My [short] Journey to the Perfect Father’s Day

June 12, 2019

I love to shop. My love for shopping comes from the satisfaction of knowing that a great gift doesn’t mean spending a lot of money, but more importantly from the joy I get out of coming up with or finding the perfect gifts for my family and friends. But, like clockwork, this love is challenged when a day celebrating my dad approaches, especially Father’s Day.

Over the years, my family has shifted away from material gifts toward the gift of being together. Taking advantage of spending special occasions surrounded by one other, birthday suppers, Christmas movies, etc. However, when an opportunity arises, I still try my best to find something small and thoughtful for the people I love most.  As a daughter, picking out a thoughtful gift for my mom is easy. Every conversation leaves little nuggets of gift giving gold. I know what she likes, I know if she’s got her eye on something, I just know. When it comes to my dad, it’s a whole different story.

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about past gifts I’ve given my dad (as an adult), the usual go-tos are golf shirts, gift cards he can put towards golf or a little spending money for his annual golf trip. A theme emerged. Thoughtful? I guess so, he loves golf. Boring and predictable? Extremely. So, for the first time ever I went straight to the source and asked my dad: What makes a good gift for him? What gifts has he received in the past that he has really enjoyed? What would his ideal Father’s Day look like? Not always a man of many words, but always there to support me, this is what he had to say:

“Father’s Day is special to me because you know that the people who mean the most to you are thinking about you because of who you are and what you mean to them.

The best gifts are ones that are thoughtful and something that has meaning for the whole year not one day. I have received gifts from my kids and wife that are handmade, and I still have hand-written coupons such as a free car wash, foot rub, grass cutting that I haven’t even used.

The gifts I’ve enjoyed most are the gifts my children brought home from elementary school as I could tell how much meticulous effort was put into them.

My perfect Father’s Day would be being with my family someplace where we could all enjoy the day without anyone doing anything, having someone else look after all of us for a change.”

Father and daughter photo montage from birth to wedding.
So, what did I learn on my journey to the perfect gift and Father’s Day? The best gift I can give to my dad is the gift of time. Time to be thoughtful, to let him know that I’m proud to be his daughter and that when it comes to thinking about him and how much he means to me, it’s not just one day, it can’t be measured in a unit of time.
If you’re looking for the best way to spoil a special dad in your life this Father’s Day, let them know how much they mean to you, all year round. Give them the gift of your time.
(P.S. The next time I visit my parents, what are the chances one of those hand-written coupons gets cashed in?!)
– Paige Sandvold is the Content Manager on the Brand & Digital Platforms Team at Directwest.