Cheap Father’s Day Gift

You see the deck of cards. You see your sister pick the deck up… She’s playing with the cards and watching your excitement grow…… She turn the deck upside down………. THEN THE CARDS GO FLYING EVERYWHERE……………… Your are itching for the words to trigger the game…………………….. she is taking FOREVER…………………………………. Then it happens: 52 CARD PICK-UP!!!!!! she yells…………………………………… It’s a mad dash to who can get the most cards picked up…………………………………………………………… YOU WIN!!!!!

I used to LOVE playing 52 card pick-up with my siblings until I got older and realized half the time they just didn’t want to clean up so they turned it into a game and I ended up cleaning their game up for them in order to “win”. Ha! But seriously, this game was more fun than a pillow fight to me!

As an adult I still love playing games; 52 card-pick up isn’t quite as high on my list anymore though. Because of this I tend to have at least a hand full of decks of cards around the house. Jared and I love to have game nights with friends and together! We are always up for learning new games for us as a couple, to play with siblings and friends, and for our kids.

When Jared and I first got married we didn’t have a lot of money. When Teancum was born the next year we had even less money, like worried-about-how-we-would-afford-diapers poor. It’s not something I am ashamed of because looking back, that journey brought Jared and I together closer as a couple. We learned to rely on each other in tough times right off the bat which has served us well over the last 5 1/2 years. Starting of poor also taught us to be creative with what little money we didn’t have! Que cheap Father’s Day gifts…

Father’s Day is a special holiday for Jared and me. It’s the first time Jared said ‘I love you’. Well, the second but I made him take it back the first time! See that story here. The point is, this was the day our whole relationship shifted from dating into eternity together. Because this first Father’s Day changed our whole relationship I have always tried to make it extra special.

Those first few years when money was tight I felt like I couldn’t make it as special as I wanted but the truth was I was wrong. Those first few Father’s Days were some of the best because we didn’t have money. They were simple but fulfilling. They were cheap but they were heartfelt.

So today, I am going to share the first Father’s Day gift I ever gave to Jared! Here is where the games come in. This gift I call 52 Card Pick- Up.

Like I said earlier, cards are usually something I have on hand. So when Father’s Day came and I had zero money I looked around for something special and cards are what I found. I knew each deck had 52 pieces; 52 pieces of something. As I sat down with this deck in our tiny one bedroom and looked around I thought about how much we didn’t have. Next, I combated with listing off all the things I did have because being grateful and poor was a better option than being greedy and in debt. Thinking of all the things I was grateful for in our little first home lead me to the things I was most grateful for- Jared! So I started listing all of the things I was grateful to Jared for or qualities Jared had that I was grateful for. I quickly realized my list was a long one. As I looked down at the deck of cards in my hand I had an idea: 52 cards meant 52 things/qualities of Jared’s that I could share with him that were important to me. So I got to work. I cut out 52 small pieces of paper and glued one piece onto one side of every card. When all of the glue was dry I set to work writing all of the things I appreciated and loved about him. Here were a few of the things I used just to give you some ideas or examples.

  1. You are a hard worker.
  2. You are always up for trying something new!
  3. You are loyal.
  4. You always try to make me laugh!
  5. You are willing to teach me new things.
  6. You make the best pancakes!
  7. You are compassionate.
  8. You are super sexy!
  9. You love to learn.
  10. You never say “no” to more Oreos.

Your 52 appreciation things can all be serious or a mix of serious and funny like ours were or they can all just be funny. When it comes time for “giving the gift”, I chose the funnest way I could think of-  throwing the cards in the air and have him pick them up one-by-one, of course! Each card he picked up and read was fun because he wanted to know another reason I thought he was so great! Haha! When Jared was done with the cards I hole punched 2 holes into each card and tied two pieces of twine to make it like a little book. Best part, Jared still has it 5 years later! (Sometimes the kids and I will hide a little note for Jared somewhere and do a little scavenger hunt to help him find the note- this could be a fun, less messy way for you to give the already made “appreciation book”!)

I love the idea of sharing things about your spouse with them that you love. Your words, admiration, and love is a great free or cheap Father’s Day gift to give. The further we have gotten in our marriage the more I have realized the importance of reminding your spouse of the reason you love them. Life gets busy and it’s easy to get caught up in the crazy. Days, weeks, or months, might go by without you reminding your spouse that you are proud of them or are grateful for their ability to lighten your mood on a rough day.  Taking a moment to invest in your marriage by taking the time to both remember the things you love about your spouse AND tell them what you love and appreciate will strengthen you marriage in new ways. I hope you will give it a try!

Happy (almost) Father’s Day!


The Journal


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