It's a given that we should acknowledge our dads on Father's Day with a gift of some sort, whether homemade or store-bought. But what about getting down to what really tugs at a dad's heartstrings? Most dads (whether they admit it or not) are extremely sensitive when it comes to their kids. So let's take advantage of that this Father's Day (and many other days throughout the year!) and tailor this holiday specifically to what makes them feel most loved.
If your dad is the sentimental type like mine is, creatively taking them back to special memories you two share can be a home run on Father's Day. It isn't always necessary to buy them the next up-and-coming technology or popular gadget (although, those can be fun gifts to give). To some dads, it means more to sit back and reflect a little bit on ways that their role as your dad positively impacted your life and made you the person you are today. Our lives are shaped so much by our dads, so we should make sure to periodically encourage their hearts. Dads don't always think that they've done a good job raising us, so by bringing up sappy/funny/or serious memories from your life together can really go a long way.
What does this look like practically? For the little kids, they're still making memories, so a craft made especially for their dad or grandparent is a memory they can hold on to. For a grandparent, it may bring them back to when their own kids were bringing them pictures and mementos home from school or church. It will allow them to relive that precious time. Crafts from kids are so honest and a tangible reflection of their personality. Dads thrive on seeing this in their kids. If you're older, you can rummage through old photo albums and recreate an old picture of yourself or with your siblings. I've seen this idea online recently and it's pretty neat and could get a good laugh. Find an old picture of you, either as a baby, toddler, or kid, and try to take the same picture as an adult. If you can find one of you with your dad that would be special as well. This could be something you and your siblings could go together on if you're all in the picture. Frame the old picture beside the new picture and each write a little memory from that year of your life with him. He will possibly smile, laugh, AND cry this Father's Day!
Everyone knows the popular song, but did you know that this is arguably the best gift any dad could get from his children? I did a little research with my own dad, and he verified that from us older kids nothing makes him feel more loved than knowing that he has our respect. As good as our intentions are, we probably aren't consistent all year with showing our dads the respect they deserve. Life gets busy and we forget to reflect on how our dads have poured into us all our lives with their love and wisdom and just plain awesomeness. All of this doesn't end just because we grow up and move out of the house. But respect doesn't have to stop with mushy feelings about how great your dad is. You can still take those emotions and thoughtfully translate them into a present to give him on June 15th.
This is a very well-known gift alternative, but it's frugal and really effective. Just make sure you take a little bit of time to be creative with what you put on your coupons. You want them to reflect the people and interests closest to your dad's heart. This isn't the time to be basic or cliche! For example, my dad also mentioned that from his grandchildren what he loves most is when they crawl up in his lap or simply want to spend one-on-one time with him. Little kids are very honest about what they want and they go after it without thinking. So if they want to snuggle with you it's pretty special.
You can create a coupon (or two or three) for a special grandpa/grandchild date night with each of his grandchildren. You can let him choose the day throughout the year and you provide the money or whatever will be needed for him to take your child out for a favorite activity they enjoy doing together. For yourself, a coupon for a one-on-one movie night with your dad may be fun.
Older kids need date nights with their dads too! Just pick something that you both love doing together and let him know that he will be guaranteed to spend that time with you (preferably more than once!) this year. You can also make coupons involving you cooking him dinner a couple of times, offering your help with one of his hobbies like gardening or woodworking, going to the grocery store for him, or time for you and him to play a favorite card game. There are so many possibilities that can really show your dad how well you know and love him. It will be the gift that keeps on giving all year long since he can cash them in anytime!
I wish I could tell you exactly what your dad would like this Father's Day, but I can tell you with certainty that if you put special thought into it and make it more personal than commercial, he will feel loved. And that's what Father's Day is all about.