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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for the Single Dad

02/02/2015 02:37 pm ET | Updated Mar 11, 2016

This will be the first Valentine's Day without a valentine in a very long time. The only reason I like the holiday is because I like how kids enjoy it. This was the best holiday as a child, giving me a reason to offer something to that cute girl in school without looking like a dweeb. As I get older, it's like I'm forced to buy something for the one I love because all the cool kids do it. I don't buy that crap; I never did what the cool kids did, maybe except wear MC Hammer pants but that's it. The holiday is hogwash, and on top of it, I just got done with Christmas so the shopping stress should be over; it's not, it'll never, ever end! But hey, I don't have a valentine this year. You know that part where William Wallace in Braveheart screams, "FREEEEEEDDOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM"? Yep, totally me right now for the next two weeks.

Who am I kidding? I have my daughters, my valentines for life. These are the two little turds that show all the love in the world, every single day. Buying or creating something for them is easy. I know exactly what they like, and I don't have to spend a lot of money. Both enjoy writing in journals, making notes, singing, and choosing Subway over McDonald's. They like jokes, pranks and band together to team up against me, boys versus girls. My daughters like to win, and I like letting them, unless I say no and follow up with, "Because I said so."

Now that I'm freed from the chains of this holiday, I can finally say exactly what I would want, as a parent, dad, whatever, provided that it comes from my significant other. Being a single parent is a busy gig, so before you go buying flowers, fragrances, or candies for your SO, let me give you a few gift ideas; practical things that help and don't cost a lot. I also asked the FTD Fans on Facebook, and I elaborated on a few:

A Gift Card to Car Detailing - Johanna E.
Johanna knows what's up. This, absolutely. I'm not the cleanest person and my vehicle's clutter confirms that. There are so many things I try to take care of during the day. By the end of the week, my car is carrying a ton of random papers, school projects, and all covered with Cheetos crumbs. Having the car detailed would be an awesome gift because it's something that I'd never buy for myself. It's also a gift that lasts, well at least until you pick up the kids. Choose a car detail place with a Hooters nearby - he'll like that.

Cook Him Dinner - Shannon A.
Shannon, I'd like a bacon casserole layered with bacon not pasta, and sprinkled with real bacon bits and lots of cheese, please? The best part about cooking him dinner is that the more horrible you are at cooking, the more meaningful this is. I'd make sure to keep a frozen pizza nearby, just in case. If he's like me, include him in the dinner making process. I love to help in the kitchen. Grab a bottle of wine or his favorite beer, and make a mess together. Don't pick something too easy or quick, challenge yourself to something that will either be epic or an epic failure. Either way you always have the kitchen counter to express your love, just make sure you clean up afterward please, with bleach.

Movie Tickets, Dinner Out -- Kate G.
Kate nailed it. With my daughters in tow, dinner and a movie costs $50 easily. I don't have $50 to piss away but when the next Frozen (three times in the theater, no joke) or Hunger Games (and their trilogy of trilogies) is released, my daughters will want to see it. Some days we have to wait because I'm broke. Other times I don't think the movie will be that great so we'll wait for the dollar theater. Either way, giving a gift card to dinner (think bacon) and the movies for their little family is awesome. And honestly, if I'm dating you, don't exclude yourself here. We'll want you to come. Pizza night is always acceptable - thanks Lisa B.

Shenanigan Pass -- Angela S.
Angela didn't exactly say shenanigans but I knew what she meant. To be honest, a few people mentioned this. If you're friends with his buddies, call them up and have them help you. This pass doesn't have to occur on Valentine's Day but just make sure he knows that he can have a childless and childish day. I'm sure his friends will have good ideas so the execution of this is quite easy. All you need to do is pick up the phone, it'll go from there. Let him go be a guy and fart around. If he likes video games, leave him be.

Massage -- Many FTD Fans
I don't like massages so let's move on.

Gift Card for Kid Shopping
Whenever I take my daughters to the store, I cannot leave the establishment until one, if not both, of my daughters asks for something. I might as well have a "No" button set on repeat. Instead of giving anything directly to him, create an experience to take his kids shopping. If he's like me, shopping is the devil. Tell him you're going to kidnap his kids for an afternoon. Not only will he be freed up with some time, you'll get a chance to build upon the relationships you have with his children. He will like this, and if he doesn't, you're welcome to re-gift this one to me.

Make Him a Sandwich -- ME!
Think of all the foods he likes, buy some hoagie rolls, and create the absolute best sandwich he'll ever eat for the rest of eternity. Why I like sandwiches is none of your business but when you're creating your masterpiece, throw the rules of a sandwich out the window. The other night I had some leftover tri-tip, and two bacon-wrapped jalapenos filled with cream cheese. Add some bread -- BAM! -- sandwich! If you keep it simple like bologna and cheese or tuna, consider serving it in your bra and panties, or lingerie. BUT DON'T GET CRUMBS IN THE BED!

Tell Him, Just Tell Him -- ME!
If you love this guy, even though he pisses you off sometimes, and he makes you laugh while you enjoy the time you spend together, and you like where your relationship is and where it is going, and you're head-over-heels for him, his kids, and all that crap, then you better freaking tell him. Guys aren't the best at sharing feelings but it doesn't mean we don't like hearing yours. If you want to marry him, don't wait for him to ask. Go buy a $10 ring from Walgreens and propose. Take a risk and stop waiting for him. It's probably the sexiest thing you can do (not the proposing, hell no, the sharing of feelings -- come on now), and it's from your heart. Using words to reaffirm what he means to you is golden. Make sure you tell him how great you think he is, and tell him why you think that. If you do this right, he's going to try and get you naked, I guarantee it.

And for the rest of us single people, I know exactly what you're thinking for the next two weeks:
Just stay single, just stay single, just stay single...

Originally posted at Full-Time Daddy
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