Saturday, June 03, 2006

Give your Father the Hobby of his Dreams

By Christina VanGinkel

When I wrote my previous blog posting, I was thinking about all of the gifts that someone who enjoys a creative hobby could make for their Dad this upcoming Father's Day. This got me thinking about all of the hobbies that many of these same Dads might like to participate in themselves, some of them creative, some of them not, but all things that they seem to talk about yet never take any action towards doing. Maybe they cost a bit too much, or your Dad feels it is something that he has left too long and he might feel a bit too old to have a go at it. That is when I realized that if you cannot come up with a good gift idea for your Dad this Father's Day; why not give them the gift of the hobby of their dreams? Unless your Dad is so old that he cannot get a pass to leave the nursing home, chances are he is plenty young enough to try just about any hobby of his dreams. Maybe it will be a one shot deal, and then again, maybe it will lead to many years of continued joy. Either way, they will realize that at least you were listening all those times they were going on about their interests.

First, consider what hobbies your Dad has talked about through the years, then take action:

Set them up with lessons and an accompanying adventure for anything from riding a motocross bike, deep sea diving, to skydiving. If NASCAR is there thing, check if the closest track to you offers half day, full day, or even week long classes that let participants get behind the wheel, or sit up front with an experienced driver, and experience the thrill of racing first hand. If you do not live close to a big track, check with a smaller track to see if they offer anything similar.

Get him tickets to the sporting event of his dreams, especially if he has made a hobby through the years of following a certain team.

If they have always dreamt of running a marathon or competing in some other sort of race, say bicycling, arrange for them to head to one of these events as a spectator, and maybe talk with one of the promoters about all that is involved.

If you Dad is the sort that has always talked about writing a novel, send him off to a conference. There are writing conferences geared toward various genres all across the United States and Canada. There are even conferences that are situated on board cruises for a vacation of a lifetime. A writers retreat might be just the ideal getaway if a conference seems like too much. Maybe he has not really started writing, so a conference might seem like overkill, while a retreat would provide him with the solitude to reflect on what he would really like to write.

If he enjoys the creative arts, such as painting or working with clay, see if you can find a class on a subject that he does not do, but again, has expressed an interest in, such as a photography class, a class on blowing glass, metalwork, etc.

If one of these examples or something you come up with on your own sounds ideal, but out of your price range, approach your siblings if you have any, and ask them if maybe they would like to split the cost, as this is a great way to make a dream that is a bit costly come true.

Often, the older one gets, the less time they feel they have. When all they really need is a gently push towards these hobbies of their dreams to realize that yes they do have the time for them, and yes they really are, or maybe are not, what they had always hoped they would be. Too often, we do a lot of talking about something, but never get up the speed to take action. Take that step for him by taking matters into your own hands and making all of his fondest wishful thinking a reality. Give your Dad the gift of a new hobby. Give him the permission to experience and try something that he has always dreamed about doing. He might try it and never try it again, or he might be begging you for more of the same when the next gift-giving holiday rolls around!

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