Have you ever noticed that Dads sometimes get shortchanged on their holiday, Father’s Day? Cards are not as abundant, advertising is much less prevalent and dad, himself, doesn’t seem to make a big deal of the day. Most of the time dads are hard to buy for because they seem to have everything they want or need. Others implore you not to “waste your money” on gifts or cards. Regardless of your age, you are still someone’s little girl or boy and it’s a great time to celebrate a special dad, mentor, or friend.
Here are a few tips to add extra meaning to Father’s Day:
- Teach your children. Whether you’re married to their dad or not, help your young children select a nice card, buy a small gift, or plan a thoughtful phone call or Skype time with their dad. This can be a tough day for divorced parents. Regardless of your feelings for your ex-spouse, take the high road; your responsibility in this situation is to be the example to your child(ren).
- Get the whole gang together. When planning a Dad’s Day celebration, coordinate with siblings and other family members. If you don’t plan to host the gathering, make plans with dad for part of the day so you don’t monopolize his time when others want to see him too.
- Give dad a break. Yes, dad may be the family grill master but Father’s Day is the one day he gets a break. Don’t let him pick up the grilling tools! Better yet, take him out to eat at his favorite local dive to indulge in all the hot dogs his heart desires without a lecture on the perils of nitrates and carbs.
- Does dad really need another gadget? Sometimes the best gift we can give dad is simply our time. This can be done on any budget. If money is no object, book a trip on a fishing charter, get tickets to a sporting event or give him a gift certificate to a steakhouse or other restaurant you know he’d like to try (with the promise that you’ll go with him). Great gifts for dad don’t have to cost a lot: a hike, a picnic in the park or a fishing excursion to a nearby lake will give you good face time.
- Follow dad’s lead. Is he the kind of guy whose idea of the perfect day involves the couch and a can of something liquid in his hand? Get snacks and drinks together and watch with him. If his idea of fun is fixing up the vintage car in the garage, roll up your sleeves and start assisting. Would he rather spend the day working in the yard or on a fix-it project? Giving dad your time and attention may be the best gift of all.
- Preserve memories. Get out the video camera and tape your dad playing with the grandkids or telling stories about his life that you’ve heard a million times before. Even better, interview him about his life while the camera is rolling. Not only will dad appreciate your interest, but you’re creating something that will be a priceless treasure someday.
- Recognize the other men in your life. If there are other men who have had a positive influence on your life, Father’s Day is a good time to honor them too. Be sure to remember your grandfather, father-in-law, uncle, godfather, neighbor or any other man who has stepped up and made a difference in your life.
Here’s to all the men who have made a positive impact in our lives and the lives of those we love. Happy Father’s Day!