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Family Matters Blog: The Perfect Father’s Day Gift

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2011 – Vivian, a Navy veteran and spouse, regularly guest blogs for Family Matters and shares her experiences as a spouse of a sailor and a mother of two. Her husband, a Navy lieutenant, recently returned from Iraq and she has two boys who, she says, “enjoy peanut butter, trucks and air shows.”

By Vivian

Luckily my husband isn’t as high maintenance about Father’s Day as I am about Mother’s Day. As in, he truly means it when he says, “Don’t get me anything.”

Mike honestly is happy with a nice breakfast (French toast) and working in the yard with his two helpers to celebrate. However, I still quest to find inventive, personal gifts to show him how much we appreciate him. Unfortunately, finding “the perfect gift” usually means it comes down to the wire, leaving me searching into June.

Knowing that some of you might be in the same boat -- still looking for that elusive perfect gift -- here is a list of goodies that the man in your life might appreciate:

For the outdoorsman:

-- A tent or other camping supplies. Here in Virginia, as part of the year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of Virginia state parks, Gov. Bob McDonnell just announced that all active-duty military, as well as veterans residing in the state, will receive free admission to all Virginia state parks. Look around your own state and see if there are any special deals for military families. Just don’t forget the insect repellent!

-- Anything to do with your yard or home projects, such as a small composter, a new sprinkler head, tool set or car accessory. If you get overwhelmed, go with a gift certificate so he can go pick it out for himself. Part of his present can be time alone to wander the aisles dreaming up new projects. Keep in mind that some home-improvement stores now do military discounts year-round. Just remember to ask when you get to the check-out line!

For the easy-to-please:

-- Something specific to their hobbies or interests. Do they golf and need a new club, bag or nifty set of tees? What about fishing? Tickets to a professional or collegiate event are always a winner. Do they have a favorite team? What a great thing to have to look forward to if they are deployed -- time spent together cheering on their favorite athletes, musicians, race car drivers or ultimate wrestlers. If you can make it a date night, even better!

-- Anything homemade or personalized! Cards, books, mugs, barbecue aprons, T-shirts or ties -- everything is a little more special with handprints, quotes, drawings, branch-specific emblems or hand-drawn pictures from his favorite people. And, a plethora of online boutiques make it so easy for you. Customize their templates or come up with your own. Either way, Dad will treasure your from-the-heart gift!

For the tech-savvy, traveling dad:

-- Sound-reducing headphones. Long train, plane and bus rides en route to deployment can be made the tiniest bit better if Dad can block out some of the snoring, talking and general background noise around him. Plus, their cases are perfect places for last-minute love notes to send with him on deployment!

-- A good alarm clock with must-have fun gadgets attached. The perfect battery-powered alarm clock to take overseas or on deployment is a must, but very hard to find. If it can rotate digital pictures, tell the temperature, or put him to sleep or wake him up with a variety of sounds, it gets bonus points for awesomeness. If you do find one, please report back so the rest of us can get one next year!

Whatever you get him, whether it be sentimental, practical, or anything in between, whether you have to mail it to an APO address or sneak it into the kitchen to present during breakfast, or whether it cost you a month’s paycheck or not, the real value of the thoughtful gesture of love to the special man in your life lies in the meaning you have created as a family and in the desire to express the love you feel toward each other. Meaning - it will be perfect, whatever you end up choosing. No, really, it will! Happy Father’s Day!

For more family-related posts, visit Family Matters blog or check out Family Matters on Facebook and Twitter.


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