For some, planning a great Father's Day can be even harder than making Mom feel special on Mother's Day. Father's Day often gets lost in the midst of ends-of-schoolyear, and dad's roles are changing in many families. Many dads are reluctant to reveal their gift and celebratory preferences and tend to downplay the holiday, but in their heart of hearts, most fathers appreciate having their significance recognized and honored.
Unlike previous generations, many of today's dads are even more deeply involved with their kids, from sports coaching to school dropoff and pickup, cooking, shopping and general chores, and even stay-at-home childrearing.
All you need to do to make his day special is to remember how he spends his free time, what foods, cuisines and beverages he’s passionate about, the joy and happiness he’s brought into your life. This is great inspiration for a perfect Father’s Day.
Choosing a venue for a Father’s Day celebration is easy if dad frequents a local restaurant. If you've got young kids, don't just opt for the easiest family-friendly choice near you; think about his own preferences and choices. It's a great opportuntiy to ask the kids to try something new. Make an early reservation so you can all sit at his preferred table and talk to the chef or manager to ensure they have his most ordered entrée on hand for the party.
On the other hand, Dads who travel a great deal for work might be most comfortable sprawled in their favorite recliner or lawn lounger eating a burger or hot dog accompanied by a tall, frosty beer or goblet of wine. Ask Mom or dad’s friends or relatives for help in choosing a good venue, whether it’s a day at a remote beach, an outdoor barbecue, a rock ‘n’ roll concert, or a day in front of the flat screen watching his favorite golf, tennis or sports tournaments.
Since many dads don’t spend a lot of money on personal items, they are often easy to buy for. Check his slippers, wallet, and belts for wear and buy him new ones; sticking with his usual styles and colors is a safer bet than choosing trendy ones. Does he have a good basic navy blue or khaki blazer? It might be time for an update.
Have siblings chip in and give him season tickets to his favorite local sports team or surprise him with fishing license and a season pass to that beloved lake where he’s been trying to land “the big one” since you were a kid. Movie buffs appreciate theater gift cards and car enthusiasts gush over gift cards to car detailing shops or tire stores. Never forget that it’s all about what dad wants and enjoys…not what you think he needs. Funny Father’s Day cards are a safe bet but if you want to give him a mushy one or write him a heartfelt poem, give it to him in private so he doesn’t have to brush away a few tears in front of a crowd.
Busy fathers frequently lament that they don’t get to spend enough time at home relaxing, so the best gift for Dad may be a day where he doesn’t have to leave the premises. While he putters around enjoying himself by working on his car, reading, or engrossed in a favorite hobby, celebrate the occasion by cooking him his favorite foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Although many dads don’t relish eating breakfast in bed, surprise him with a homemade Bloody Mary, virgin or real, as he awakens on Father’s Day. Tempt him into the kitchen or dining room with the aroma of frying bacon or sausage and serve him all his favorite breakfast foods such as an omelet, sausage gravy and biscuits, or just a simple bowl of his favorite hot or cold cereal. If he rarely gets to sleep in, prepare a brunch buffet of his preferred hot and cold items that he can dive into at his leisure.
Midday meals can be as satisfying and bountiful as dinner fare. Spend some time before Father’s Day perfecting Dad’s favorite lunch dishes. Popular sandwiches with many dads include burgers, hot links, Philly cheesesteak, deli style subs or hoagies, and hot pastrami. Round out the meal with a helping of his favorite side dishes such as potato or macaroni salad, homemade garlic fries, or a bag of corn or potato chips. Mix up a batch of martinis or other cocktails or pack a cooler with beer or white wine so he can take it with him to the porch or backyard while he enjoys his lunch.
If Dad’s a steak lover, find a place that sells USDA Choice beef, the quality typically reserved for wholesale purchase by restaurants. Make the cut extra special with a topping of freshly sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions. For fathers with simpler tastes, make a homemade pizza with his most beloved toppings (even anchovies!), pick up a take-and-bake pizza pie, or have one delivered. Father’s Day is busy for pizza parlors, so be sure and place your order early for timely delivery. Whatever his perfect dinner fare happens to be, serve him substantial portions and sit down with him to eat and make him feel like a king by reminiscing over some of your most cherished times with him.
Even if Dad seems stoic and unemotional, most appreciate recognition of their contributions to their kids and families. However, you don’t have to spend a bundle to give him proper thanks. Fill an inexpensive photo album with old pictures of him and his children together with whimsical captions underneath them. Have brothers and sisters each write down their most cherished remembrance of dad and organize them in a binder for safekeeping. Buy him a $5 or $10 gift card to his favorite fast food restaurant. Do something you did for him as a child such as shining his shoes or washing his car. You don’t have to splurge on expensive gifts to honor your dad on Father’s Day; all he wants is your love, respect, and an occasional “thanks” for helping you navigate through life.
Contribute your own ideas below!
Save time by finding all your Father’s Day recipes on BigOven’s website and create your shopping list at the same time. Don’t forget to share Dad’s favorite recipes with other BigOven members after the celebration so they can surprise their fathers next year with a special homecooked meal.