My good friend John Fabris is a good Dad. An excellent dad, actually. 

As a member of the YMCA Adventure Princess organization,  he has devoted much of his precious free time to camp, hike and discover the Great Outdoors with his daughter Jenna. And he’s loved every minute of it. 

John agreed to share his idea for the perfect Christmas gift for all you “Daughter Dads” out there. Pay attention Mom: this is a gift for you too!

Guest blogger John Fabris, and his daughter Jenna

By John Fabris

When I was a kid, I wished my dad played golf. Then when Christmas came, I always would have had an easy gift idea.

My friend Ralph – a regular kid with a dime allowance – always bought his dad a bunch of golf tees or a box of balls. Ralph’s mom could buy Ralph’s dad 18 holes at a nice golf course. That would cost – what? – a hundred or two bucks in 21st-century dollars?

I’m a dad myself now, but I don’t play golf. So my wife and my kids and my parents have no idea what to get me for Christmas.

I tried golf once and it was fun. But I don’t have time for it. Who does? Monday through Friday you have to work. Saturday and Sunday you’ve got chores around the house. Plus it’s your chance to catch up on the work you couldn’t finish at work. Plus maybe pay the bills, watch some football, pick up the dog poop, take a nap, or even pay attention to your wife.

I’m a busy dude.

Frankly, I don’t have time for my kids either.

I know that’s not the right message for Theresa Santoro’s parenting blog. But Theresa was kind enough to let me write in her space today because I have a solution:

This Christmas (or Hanukkah), buy your favorite Irvine or Tustin dad the gift of time with his little girl.

Fun in the mountains! No Moms Allowed!

Get him the gift I gave myself and my daughter Jenna five years ago when we joined the Orange Blossom North Adventure Princesses.

Click over now to the group’s Facebook page – – to learn more about the experience and how to literally give a Holiday Gift Membership.
(“Like” us while you’re there.)

Adventure Princesses is a group, descended from the Indian Guide/Indian Princess program, in which community-based tribes of dads and daughters go camping, earn pins, sing songs, make crafts and – most important – lock the world out. It’s for Irvine and Tustin girls, grades K through 5. We dance, bowl, sleep in tents and cabins, help the less fortunate, get dressed up, get muddy, find mentors and fill our vests with patches.

It’s a group of girls who blossom in the focused presence of their fathers. (I’ve watched meek little angels transform into brave leaders and role models.)
And it’s a group of dads with a lot in common: We work too hard and stress too much. We’re busy at work. Or struggling to find work or to keep our businesses afloat.

Just horsing around

But the thing we have most in common is this: We love our daughters. So the Princess program saves us. It gets our girls on our calendars. We check the monthly meeting schedule. We huddle with our daughters and pick the campouts and events that sound most exciting, memorable or affordable. The girls get excited. The dads pull out their iPhones and block out the dates.

The time arrives. And for a glorious day or two we are swept away with our daughters. We power down our smart phones and realize, “There is nowhere more important to be right now.”

(At this point, since I’m hoping moms are reading this, I should pause and point out: While your little darling and her daddy are off enjoying this gift of togetherness, you, Mom, might just have a couple of days all to yourself. So this is a gift for you too.)

Moms, please don’t wait till next year or next week. We Princess dads are vividly aware how fast our girls are growing up. And on a practical note: You should order this gift membership by Dec. 21 if you want a Welcome Package for dad to open on Christmas.

I’m sure Ralph’s dad always appreciated his golf tees. But THIS, my friends, is a gift that a dad and his daughter will never forget.

Girls just wanna have fun…With their Dads!!!

— John Fabris, Orange Blossom North elder /OCPrincesses