The following is by contributor NJ Renie.
Once again Father’s Day has crept up on you. Sure, the father in your life deserves the best, but you have no money, no time to shop, and let’s face it the truth is that he’ll still be Dad whether you give him a tie or not!
Have no fear, Simple Kids readers. The gift of service is free and always in fashion.
You can’t go wrong with the classic breakfast in bed routine, but really just planning to make something special works too. Think of the things that he eats when nobody else is around; you can stomach one meal/ year of chopped liver for Dad, right?
If Dad is the cook, do not underestimate this one. Several year ago my wife surprised me with a ham when I came home from work and it is still talked about to this day (OK, full disclosure –it’s just been me talking about it.)
Bonus: Have the kids provide in-meal entertainment in the form of song, dance, or theatre.
The No Questions Asked
Let Dad be Todd, Jamal or Steve again. Give him a day to go wherever he wants to go and do whatever he wants to do, as the name suggests, no questions asked.
It will always be appreciated, but The No Questions Asked is probably better for us newer dads as a lot of seasoned dads are basically Zen masters at carving out free time.
Photo by Andrea Kratzenberg
The Freebie involves anticipating some chore that needs to be done and doing it without being asked. For maximum impact choose easily recognizable or particularly nasty chores.
This works best when executed during The No Questions Asked so that when Dad returns he is surprised.
Ex: Mucking stalls, weeding, cleaning the gutters, gathering sticks from the yard
The Freaky Father’s Day
This variation on The Freebie is when you actually assume your Father’s identity and take care of some task which has been on Dad’s to do list for a while.
Take a look around, chances are that there is a picture which needs hanging or a can of paint earmarked for use. Try to stay within your abilities so that Dad doesn’t have to redo your work and don’t be afraid to consult an expert if you’re not sure what you are doing!
Ex: Changing oil, replacing the light bulbs in a high ceiling, sealing a deck, take the recycling
The Disappearing Act
Take the family out without Dad. Surprise him by letting him have some impromptu time to himself on Father’s Day.
Photo by Jeff Crump
The King for a Day
The gold standard of free Father’s Day gifts, The King for a Day is just what it sounds like: Dad calls the shots for 24 hours, crown optional.
The Coupon Book
Any of these ideas and others could be combined into a Father’s Day 2011 coupon book, to be redeemed upon Dad’s request. And don’t forget those expiration dates, otherwise some of the craftier Dads out there might hold on to that King for a Day until Prom Night 2022.
Happy Father’s Day, Dads.
What are your free Father’s Day gift ideas?