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A Gift for Dear Old Dad

Ella Traver | ElderThink | 10.12.10


What kinds of gifts do we give Dad? Well, we give him things he really needs like socks and underwear, or more aftershave, or a new pair of gloves.


Sometimes we give him things so he will behave better. For example, a pedometer because that might make walking more fun and he really needs the excercise.


And then there's the gift we give because we couldn't think of anything else, like a carving set even though he's never whittled a single stick.


Maybe we think he's a tired bored lump. What do we know about Dad? There are some clues. What are his favorite TV shows? Why does he like them? What does he listen to on the radio when he's driving his car? Does he like to fix things? Does he have a hobby? What are his favorite foods?


Yes, I'm implying that you might not know him very well. Here's a few things to try. Drag out an old photo album and go through it with him. Try to really listen. Let him talk about how he saw the events in that album. You might be surprised by what's important to him.


Ask him about his job, even if he's retired. What makes him proud? How was he valued? I bet he knows more about your job than you know about his. You need to fix that.


What would he really like to have?

Perhaps there's a book about something he likes to think about, or a subscription to a magazine. Have you discovered his taste in music? How about a CD. The more you learn about him, the easier gifting will be. He loves you, you know.


Gifts for Dad


At Every Age He's Still Your Dad

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 10.24.10


When I was a little girl, good gifts for Dad were always hankies, ties and maybe a new shirt. He didn't really need those things but we couldn't think of anything else to give him.


Later on, when my Dad became a real person to me, I discovered that a box of his very own chocololates would delight him and I began to explore gifts for him. Every few years, I would take him to a nearby tackle shop to choose his gift. He love that and took lots of time comparing and choosing and chatting with the guy behind the counter.


It became an adventure to find the just-right gift for my Dad. Over the years I chose tickets, videos, games and books. Of course I still gave him chocolates and sometimes a good bottle of wine to share with my mom. I gave him new luggage and a Tilly hat. I made him a scrapbook and I gave him a filing system for his important papers. I took him out for a special lunch.


As I matured and he began to slow down, I bought him a stamp collection at a yard sale and magazine subscriptions. I gave him a "grabber" to pick up things he had dropped or couldn't reach and a little wheeled tray to sit near his favorite chair. I telephoned more often and took him for rides in the car to enjoy the scenery. One year I bought him his very own star named after him.


Eventually he passed away, and going through his things, I found his papers fairly well organized in the filing system I had given him. Right on top, and slightly dog eared, I found the paperwork for his very own star. I sure loved my Dad.


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