....that won't cost you a fortune!
By Cinse Bonino
How many years have you been alive? Sixteen? Seventeen? Thirteen? How many things has your dad taught you during that time? Probably a lot. Some on purpose; some unintentionally! Why not let him know that you appreciate the things that you learned from him. Most kids rarely tell their parents that they value them. (You know, as in, actually notice AND appreciate the things their parents are trying to do for them.) How about you? Do you want to give your dad a gift that he'll treasure forever? Don't worry you won't have to scrounge for every last dollar in the purses, backpacks, and wallets buried in your room!!!
Here's how ...
Think of as many things as you can that you've learned from your dad. Grab paper and pen or your keyboard and just write each one down as it comes to you. Don't worry about spelling or even getting your meaning across perfectly. This is just your working list. Then go back through and clean up your list. Spell check, smooth our your sentences, ditch any that don't feel right, and add any more that you think of. Do as many as you'd like. For Father's Day you could do one for every year you've been alive or as many as you can think of. I did 70 for my dad's seventieth birthday.
Now for the fun part...
Presentation is everything. Here are some ideas on how to turn the things you've learned into an awesome gift:
Throw the book at him!
You can make a booklet; take it to Kinkos and have it spiral bound! Use images that you draw, paste, or printout from the computer. Old (or new) photos can be scanned and then played with using Instagram or Photo Shop. Illustrate as many of the things you've learned as possible. Or you could put one thing you've learned at the top of each page and then write your memory of how and when you learned it from your dad and why you are glad you did.
Make a video. Have a friend or relative tape you talking about all the things your dad taught you. Use props. Make it funny. Be sure to add at least one serious mention of how much you really do appreciate him so he doesn't just think you are making fun of him!
One A Day
Make your dad a bottle of daily pills to keep his spirits up. Kind of like vitamins for the heart. Write each thing you've learned on a strip of paper, roll it up and put it in a interesting glass jar with a cork or a decorated lid. You can glue glitter, stones, beach glass, marbles, or anything else your dad would think cool onto the lid. Also make a label that explains what's inside. Use your computer, make a magazine or photo collage, or hand draw and color. Cover the label with a piece of clear contact paper to make it look more official.
Use an old shoe box, cigar box, or gift box and decorate the outside with photos of you and your dad and illustrations of the things he has taught you.
Tie One On
Use a white or other light-colored tie. (If you sew, whip one up!) Then using fabric makers write a message such as... I taught my daughter to fish. Then applique, embroider, or draw a fish on too.
Not only will your dad know that you appreciate you, but he'll also understand that you are carrying bits of him, of who he is into your life as well. That's a gift that truly is worth millions.
1. My dad taught me that you can usually fix anything with masking tape or toothpicks or other things lying around the house!
2. My dad taught me how to wash my hands --- the tops, the bottoms, and in-between the fingers.
3. My dad taught me how to argue with facts.
4. My dad taught me how to respect my parents by showing me how he respected his.
5. My dad taught me how to get the extra paint off of a brush before you use it and how to clean the brush afterwards.
6. My dad taught me how to play practical jokes (giant owl sculpture in my bed for example).
7. My dad taught me how to answer the phone and take a message.
8. My dad taught me how to uncork a bottle of wine.
9. My dad taught me how to sharpen a knife.
10. My dad taught me how to use a drill.
11. My dad taught me how to use two pieces of cardboard to get up a mess on the floor.
12. My dad taught me how to use an old stocking to keep a sink from clocking when a washer empties into it.
13. My dad taught me how to watch all four corner of a car when you are driving.
14. My dad taught me to listen and really hear what other people are saying.
15. My dad taught me how to follow the lines on the edge of the highway when you can't see.
16. My dad taught me to love vanilla ice-cream.
17. My dad taught me to make a fire in a fireplace.
18. My dad taught me how to light matches.
19. My dad taught me how to use a ruler.
20. My dad taught me how to use a stapler.
21. My dad taught me how to use a T-square.
22. My dad taught me how to make sure that "experts" really know what they are talking about.
23. My dad taught me tolerance for older people.
24. My dad taught me to speak the truth.
25. My dad taught me to do what I believe is right.
26. My dad taught me to enjoy life.
27. My dad taught me that laughing is VERY important.
28. My dad taught me that cheese is a good thing.
29. My dad taught me that I'm right about how wonderful chocolate is.
30. My dad taught me that you can't always depend on someone to call you back; sometimes you have to call them.
31. My dad taught me that questions are good things.
32. My dad taught me that love is very important.
33. My dad taught me that sex isn't everything, but it's a lot.
34. My dad taught me that peanut butter and jelly at home can taste better than steak out.
35. My dad taught me that you need to feel good when you go to work in the morning and good when you come home at night.
36. My dad taught me that parents love you forever.
37. My dad taught me that many people remember you more for buying them a drink than they remember you for buying them dinner.
38. My dad taught me that sometimes you do something for someone that is important to THEM even though it's not what you would need like visiting their grave.
39. My dad taught me that war movies are good, especially ones with planes.
40. My dad taught me that being a gutsy woman is a good thing.
41. My dad taught me that you're never to old to learn or to change.
42. My dad taught me that taking care of your teeth is VERY important.
43. My dad taught me that a shower is a good thing.
44. My dad taught me that jellybeans are also a good thing.
45. My dad taught me to use a nutcracker.
46. My dad taught me about fuses and fuse boxes.
47. My dad taught me about male and female adapters, and grounding wires, and all that there sort of stuff.
48. My dad taught me how to use the year book that came with the encyclopedias.
49. My dad taught me how to choose typing as a course to take in high school.
50. My dad taught me how to use an extension cord.
51. My dad taught me how to use a thermostat.
52. My dad taught me how to change a light bulb.
53. My dad taught me how to go to the hardware store.
55. My dad taught me that cream-filled donuts are a good thing.
56. My dad taught me how to laugh in church.
57. My dad taught me the difference between a Phillips and a regular screwdriver.
58. My dad taught me which pliers where the needle-nose pair.
59. My dad taught me how to read a thermometer.
60. My dad taught me how to clean the bathroom sink after I use it.
61. My dad taught me how to change the toilet paper roll.
62. My dad taught me how to use a pair of binoculars.
63. My dad taught me how to use a camera.
64. My dad taught me how to balance a pair of speakers.
65. My dad taught me that you can love someone even while they are driving you crazy.
66. My dad taught me that you can learn about anything you want to, at least to some degree.
67. My dad taught me that you should trust your gut.
68. My dad taught me which way was uptown and which way was downtown.
69. My dad taught me that you should never compromise on the really important stuff.
70. My dad taught me that he loves me.