GIFTS THAT CONNECT Series: This post is another in a series that will turn your gift giving into an easy and joy-filled experience. Father’s Day in 2012 is June 17.

Don’t let an opportunity for gift-giving become stressful!

Read my earlier post called “Don’t make these gift-giving mistakes” and learn how to take the pressure off yourself.

Most people want nothing more than to be remembered. This can be accomplished in many ways from a heart-spoken card, note, or letter to a book or gift selected because you’ve considered the person’s needs, wants, or interests. Giving a thoughtful gift is such a beautiful way to connect.

Local vs. online shopping

I’m a big proponent of shopping locally. This supports the local economy and helps the area merchants, many of whom are friends of mine. Occasionally, I like to wander into nearby shops just to see what’s available. Then I know where to go when I need a special gift.

Living in a rural area, however, shopping online is sometimes just too darned convenient to pass up. I’m amazed at the variety of gifts and products I can buy through Amazon or its affiliated merchants. I’m sharing several Amazon links in this article for your convenience.

But Dad is so hard to shop for!

If your father has a hobby or interest, it’s easy to think of a gift to enhance his enjoyment. A thoughtful gift could be a tool, a book, a ticket to a seminar, or a trip to a place or event that highlights his interest (e.g., a museum, a conference, a concert, a play). My husband loves baseball, ham radio, history, photography, and country music, so the options are wide open!

Tools can be great for the handyman if you know what he needs, but beware—some men are very particular about the brands and quality of tools they want (I have one such man in my family), so sometimes a gift certificate to a hardware store or to Amazon (where you can find almost anything these days) is the safer bet.

My husband appreciates gifts he can enjoy using or seeing on a regular basis, especially if they don’t require installation or upkeep on his part. For a combination birthday/Father’s gift, our daughter and her husband have thoughtfully arranged to plant a willow tree in our yard. My husband will enjoy watching it grow and thinking about them every time he sees it. Our son and his wife have delighted my husband with well-chosen books or a handsome piece of clothing.

If your Dad writes notes or letters, stationery or a book of postage stamps might be appreciated.

My 94-year-old father doesn’t want “stuff,” so he appreciates consumable gifts or a contribution to one of his favorite charities in his honor. Dad has enjoyed his Kindle since his eyesight has gotten worse. He can crank the font size way up and still read his favorite action thrillers. He didn’t have trouble learning to use it at all. He uses a standard Kindle, but the new Kindle Fire is wildly popular and adds Internet access to its features.

Gifts of time and happy memories

Never underestimate the joy a father might get from a gift of your time. If he’s mobile, this can be an outing together. If he’s not, give him a specific time to visit or to help him with a project he can’t do alone.

My Dad wants to capture some of his memories, so we’ve worked on recordings and transcriptions together. A couple years ago, I got all my siblings to share some of their childhood memories, and we put together a simple booklet of reminiscences and pictures. The day we gathered to give him the booklet, there was much laughter and a few tears as we all took a stroll down memory lane. A variation of our booklet idea was explained in a recent post on The WordShark website called “The magic of home-made chapbooks” by Shawn MacKenzie. I wrote of another similar gift in “Heartspoken gift for Father’s Day (or any time!).”

It’s the love that counts

Whatever you do or give your father for Father’s Day, let him know he’s thought of, he’s appreciated, and he’s loved. There’s no more precious gift than that.

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