A Meaningful, Low Cost Father’s Day

Once again we see the signs: from automobiles to barbecues and clothing to tools, the ads are everywhere telling us to buy, buy, buy to show our fathers, grandfathers and husbands how much we love them. But what does that really say? The only way I can really show that I value you is through merchandise. Yet, we all know that isn’t true.

So what does make a father’s day meaningful? Well we asked a few dads what they thought.

Togetherness and Food

One father, who is also a grandfather, said what matters the most is that all of his children come over and enjoy the day together. “I have enough stuff, but now that my kids have families, I don’t see them as often.” His son, also a father, added that “good food” at get-togethers is also a plus for father’s day.


Another father mentioned memories. Receiving cards and notes from his kids about the family times they remember is a great way to have a keepsake and enjoy the day. “Store cards are fine, as long as you write your own message, too.”

Maybe it isn’t a story, but instead it’s a picture or a collage representing the family or a specific memory.

There are also homemade gifts. A blank coffee copy from the discount store and some inexpensive glaze means you can create a lifelong keepsake for dad or grandpa (look online for ways to use your own oven to set the glaze).

If you have a penchant for writing, your dad may enjoy a story about himself. Start with a specific time or event in his life and write about that – better yet, get his input and create a mini biography.

Help with a project can also show you care. Maybe dad needs help with the yard or some home repairs. This is an area where you can make a big impact with little to no money.

There are many ways to show our loved ones that we care without charging up the credit card or spending outside of our comfort zone. The most important gift we can give is our time and ourselves.