Monday, June 5, 2017

Clutter-free Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day is just around the corner, lurking. Somehow, I always find Father's Day to be more difficult than Mother's Day (possibly because I have to get my husband a gift, and not the other way around). Since I compiled a list for Mother's Day I thought I'd try a similar list for the men.

Rachel at Nourishing Minimalism has a great list, and I'm using a few of her ideas here.

I prefer to give homemade gifts, in part because the people in my life mostly buy what they need when they need it, and they don't have a lot of "wants." But they do often have interests that can be supported. I'm sure the men in your life will have some different interests than mine, so approach their gift giving from the perspective of "what do they like" instead of "what do they want" for clutter-free ideas.

My dad likes to eat, and he likes scorching-hot foods. Seriously, he has on hot sauce that the grandkids aren't allowed to touch because it's so hot, and he has to wash his hands after he uses it. I plan to make him hot sauce. I've made Thai chilis in vinegar before, but I've also seen sriracha recipes on Pinterest. Chili oil, for salad dressing, dipping bread, or barbecued meat would also be a great option. Many men have an interest in food, one way or another, that can be supported with gift giving. (Rubs or sauces for the grill enthusiast, for example.)

My husband immediately suggested tickets to a baseball game. If you don't live near a major league park, all the better! I love our minor league team more than our major league team, and a day out there with snack and beer is a great way to celebrate Dad. If you need a souvenir of the day, keep score and bring the record home. If baseball's not his thing there are lots of other sports, or even tickets to the theatre (there are lots of summer festivals that are worth exploring).

Museum tickets (for the day or the year) are another way to support his interests. We have a machinery museum, a railroad museum and a maritime museum near us, all of which are traditionally masculine interests, in addition to the local history museum and the air and space museum. Taking him and showing interest in his interests is a good way to connect with your dad, or you can give him a chance to geek-out with other people who are really enthusiastic about his interests.

My last suggestion is for a service that he doesn't want to do. I know I'd be thrilled (mostly) to have someone else clean my house (I'd have to clean it first myself, because I have issues, but that's another subject). Give him a certificate to clean the garage, an oil change, lawn service, or clean the house -- whatever his personal chores fall out to be. Someone can haul away the old shed in the back yard, or even lay the patio he's been wishing for.

Clutter-free gifts are often challenging to conceive because so much of our culture is focused on material gifts, and having "something to open" at gift-giving occasions. I hope my list can be a springboard for your creative gift giving!

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