Make This Father’s Day Special

An informal poll on the best gifts and celebrations for Dad.

Photo: Gerri Photography

Photo: Gerri Photography


In an ideal world, every day would be a day to honour fathers (and mothers, doctors, and administrative assistants). But the truth is, sometimes it takes an official holiday to remind us how special these people really are, and Father’s Day is no exception.

So how can we show Dad how much we love him? What sorts of gifts and celebrations do fathers really want for Father’s Day? We conducted an unofficial poll, and have compiled some tips for making the day special for the father (or father figure – don’t forget grandpas and stepdads) in your life.

Gift Ideas

Made with love: Daddies out there really do love their kids’ homemade offerings. Whether it’s a picture frame, a handprint craft, or a decorated t-shirt (just perfect for working around the house!), the fathers we spoke to take great pleasure in their children’s creations. Great craft ideas can be found at Older kids can also write special letters to Dad, detailing why they love him, their favourite memories together, etc. These are gifts that are treasured for a lifetime.

Get personal: What Dad wouldn’t love a constant reminder of his little darlings? You can get your own family photos put on just about anything: ties, mouse pads, skins for laptops and smartphones, decks of cards, etc.

Books: Sure, maybe there’s a bestseller on his wish list, but how about a children’s book that can encourage bonding time? Our recommendations: Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz, Who’s Your Daddy? by Diane Muldrow, or Kisses for Daddy by Frances Watts. As technology advances, books that Dad can read while recording his voice are also becoming popular, and make for great keepsakes.

Actions speak louder than words: Older kids (and appreciative moms) could take on some of Dad’s chores for the day (or week), whether it be looking after the recycling, mowing the lawn, packing his lunch, or doing the daycare dropoff so he can sleep late; sometimes the small gestures really mean the most.

Good old standbys: There are some traditional 

go-to Father’s Day gifts that will be a big hit … if you keep the recipient in mind! A tie may not be the best choice for an outdoor worker, and a travel kit is best for a Dad who actually travels. Gift baskets, either premade or do-it-yourself, can be very popular if chosen with care. Does the Dad in your life love beer? Golf? Poker? Gather themed goodies together for a sure-fire favourite.

Big spenders: Though some Dads do have a wish list on the go (electronics and sporting/hunting equipment were common suggestions in our poll), one mom of four says “If my husband wants a big ticket item, I’d rather he just went and bought it. I know I’d pick out the wrong tool, accessory, or whatever anyway!”

Family dinner: Fathers truly value having their family all together to share a meal, even if it means standing at the barbecue themselves. Others are hoping for Mom to whip up their favourite dish, or for a restaurant brunch or dinner.

Breakfast in bed: This one’s a very popular choice, which kids always love. As one Dad puts it, “It’s messy, but fun!” (Easy to say when he probably isn’t the one cleaning up the mess!)

Daddy’s day out: The Dads we spoke to don’t seem to be craving the same “break” type of gift (e.g., a spa day) as many Moms do, but most won’t turn down a day of fishing or golfing, especially if they have kids old enough to enjoy these activities with them.

Father’s Day films: Some titles that can be enjoyed together include: Rated G: Daddy Day Care, Lion King, Mulan Rated PG: Fantastic Mr. Fox, My Girl, Father of the Bride, Big Daddy, Mr. Mom, Three Men and a Baby.

Author: Kate Winn

Kate Winn is a teacher, freelance writer, and blogger:

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