1. The best Father's Day gifts are those that celebrate the paternal relationship as well as those that give a child and a father something to share in together. If Dad loves to ride his bicycle, plan a family bike ride and picnic, where you'll present him with a new gadget for his bike, perhaps. If he's a baseball fan, present him with tickets to a big game (and some to each of his kids, too.)
Think about Dad's favorite things to do, and ask the kids to help you think of ways that you can help him spend more time doing it (or perhaps how to share those favorite activities with the rest of his family.) For men who love to grill, buy him a new apron (or decorate a plain one with fabric paints) and stuff the pockets with new marinades and barbecue gadgets. You can even buy a barbecue branding iron featuring his initials so he can brand his pieces of art as they come off the grill. If he's a fisherman, treat him to a new tacklebox with hooks, bobbers, and powerbait. If he's a golfer, take him out to the miniature golf course for a day of family fun, or to his favorite course if the kids are old enough to share in his game.
2. Write a letter to your husband to let him know how you feel about his role as father. Tell him what you admire about him and how he helps you in your role as mother.
3. Say it with photos. These days, online photo processing sites make it a snap to create unique and sentimental photo books and photo gifts, including mugs, mousepads, keychains, even keepsake boxes and playing cards, all featuring his favorite family photos.
4. Take a container that relates to a favorite pastime and make a treasured keepsake. First, cut out slips of paper and distribute them in the family so that everyone can write down their favorite memories with dad. Then put all of these slips of paper in an inexpensive container: a tacklebox, a new coffee cup, or an antique cigar case.
5. Dads make a lot of sacrifices for the family. Present him with something that makes him feel treasured. Some ideas: a nice new wallet or money clip with his initials; monogrammed cuff links or beer glasses; new slippers and a plush bathrobe or a gift certificate for a massage. Make sure to include a note from the family expressing your appreciation for everything he does as a dad.
6. Give him DVDs that you can watch together. Is he an Indiana Jones fan or a Star Wars buff? Get the DVD box set and make some popcorn. If he's a gaming fan, present him with the newest game.
7. Treat him and the kids to lunch at his favorite restaurant and present him with tickets to a new movie he's been wanting to see.
8. Make a batch of his favorite sweet treats.
9. The secret to being a good gift giver is to listen for those things that your husband mentions throughout the year. What catalogs or magazines does he flip through? Pay attention to the kinds of advertisements that make him pause. Men's hints are sometimes particularly subtle, so be on the lookout and take notes on ideas for things he might like to have.