Sunday, June 20, 2010

Celebrating Moments: A Frugal Father's Day

Over the past couple of weeks, we've been in the midst of a big move to Kansas City.  Between the costs of selling our house (thousands of dollars, Idon'tevenwanttotalkaboutit) and moving (although David's firm generously covered the cost of The Move itself, there were the trips upon trips to Target for essentials and basic groceries) the occasions for which we've given gifts lately have been few and far between.

However!  Father's Day is a holiday that's really, really important to our family.  David is one of the greatest fathers I know, and I'm really excited for the opportunity to celebrate that with the kids.  Now, I know that some frugal bloggers feel that days such as this are little more than the invention of greeting card companies, a way to trick American consumers into spending way too much money on yet another gift for yet another occasion.  They say that celebrating holidays like Mother's Day is meaningless, since "you should treat every day like it's Mother's Day/Father's Day."

I agree that we should show our fathers appreciation, gratitude, and respect every day, but because of the mitzvah (commandment) of kibud av v'em - honor your father and your mother.  Observing this mitzvah every day, however, is no stand-in, in my opinion, for taking one special day a year and really heaping on the adoration.  For all the fathers in our lives do for us - from working to provide a living to rough-and-tumble playing to giving hugs after nightmares to being a shoulder to lean on when we're all grown up- I don't think one special day a year is too much to ask.

Gift giving, however, is about more than spending money.  It's about considering what object, experience, or gesture would be especially appreciated by that person and then taking the time, energy and effort to make that happen.  This is not only a value I hold especially dear, but one I also hope to instill in my children.  There's no better way to do that than to involve them in the process.  So, without further ado, our frugal Father's Day gift:

David's absolute favorite cookies are peanut butter blossoms.  The total cost to make these cookies was under $5 (most of which was the $3 bag of Hershey's Kisses.) I made sure the boys were involved with every step of making this gift:

Then I cleaned out an old cottage cheese container, covered it with some scrapbook paper left over from framing, and had a really nice looking package for the cookies:

David's just moved into a new office space, that, while offering a gorgeous view of downtown Kansas City, lacks any personal touches.  We wanted to make sure that he had some photos of the kids around to glance at during breaks or show off as appropriate.  The boys picked out a basic black photo album and painted the cover with acrylic paints.  Then they picked out photos of themselves with Abba for us to print.  Some stray scrapbooking letters personalized the album.  Total cost for this project was under $10, including album, paints, and photo prints.

Of course, we didn't buy a card or wrapping paper - a little bit of marker-and-packing-paper creativity from the boys and we had custom package trimmings that Abba loved.  He knew that it took more time and planning than buying pre-made paper would have, and made a big show out of praising the boys' "art."  In fact, pretty much every aspect of this budget-conscious gift took a lot of thought, time and effort - and I'm pretty sure that's what David appreciated most of all.

What frugal ways have you found to celebrate Father's Day?  I'd love to get some ideas for next year.
And to all you fabulous Abbas out there, I hope someone took the time and thought to make the day extra special for you - you deserve it!


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