The gift of time just might be the best Father’s Day gift


Dear Adele,

Father’s Day is fast approaching and we are running short on inexpensive gift ideas. We have a school-age child and a teenager. Any tips?

Wife of a Great Father


Dear Wife of a Great Father,

Father’s Day is celebrated in Canada on the third Sunday in June. This holiday is enjoying popularity around the world and is meant to honour and celebrate fathers who love and contribute so much to their children, especially in the growing up years. Unfortunately, the day has become quite commercialized and many people feel pressured to purchase expensive gifts or store-bought cards to express their gratitude and affection.

I spent some time researching inexpensive or cost-free gifts for Father’s Day and I am listing a variety of them for your consideration. While my son-in-law Daniel Ben David with an eight-year-old, wanted an uninterrupted three-hour nap on the couch on a Sunday, and my 80-year-old friend Michael Roach with adult children and grandchildren wanted only the gift of time, the list below should offer you many choices to help your children celebrate one of the most special persons in their life, their dad.

  • Wash and detail his car
  • Water and weed the garden
  • Wash the garbage pails
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Create a poem using the letters of his name e.g.: Larry-L for Likeable, A for Affectionate, R for respectful, R for resilient, Y for Youthful
  • Serve him breakfast in bed
  • Write a personal letter listing the top 10 reasons he is loved and admired
  • Create cashable coupons for hugs, back rubs, or a cold beer
  • Spend time reading together
  • Spend time baking together
  • Spend time playing a sport together
  • Prepare a picnic
  • Make a homemade card
  • Write a letter of admiration
  • Create an original poem about dad’s talents
  • Gather a collection of dad jokes
  • Take a walk in the park
  • Create a CD of dad’s favourite songs
  • Create a piece of artwork
  • Frame a family photo
  • Take time to play a card game
  • Offer uninterrupted alone time
  • Select a favourite recipe, copy and decorate it
  • Buy a coffee subscription or gift card
  • Buy a mug with the child’s picture on it
  • Make a craft for dad
  • Offer to organize his sock drawer
  • Prepare homemade coupons offering to do chores
  • Prepare ‘one on one time together’ coupons
  • Go on an outing to the park
  • Enjoy conversation time with dad about his memories and accomplishments
  • Prepare a photo collage of child and dad
  • Prepare his favourite meal
  • Spend special time doing whatever dad wants
  • Watch a movie or sporting event together that dad has chosen
  • Bake together
  • Play a board game together
  • Plan a trip together
  • Plan a weekend camping or fishing together
  • Go biking together
  • Walk the dog together
  • Go running together
  • Workout together
  • Let dad choose all the television programs for the weekend
  • Provide dad uninterrupted naptime
  • Go to the beach together
  • Go for a hike together
  • Make a lengthy phone call to dad
  • Enjoy a lengthy video chat with dad
  • Buy a commercial Father’s Day card
  • Pick some flowers from the garden
  • Review the family photo albums with dad

I hope a few ideas in this list are of interest to you and possible for your children to provide. The most important thing is to remember the dad in question and to let him know he is appreciated and loved by his family. In my opinion nothing beats the gift of time. However, if none of the above suggestions work and time is not possible you might want to consider a red Ferrari!

Best to you, Wife of a Great Father.

Sincerely, Adele

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