Not a Traditional Father’s Day Gift
by Christina Fain
As I’m scrolling through the Amazon “Father’s Day Gift Guide,” I can feel the anxiety rise in my chest. It’s time to shop for the dads in my family. While I love them all dearly, I am never able to find the perfect gift. This year has been a tough one, so I want something thoughtful, a little quirky, to hopefully elicit laughter and lighten the mood.
On Amazon, I find myself sucked into a flood of unusual gift items I would never have thought of or picked on my own. For the record, if you have a father who likes to partake in the occasional drink, you are in luck. I had no idea there are so many gadgets and accessories that would complement a good bottle of scotch. There were doodads and funky junk, but nothing that fit the bill.
I also see “traditional” Father’s Day gifts. Ties. Don’t bother. The only time I might see a necktie on one of the dads in our family would be at a funeral or wedding. Socks. Just no. Let’s face it, those Father’s Day socks would come back to haunt me the first time I saw them paired with shorts and sandals. Then there is BBQ. All men like good BBQ and accessories. Unfortunately, all of those accessories have already found homes in my family. Unless I can produce a marble-clad, stainless-steel outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, BBQ ideas go up in smoke.
As I let my thoughts wander, I see our new puppy trot by with his shock collar blinking at me. Now I may be onto something—low-frequency shock collars. The grandfathers could use a collar that automatically triggers when they tell the same story for the third time. Maybe set one to trigger when a “dad joke” backfires. OK, I realize I sound a little aggressive, but it’s a thought that gave me a smirk, so maybe I’m on the right track.
A couple of weeks ago, my father-in-law showed up at my house with a bandage wrapped around his knee. I knew he had been playing with the grandkids all day.
That Ace bandage made me think about how much all of the dads love the kids in our family. They endure countless hours of children and grandchildren ambushing their laps when they are not expecting it, provide many “hands and knees” horseback rides, and hours of pushing bicycles down the street in a half-winded jog.
These are the things I think of when I think of Father’s Day. So, this year, as my gift to them, I will include some handwritten, homespun perception in their Father’s Day cards.
With a grimace in your smile, I see you push a bike down the street.
With a wince in your eyes, I see you chase toddlers and navigate toys.
With a cringe to your body, I see you carry—not one—but two children on your back.
The joyful man who laughs through the pain.
The selfless man who takes it in stride.
The thankful man who hides a broken-down body with worn-out knees.
Tylenol, muscle rub, a hug, is what you deserve.
So, accept these gifts and continue to be,
a stellar example of what a Dad should be.
Quirky? Check. Thoughtful? Check. Likely to cause a chuckle? Double-check.
Happy Father’s Day!
Photo by Chirag Saini @chirag14 (India).
Tina began creative writing at a young age. Professionally, she has written for legal professionals spanning more than 20 years. As an over-thinker, mother of two, she draws her inspiration from her adult son and much younger daughter, as well as her personal experiences trying to navigate life’s beautiful complications. When not writing, she spends her time reading, hiking with her family and planning her next travel adventure.