Father’s Day Edition: Can you honor dad without money?

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It might be a sign of our generosity – when a special occasion comes our first thought is: what should I buy?  Take this Father’s Day for an example.  What does the typical person do?  They go and buy a card, buy a gift, or take a father out to eat.  All these things require money just to honor dad.

It might be a sign of our materialism.  Culturally have we think ‘stuff’’ means a lot.  We think I am someone because of what I own.  So we buy just because stuff is supposed to mean something.  It says something about me as the giver (the more I give, the more I love), and you as the recipient (the more I give, the more important you are to me).  When we think of special occasions, we typically think of buying something because that is what we have always done.

It might be a sign of our insecurity. Do I think you will love me more if I give you more?  Am I afraid that you will reject me or my gift if it is not expensive?

All this makes me wonder can you honor someone with out money?

Photo by House of Sims

Since it’s Father’s Day I thought I would share ten ways you can honor dad without breaking the bank.  (Depending on your relationship with dad, some of these will work and others will make you laugh at the thought of you trying it with your dad).

  1. Recall important memories. What if you took a nice piece of paper and filled in some blanks – I’ll always remember when you told me ________.  The funniest thing from my childhood was when you _____________.  I always felt important when you said ________.  You’re still the world’s greatest dad because ___________.
  2. Show memories. Send a favorite picture in the mail with a personal note on the back.  Email a picture of you and your dad.  Put a picture of you and dad in a frame and give it to him.  Get a mug where you can add some personalized pictures.
  3. Coupon book. Write coupons that give dad the chance to do something you think he might like.  On a small piece of paper just write down each coupon idea.  Kids can volunteer to help dad do something.  Offer to help cut the grass, wash the car, give dad the remote, anything that you think will make dad happy.  What we do can be more meaningful than what we give.
  4. Scrapbook. My wife loves to scrapbook (and is very good at it too).  Scrapbooks will be remembered long after the tie has been placed on the back shelf of the closet.
  5. Make a day of it. Plan a special event that you know dad will enjoy.  Watch a football game together.  Go to a car show.  Sleep on the recliner.  Hang out at the park.
  6. Write a poem. This was my favorite father’s day gift.  My wife gave me a framed page with my kids’ feet prints, hand prints, and a poem.  I keep it by my work desk.  It means a lot more to me than something generic they could have bought.
  7. Personalize something. Engrave it.  Stitch it.  Write on it.  Do something that shows this is unique for your dad.
  8. Dollar store randomness. If your kids are younger tell them to find something that reminds them of their dad or something they think their dad might like.  Have the kids give dad the item with a letter describing why they thought dad would like it or why they got it for dad.
  9. Give it up or start it up. Some dads have been encouraging us to try something or quit something for a long time.  Honor him by doing that.  I remember one girl who once told her dad she was getting out of debt – that was her gift to him.  Dad loved it.
  10. Write a blog to honor your dad. I guess not everyone can do this, but I sure can.

Here are the things my dad taught me:

Dad taught me how to dedicate myself to something meaningful.  Dad has worked all of his professional career in serving positions.  As a missionary, educator, and administrator he could have found a better paying job, but learned instead to be content with what he had.  He has made his living by helping people.

Dad taught me that you can accomplish most things with hard work.  I started working when I was young.  I suspect that probably had something to do with his positive influence.  I learned the value and importance of hard work and discipline.

Dad taught me the importance of insurance.  When I was in grade six (or so) I fractured my collar bone.  Years earlier Dad had encouraged me to get some insurance (through my paper route).  I thought I was getting ripped off at 25 cents a week.  My perspective changed when I got an $800 check after my accident.

Dad taught me to invest.  “No point in just keeping the money in the bank,” dad would say.  When I was about 16 years old dad drove me to meet a financial advisor to help me invest some money.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure about the idea, but the results spoke for themselves.

Dad introduced me to basketball.  I wanted to play hockey.  Dad wanted me to play something else.  He introduced me to basketball.  I went grudgingly, but eventually embraced the fact that I loved basketball.

Dad taught me what it means to have faith.  Life does not always go as planned.  God is always there.  Through joy and sadness.  Victory and defeat.  My faith is stronger because I have watched my dad live a life of faith.

Dad taught me to put family first.  We are all going to accomplish something.  Dad wanted to be sure his accomplishments included his family.  I pray that I can honor my family in the same way he has.

Thanks dad.  Happy Father’s Day. . .

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