s Day is a perfect time to create memories and start new traditions that involve everyone in the family.

If you’re scrambling to find some new ideas for Father’s Day this year, consider these ideas that go beyond gifts — and get ready for a Father’s Day he won’t soon forget!

Breakfast in Bed
Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy to make an impression. Even a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice carried up on a tray will get his Father’s Day off to a memorable start. Make it extra special by getting the whole family involved and have family members add their favorite breakfast foods to Dad’s breakfast-in-bed tray.

Take Dad on a Date
Whether it’s a date with his sweetheart or alone with the kids, treat Dad to some one-on-one time. Take him to his favorite restaurant or “kidnap” him for a surprise dinner out — and then pick up the bill at the end of the date!

The ever-popular coupon book of services family members are willing to perform for Dad throughout the year is simple but fun. Fill your coupon book with personalized notes and I-O-Us so he’ll know that they’ve come from the heart.

Make and Celebrate Memories

  • Start a Father’s Day journal: Have every family member write a dated message in a blank book. Add to it each Father’s Day, year after year. Family journals like this are wonderful for recording funny or endearing memories that have happened in the past year.
  • Document your day: Take pictures together throughout the day together and post them on photo sharing or social networking sites to keep a digital scrapbook of sorts. Memories are always more vivid and lasting when you’ve got pictures to reminisce over.
  • Remember the legacy: Relive memories together and let Dad talk about his own father and grandfather. You might learn a little more about Dad in the process.

Create From the Heart

  • Make him something unique: Create a craft to set on his office desk. Crafts can be as simple as a hand-drawn picture, as creative as a picture frame the kids have decorated with seashells or macaroni, or as quick as a personalized mug. Whatever you create, he’ll love seeing that reminder of his precious family while he works each day.
  • Create your own T-shirt: Keep your inside jokes and fun family memories alive on a personalized shirt! Solid color t-shirts can be purchased inexpensively at any craft or hobby store. Decorate his T-shirt with puffy paints, permanent markers or iron-ons, (and then dare him to wear it the next time he goes to the hardware store!).
  • Edible gifts: Never underestimate the power of some good, home-cooked food. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach — test that theory out with some freshly baked cookies or homemade apple pie.

Father’s Day gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money — or even any money at all. It all boils down to time together — time to create memories that last through the years. The time and attention you show the dads in your life on Father’s Day will be remembered and valued so much more than any gift wrapped in fancy paper and tied with a bow.

A stay-at-home mom turned full-time writer, Laura is a mother of five in the Washington, D.C., area whose daily life consists of a little bit of everything: kids, food, photography, travel, books, music — and very little sleep. Find her at her blog, Better in Bulk.


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