Minimalist Gifts for Dads and Grads that don't blow (No latex and helium balloons)
Congratulations Grads & Happy Father's Day to Dads!
June is the month when we pull out all the stops to congratulate the Grads and celebrate the Dads in our lives.
No expense is too great, and we buy bouquets of helium and mylar balloons because they are festive, colorful and fun. Some come in shapes of champagne and beer bottles with “Happy Father’s Day” emblazoned across them floating mightily in the air-conditioned grocery stores and floral shops.
Whoa whoa whoa. Just hold on for a second here!
I don’t want to be a party pooper, but allow me to disclose something about balloons that you may not be aware of as unwanted consequences. In a nutshell, driven by the laws of physics, what goes up must come down.
These balloons will deflate within hours or days of our celebrations and we’re not there to properly dispose of them. So, they end up being trash in the field and hurt a variety of grazing animals. They get caught up in the trees and on riverbanks which will then eventually make their way to the ocean and will most likely hurt our marine animals and birds. These latex and mylar balloons along with decorated ribbons are being often digested and killed many animals. “Beach litter surveys have shown the amount of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past ten years.” According to the balloonblow.org (Read more here https://balloonsblow.org/impacts-on-wildlife-and-environment)
What on earth are you going to use instead?
Well, I’m glad you are open to suggestions for alternatives because there are many that we ALL can live with instead of balloons. Leave it up to the same folks at balloonblow.org (https://balloonsblow.org/environmentally-friendly-alternatives/) to provide many suggestions that are colorful, thoughtful, sustainable, reusable, and do not kill other innocent animals who wanted nothing more than to live without choking on latex or mylar balloons, or strangulated by ribbons and bows. Sorry to be morbid and a bit of a buzzkill. Here are some great ideas:
- Colorful and reusable pinwheels
- Bright colors pompom flowers http://www.marthastewart.com/265163/pom-poms-and-luminarias-how-to
- Buntings https://rockfarmer.me/2013/01/04/balloon-free-party-decor/
- Decorate with streamers
Instead of letting go of balloons
- Flower Seed bombs http://blog.freepeople.com/?s=seed+bombs
- Blowing bubbles
Alternative Gifts for Grads
Instead of giving Grads a bouquet of latex balloons after the ceremony, how about an orchid or candy leis, and who wouldn’t love dollar bill leis. Here are instructions to make some of them.
- Taffy candy lei. Use cotton yarn to tie the candies together to avoid plastic ribbons https://www.pinterest.com/pin/97812623131939180/
Alternative Gifts for Dads
Depending on your budgets, make gifts that are not physical items and include the kids in the activities. Make memories not clutter!
- Make breakfast in bed
- Bring a picnic lunch to the park, beach, or mountain lakes and play board games or frisbee
- Make a special dinner at home that he loves. Invite the family members he enjoys spending time with the most
- Make some mobile phone collage pictures of the kids and have them handwrite their names. Send him the digital files as a gift
- Give dads the coupon book of chores that kids can do for dad, e.g. “I’ll mow the lawn, help in the garden, in the garage, with the dishes, etc.”
- Have an S’mores party at home in the backyard at night around the fire pit
- Adult children as myself. I plan to visit my father. Most parents only want our presence, not presents
- Does he like to read? How about a Kindle or paperback for the beach or camping? Check out my memoir TigerFish which has 28 reviews of 4.9 stars that you can download to read immediately with any of your device or buy a paperback.
Learn more about my Vietnamese Refugee Experience and why I wrote TigerFish.
MAKE MEMORIES NOT CLUTTER
I hope these will be compelling enough reasons and alternatives that you can be persuaded to ditch the latex and mylar balloons for not only grads and dads but for future festivities and celebrations.
Now that we are empty-nesters, my favorite Father's Day gift to my husband who did such an incredible job with our children is, ready for this? TIME! I give him a "hall pass" every year (and throughout the year) to spend time with his guy buddies who are happily married to spend a few days away together and just hang out. I'll make a nice dinner for him when he gets home on Sunday night, and visit my dad on Saturday! It's a win-win because our children will be chatting with him on the phones if they couldn't in person, but that is ok. No guilt and no fuss. We know we are a tightly knit family and see each other as often as we could. Love imposes no guilt!
Share your Grads and Dads gift ideas that don't blow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and have a lovely Grads and Dads weekend!