Father’s Day is second only to Memorial Day as far as misunderstood holidays go. “I don’t know what to get him.” “When he wants something, he goes out and buys it himself.” or “Men are so hard to shop for.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that over the years. So often our attempts to honor Dad end up showing just how little we know about him. Sadly, the go to-tie and clearance bin tool kits are on par with the generic body care products and drug store candies we’ve come to expect on Mother’s Day. Effectively, we don’t know them and they don’t know us.
In light of that, I have prepared a list of advice to honor both holidays so nobody gets hurt.
1) You must acknowledge the holiday. Your wife is not your mother. You are not her father. If you have kids, honor each other on your respective days.
2) If you’re broke, a special meal and a homemade card are always welcomed.
3) Beware of cliche purchases. Is your wife stockpiling body products under the sink? Did your dad use the hot sauces you bought him last year?
4) If Mom or Dad look forward to getting a particular gift every year, for the love of God, get them the gift!
5) Gifts don’t always need to be material. Consider local events, concerts or even dinner out.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are a great time to get the kids involved. I know plenty of parents that will cart their kids to the store and let them pick out gifts for these occasions. While that’s very sweet, I think it’s important to teach children how to honor people without money. At some point in their life, they will fall on hard times.
1) Have the kids help make a celebratory meal. Consider what steps your little ones can enough handle and keep your cool if disaster strikes. It’s the thought that counts.
2) Make a craft but keep it simple. Make a card, paint a picture, take a photo. Perfection is not necessary.
3) Keep quiet. What most moms and dads really want is quiet. Offer to take the kids and let the parent have the afternoon to themselves or let them sleep in. For instance, take the kids with you to grab donuts and bring back some fresh ones for when s/he gets up.
4) Depending on their age, kids can do chores. Have the kids take on 1 or 2 chores that Mom or Dad normally do.
5) Ask your kids about their favorite memory of Mom or Dad and ask them what they love most about him/her. Record and share that information.
So what do you get your parents on their respective holidays? There are countless lists and ideas for every recipient online or you can do what I do, just ask. With the faux pas are behind us, you may return to your weekend. Happy Father’s Day, Everybody!