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Animals Through My Traveling Lens
So you're looking for something for dear old Dad but you don't know where to start. If you're like me, as a woman trying to figure out something for the Dad in my life (my own or my father-in-law), it takes me a little time each year.
I usually sit down and decide on categories of potential gifts and thought I'd share these with you. I've grouped them into categories that typically have plenty of ideas under $25 and certainly under $100. I hope it helps you get started!
Meanwhile, if you have >$100 to spend and your man is a nature-lover, I'm all about giving experiences as gifts. You can read more in Top 10 Father's Day experiences blog specifically about such experiences.
So herein, my top categories of gifts <$100 to help you get started:
Often, I find myself buying a gift card. I have found that gift cards work well for older dads who may have amassed many things over the years. The gift card categories alone are endless so you can have fun with this!
1. Gift cards to choose it themselves
This category is really focused on gift cards that allow these men to shop for themselves. I don't pretend to know what my dad needs or wants at any given time. So I've focused on the joys in his life. Within this category, I've bought gift cards for:
The great thing is that many physical gifts can be customized to make them even more special to your father. Themes can include activities he enjoys or places he likes - surfing, sailing, running, golfing, beaches, mountains, national parks, animals such as elk, birds, and more. The world is your oyster in determining how to customize your gift.
1. Beverage accessories - I know where you're going with this BUT... this doesn't have to be just about alcohol. ;-) There are quite a few men out there who enjoy their coffees and teas, or who play sports or otherwise rehydrate with lots of water. From reusable beverage mugs to coffee and latte mugs to corkscrews, travel bottle openers, neoprene wine bottle carriers and even flasks. And of course, there's the entire bar selection from which to choose!
2. Office and electronics - Another broad category, this runs the gamut from cellphone and desk accessories to electronics. Cellphone, tablet and laptop covers, cellphone stands, business card holders, power banks, thumb drives, and desk holders are all examples of things that can be customized for dad. Of course, if you want to spend more you can always buy phones, noise-cancelling headphones, and other electronics themselves.
Does the dad in your life participate in sports? For solo sports like kayaking or running, there are plenty of accessories with which you could outfit dad. For family fun, you might like puzzles, ping pong tables, corn hole sets, and accessories. For team sports, you might favor buying or replacing worn equipment - baseballs, soccer balls, footballs and basketballs, golf accessories and other sports-related accessories such as coolers and towels.
I love it when people invest in their own well-being with the resources that are readily available to them. And even better when their family members support them in that goal. Things like meditation, yoga, juicing, and many other resources listed on my wellness page here, all go a long way in wellness. And investing in the gift of wellness for the one you love is a true gift of love. Some ideas to support them are yoga mats, meditation series, juicing books, and more. Obviously juicers will run more than $100 but if you are willing to make that investment, it's a great one. We juice almost every day - and with all of the vitamin boost in the fresh fruits and vegetables, we don't need caffeine in the mornings. (That’s not to say we don’t regularly enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea!)
If your loved one is a musician, there are many accessories available for him as well. From carrying cases for his instrument, guitar picks, sheet music and books, there are many options in this category. Has he been talking about learning an instrument? There’s always the gift of lessons!
This is a fun category and can include anything from the experiences mentioned previously to suitcases and luggage handle covers, passport holders, to yes even trailer hitches!
If you feel comfortable that you know the clothing tastes of the father in your life, there are many options in this category. From home-made shirts and hats, to customized ties, sneakers, jackets, and store-bought items, you know the drill on this one. Be on the lookout for other ideas or for things that he may have worn out. (Not that a man EVER throws away a shirt with a hole in it.) ;-) Last Father’s Day, I found a gift in an unlikely place. While attending a Scottish Highland Games festival, I found Irish flat caps - my dad's favorite! - at a vendor stall. Since they’re so hard to find (except when I’m in the UK), I ended up buying him two. They were a slam dunk with my dad – he was elated.
This category might be a little riskier if the father in your life is particular with his tastes in art. Luckily, art comes in so many different textures and materials these days - metal, wood, canvas and acrylic, to traditional photographic prints, paintings and drawings. If you can find the object of his passion, you can then select the medium. OR you can give a gift even closer to the heart: create something homemade that he will treasure simply because YOU made it.
Whatever you do, whatever you gift, doing so with love is all that really matters! Hope your special dad has a very happy Father’s Day!
Looking for more inspiration? You can hop over to my full Father’s Day collection and see if anything there speaks to your heart. You can apply my photographic subjects to many Zazzle products. And if you see a gift in my Father's Day collection that you'd like to customize with a different animal or theme, just let me know. I'm happy to update my collection to carry more gifts for you. Happy shopping!
Eyes4Nature on Zazzle
Eyes4Nature on Fine Art America
Eyes4Nature on RedBubble
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a big fan of the gift of time together. So whether you take one of these ideas or use them to inspire your own, the important thing is to just go have fun together! And don’t forget, it’s always lovely to give the gift of a donation to one of the causes that the Dad in your life supports. The non-profit can always use your support, and it’s a wonderful feeling to do it.
Here are my TOP 10 ideas of the perfect day spent with the nature-, bird-, and animal-loving Dad in your life. There’s so much to explore together in your local area.
If you need to stay indoors this Father’s Day, here are a few indoor ideas:
Other data points to consider when planning your activity:
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey
Now, some of you are bound to be thinking, “I want to go bigger”. Good for you! You’re hopefully into planning and can use Father’s Day to give a “promise note” of surprise for a future trip. This can be just as exciting – and allows the two of you or the whole family to plan it together. See part 3 of my Valentine’s blog for nature/animal/bird lovers for some ideas based on my own personal experiences.
Meanwhile, if you’re sticking closer to home, enjoy planning your day! Relax and unwind in nature together. And enjoy the inspiration from my own nature experiences featured in my Father’s Day cards and gifts for this and many other occasions.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, here’s wishing you and your special Dad a wonderful Father’s Day….
Eyes4Nature on Zazzle
Eyes4Nature on Fine Art America
Eyes4Nature on RedBubble
In Part 1 of this blog, I discussed the gift of animals all around us and the messages they can bring if we're open and listening. This is true wherever we are - in our home and in our nature travels elsewhere. In Part 2, I focus on our own pets.
Our pets who have passed
My dogs who have passed over also send me very clear and distinct messages. When I have compared my experiences with others, they, too, have echoed similar experiences. This is why I always remind my friends who have lost beloved pets to know that their pets remain with them – perhaps as a “guardian” or friend from the other side – and to always pay attention for their messages. I share my own personal first experience with this later. I have now started asking my dogs, shortly before they pass, what sign they will use to get my attention after they have left the physical world. My last dog, Mika, clearly sent me an image of a dove’s feather when I posed the question to her. How would you know and trust the answer you get? It is literally the very first image that comes into your mind - without a single thought. For more on how you can connect with your pets – or any animal - many resources abound, and I provide some, below. You can take classes online or in person to learn how to tap in. And all should provide you with direct practice to become comfortable with it. Don't let the thought of 'animal communications' as something odd or something that someone else does, detract you from it. I'll share my own personal story of why I feel this way....
I had enrolled in an animal communications class - now over 15 years ago - thinking that I was just going to hear how animal communicators do what they do. I had no idea I would soon - ever so gently - be put on the spot myself. And I'm glad I didn't know. Back then, I lacked the kind of self-confidence that such an act would take, and would have never enrolled in the session. But the very foundation of how I view life - and the possibilities that surround us - changed because of that class... We were each asked to bring a photo of a pet which, naively, I thought was to share with the Instructor. And so, sitting in the class with this premise, we were asked to exchange those pet photos with one another. "Oh no!" I now realized, "this is our own test!" I hesitantly accepted the picture of a Golden Retriever from the nice lady sitting across from me. Palms sweating, I reluctantly and nervously went through the exercise. We were then asked to share what came to us during the exercise. I felt panicked. I convinced myself that these odd images I kept getting during the exercise were some images my brain was concocting. And so the moment of truth came when I was asked to share. I swallowed, blushed, and apologized for the 'silly' image that I had gotten. As I shared that I had seen her Retriever run circles around a kitchen island and then plop himself right in front of the refrigerator, I saw her friend (seated beside her) hit her arm - and both of them stared back at me in astonishment. This, it turned out, was the precise layout of her kitchen and indeed the ritual her dog would eagerly do whenever his owner returned home.... WOW. Just wow.... I sat - speechless, astonished..... That moment, that day, was my wakeup call to all that is invisible to our 5 senses - but every bit as real as what we can see and touch. The experience has never left me. I understood why we were asked to participate in the exercise ourselves: it makes it real, tangible. It's a gift we ALL have, should we be willing to tap into it and use it. And like any muscle, exercise helps improve your ability to tap in and to grow confidence in yourself and this natural ability that we each have.
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” - Nikola Tesla
It starts with being open
It might take a little time for you to become comfortable with these concepts and that’s ok. It has been a journey over my adult life to learn to tap in and tune in to the animals all around me.
One day while gardening, I came across a dove’s feather and thought to myself, “That’s probably not from Mika. It may have been here some time.” At which point, distracted, I got up to do something else. Right then, right there, a dove on the wire above me took off and a single feather, ever so slowly, descended from the dove, gliding left, then right, slowly, slowly, as if dancing in the air. Right before my eyes, the feather amazingly glided and shifted to a 30 degree angle - straight over to me - landing at my feet. I started laughing – that was undeniable. It’s best not to resist these moments, simply thank them and ask them if they have a message for you. The first thing that comes into your mind – without judgment, is the message. Just be open and see what they want to share with you. These gifts from our animal friends are beyond compare. They strengthen us in times of weakness, they reassure us in times of questioning, they console us in times of sadness. Somehow, they just know that we need them.
There are many wonderful resources below and beyond. I hope this list helps get you started. Be well, be open, and may your journey be richer thanks to the help of nature and the animals with whom we share the planet …..
Pamela, Eyes4Nature's proprietor, enjoying life out in the field among the animals and the peacefulness of nature.