Yes it is Sunday…yes… June 21st…let’s see…..summer solstice…yes…longest light day of the year….yes….(scratching your head now because you know there is something else that you should be remembering…) Then the phone rings and the kids yell that its Grandma and that she wants to know what time you will be stopping over with the bunch to have Father’s Day supper with Grandpa and someone else…oh yes….your own husband…
You look at the clock realizing you not only forgot that you were to go this afternoon but that you haven’t even made it to the mall to pick up gifts for the males in the family to be honored. Life gets hectic and what are we to do? Here are 10 quick and great ideas to skim over and choose one which will bail yourself out of forgetfulness’ grip and will still leave you able to grab in plenty of time to show up at the door or restaurant with a smile on your own face…along with a receptive one on the faces of both father and grandfather alike!
Gift card to favorite store, online outlet or restaurant
Just to get the obvious out of the way-this is still one of my mainstays even when I am (rarely) ahead of schedule for my pickier men to buy for or those who have defined hobbies or tastes. I can usually pick out the denomination that I want to be programmed at the checkout counter and often times anymore my local supermarket has cards of all kinds and types from restaurants such as Red Lobster or TGIFridays, retail shops like Bass Pro Shop or Eddie Bauer, online services/shopping like Amazon or I-Tunes or even airline gift cards! Yes I bought one for a friend once for 100$ and he used it just like cash when paying for his flight ticket to go to a festival he really wanted to attend-so those end caps with all the cards hanging there that you almost run into with the grocery cart heading to the produce section just might be exactly what you need this time-and each card usually comes in a decorative sleeve or those cool “gift card boxes” that you can choose and just sign the card and not have to wrap anything. The trusty gift card still tops many lists as choice and not just last minute save so it is always an option. Check your local supermarket’s web page to see if they have a gift cards available page like Safeway and Hy-Vee chains do so that you can get an idea of the variety before you even shop.
New cell phone with minutes
It is easy and convenient anymore to grab someone a new cell phone with service as a gift with the prepaid cards and total phone packages available. The entire prepaid option can be purchased or often times as with Cingular Pay as You Go-you have options to purchase monthly plans. You can pick up your choice of phone for Dad or your husband at most supermarkets anymore-but head to Walmart, Target or Best Buy for the greatest selections and for last minute Father’s Day deals since today is the day many will be running them-if you are completely away from that variety of shopping often even the mini convenience gas stores carry them and while they wouldn’t have gift wrapping service or supplies like the other retailers above might-one can always improvise by grabbing a Sunday newspaper as you purchase the phone and some scotch tape which they will have and grab out either Dad’s favorite section such as sports (or the comics always get used in my house because we are serious Garfield fiends) and wrap that phone up so that the sports section main story with photo or your favorite comic strip reads right across the front! Another great option and if you have 3 or 4 hours you can even charge it up and get the service working-most will activate batterywise anymore in under an hour when new. Check out the AT & T or TracFone or T-Mobile web sites to see where their closest retailer offering their product is for you.
My last minute solution when I am near a mall and do NOT want even a trickle of possibility to spill that I didn’t “remember” when I should have! I can run in and choose so many different gift ideas and then pay to have them engraved/personalized on and usually quickly while I wait. Do be aware though that many besides this author and you are aware of this little gem and will probably be with you in line doing the same-so today on the actual holiday-do expect to perhaps wait and hour or probably two at the most for something such as a embossed picture frame (with the promise to develop a photo you take at dinner for Grandpa) or a nice pen set with World’s Best Dad or I do love their 14 carat gold bookmark/page clips personalized for the avid reader. Lot’s of sports items as well there for both the participant and the fan, whichever he is, and with his name engraved on it he will think you ordered it weeks before! Things Remembered are found at most malls and here is there web link to click on.
Talking greeting card
This is a great last minute idea especially if one of the kids still needs to buy for dad or granddad. They enjoy picking these out and delight in getting to see the recipient open and be surprised with the unexpected song or spoken message. Last year on Mum’s Day-I got saved by a talking card kiosk in a card/gift store at the mall where I was allowed to record the message that I wanted in my own voice and the little computer system scanned and programmed it right into the card all for around 10$-expensive for a regular card but this was one of a kind that isn’t forgotten so really quite worth it and can stand on its own if necessary or with a small amount gift card placed inside as a gift. Check your local mall if you have a chance or the card section at Target to see what they offer with the interactive card lines.
An office/study “guy” plant
Flowers work for a few rare guys but plants are much safer to catch for dad especially if he is a weekend landscaper/gardener type. You can easily choose which plant he would be most interested in-I got a huge grin when I one year last minute grabbed at Earl May Garden Center (or any outdoor store would have worked) a huge potted “edible” planted pot for my dad including a well prospering tomato plant as the anchor of the arranged planting and then surrounded by minature hot pepper plants-this good sized pot became Dad’s “I WILL succeed” project as he monitored and waited for the first tomato fruits and peppers to be ready to pick, checking it everyday out on the patio without fail. Bonsai trees are great too or an assorted gift basket of seeds and bulbs along with a new tool or two if you have that much time to stop by a Lowe’s or Home Depot which has both equipment and plants if he is a gardener. Always a hit when you manage to put a “project” in a gift basket “wrap” that will keep him busy over the whole summer instead of just a tie to wear on Sunday.
Box of his favorite “food”
And no I promise I am not telling you to go buy a 12 pack of beer or a case of pork rinds. I am a huge variety nut and even last minute I would attempt to put together a “gift box” designed especially for him. As mentioned before local supermarkets these days -or big retailers like the Walmart or Target or Kmart that have grocery sections extensive within them- are a great place to grab a cart if you have an hour and MAKE a basket, box, stuffed tote bag, ANY holder with a theme and then build on it with the filling-you end up not even needing to wrap anything because the presentation design does it for you. I have done BBQ ones at last minute and used this great huge “rib dish” that I had found for a friend and then filled it with a utensil set, some new awesome hot mitts with crazy stuff on them, about 4 different hot sauces because he had an iron stomach and dared anyone to eat what he grilled, some spices and a nice set of metal skewers-threw in a gag gift of course too because it was me and then was all set with some light red cellophane see through wrap loosely tied before folding the cellophane out so it wasn’t seen. Know your guy, pick your theme for him from his likes and dislikes, grab a cart and get creative all while having a blast-he will be as delighted with the effort as with the gift box itself. Remember anything can be the “basket”-if golf is his thing, stuff a new gym bag with new balls, accessories, GolfUSA gift card at the counter, new putter shaggy covers or a couple different colored shirts in the style he likes to wear on the course. If he likes to cook or that is something he does with you or the kids-grab a new roasting pan with lid and fill it with everything specific themewise for a meal-pack it with taco fixin’s(of course not the refrigerated items) or pasta is a great one and endless in its ease to come up with. Grab a new basket if he is a wine buff and get creative along with the wine and of course a nice new set of glasses-take a quick effort to pair with the wine-either gourmet cheeses or chocolates or a great wine book and something “avant guard” such as new fangled opener or one of those chill containers that work so great for Chardonnays and Chablis. Pick out your theme before you go and take five minutes to search online for gift bags, boxes, baskets made up and selling with the same theme for ideas to take to the store with you-you will have as much fun putting it together as he does sorting through it all. A friend of mine even did a PBJ themed one for her fiancée because he was simply a crazy obsessed person with that sandwich since she had known him as a child-he probably was happier with all the tons of different PBJ themed items she put in there than he would have been with Indians tickets she told me. Good luck and great “finding” to you if you have a couple hours to think about and do this one.
If he is a reader then you have the easiest job on the planet for this last minute stuff. Remember what his favorite author or subject matter is and check out Barnes and Noble Online before going to the store or see if your favorite local book store is still open on Sunday. Often times booksellers have “wrap items” available specifically for the book, audio book, CD or DVD that you purchase so again a quick one stop shop and you make it to dinner on time.
Sporting event tickets or concert tickets are a great solution because most often you can do the hard part- the looking and the buying-online at a ticket broker or outlet such as Ticket Master or Web Tickets and then upon purchasing them as well on line simply print out your receipt and stop by the authorized place for pick up(often Western Union station or customer service counter at a big retailer) and pick them up along with a card and everyone is happy!
Check Amazon.com to see if they have a wish list
Amazon.com is a great company that I purchase various things thru all the time but before you say that you don’t have time to wait for something to be shipped listen up. Amazon has these great things called wish lists that each customer can fill out as they wish and then either make them public or private. If they make them public then they can be seen by all for gift ideas which of course you can buy onsite-but if no time this particular shopping time-you can still type in Dad or Granddad’s name into the search and see if he has visited the site and filled out a wish list-it is surprising how many people have-you can find out what someone is interested in and then bang! Run to a store near you since such short notice and then buy it-or perhaps it might list a magazine subscription that he would like-so you can purchase it online thru Amazon and they have these great print off non “amount” receipts that you can print onto your computer’s own printer to place within a card telling the one who receives it that he will be “receiving” as well this chosen subscription for 6 or 12 months. Check out the link below to see if Dad or Granddad have a wish list or for simply locating a “most popular” list that Amazon will have on the main pages to give you an idea if you still do not know what he might like. Once you see a couple options-then hop over to your closest store and simply buy one of them instead of wandering thru the aisles wondering what to get the guy who has everything already!
Ooooh and last resort but definitely not least appreciated-buy that card that you have 15 minutes to pick out and then stuff it with whatever amount of green stuff-the spending variety-that you see fit! Cash is always a great deal as opposed to nothing and allows the person to make his own choice-this might be better for a dad instead of a Granddad who might rather have “sentiment” with something. Anyway it is failsafe if necessary, it’s green, its smells good when its new and it spends anywhere and everywhere-I can think of worse odds-for-a-happy-receiver to be up against!
Hope these 10 ideas helped you form the one idea that works best and efficiently for you. Nobody needs to know you even forgot to shop when it comes to this Father’s Day! Happy shopping vibes and may your laden shopping cart know no long lines today!
Helpful links and resources: