Thursday, June 17, 2010

What dad really wants

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — What does your dad want this Father’s Day?
I keep thinking of a wag’s twist on Sigmund Freud’s immoral query, “What does a woman want?”
Freud called it “The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul.”
A contemporary answer attributed to several sources is that women want the same thing as men, but in prettier colors.
And I’m pretty sure that what most good dads want is the same thing that most good moms want: happy, healthy kids.
That’s why the best thing you can give most dads today is some feedback on the ways they’ve made their kids happy.
According to the National Research Foundation’s 2010 Father’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Father’s Day spending is expected to reach $9.8 billion and the average person will spend $94.32 on dad this year, up from $90.89 in 2009. More than 36 percent plan to spend a total of $1.3 billion on clothes. Others will spend $1.2 billion on electronics, $749 million on greeting cards, $578 million on tools or appliances, $550 million on home improvement or gardening tools and $400 million on automotive accessories. About a third of you will give up on the search for the perfect gift and shell out an estimated $1.2 billion for gift cards.
But you don’t have to. If you’re broke, and want something dad will really treasure, get creative.
Do something that will conjure memories of your happiest times together.
Make a card yourself. Write a poem or a song as an ode to Dad.
Make a little album with your favorite photos.
Do a top 10 list of your best times together.
Get together with your siblings and fill a blank diary with several pages of short memories: a vacation, a fishing trip, something he taught you, something you built together, a favorite holiday, a meal you made together …
And by the way, dads usually don’t stand on ceremony, when it come to the mushy, wonderful stuff. If you don’t quite finish your project or you aren’t quite satisfied with it, give it to him anyway, or let him know it’s coming.
If you can’t be together today, give him a call (no texting or e-mails today — dad needs to hear your voice) and tell him you love him.
It will make most dads happy to spend some time with their kids. If that’s not possible, do your best to make plans for a reunion soon.
The NRF survey found 39.9 percent of those celebrating dad this year will treat him to a special outing such as dinner or brunch, spending a collective $1.9 billion.
But again, some of the most dad-pleasing gatherings can be free, or almost. Plan a camping weekend. Put together a picnic or barbecue. Share a sandwich and a hike or a drive.
If you’re looking for an unusual treat for dad, consider a trip to Fort Selden Father’s Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Enjoy a campfire breakfast with biscuits and eggs cooked on a stick. Fort Selden State Monument is located in Radium Springs. Take Interstate 25 to exit 19, 13 miles north of Las Cruces. Admission is free for all dads, and for all New Mexico residents on Sunday. For information, call (575) 526-8911.
Happy Father’s Day!

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.

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