Inflation is taking a toll on family budget, so dads opt for smaller celebrations closer to home.
A weekend of family barbecues, picnics, and Sunday brunches are signatures of a Father's Day celebration. In past years, that also may have included a Major League Baseball game, a night out at the movies, an afternoon on the golf course, or a fishing or boating trip.
But with gasoline prices hovering at $4 per gallon and food and beverage costs up 5 percent from a year ago, this year's Father's Day celebrations are more likely to depart from past traditions.
Pat and Ken Carlson, parents of two boys ages 4 and 6, have already planned to downsize their Father's Day celebration. The St. Paul, Minn., couple has canceled a traditional family reunion with Ms. Carlson's ex-husband and his family, as neither family can afford the gas for the round-trip drive.
In addition, the Carlsons have implemented other fuel-saving strategies, cutting back their usual multiple 150-mile round-trip drives to a lake community north of St. Paul to just one trip this summer. Their budget consciousness now pervades every spending decision.
"We now walk one-third mile for our weekly visit to Dairy Queen – we can't justify the gas," Pat comments. "Grocery shopping is now a disciplined exercise. It's a Catch-22 for me. I don't want to fix my kids garbage, but buying more nutritious food is expensive. I am careful to avoid buying unnecessary snacks."