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Make a Gifts and Fun Activities for Children for Father's Day
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A Little History of Father's Day
In 1909, Mrs. John Dobb (Sonora Smart Dodd) of Spokane Washington originated the idea of Father's Day. She and her 5 brothers and sisters were raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart,  after their mother died. She wanted to honor him. Because his birthday was on June 19th and she chose this date for Father's Day.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day.

In 1926, a National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City.

In 1956, Father's Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.


Clutter-Free Father’s Day Gifts
by Nancy Twigg

Father’s Day can present a gift-giving challenge because most dads have more than enough of everything they need. In fact, they often have too much of everything. They really don’t need another gadget or gizmo to clutter their homes.

To make matters worse, if the men in our lives do truly need or want something, they tend to bypass the step of dropping hints to family members and simply buy the item themselves. This tendency makes it difficult for spouses and children to give them gifts they will truly use.

When choosing a gift for the special father on your list, you want to choose thoughtfully to ensure that your gift does not add to the problem of household clutter. Below you will find some non-cluttering gift ideas. These clutter-free gift ideas fall into two basic categories. The first is Consumable Gifts; these are items that get eaten or used up so they do not sit around collecting dust. The other category is Gifts of Experience. These gifts that are not really things at all, but rather good times for Dad to enjoy.

As you look over the suggestions below, you will see that most of these ideas are practical items that almost everyone can use and enjoy. Remember, however, that even a consumable gift can become clutter if it is not something the recipient will actually consume. Put some thought into your gift so that you can be reasonably sure Dad will put it to good use. While some of these gift ideas are more expensive than others, surely you will find ideas to fit everybody and every budget.

* Personal Care Products – Shaving lotion, cologne, after shave, shaving supplies such as disposable razors or razor blades

* Food Gifts – Chocolate, fruit and nuts, flavored coffees and teas, wine or liqueur, specialty meats and cheeses, cheesecake, gourmet sauces and condiments

* Household Items – Pen and mechanical pencil set, long distance phone cards, a new garden hose or sprinkler, gardening tools or gloves

* Miscellaneous Consumable Gifts – Birdseed, plants or flowers for garden, newspaper or magazine subscriptions, computer software

* Gift Certificates – Restaurants, department stores, movie theater, home improvement stores, garden centers, specialty stores, hobby shops

* Memberships/Season Passes – YMCA or health club, zoo, aquarium, art museum, opera or symphony, botanical gardens

* Tickets – Concerts, theater productions, seminars, sporting events, exhibits, state fairs, workshops, training classes

Nancy Twigg may be contacted at http://www.countingthecost.com nancy@countingthecost.com. Click here to view more of their articles.
Nancy Twigg is the editor of Counting the Cost, a free email newsletter about simple and frugal living. She is also the author of the new book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions. To learn more about living simply or celebrating simply, visit Nancy online at www.countingthecost.com


Frugal Father’s Day Gift Ideas
by Nancy Twigg

For many women, the fathers on their gift lists present the biggest gift giving challenges. If you are having trouble knowing what to get dear old Dad for Father’s Day this year, look over the following list of gift ideas that fall into the category of simple, yet meaningful tokens of your appreciation and love.

* The Gift of Laughter – Is there some old comedian or sitcom that always makes him chuckle? Use your VCR to make a tape of as many episodes as you can record. When you give your gift, include a note instructing him to watch it anytime he needs a good laugh.

* Dad’s Own Webpage – Use your scanner and computer skills to create a homepage devoted to all Dad’s many interests. Include pictures of his children, hobbies and accomplishments. Tell how proud you are of him and how grateful you feel to have him as your father. After you’ve uploaded the site with the help of your Internet Service Provider, include the URL in a card telling Dad to visit that webpage for a special surprise.

* The Gift of a Clean House – If your dad lives alone, housecleaning may not be high on his list of priorities. If possible, surprise him by giving his home a good, thorough cleaning while he is away for a few days. Even if you can’t surprise him, he is sure to enjoy the results when you finish.

* The Gift of Encouragement – Find a special quote or Bible verse that is particularly meaningful. If you are handy with a needle and embroidery floss, create a cross-stitch sampler featuring those words. If not, use your calligraphy skills and put the verse in an attractive frame to sit proudly on his desk at work.

* A Subscription to His Hometown Newspaper – This gift may cost a little more but is sure to be a winner. If he no longer lives in the small town where he grew up, purchase a gift subscription to that town’s local newspaper. This gift will help him keep up with the happenings in the place he used to call home.

Several of these ideas are ones that worked well with my own hard-to-gift father. Of course, they can be modified for any other family member—male or female—who presents a gift-buying challenge.

BYLINE: Excerpt from Nancy's book, "Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions" (www.celebratesimply.com). To receive the free report, “10 Easy Ways to Give from the Heart, Not the Pocketbook,” send a blank email message to: 10easyways@GetResponse.com

Nancy Twigg may be contacted at http://www.countingthecost.com nancy@countingthecost.com. Click here to view more of their articles.
Nancy Twigg is the editor of Counting the Cost, a free email newsletter about simple and frugal living. She is also the author of the new book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions. To learn more about living simply or celebrating simply, visit Nancy online at www.countingthecost.com


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Father's Day Treats

Lemon Cloud Jello Mold
1 (6 oz.) pkg. lemon Jello
3 c. boiling water
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade
1 (8 oz.) carton Cool Whip

Dissolve Jello in boiling water and add lemonade. Refrigerate until jelly like. fold in Cool Whip and pour into a six cup mold. Refrigerate until ready to unmold and serve

Strawberry Banana Jello Mold
2 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry-banana Jello
2 c. boiling water
1 pt. frozen strawberries
1 lg. can crushed pineapple
3-4 bananas, diced or cubed
1 pt. sour cream

Add water to Jello. Add frozen strawberries. Stir until separated. Add pineapple and bananas. Put 1/2 of mixture into bowl to set. When firm, add sour cream on top and rest of Jello mixture. I use a glass bowl. It makes a very pretty table setting. It also makes a large recipe

Special K Treats
1 c. Karo syrup
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. jar of extra-crunchy peanut butter
5 c. Special K (or similar) cereal

Heat syrup and sugar to boiling and boil exactly 30 seconds. Add next 3 ingredients and drop by spoonful onto waxed paper.

Peanut Butter Balls
1 (18 oz.) jar crunchy peanut butter
2 sticks margarine
1 box powdered sugar
Dash of vanilla
2 c. Rice Krispies
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips

Melt margarine. Blend all ingredients together and make into balls. Freeze about 1 hour. Melt chocolate and dip balls. Place on tray and refreeze.

Chocolate Chip Pizza
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. margarine, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
2 c. miniature marshmallows
6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Blend well. Stir in flour. Press dough evenly over bottom of a 12 or 14-inch pizza pan, forming rim along edge. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Continue to bake for 5-8 minutes or until marshmallows are puffy and lightly browned. Cool, cut into wedges.  Store in tightly covered container.

Chocolate Balls

3 lg. Hershey bars
1 lg. Cool Whip
Vanilla wafers

Melt bars in a double boiler. Stir in Cool Whip. Set to room temperature. Roll into balls and roll in crushed vanilla wafers. Refrigerate.

Rice Krispie Chocolate Surprise
1/4 c. margarine
1 pkg. (10 oz.) or 40 regular marshmallows
6 c. Rice Krispies
25 Hershey chocolate kisses
1 sm. container Kraft caramel topping

Put marshmallows and margarine in large microwavable mixing bowl. Heat on high power 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Heat on high power 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer, stir until smooth. Add cereal and stir until well coated. Divide into 2 equal amounts. Using waxed paper, press 1 portion into the bottom of a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Place the unwrapped kisses in a microwavable container and heat on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Be careful not to burn chocolate. Spread thin layer over Rice Krispies. Add thin layer of caramel over chocolate. Flatten and press remaining amount of Rice Krispies over top of chocolate and caramel. Cool then serve

Apple Spice Custard Cake

1 (18 1/4 oz.) pkg. spice cake mix
2 med. all-purpose apples, pared, cored and finely chopped
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated
milk)
1 (8 oz.) container Borden sour cream, at room temp.
1/4 c. ReaLemon lemon juice from concentrate
Ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix as package directs; stir in apples. Pour into well greased and floured 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and ReaLemon brand. Remove cake from oven; spread cream mixture over top. Return to oven; bake 10 minutes longer or until set. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cool. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers

Cherry Cheesecake
9 inch crumb crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened at room
temperature
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling or cherry glaze*

Beat cream cheese in medium size bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and stir until well mixed. Blend in lemon juice and vanilla. Turn into crust. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Cover with cherry filling or glaze.

*CHERRY GLAZE:
1 lb. can sour pitted cherries
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. corn starch
2 - 4 drops red food coloring

Drain cherries, saving juice. Combine sugar with corn starch and juice. Stir over low heat constantly until thickened and clear. Mix in coloring and cherries. Cool.

Lemon Squares
CRUST
2 sticks margarine
2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Melt butter in 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix flour and powdered sugar. Pat down to make crust. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 4 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat together and pour over hot crust and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Sift powdered sugar over top. Let cool. Cut in small squares.

Applesauce Brownies
2 egg whites
1 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. grated zucchini
3 tbsp. carob powder
1/2 c. oat bran
1/2 c. apple juice
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. chopped dates

Beat egg whites, honey, and vanilla for 1 minute. Slowly while beating, add remaining ingredients. Bake in a non-stick 9 inch square pan (use non-stick spray) for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 8 to 10.

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