Sure, you can take your father out to a fancy restaurant and a movie and he will smile and go along, but try these ideas on for size:
1) Pack a picnic lunch with some of his favorite foods and pack the family up for a trip to the river or lake. Spend the day in nature, fishing with your dad. Leave the cell phones and other electronic devices in the car (or at home) and just spend the day fishing. If you don't fish, take a book along to read as you sit beside your fishing father. A better idea, however, would be to ask your dad to teach you how to fish. You might begin to understand just why he enjoys it so much!
2) Throw a sport's party. I know that the Super Bowl is in February, but, if your dad is a sport's nut, don't forget about all the other sports that are available. Find out what he wants to watch and have a theme party complete with snacks and drinks. Then, sit down and watch the game with him.
If your dad doesn't like fishing or sports, find out what he does like and arrange to do that with him. Take the time to let him know that he is more to you than a hastily purchased card or gift. This is more about letting your dad know he is loved than it is about living daily on less-it's just that, sometimes, the best things in life are free!
If you have an inexpensive day planned with your dad, share it here so others can benefit from your ideas.
Photograph credits: Fishing by Steve Hillebrand
Baseball by daytraitors
Yard work by Elizabeth Chinese Food by Kunal Palkar Daughter talking to dad by Rhoda Baer