Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creative ways to please dads on their day

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — Ready for Father’s Day?
For some reason, most of us find that it’s harder to come up with great gift ideas for dad than for mom.
Some studies I’ve seen say it’s because it’s still primarily a man’s world; men generally make more money than women, and so most guys are more likely to buy what they want most for themselves.
I’m not sure that’s still true, and even if it is, it’s a cop-out to give up and say you can’t find anything appropriate for the dad who has everything already.
After many years on the planet, I’ve learned that most dads would rather do things with you than get gifts, and the world is full of imaginative adventures you can share.
While browsing through Pulse and SunLife calendars, I noticed this weekend was packed with intriguing opportunities for outings with your dad.
If my father was still on the planet (and wherever you are, Pop, I hope you’ve found a great afterlife river loaded with Brookies and rainbow trout), I think I’d start the day with the Father’s Day Chuck Wagon Breakfast at Fort Selden. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, so even if dad wants to sleep in, you’ll still be able to make it. Maybe you could serve him a continental breakfast in bed — his favorite pastry, coffee and fruit juice — and plan on brunch at the fort, where the menu includes scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sourdough flapjacks, coffee and hot chocolate.
If you’ve never been to the fort, it’s worth a trek around the ruins and may prompt a discussion of your own family history. It’s just 13 miles north of Las Cruces. Take I-25 north to exit 19 and head west to the monument entrance. It’s free for all fathers and for New Mexico residents and $3 for others, so you can splurge a little more on another gift for dad.
If su padre is a mariachi fan, you could pack up a picnic and end the day at an outdoor concert, part of the city’s Music in the Park series, at 7 p.m. at Klein Park, 155 N. Mesquite St. The concert features Mariachi Feminil Flores Mexicans and Mariachi Real de Chihuahua, and it’s free, too.
If you still want to add a present or two to your gift of quality time together, a little creativity goes a long way.
Bring along your camera and shoot still photos or video of the day’s adventure and present him with memories in a photo album or digital frame.
If he lives far away, and you’ve been lax on your techno skills, this is a great day to brush up on Skype and arrange for some cyber facetime, or call him and promise to set things up so you can enjoy more online communication on a regular basis in the future.
If he’s a sports fan, consider tickets to a game featuring his favorite team, with a promise to take him there and treat him to lunch or dinner, too.
Equipment, accessories or clothing for his favorite sport are always appreciated, too, along with DVDs, books or supplies related to his favorite hobby.
Try to avoid the cliché tie. But if you must, get creative and don’t be afraid to go a little wild. Give him the New Mexico State tie, a bolo. Surprise him with a bowtie, or something one-of-a-kind, like a hand-painted tie featuring horses or desert scenes. If he lives here, he’ll be in line with local style. And if he’s far away, it will give him a good excuse to put it on and brag about his children or grandchildren who sent him that wild and crazy tie.
A hug and “I love you” are the gifts dads will remember and cherish most, along with a poem, a card, a drawing, a song or a letter that expresses what he means to you and maybe sharing a few of your happiest memories of experiences together.
When it comes to parenthood appreciation, as with parenthood itself, creativity counts and love is most important of all.
Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere. We love you.

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at (575) 541-5450

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