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The Best Father's Day, Even in a Bad Economy

 

June 21, 2009

The National Retail Federation (NRF), recently released their Fatherís Day survey, estimating that Americans will spend more than $9 billion on gifts for Dad this year. According to the new data, it was also revealed that this year, Dad is expected to have to make do with less.
 
To put this in economic terms, the average price range per father, son, husband, brother is expected to be around $27, which is down approximately $2 from 2008. The NRF feels that the downturn is indicative of consumer spending when we are in the midst of a slow and erratic economy.

 

According to the survey, most consumers plan to take Dad out to dinner or some other special event, which accounts for $1.9 billion of the total estimates. However, other popular gift choices are suffering a decline, including gift cards (-21%), electronics (-16%), and home improvement (-28%). And what of the proverbial necktie? Despite the sluggish trend, the survey did not include any firm indicators as to whether they too, are suffering during these difficult times.

 

With the economy struggling, and as though figuring out a Fatherís Day gift isnít already hard enough, the nagging question of what to get the man who has everything anyway, may also be plaguing you. Whatís worse his constant denials of, ďI donít need anything,Ē ďItís all just a mass consumer marketing toolĒ and ardent protestations of ďDonít you be spending any money on meĒ donít help matters either!

 

If you should find yourself standing at your local retailer, pondering the snappy looking multicolored mosaic tie of 100% French silk, you may realize that getting something meaningful seems out of your reach, especially this year. As your hand passes over the sporty looking one with SpongeBob SquarePants embossed on the front, (yeah, that one he canít wear to work anyway), you may be struck with the thought that an attempt to get something less expensive may come off to some, as cheap if not meaningless. So, as your hand moves back to the silk one, you may come to the realization that getting something you canít afford is, not just expensive but may be just as meaningless too.

 

If your budget is limited, doing something nice, that doesnít cost you anything, is still the best gift in town. So before you decide to run screaming from the store, consider a trip past the card rack and just picture Dad relaxing on the patio with a cool drink instead.


If the weather cooperates, Father's Day is a great day to spend outdoors and there are many inexpensive ways to make that fun for Dad as well as the rest of the family - this weekend is fee-free admission to most National Parks. Consider doing the yard work, help him mow the lawn, pull the weeds, cut the branches or paint the fence. None of these things cost you a dime but your father will appreciate your help.

 
Have coffee with your Dad at a local coffee shop or out on the deck. Again, this is a great way to spend the morning with your father and talk about the weather, economy, local and world news. For today, simply give up the need to disagree.

 

Go to the park with dad, take a walk, hike or bike a trail, or play a nice round of golf, this way you can enjoy the scenery and nature at the same time, and get to know Dad a little better.


You might consider being the one to organize a cook-out, do the barbequing for him this time, make sure everyone who is coming, brings something to share and then clean-up. Make it easy and then share stories, good times or play games.


If Dad is into fishing, find the nearest pond, lake or stream and take your father fishing. The opportunity to communicate with Dad whilst the fishing line is dangling in the water is a wonderful way to spend the day.


None of these activities require you to elbow your way through crowds in search of that perfect gift, youíre probably never going to find, let alone afford right now. Better yet, it grants you the ability of keeping some cash in your pocket, while building and strengthening a bond with dear-old Dad that can last a lifetime. After all, doesnít your Dad just want to be acknowledged for his existence, and an honest demonstration of your appreciation?  

All of us at PRO-TAX wish you a Happy Father's Day!