Something that was central to my relationship with my father was golf. We played all of the time together, including Father’s Day. He loved golf and Tijuana Smalls cigars. I never understood how he could swing with a cigar in his mouth, but at the same time his swing was terrible so maybe that explains it. When he passed away I wanted to do something to honor him and our relationship. So I played a round of golf at our usual course, smoking his favorite brand of cigar, and leaving a fresh, unsmoked cigar at every tee box. In the weeks, and even months, that followed I had a number of comments from my dad’s friends that they continued to find the cigars I left. Whenever they found one of his cigars they were flooded with memories of him. That’s what I had hoped for.
Father’s Day is this month and, while we are now dads ourselves, it is also an opportunity to honor our fathers. As I look back I regret that I didn’t do that more. Don’t miss the opportunity. You never know how much time you have with him. Here are 5 special ideas for Father’s Day that will communicate your love and admiration for your dad.
1. Family Interviews
Interview different family members about him, including grandchildren. You can even use your smart phone camera to film. Either show him the interviews unedited to keep it simple or put together and edited video with music. Have each person answer questions like these:
- What is your favorite memory of dad (granddad)?
- What has he done that’s had the biggest impact on you?
- What qualities do you admire about him?
- In what ways are you similar to him?
- If there was one thing you would thank him for what would it be?
2. A Love Book
An alternative to video is having everyone collaborate on a book. Give each person in the family a page to create. It can be artistic or just a paragraph explaining why he is loved. Perhaps it includes a favorite story about him with pictures when applicable. Use the interview questions above to get family members brainstorming. If there are little children involved then have them draw pictures or transcribe what they say. Almost every family has someone gifted in crafts and visual creativity. Utilize that person to put it all together and help those having trouble. There are also online options for creating bound books that look professional.
3. Dinner and Sharing
Nothing says love like good food. Gather everyone and make his favorite meal. At some point during the meal have everyone share what they love most about him. Make sure to prep everyone beforehand so they aren’t caught off guard. If he lives far away you can go big by flying in by surprise. If it isn’t in the budget then put everyone’s thoughts on video or in book form as mentioned above. One year my wife and I got my Father-In-Law a box of Omaha Steaks and he loved it. You could send him something like that (buying him dinner) and then do the dinner together through Facetime.
Note: Omaha Steaks is offering a special discount to All Pro Dad readers if you want to pursue that idea.
4. Legacy Lists
Put together lists, like David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists about the best things about him and his legacy in the lives of those he has loved. You can make a written version or you can make a video on your phone and text it to him on Father’s Day. It can be really simple. Here are a couple of subjects to get you started.
- Top # Reasons You are the Best Dad
- Your Top # Most Wonderful Qualities
- Top # Reasons I’m Glad You’re My Dad
- Top # Funniest Things You Have Ever Done
- Top # Ways I am Like You and Proud Of It
5. Bucket List Fulfillment
This one may actually cost time and a larger amount of money. Have him write down his bucket list items. It should be things he has always wanted to do but for some reason couldn’t. Make one of them come true. Maybe everyone in the family puts money together for him to do it. If it’s appropriate and possible for the entire family to go then that would be the best option. If you want it to be a surprise then ask your mom to find out his list. The look on your dad’s face when you honor him is something you will cherish forever.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with family members and plan a way to honor your dad.