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10+ Meaningful Gifts for the Dad Who Has Everything

Dads can be especially hard to buy gifts for and many times they seem to already have everything!  This list of gift ideas goes beyond just getting Dad another thing, and instead offers ideas for meaningful gifts that your Dad will treasure for a lifetime!  From bigger gifts to small and sentimental, this list of ideas will keep your Dad feeling appreciated and smiling from ear to ear.

Meaningful Gift Ideas for the Dad Who Has EVERYTHING! These ideas are really creative! I think I am going to try number3! My father would love it!

 This post was graciously sponsored by Martha Stewart Living and their partnership with the March of Dimes imbornto campaign.  All ideas, memories and sentiments are my own.

I consider myself a pretty good gift giver.  I love the hunt of tracking down something that is absolutely perfect for someone. A gift that will not just be another thing but something that will make them seriously excited or maybe even be so thoughtful it will earn a little place in their heart for the long run.  I think many would agree though, that no matter how thoughtful you are, Dad always seems to be the hardest to buy for.

I think most men tend to be simple.  They don’t need a lot to be happy and if Dad has his eye on something, he tends to just buy it for himself.  So when Father’s Day, Christmas, and birthdays roll around, just what do you get the guy who has everything?

This year I decided to avoid just piling another thing on Dad. Instead of trying to find a gift during the last minute craziness, I would sit down well before Father’s Day to think up some really meaningful gift ideas.

14 Meaningful Gift for Dads {That aren’t just more stuff!}:

1. Donate to a charity in his name
When your dad has everything, what could be a better way to honor him, than by helping those that are in need.  There are many ways you can donate, but I especially like finding a cause that really connects with our bond.  One that highlights the bond between a father and child best is the March of Dimes imbornto campaign which taps into the collective hopes, dreams and aspirations that we have for our babies and ourselves.  The imbornto campaign raises money for the March of Dime’s vital research and programs that improve the lives of babies and families everywhere.You can make a donation directly to the March of Dimes, or the imbornto campaign or through special offers from their partners. Shop at K-mart where they will donate $1 to the March of Dimes from your purchase of a special  figurine. You can visit your localBon-Ton store where from May 26 through June 21 when you donate $3, you’ll receive a $10-off coupon for your purchase of $25 or more.
2. Plan a day doing an activity together that he loves

For many of us, time is a much more precious and valuable resource than money – so nothing could say “I Care” better than planning an entire afternoon doing something that dad loves!  Whether it is a morning spent fishing, a long lazy game of golf on his favorite course, or a grill off for that dad who is the master of the  grill, spending time with him doing what he loves most without the pressure of stress or being rushed is sure to make a great memory for both of you.

Meaningful Gift ideas for Dad 3

You can even make this extra special by tying in the first idea as well!  Many corporations out there like Blue Rhino, have a cause they support.  So if your dad loves to grill, and you set up the grill with a Blue Rhino propane tank, they in turn support the March of Dimes imbornto campaign, which allows you to not only enjoy time with your Dad but honor him by supporting a special cause.

3. Bring out the kid in him
If you like idea 2 but want something with a little more of a twist, try spending the day doing something he loved to do in his youth to take him back to his younger years!  Maybe it is racing around the track on go-carts or a day at the amusement park for your thrill seeking dad.  You could even set up a camping trip and enjoy reminiscing about your memories together around the campfire until the wee hours of the night.  These might not be things your Dad thinks about doing anymore, but might bring him more fun than he has had in a long time!
4. A book or movie full of memories
Some dads are great lovers of film and literature.  If this sounds like your dad then try finding a book or reproduction of a film that he loved or had a special memory of growing up.
5. A surprise visit from an old friend
Sometimes the best gifts simply aren’t things. They are people!  Surrounding your dad with the people he loves most in life is a treat in itself for Father’s Day.  Contact a friend that lives far away and work though the details of bringing the friend down for a visit.  This big time surprise component is sure to be treasured time that will be remembered for years to come.
6. A handwritten note
Sometimes it is hard to say everything you feel to someone.  There are lots of distractions in our daily lives and even if you have quiet time to talk, conversations easily get pulled one way or another and it is easy to veer off track.  It can be such a powerful gift just to deliver those words that you often don’t have the time to say or express.  Take a pen and paper and write it down.  There are several things that would be treasured in a note:
  • Reasons your Dad is special and unique
  • Things you really appreciate about your Dad
  • Special memories you have of your Dad
  • Favorite vacations or events you attended
  • Things your Dad does that always make you laugh
  • Character traits you admire in your Dad

Writing these down on paper not only gives you the ability to express yourself but also, allows your Dad to have something tangible he can treasure and read again and again.

7. Home or Car Rendering
On the lighter side, you can get a print made that shows renderings of the cars or homes your father has owned over the years.  Our homes and vehicles both usually have a special place in our hearts and bring back great memories from the time of life spent while driving that car or living in that home.  Having them drawn would be a really special piece that holds memories new and old close. If you are on a tight budget, there are programs online you can upload a picture to and turn it into a sketch to make your own print.
8. Hand Print Garden Stones
If your Dad has grown to have a large family through kids and grandkids, maybe the perfect gift would be to make garden stones by mixing some cement, placing it in a mold and then letting each child or grandchild place their handprint, name and birthday in it.  You can decorate them with stones or colorful broken tiles to match décor colors, a favorite sports team, or simply create designs.  This is a great gift because each special person is represented and it is easy to add another if there are more new additions to the family down the road.
9. Experience Day

f your Dad has everything, why not treat him to an experience instead?  There are all sorts of experiences you could concoct with a little imagination.  If your dad is a car buff maybe it is tracking down a cool car for him to take a drive in.  If he is the master of the kitchen maybe a cooking lesson with a local chef would be a treat.  Someone who has taken an interest in art might appreciate a private guided tour of a local museum or a lesson with an artist.  You might  even pull off a behind the scenes tour of the stadium his favorite team plays at .  Check out sites like Groupon and Living Social to find deals on experience gifts, too!  It might take a little work and imagination to think up what interests your Dad and how to make that into an experience, but the excitement the outcome will bring will be more than worth it!

10. Personalize Something Dad Already Has

Another way to get around the fact that your Dad already has everything, but still come up with a meaningful gift is to take one of those things your Dad already has and loves and get it personalized.  Maybe you add a favorite quote engraved into the back of his watch. If your dad is handy, maybe getting his hammer engraved with something like his name and “Builder of our Family” with the kid’s names and birthdays underneath would be special.  Whatever it is that Dad loves and uses, it could be made just a little more special with a little thought!

Meaningful Gift ideas for Dad 2
11. Memory Jar – 52 Weeks of Memories
This one requires a little preplanning, but is something that is sure to put a smile on Dad’s face.  Grab a jar and keep it handy.  Throughout the year anytime you have a fun outing, a good laugh, or anyother special memory write it down on a slip of paper and stick it in your jar.  Then give it to him as a gift so he can pull out the slips of paper and have fun remembering all of the good times through your eyes.
If you don’t have a year to plan, this can also be done by writing favorite memories from the past on the back of each playing card in a deck.  Then punch a hole in the corner or each card and put a ring through them and you have 52 memories for your Dad to look through.
12.  Slow down and carve out time to have a conversation
Life is sometimes so busy and hectic where we run from one thing to the next trying to squeeze as much out of every minute of the day as we can.  Set aside some time this Father’s Day where you can spend quiet, quality time together.  This might not come easy to some since conversation isn’t always a man’s strong suit, but if this is the case finding a quiet activity to do can really cut the uneasiness and turn awkward into easy conversation.

A couple of ideas of  things that work well for this would be fishing on a quiet dock or going one on one to a favorite dinner spot.  Some restaurants even let you add a donation to your check as well that go straight to charity, like participating Emeril’s Restaurants in Orlando, Las Vegas, and New Orleans, who are supporting the March of Dimes this Father’s Day.

13. Write a short story
Write a short story based on a memory of your dad.  Be fun and creative weaving in as much fact or fiction as you want.  You can present it to him typed up in a frame or even put it in a book with pictures from that memory to accompany it.  He will enjoy reliving the experience through your eyes!
14. Take a drive

This is a toned down version of a scavenger hunt!  Take your dad for a drive around town to places you share  special memories at.  Have him guess where the next spot is and enjoy the easy conversation that goes along with the surfacing of fond memories.  The thought and one on one time will surely make it a treasured gift!

Love this list of gift ideas for Dad! It is SO much better thanjust getting him another thing. LOVE number 7!!

Hopefully this list gives you some ideas that are meaningful, sentimental gifts for Dad.  It isn’t always about more stuff, but often the things that are held closest to the heart aren’t things at all.  They are memories of times, places, and most importantly people that mean the most.

What gifts have you given your dad that he has treasured?

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  1. says

    Thank you very much on your beautiful ideas it touched my heart and is very helpful. I was surfing for some ideas and I could not believe all of the sites have gifts that were boring everyday clothing, undies, tools, suits, ties, beer openers etc bla bla bla. But reading your wonderful thoughtful suggestions made me happy. especially sticking to a budget, these are the best thought off memoriable moments, thank you for this x

  2. rae says

    Thank you for such a lovely selection of fab ideas that really have substance. I look forward to helping make a happy man.

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