Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What dad really wants

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — What do dads REALLY want for Father’s Day? It’s just a week away.
I surfed online for awhile before giving up. The dad’s day gift sites were all over the place and mostly seemed interested in selling stuff to our dads, or to us, to give to them.
The truth is, when it comes to material goodies, that there are as many answers as there are dads.
And, though the gap is closing, dads still tend to earn more than moms. Chances are, if it’s a reasonably-priced something he really wanted, he may already have purchased it himself.
According to Jenna Bromberg’s Block Talk Infographics, we’ll spend $9.4 billion on dad today, compared to the $14.6 billion we drop for Mom’s Day. That includes the $123.89 we’ll invest in the “perfect gift” for mom, vs. a still hefty but lesser $90.89 for dad’s dream present.
But again, dads make more and can spring for their own dream gifts. And the same survey indicates 91 percent of dads think Mother’s Day is more important than Father’s Day and an even greater majority — 94 percent— agree with the statement that “small gestures are more important than buying expensive presents.”
The truth is — and always has been, I’d say, without benefit of surveys — that it’s the thought, and the creativity behind it, that really rate with our fathers.
Those of us who have settled the estates of our dearly departed dads and granddads know that it’s the little things that show up decades later, framed on an office or den shelf or squirreled away in cherished personal treasure troves in frequently perused bureau and desk drawers.
It’s the cards that dads save for a lifetime, especially the handmade early school creations, or funny or moving cards with equally funny or moving personal notes. Photos are keepers, too, and drawings and anything handmade: handprints, sculptures, woodworking projects.
Most dads will love anything with a great personal backstory they can share with others, too. For years, my dad proudly wore an ugly green tie I’d given him. Not because ties are a well-loved gift — they really aren’t — but because he loved telling how his daughter, a teen exchange student, had almost missed her plane home waiting in line at a duty-free shop at an unexpected layover in Ireland to purchase the tie for him.
Most dads love adventures and would enjoy an outing more than a gift. A meal, a sporting event, a movie, a concert, or some other way to spend some time together will mean a lot.
There’s something about action and dads ... even those who seem to prefer couch potato mode. A trip is always nice, but it doesn’t have to be a world cruise or a week at a posh resort. A camping trip, a fishing expedition, or even a hike and picnic at a nearby park always seem to be dad-pleasers.
Chances are, there’s something you’ve always meant to do with your dad. If there’s any way you can manage it, make this the year you actually do it. Life is unpredictable, and you never know. It could be your last and only chance.
No matter what’s on dad’s bucket list, I’ll bet it’s the everyday things that are most likely to loom large in life’s end reels: a child’s first smile, first steps, first “Da-da” greeting. The soft and sticky little hand clutching his, a discovery hike in a neighborhood park. You in your mom’s arms. You in your first prom gown or tux.
The poignant sight of can’t-possibly-be-that-big you in uniform, be it scout, band, football, dance team, or military.
In fact, you will always be the most significant gift on Father’s Day: he couldn’t be a dad without you.
So honor him with the best present of all: you, telling him he’s a great dad and you love him.

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

No comments: