It is notoriously difficult to buy gifts for a man. Yet, men appreciate gifts, attention, thoughtfulness and gratitude as much as anyone else. Father’s Day is upon us, and you and your children are probably pretty anxious to celebrate the day in the best possible way for the man of the house.
Here are some tips and ideas for anyone needing a little inspiration in the ‘thanking Dad’ department.
1. Think spiritually.
What father doesn’t need prayer? Consider creating a spiritual bouquet with your children to offer to your husband with a Mass card on Father’s Day. ‘Hail Mary’s’ offered by the lisping voices of the little ones, Holy Hours of Adoration from the teens, the intentions of your Sunday Mass attendance for the month of June, small daily sacrifices offered by each family member–these and many other spiritual offerings can be gathered into a lovely bouquet of graces sure to touch Dad’s heart and bless his days.
Undoubtedly you’ve noticed, but most men gravitate to acts of service as their primary way of showing love and care. This means that they often are most moved by similar services undertaken for their sakes. Consider rendering a special service for the head of the house this month. Take his suits to the drycleaner. Get the whole family involved in cleaning the car head to toe, inside and out. Have the kids help polish and shine his shoes.
Is there something of his that needs fixing? Take it in to be fixed. Such acts of service will show Dad that he’s truly loved.
3. Help him relax.
Every father lives with an overwhelming amount of responsibility on his shoulders, not just at home, but also in the workplace. In both work and home, he is daily called upon to make decisions that will for better or worse affect the welfare of numerous people. He probably doesn’t complain, but the pressure is always there for him. This June, find ways to lighten the load a little.
Take on a chore that he typically handles and do it yourself. If there are teens in the house, perhaps more than one “Dad chore” can be taken out of his hands for the month.
Let him sleep in next Saturday while you take the kids to softball and soccer. Commit to letting him unwind when he gets home from work next week, instead of meeting him at the door with a list of things he needs to handle. The extra breathing room will bring peace and a smile to Dad’s face.
4. Treat him.
Fathers spend a great deal of time looking after the needs of everyone else in the family. They work hard for long hours every day, and when they get home, family responsibilities descend. Look for ways that the family can treat Dad this month. Make his favorite dinners. Buy his favorite ice cream, jam, coffee, or other item that he normally lives without. Update the photos on his desk. If he likes to golf, see about purchasing a tee time for him (they don’t always have to be really expensive).
If he likes to fish, arrange a fishing day or weekend for him. Have the kids plan little gifts, homemade or store-bought—Dad’s favorite cookies made with love by all the children, or his favorite candy purchased with allowance savings. Dad is sure to get a kick out of all the special treatment.
5. Be verbal.
Dads need verbal reminders of gratitude and appreciation as much as the rest of us do. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way, but the hectic pace of our lives often causes us to forget such simple kindnesses. June might be a good month for the whole family to recommit to verbal thankfulness. Make saying thank you a conscious part of loving Dad.
To seal the deal, consider extra words of gratitude and praise with some thank-you notes from you and the children. Have each child in the family write a thank-you note for one thing Dad routinely does for that child. Alternatively, have each child write about a favorite memory of time spent with Dad.
Present Dad with a list of “Things We Love About Dad”–a fun family project from the heart. Tell him how he’s helped to make each of you a better person. Dad will be thrilled to know how much you appreciate him for who he is and what he does every day.
Ultimately, dads know we love them, but in a world where fathers are lambasted and lampooned, let’s make an extra effort to show dads how much we appreciate them this month. You can never thank Dad too much!