Father’s Day is right around the corner, but you still have time to make the leading man (or men) in your life feel valued.
You don’t have to resort to the cliché tie or over-gifted coffee mug this year. Celebrate the fathers in your life in thoughtful ways with a little effort and planning.
Give the Gift of Time
If most dads could have their way, they would probably ask for more time: to relax, enjoy their hobbies, and spend quality with their families. Give dad a break: no lawn work, no emails and no to do lists. For new fathers, you might consider a morning to sleep in or an entire afternoon tinkering in the garage. For others, a worry-free day at the golf course could be the perfect way to say, “I love you, Dad.”
Make it Personal
Frame a handmade piece of art from the kids, print a family photo for his desk or upgrade the “world’s best dad” mug with a personalized message from the heart. Even if you’ve waited until the last minute, it’s not hard to add a personal touch to a generic gift. Grab a permanent marker and get to work. When it’s imprinted by his children’s hands, he can’t resist loving it.
Mix it Up
Sometimes all it takes to make an occasion memorable is changing up the scenery. Maybe you’ve been giving Dad gifts in the same setting for years. Why not move the celebration to the park this year? Or, consider a hike or a fishing trip if he loves the outdoors. What about a road trip to his favorite little BBQ joint in the next town? Pack up the car and go!
Let Him Be a Kid Again
The perfect gift could be a trip down memory lane in the form of some tokens to a local arcade, tickets to watch a race at the speedway or a night of dancing and roasting marshmallows with his kids, under the stars. Think about the things he loves doing, pay attention to the stories he still likes to tell and recreate the memory in real time.
It’s Not About You
The kids may love to go to a theme park or spend the day at the neighborhood pool. Dad may consider the excursion somewhat of a chore. You may want to make reservations at your favorite restaurant, which your dad (or husband) happens to dislike. Father’s often get the short end of the stick when it comes to annual celebrations so make sure you are at least attempting to make part of the day all about him.
Don’t Forget a Card
The experience doesn’t have to happen immediately. Honor the special man in your life with a gift card to his favorite spa, hair salon (yes, guys like to look good too!), clothing or sporting goods store or trainer. An opportunity to enjoy a relaxing service is always a welcome treat.
Just Ask Him
You may be attempting to pull off something elaborate when all dad really wants is a little peace and quiet. Research shows recipients are often happier to receive something they have asked for instead of an unexpected gift. It’s not too late to ask, “If you could have the perfect Father’s Day, what would it be?” Now go do your best to deliver!
You may also like Update Your Home for Summer Entertaining. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on Huff Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.