Friday, 15 June 2012

Frugal Friday (15th June)

It will be Father's Day on Sunday this weekend!  I love the opportunity to honour Papa Bear with our children on his special day, but I don't like to get caught up with all the commercialism that comes with it.  Any day is a good day for celebrating just how special and precious the father of your children is - and of course your own father too (sadly for Papa Bear and I, our fathers are not here with us any more, but we still remember them on Father's Day too).  At this time of year, the shops are full of gifts manufactured and advertised especially for Father's Day, and the media is full of reminders for ways to get us to part with our money.  But in truth you do not need to spend money to show how much you value your husband on Father's Day.  It's possible to make him feel special without spending much at all!

Here are some ways that I've used that have worked well!

If you have small children, one nice thing you can do is to arrange a day (probably not actual Father's Day, as you will want to spend that together as a family if you can) when your husband gets a whole day off to himself!  You can give him a "gift certificate" that entitles him to a whole 8 or 10 hours of uninterrupted time alone doing whatever he wants - even if that is absolutely nothing!  For husbands who have to work many hours each week outside the home, this can be a wonderful gift - a bit of solitude relaxing at home with perhaps the TV or radio, or maybe the computer or some video games, and no one to bother him!  I organised to do this on a regular basis when our cubs were wee - I would take them out for the day to visit with family or friends, and Papa Bear would have time "chilling out" at home by himself!  It was good for all of us, and we were always delighted to see each other at the end of the day!

Why not also give your husband a "gift certificate" that entitles him to have some time off his chores as well?  This could mean not having to see to the garden for a week, or wash the car (in our home this is one of my chores, as I quite enjoy it!), or perhaps see to the gutters or other outdoor home maintenance.  Chores at home in our family tend to be large, one-off chores rather than the regular daily type that I do myself, so when I have done this, instead of writing what the actual chore is, I give a set amount of time when Papa Bear won't have any responsibilities at home - a week or month, say - and whatever crops up during that time, I have to take care of!  Thankfully so far, I have never had to let him down - but I am always relieved when the time is up!

Plan a "mystery tour"!  Pack a picnic, and offer to drive the car to a secret destination!  Choose a place that you know your husband will be pleased to visit, and then drive off without giving him any clues as to where you are going.  When you arrive, surprise him with the picnic - with his favourite treats packed in it, and perhaps a small gift as well.  If you don't want to drive, why not buy some cheap tickets for day travel on the bus or train? We did this one year with the cubs, and visited a local harbour, where we had a trip out in a pleasure boat - it was a wonderful day out, and we all enjoyed ourselves, for under £20 for the whole family (book well in advance and you will find the tickets cost much less than if you do this at the last minute - so perhaps not for this year's Father's Day!).

This one will also require a little planning ahead - arrange for his favourite family members or friends to take him out for the day!  I have done this lots of times with his brothers, who don't live near to us.  For a birthday with a "0" in that Papa Bear had not all that long ago, I arranged with 2 of his brothers for them to come up and stay with us for his birthday.  He was so delighted when they appeared on the doorstep on the morning of his special day - and announced that they were going to be staying with us for a week!  They went out on lots of "men only" trips that week - and it was a wonderful rest for all of us.  You needn't make a whole week of it though - just an afternoon watching a game of football or cricket can be almost as much fun.

Of course, it goes without saying that on Father's Day you should be cooking your hubby's very favourite meal for him!  We are going to be enjoying roast belly pork with all the trimmings, followed by caramel apple cake and brown bread ice cream this year.  But to make the occasion extra special, I twill urn our dining area into a restaurant, complete with "menus", and Little Bear and Cubby will be waiting on us!  There will be candles, "wine" glasses (we use cranberry juice or grape juice instead) and of course, our very best dinner service.  I'll play lovely music, and make sure that Papa Bear feels really pampered and special.

Another lovely thing that we plan to do this year, is for Papa Bear to take Little Bear out on a "date night".  This is the first time we have done this - and we plan to make another occasion for Papa Bear to have a special night as father and son with Cubby.  But this is going to be a really special night.  Papa Bear is going to give Little Bear a very special gift.  We have prayed and thought about this a lot recently, and we decided it would be so precious to make this beautiful event unforgettable for them both - so we chose Father's Day as the occasion when it would happen.  Papa Bear is going to take his wee girl out alone, and they will have their very first father and daughter night together - tomorrow evening.  We can't wait!  Cubby and I are going to have a nice cosy evening together too - watching a DVD and playing Bananagrams!

That's another lovely way to spend a special occasion like Father's Day without it having to cost much money.  Games nights are wonderful for all sorts of special days, but on Father's Day of course, it's your husband's turn to choose the games!  OK they may not be the ones you'd necessarily choose - but that's probably because they're the ones your're not best at, and you want to have him win them all, don't you!  We love Bananagrams, Scrabble, Boggle, Jenga and Cluedo to name but a few.  These days of course, video games are just as popular, so if your hubby prefers these then they can be just as much fun too.

Finally, don't forget to make sure you bring him breakfast in bed!  Papa Bear is quite a spoiled husband, he says, because he gets breakfast in bed every day - but nevertheless, I am going to make sure his breakfast on Sunday is extra special!  And that means me making a special effort with me, too - I am after all, his most prized possession, so I want to be the gift he most enjoys of all on Father's Day!   I'll be wearing my prettiest clothes and shoes, and have my hair in his favourite style, and no matter what, he can be sure I'll be smiling, all day long!

Well who wouldn't be, when they are married to such a wonderful man?