Father's Day: What does Dad really want?

Girl Giving Flower to Dad

Given that you, your father’s child, are physically healthy, emotionally stable, and reasonably educated (his top priorities), what does your dad really want besides a visit or call from you?

He wants 1) to get you completely off his payroll and onto to some else’s and 2) to have you become financially savvy, able to made good decisions and recover quickly from the bad ones, and never, ever need another dollar from him (though he may take pleasure in giving you some cash).


If you’re there, great! Just don’t spend too much on his Father’s Day gift or he will again start worrying about #2.


Need some practical ideas for not spending too much?

Here’s what I’m considering 1) for my husband, my kids’ dad: A really inexpensive watch from my favorite mass merchant (a/k/a Kmart as there is a store near my office) so he won’t ruin his nice one when we go swimming or canoeing. 2) For my dad (who has everything he needs and enjoys formerly considered sinful now considered health food): dark chocolate; nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews); and red wine.

Jessica has made a Target run recently, where she found picture frames and “practice” golf balls in the bargain section (also espadrilles there for the ladies). Her great gift buy though is a combo digital meat thermometer / grilling fork for less than $15.

And Will has some great ideas that are priceless and require time but very little cash:

  • Set aside a whole day to teach him how to use every single gadget he never quite understood (or let him show you how to work your DVD player or navigate with a GPS)
  • Write a list of things you've learned from him on nice parchment paper, and then frame it so he can hang it in the garage.
  • Do an interview with your father, Story Corps style. Ask him about his dreams and aspirations as young man, his first crush, his first job, the first time he cried, etc. Tell him that you will save this interview and share it with his grandchildren.

What’s on your list?

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Andrea Karim's picture

That's a great idea - I never thought of an interview as being something gift-like, but that would be something to treasure.

Guest's picture

unless you're old and its for your grandpa, I don't think thats a good gift at all. He would probably like neww fishing supplies or gear from his favorite sports team (not an interview)! :)

Guest's picture

I was planning on doing an interview with my dad for an upcoming blog post.