Growing up, every year on Father’s Day, Christmas, and birthdays I was at a loss. As a kid, coming up with an awesome gift for my “papi” was always overwhelming. Then I got married, had kids, and now I had to think about two special men in my life to buy gifts for … talk about exhausting. At least with my dad I could give him Brut cologne, another tie (even if he never wears them), or another wallet and he thought I was awesome just because I made him feel special. But with the hubby, it was a different kind of expectation: “Find the perfect gift to make him feel special.” I must admit that I put that expectation on myself, but nonetheless, it was there.
I’d desperately look everywhere for ideas. His closet — he has enough ties. His drawer — he has enough socks and undies. Under the bed — that’s it! A gadget for dust … not. His CD collection — well he doesn’t collect CDs. He’s not a techie guy, though he loves his iPhone. He’s not a sports guys, though he loves his alma mater football team, “Go dawgs, sick em!” And, well, Brut wasn’t going to cut it.
This is how our gift-giving and thinking-outside-the-box (literally) came about. The first “experience” gift my kids and I gave him was this: I organized a group of his friends for a Mud Run race, our city was having. From that point on, I was hooked and he loved it. My gift took care of getting his buddies together (he’s not good at that) and getting all the details together (something he didn’t have time to do).
Then all of the sudden it hit me. Focusing on enriching lives through experience is the ultimate Father’s Day gift, or for that matter, Mother’s Day gift, birthday gift, and even Christmas gift. This past Mother’s Day I was given art lessons for me and one of my boys. I loved it. One of my favorite “experience” gifts was our eight-year anniversary: We rappelled down a waterfall.
Since then, our favorite gifts for each other are gifts of experience. Oh! I have to tell you about one more of my “experience” gifts that was the bomb. My husband planned an overnight getaway for me and a small group of my close girlfriends. He planned everything; all I did was show up. It was absolutely WONDERFUL! We’ve also enjoyed these “experience” gifts as a family. Last summer one of our Christmas and birthday gifts was our trip to Peru as a family. Memories were made, we bonded as a family, we got mad and frustrated as a family, and we learned and experienced another culture as a family. It was fabulous.
So here are more “experience” gift ideas for you to give to dad this Father’s Day.
Forget the Father’s Day Gifts, Give an Experience:
1. A gift certificate to a movie
… or plan a guys movie night at your house for his friends.
2. A trip to the spa
If your man likes to be pampered, sign him up for a massage, nail-trimming, and what not.
This is a great way to bond together and enjoy an activity with your father. What does he like? What’s a fun and challenging thing you can enjoy together? Rafting, chess, tennis, fishing, art, or photography classes — the possibilities are endless!
4. A trip
Don’t think expensive if you’re on a budget. Where can you go with dad for the day? How about spending the day exploring and hiking a national park with a picnic?
5. Enjoy an activity together
A great idea is to choose an activity that requires both of you to train together, like running a race or cycling through the mountains or hiking the Grand Canyon. Or you can always go with something more simple like golfing, hunting, or target practice. Every time I came home from college my brother would take me to a shooting range. I must say that was not my cup of tea but it was our bonding time, and I enjoyed our time together.
My boys and I got together and thought dad needed another biking trip through the mountains with his friends. At the end of the trip, they’ll get to sit and relax at the bottom of the mountain in hot pools. Since we want him home with us on Sunday, we planned it for another day and gave him a card with the surprise.
Stop by my website and download our fun Father’s Day card printable for free HERE!
Feliz dia de los padres! Happy Father’s Day!