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Personalized Father's Day Gifts That Show You Care
Celebrations are all about emotions and Father's Day is no exception. While Dad's birthday is about who he is as a person, and Christmas is about the spirit of giving in general, Father's Day is about your relationship with your dad and what that feels like. It's a time to look at it anew, to see what you appreciate or don't, and how it could be better.
It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.
- Pope John XXIII
Show You Care - Make It Unique
Because Father's Day is about relationship, the way in which you can most fully celebrate it is by giving a gift (of time or things) that focuses on the relationship itself. This can represent a reminder of the past, a dream of the future, or something you've been promising to do with him now. It can be tangible or intangible, a celebration of warmth or a transformation of pain.
Presenting the relationship in the way you celebrate is what will make your gift to him unique. Depending on how much thought you put into it, you could actually transform the relationship, if it's a negative one - at least for you. The rewards will be worth the effort.
Should you be imagining that you have no relationship with your father, think again. Even in his absence, he can be a huge influence. Even in a negative presence, he can have a positive influence. If the relationship seems lacking or awful, look at it this way:
In what way/s has he helped you grow (whether he meant to or not)?
Were there any good times?
Did the bad times result in your becoming stronger or wiser?
Did your discovery of what you don't want in the relationship point out what you do want? (That's a really valuable gift!)
You can convert any one or several of these answers into an honest celebration of your relationship with your father, whatever its nature. And, of course, the same is true if you had more than one father, or if you found a male mentor as substitute. You could even celebrate your own self-fathering.
Gifts About the Past with Your Father
Choosing a gift that reflects the history of your relationship is all about memories. Take a good look at them. What are some of the best times you had, even if only a few? What are some of the worst that turned out pretty good in the end? What are some things he was proud of you for? What did he tell other people about you that was good, or that triggered you to prove yourself in some way? Use these memories and your current resources as fodder to give him a gift that appreciates your history together.
- Photo Album - a photo album with some of your proudest moments. Include any awards he helped you with. Go through the album with him and share those memories.
- Framed Photograph - your favorite photo with the two of you together and happy. Scan it up and Photoshop it, if you need to. Enlarge it and put it in a nice frame. Present it with his favorite flowers. This is a good gift if you can't be with him in person.
- Poster Collage or Mosaic - make a collage of yourself growing up, including photos of the two of you, tickets from games he took you to, photos of himself alone that you like (or with your mother or family), and any other memorabilia that lends itself (e.b. pressed wildflowers from a hike, a unique coin). Frame the collage or turn it into a giant poster.
Picture Calendar - make him a calendar with photos of the two of you.
How to Make a Photo Mosaic
Shadowbox Memoir - A shadowbox is like a photo frame, but with a couple of inches of depth to it. You can enclose medals, tiny figures, and other meaningful memoirs without scratching the protective glass.
Sports/Theater Tickets - if you used to go to particular sports or theater events, but haven't for a long time, take him to one for Father's Day (as long as he still likes it).
Render a Service - Let's say you made him dinner for Father's Day once and really screwed it up. Make him one this time that's perfect and joke about the former one.
Lap Blanket - Custom make it and choose fabric that reminds him of the two of you. It's an easy thing to do - I can make a nice lap blanket in an afternoon, once I have the fabric. The one I made my sister recently was a reminder of how we used to go to Peets Coffee every time we visited.
Gifts For Future Activities With Your Father
In this scenario you're dreaming about what your relationship could be like, based on what you know of him, and setting it up for future get-to-togethers.
Ticket to an Event - Promise to take him to some kind of event he's been talking about experiencing, but hasn't yet (or is just starting to, in the case of season tickets). Buy the ticket for Father's Day. Commit to attending one or more events with him in the future.
Camping Equipment - In most places of the US it's still a little cold to go camping in June. Buy him a nice upgrade to an item of camping equipment he has, or something he doesn't have that's been stopping him from going, and promise to take him later in the summer or early fall.
Martial Arts Lessons - If you are a guy, commit to some kind of continuing martial arts or wrestling lessons with him for health or just for fun.
New Software - This can be a great Father's Day gift, when coupled with a commitment to teach him how to use it.
Webcam, iPhone, or iPad - Any of these could help you stay connected better in future. Set it up and spend enough time with him, so he knows how to use it.
Airplane Ticket - This is a valuable gift to give him, if you live far apart. It's a promise of spending time together in the future and saves him money as well.
IOU - If you don't live near him or are super busy during Father's Day, write him up a heartfelt IOU for something you know you'll both enjoy, or to help him with a future project, like painting his house or redesigning his landscape.
Best Gifts For Your Present Relationship
This type of gift focuses on who you are now, who he is now, and how you could mesh. You look at him fresh, as though he were a temporary stranger, and look at yourself the same way. The purpose of this type of gift is to get to know each other better now or, if you're buying for your children, to let them get to know each other better.
Cruise to a Destination Nearby - It doesn't take long and you don't have to wait for weather to change to take a local cruise. Make it as nice as you have the money to buy and make sure you use it to get to know him better.
Help with a Task - Choose one he's been putting off, like cleaning out his garage or workroom, or fixing up the yard. He'll get to spend time with you and have the relief of getting the job done (finally) as well. Every time he looks at it later, he'll remember and appreciate you all over again.
Limo Ride - This can be especially exciting if your father is older and has never ridden in a limo before, and/or is having to give up driving. Take him somewhere special . . . or even just shopping, but far enough away to give yourselves a chance to chat during the drive. This really applies to anything your father is having to give up, due to aging or ill health. Find a high quality replacement for what he is giving up and do it with him.
Sports Event - If you know of a season ticket he bought, but isn't using, look for an event to go with him, then treat him to dinner or dessert in a nice place. This could be lots of fun, especially if he doesn't normally have anyone to go with.
While having their evening dinner together, a little girl looked up at her father and asked, "Daddy, you're the boss in our family, right?" The father was very pleased to hear it and confidently replied, "Yes my little princess." The girl continued, "That's because mommy put you in charge, right?"
- Nice Shirt or Tie - Take him to the theater and buy him a shirt or tie to go with it. Ask for his favorite type of movie. Make the shirt and tie match the movie, just for fun.
- Local Retreat - This could be the most awesome thing you could do with him. A local retreat could be a Buddhist monastery, a weekend spa, a workshop in a secluded spot in the mountains. Make it something that could give you a chance to be with each other in a quality way.
Each of these gifts could be given at any time of the year for any reason, but given during Fathers Day, they take on a deeper meaning. Since people usually value more those objects that have positive meaning attached, you know they will keep whatever physical thing you give them for awhile and will think of you, and this can do nothing else but improve and deepen your relationship.
Have fun this Father's Day!
- The New Warrior Training Adventure - ManKind Project
A modern male initiation and self-examination believed to be crucial to the development of a healthy and mature male self. There are female counterparts too, which I have recently taken and found to be transformative.