1, Spend time with him. Time is definitely the greatest gift of all and something we each have the power to bestow. Spend time with him doing things you know he'll appreciate, such as going for a walk, climb, or hike together; going fishing, cycling, or sailing together; watching a movie together; visiting an art gallery or museum; attending a sports match. Choose whatever you're sure he'll enjoy and make sure there is time to just chill and talk together.
2. Fulfill his dreams. If you're able to afford an expensive gift, try an experience gift. This sort of gift involves purchasing an experience that is not your ordinary activity. Think racing a car on a racetrack, skydiving from a plane, going for a balloon ride, taking a fighter pilot flight, doing a bungee jump, etc. You know your Dad best, so you'll know what experience he would find simply awesome and breathtaking. While it's costly, it will be a gift he's never going to forget!
- Other more hands-on experience gifts include cooking classes, ice climbing, wilderness/outdoors first aid classes, learning to make things classes, etc.
- Ask the rest of the family to pitch in on this sort of gift; that will reduce the costs and save your siblings having to find a gift (and Mom might even help too).
3. Bring someone into his life who he hasn't seen for ages. Arrange for an old army buddy, a long lost school friend, a cherished and admired mentor, or someone else he cares about to turn up for the day. Organize the travel, the accommodation, and the day's activities so that it all proceeds according to plan. Be sure to call this person another name when talking to family about them, so that your Dad is thrown off the scent!
- You can use sites like Facebook and friend reunion services to look for people and get in touch with them quickly.
Give a gift that keeps arriving. Month clubs can bring many surprises to Dad's door, with monthly shipments of all sorts of goodies such as chocolate, books, wine, cookies, pies, barbecue sauces, gourmet delicacies, and other delights. It's not something he's likely to arrange for himself, so indulge him.
- Another great once-a-month gift is an arrangement to send him to a new restaurant every month for a set time. Draw up an itinerary of suggested restaurants and let him know he can choose one a month for the next "X" months, all costs covered. You can either call the chosen restaurants ahead with your credit card or have him forward the bill to you.
- A monthly gift can be for as many months as you can afford; it doesn't have to be for the whole year. Or, you could be the source of the monthly gift by sending him a batch of homemade cookies or a new cake every month!
5. Write him a letter of thanks and appreciation. while this isn't something that costs money, it is priceless and he'll love it. Thank him for the things he has done for you and be sure to specify precise things that have happened in the past year in which you felt he has supported you, cared for you, and made you feel special. Tell him that you're proud of him and that you're incredibly happy to have him as your Dad. This is the sort of gift that will make his day.
- Enclose this letter inside a homemade card. For more details on making the card, see How to choose a design theme for a Father's Day card (this is also applicable to a birthday card).
6. Do something he has been asking you to do but you haven't yet done. Clean out the pool or gutters, sweep the yard, put away your junk, bring him the quotes or information he's been asking for, show him your trip photos, etc. Whatever it is that you've been putting off doing at his request, do it!
7. Consider a corny gift. Once in a while, a gift that's a little saccharin sweet but fun can go down well, especially in tandem with a decent gift. Such gifts can be mugs, t-shirts, badges, and other trinkets that have messages about great dads, and similarly worded Dad pride. Have fun with this one and give it in the spirit of having a laugh together.
- If you're truly stuck, ask your mom. She will probably have a good idea of what he wants and this could be a sure guarantee that you'll be giving him something he is really going to appreciate.
- Consider his sports and hobbies. Be observant about the things he might need for his sport or hobby participation. Perhaps there is something that is getting a little rundown that is in need of upgrading or replacement. Perhaps there is a better version of something he has, or simply something new that has been invented and he hasn't yet tried.
- Think about electronics or computer gear. Most fathers love this sort of gear but if you're not sure precisely what it is that he's missing, get a voucher to his favorite electronics store.
- Learn about the five love languages. That may help you decide what type of gift to give. For instance, maybe your fathers primary love language is Quality Time, if so give him a small fun gift, and spend a day doing projects with him around his house.
- Would he like tools? There are so many of these that it's unlikely he'll ever tire of them if he's a handyman. And if you can't decide, get him a voucher for his favorite hardware store.
- Consider giving Dad a makeover. This could include a haircut, some new clothes (take him to the stores, don't buy without him), and so forth.
- Consider magazine or periodical subscription. This can be really useful, so that he doesn't miss an issue of his favorite reading material.
- Or, give Dad's den or man cave a makeover; rearrange the furniture, add some new and exciting elements, and clean it. You'll need to be living at home to do this, and do it when he's out. Also, it's a good idea to get mom in on the room makeover.