Gifts for Dad: Honoring the Man They Call Daddy

***Over the next five weeks leading to Father’s Day, I’m teaming up with a fabulous group of bloggers as we Honor the Man They Call Daddy.  Join us!***

In no particular order:

  • Time — Time with you, time with the kids.
  • Food you make me
  • Video games
  • Back rubs
  • Music
  • Tickets to sporting events
  • Date night
  • Ice cream

I just (as in 2 minutes ago) interviewed my husband, asking him, “If you could have any gift valued under $300 for any occasion, what would you choose?”  That list up there?  Those are the things my man wants.  Most noted?  Many are not things at all.

I don’t know why it had never occurred to me before to ask him, “What do you want?”  Maybe I thought I knew all the answers (I actually did know many of them – yay!), or perhaps I was slightly afraid of what he might say.  What if what he wants will take a little more time and effort from me?

I want to honor my husband, the man I love most in this world.  I want to respect him, the father of my children.  What gets in my way sometimes is the grind.  The crazy, beautiful, loud, stressful, perfect rhythm that is our life often leaves me putting one foot in front of the other, succumbing to the necessary and the practical.

Extravagant, creative gifts to say I love and respect you?  That’s not really me (or our budget)!

That’s okay, though, because what refreshes my husband most isn’t extravagance. He wants a bowl of his favorite ice cream at the end of a long day, sitting in his favorite recliner, watching a favorite comedy with his favorite girl.  (Hey, that’s me!)


He wants to know that when we’re having a conversation, I’m focused on what he’s saying, and not trying to multi-task.

He wants the work of the week to be done, or mostly done, or at least good enough (We do a lot of good enough around here!) so that we can enjoy a fun family activity a couple times per week.

He doesn’t ask for much; he asks for me.

As we approach Father’s Day this year, I’m going to make a concerted effort to make the day about my husband and what he wants (Novel idea, right?) rather than what I think he needs or what would be easy for me to give.  That, I believe, would be the best way to show him the love and respect he so very much deserves.

What do you think would be on your husband’s Top 10 gift list?  Don’t be afraid to ask him!

Peruse more Gifts for Dad posts from my fellow bloggers:





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  1. Making the day about what he wants “rather than what I think he needs or what would be easy for me to give” – this is SO key! What a great reminder. We women are sometimes champion planners and shoppers… and often miss the boat, as a result. 😉 Great post, Amy!

  2. My husband loves when I get up and make him breakfast in the morning and also get his lunch ready to take with him. I’ve certainly been trying to do that more often as it gives him time to read his Bible and pray before the work day. I love truly being able to help him instead of constantly asking him to help me….

  3. Charlotte says:

    Well said! 🙂

  4. My husband is the hardest guy to buy or because he just says, “I have you. I don’t need anything else”. How am I suppose to work with that?

    • That IS frustrating, even though I’m sure he means it as a compliment. I guess if all he wants is to be with you, then pick something that YOU want to do and let him tag along. 🙂

  5. At the Savvy Blogging Summit, I was sitting next to you when you introduced yourself to JD Roth. I will never forget what you told him – that the best things in life aren’t things.

    I’m glad your husband reminded you. 🙂

  6. “That’s okay, though, because what refreshes my husband most isn’t extravagance. He wants a bowl of his favorite ice cream at the end of a long day, sitting in his favorite recliner, watching a favorite comedy with his favorite girl. (Hey, that’s me!)

    Me. ”

    This is Sean too. I’m not so good at it! Thanks for the reminder!

  7. stephiedee says:

    I struggle with this one, as I think it is my desire to please my husband and do what he wants. I’ve just experienced two years’ worth of disappointing Mother’s Days that have left a sour taste in my mouth. I’m trying to move to a place of forgiveness but am struggling.

    For the past two years, I wanted nothing more than for my husband of our two sons (ages 5 and 3) to take the boys out to either pick a simple bouquet of flowers (could be from our own backyard — or the $4 version at our local grocery store — the cost did not matter). I even expressed to him this desire — both years. Each time, the day came and went with no flowers and nary a mention of Mother’s Day by my husband, nor any little plugs for him to share how this day is special to our sons. But this year at the end of the day, since my heart was so heavy with disappointment, I asked him why he didn’t honor the one request that I had. He said, “I didn’t think it was a big deal. Don’t take it personal.” It crushed me.

    So as we move toward Father’s day (last year I put together a photo album of him and the boys — he barely looked at it, because he said he doesn’t like to look at pictures of himself), I have no motivation to reach out and make his day special as I still struggle with feeling that I was not important to him — and maybe more importantly, he’s not modeling a good way in how the mother of his children should be treated — not just on Mother’s day, but any day. Anyway, thanks for letting me share. Reading this post just made me cry, because I want to do something, but I no longer desire to make a big deal out of Father’s day. I’d much rather focus my energies on my father, not to mention my heavenly Father, who both have loved me unconditionally.

    • {sigh} My knee-jerk reaction isn’t very compassionate, helpful, or something I should post on the blog. 😉 I’m so sorry you’ve been treated like that. I do think that in any relationship you sometimes have to shield yourself from the “traditional” and do what works for you.

      If holiday celebrations and gifts aren’t important to your husband, perhaps you could do something nice for yourself on Mother’s Day, and like you said, focus on your own father for Father’s Day. I’m sad that your boys aren’t learning from him how to treat you with love and respect, but being sad about it likely won’t change things. Maybe your dad could help out in that area, encouraging the boys to do something special?

    • Karen D. says:

      I, too, have had many a disappointing “gift”. From the not trying and just letting things go, to no thought or effort put into it, to giving me something he feels I would rather have. I have asked for the flowers. I have asked for simple gift cards so I could feel at peace with myself to buy something for me instead of the kids, I always put them first. He says gift cards are a losers gift. this is what he has told the kids. So I get “stuff” that I need to make room for or feel guilty getting rid of. I had the same feelings toward him that you have. I still make it a point to get the kids excited to do something for their dad because it still teaches them. My 16yo DD has grown seeing my disappointment and has taken the lead in teaching her 3 younger siblings on how to do it right. She remembers things that I may have mentioned months earlier. Put forth your best effort, for your kids sake. It won’t be lost on them. Trust me. You don’t have to make the gifts really sentimental for your husband, but do that for your dad. Your husband is the one who’ll lose out in the end. And you’ll feel better if you dwell on the gentlemen you’re creating, instead of the one who isn’t. Many hugs and prayers your way.

      • This is the best advice. It stinks that Mother’s Day is first every single year so he sets the precedent. But everything you do is teaching your children. 30 years from now you don’t want some woman writing a sad comment about her husband’s crummy attitude and realize it’s your daughter in law talking about your son. I know you said you’ve made requests before, but at some point when you aren’t feeling too raw definitely bring it up again. Tell him how meaningful it is to you that your sons learn how to demonstrate love and respect. You can not let it fester and you have got to have REAL communication (my mom was a fester-er and snarky commenter who always denied saying anything unkind, but her tone wasn’t good. Now my mom and step dad barely speak and she freely spoke ill of him to their sons…it is not a good thing). I really hope he “gets it” quickly before your feelings are irreparably damaged.

      • Sarah K says:

        I’m so sorry your husband isn’t valuing and honoring you as he should. I can speak from my own experience when my marriage was in a dark place and tell you that anything short of doing your best to honor him, despite his poor treatment of you, will only hurt you and your marriage. My marriage was at the breaking point, due to some pretty bad behavior on my husband’s end but also due to my pretty poor reaction to it. I was angry, unforgiving and becoming more bitter by the day. Any attempts I made to help my husband “see what he was doing wrong” or to express my disappointment only served to bring us closer to the edge. It was only when I made the decision to go out of my way to love him and respect him (which was not easy to do many days) and began to live out that decision day by day that I started to see a change in him and a strengthening in our marriage.

        I have heard it said from a pastor that you should love your spouse until they are loveable, and for men, I think that can translate to respecting them until they are respectable. There are obviously exceptions to this, i.e. abuse, but I can truly tell you this made a world of difference in my life. I gave the hurts and disappointments to God. I stopped looking so much to my husband to fulfill my desires and learned that my value comes from God not from my husband. This valley in my marriage happened about 3-4 years ago. My marriage is now going strong for 10+ years. I truly love my husband and know that he feels the same for me. He has told me on several occasions that the way I saw the best in him and the little things I did to encourage him during that time, completely changed his outook. I give all the credit to God because I believe he did a miracle in our relationship, and He can certainly turn things around in yours, but He just may choose to use you to do that.

        • kelly engelhardt says:

          My knee jerk reaction was negative as well however upon further reflection I think the healthiest approach would be to turn the other cheek. You know what kind of wife and mother you are, to not honor or respect your husband would be a discredit to the type of person you obviously are. In time I hope your spouse truly hear you and give you the recognition you richly deserve. I would smile and relish in the knowledge that God sees how clearly you are fulfilling your vocation. Peace be with you 🙂

  8. My husband feels the same way and lately I’ve had a hard time giving him what he wants. It just seems like sometimes there can be so many other distractions vying for my time and attention. Thank you for the reminder that I need to refocus my attentions and intentions. 🙂 Well spoken.

  9. Julie Williams says:

    When we have been forgotten or ignored..especially a holiday, it is so very hard to get past it and move forward unless there is forgiveness. One thing that has helped me( cause i have been in Stepie’s shoes) is that by him nor honoring me he is offending God and will answer to God for the way he treated me. With that said.. it goes both ways.. i offend God by not blessing and honoring my husband every day. Maybe if you could ask your sons how they want to honor their daddy and guide them in that way. It can be a win win for all 3 of you. and Daddy too. Its never to early or too late to start. He may not appreciate it now, but down the road he will, when his children grow up and remember him on their own.

    • I like this approach. Let the boys decide what they think would be nice for their dad.

      What we model is so important. I know it’s hard when you’re hurting, but your boys need you to teach them to be great men.


  1. […] wasn’t sure what gift to get for her husband, so she asked him. She was surprised by his answer, and I bet you will be, too. I know I […]

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