Not one human being on the planet would be here without a Mother and a Father. For that reason alone, we should always honor our parents. But June 16th, 2019 is dedicated to celebrating one half of that equation, our Fathers, for all the incredible things he has given us.
When you think about it, having a child is an incredible thing in one's life. One day you are young, having the time of your life. Next thing you know, you are going to be a Father. From the moment of birth, both your Mother and Father's lives were forever changed.
It's a tremendous responsibility. It's no longer taking care of yourself and your spouse, it's being responsible for another human being. How will you ever raise this child to adulthood? If it wasn't for all the joy that comes along with the little one, the task may be overwhelming.
At some point in the process of raising a child, maybe from the beginning, the child assumes it is all about them, not being aware of all moms and dads have done and will do for them. I would go so far as to say that most children don't realize the full commitment until they have children of their own. But June 16 is the day you need to really look back, think about where you are and how you got to this point, and appreciate all your Father may have contributed, regardless how it affected him personally, to your success as an adult.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this day. I asked many people what they thought of Father's Day and what plans they had. There is so much out there to do for Dad's with young kids, but it's a little harder as the years creep on. So I put together a few things that might help you plan a celebration to Honor Dad on his day. And it should be a celebration however big or small it may be.
1. If Dad is out of town, don't wait until the middle of the day to call him. Call him early in the day.. It can be miserable wondering if you are going to get a call, so start his day off right. Ask him what he is doing for the day. Tell him how much you love and appreciate him and ask if it is ok that you call later so you can talk more. And if you say that to him, you darn well better call him back. He's waiting on your call!
2. Keep those cards and letters coming. When was the last time you actually wrote a letter and put it in the mail? Or sent a card that you had to buy postage for and make the effort to take it to a post office? It means a lot that someone actually took the time to do that. So why not do just that. And why not make it really special. Write a letter telling Dad, while you still can, how much he means to you. Make a card instead of buying one and mail it.
I whipped this one up for Jeff. That's him on the right his Dad, Jim, with his brother Jimmy and baby sister, Beth.
3. Ask Dad what he would like to do. I asked Jeff knowing full well what his answer would be ... "If you could do anything you wanted to do on Father's Day, what would it be?" His answer, "Just give me a 6-pack and let me piddle around in the garage and yard." I am fully aware this is truly his happy place. Let's face it, Father's have spent a lot of time working and maybe they just want to be home. It is his day, so build your celebration around him and what he wants to do.
My Dad and I created a Father's Day celebration that lasted for three years. We would head to the mountains, have lunch at LaPrade's Camp and end up at Edith's Daylily Farm where we would buy new treasures for his Daylily garden. It was quiet and just our time.
4. Plan a day helping Dad. When you get a few years under your belt, it's harder than you think getting just everyday chores done. Maybe the family could plan a work day to help Dad. My Dad would have loved this. I took care of him for the last eight years of his life and I saw up close what it's all about. He passed away at 83, totally frustrated. He had the mind of a twenty year old but the body just wouldn't work anymore. But he still wanted his home taken care of.
5. Prepare a Feast ... or at least a barbecue. Do you remember all the times when the family gathered to make ice cream in the summer (or was it just my family)? Wouldn't that be fun? The old saying that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach is time tested and true. Gather all the family, cook out, have a family dinner, or just ice cream. Bake him a cake! Check out the easy recipe in the next article: Easy . One Recipe . Many Cakes!
But most important of all ... and have a wonderful time sharing old times and memories with Dad.
6. Adopt a Dad. There are a lot of Dad's out there who no longer have a family to bring him cheer on Father's Day. If you know one, why not ask him to join in with your Dad's celebration? I'm always up for a celebration in this day and time, so if you know someone that doesn't have 2 legged babies, but is Dad to one four legged babies, that's a reason to bring him some cheer. This is a day to bring everyone close regardless how you have to spin it!
7. Bringing Memories Into Your Celebration. Have everyone bring Old Photos to share during your celebration. Make Name Tags with childhood photos of the adults for fun. Color Code Tags for family units. It's been a long time since I've seen some of my relatives and I'm ashamed to admit I don't know their kids. That would help some folks like me. While you are all together, make a Video with Dad and get him to tell his old stories or share his memories. You will appreciate having this video later on. One more thing, make sure you take a great family Portrait. I love the first one below because it helps to see the family segments. But these folks are so far apart they look like they don't like each other. Try scrunching up a bit.
8. Gifts. I remember one Christmas when my Dad was in his eighties, someone gifted him an set of candle holders designed to go in the garden. That was the last thing he wanted. Most older people don't really have a need for something to sit just around. They want something they can use and not more of the shirts, ties and socks they received throughout their lives. The best gifts for Dads are ones they can consume. Remember my article: Food: Our Common Language? You can't go wrong with food. Ever.
When we had the shop, Come Into My Garden, we had people come in desperate to find a gift for Dad. We would suggest something for the birds and they would always respond, "Yeah, he loves to watch the birds." I can't tell you how many Fruit Spears, Hummingbird Feeders, Bird Feeders and Houses we sold out of the shop. Jeff's birthday is June 22, so I think I have found the perfect combination Birthday and Father's Day gift for him. He keeps the feeders filled all the time and loves watching the wildlife and great blue herons at the creek. This Monocular with the smartphone adapter allows you to observe the world closer and provides high-resolution images with extremely accurate color reproductions. I can't wait to see him with it. Click here to see how it works!
Here's a few other things I know that were big hits from the shop. Click on any photo to see more.
So, I hope this gives you a few ideas for the big day. Make sure it is filled with great big smiles, enormous hugs and many, many happy memories. Just remember:
A father is neither an anchor to hold us back,
nor a sail to take us there,
but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.
Whether your Dad is with you still or in heaven, he is still your guiding light.
What are you doing to celebrate Father's Day?
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