image sources: author’s personal collection

My father is notoriously hard to buy gifts for. I’ve tried everything from homemade artwork to pruning shears, and …well, it always seems to fall a little flat. At the end of the day, these gifts are “stuff,” adding no value and more clutter.

This year, I’m embarking on a personal campaign: getting rid of the “stuff” in my life and only holding onto things that bring joy or provide purpose. With that commitment, what kind of daughter would I be if I gave my dad yet another picture frame—thus adding unwanted clutter to his life?

Giving a good gift isn’t easy, though, so I went straight to the source: I asked my dad what he would actually like for a Father’s Day gift.

As it turns out, my dad had the same problem with his father. “I used to buy him ugly ties because I didn’t know what else to get him,” my dad told me. “Giving gifts has certainly been the tradition, but…” He trailed off. I asked him if he thought the tradition should change, and I swear I could hear him nodding through my phone.

He told me the most thoughtful gifts he can remember involve quality family time. He talked about a wine-tasting trip to some local wineries, followed by dinner in the wine country. “That was great,” he said. “I think any gift of something a Dad likes to do (and the family agrees to) is the best.”

So there you have it, folks: quality time. Don’t live close enough to make that happen this Father’s Day? My dad said a meaningful card is a no-brainer. To give it more purpose, I’ll be slipping a charity gift card into mine this year.

Ask yourself what your father (or the man who mentored you like a father) truly cares about and enjoys doing. My dad obviously loves wine. What about yours? Share your comments and best ideas below, or post it on our Facebook page!

– Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager

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