Do Fathers get the same respect that Mothers do when it comes to celebrating their special day? Among the people we’ve asked, the answer seems to be a collective “NO.” When we queried our staff and friends about how they honored their Dads on Father’s Day, we were often met with a puzzled look, a wrinkled brow and a distant gaze as the search through their memories came up empty. Fortunately, we did find a few families that make Father’s Day a memorable occasion for their Dads and Granddads. And as a public service, we offer up their suggestions to help you make this Father’s Day one that will be remembered.
A cookout with Dad manning the grill, seems to be the most popular way to spend time on Father’s Day.
“The main activity of Father’s Days in our family is exactly the same as that of Mother’s Day (not to mention every other holiday) and revolves around food. In this case, however, we are most concerned with the desires of dear ‘ol Dad’s stomach. Usually, this means something carnivorous.
It seems that Dads are unappreciated in the dining world – as there just aren’t as many “Father’s Day” special meals to be found at local establishments. This is perfectly fine in my Dad’s case because he enjoys grilling and smoking his own food, and if he isn’t feeling up to it, we very well may be rendezvousing to an establishment offering his favorite cuisine: barbeque. In my experience, many Mother’s Day Brunches involve all-you-can-eat meals or special menus and that just wouldn’t fly so well at most of the barbeque joints I’ve been to.
There is often a perception of the mother being the giving one, but my father is giving in his own way, in that he likes to cook for others on holidays and during family get-togethers, maybe even more so than my mother in her later years (though she wouldn’t admit to that out loud). My father finds it relaxing to grill or use the smoker he finally bought a few years ago after wanting one his whole life. He also likes to whip up some of his famous milkshakes.”
Heading out on the road is another favorite way to celebrate. Whether it’s a meandering Sunday drive in the country, a drive with a destination in mind or a full-on road trip, many Whole Earthlings and their fathers take to the highway.
“After all my sisters would call and wish him a happy Father’s Day, my Mom, Dad and I would load up in his truck and drive around West Texas.
My father loves photography and I would drive him to see to Fort Davis, church ruins in Presidio, Terlingua, old mines in Shafter, and Devil’s River near Del Rio. They were day trips devoted to his love of the desert landscape and photography. Anywhere he wanted, I would pull over so he could hop out and take a photo or go on a hike.
I loved driving for him. He would tell us stories of our family history or just philosophy books he was reading at the time. After our explorations we would find a nice cafe and have dinner and start the drive home.”
Father’s Day can also be a great time to refresh your memories of beloved family stories and to revisit places that have been special throughout the years.
“In my family (when my siblings and I have the time), we tend to think of Father’s/Mother’s Day as a way to reconnect with our roots in an increasingly separated world. On previous Father’s Days we’ve taken our dad to parks we used to visit as kids (Mayfield Park, Bastrop, McKinney Falls) because that was a huge part of our lives that he shared with us. Our dad doesn’t rock climb so much any more, but he still loves to walk around and see the sights. It helps us reconnect to our memories with him, and helps him feel connected to his legacy in some way (and remind him why he loves the outdoors).
Last year we bought our Dad a genealogy test! He’s always been interested in family history, and this turned out to be a great present for the whole family. Birthdays were always the opportunity to celebrate each individual, but we’ve treated Father’s/Mother’s Days as really a family occasion. Learning family history has brought us together more in discussion, and inspired us to think more deeply about how our familial bonds extend so far back.”
Here are a few other ideas from our Whole Earth staff to help you plan a great Father’s Day!
- Take Dad out to a baseball game.
- Go fishing!
- If you have a gardening Dad, offer to help with his latest landscaping project.
- Take a hike or go camping.
- Break out the bicycles and have a family fun ride.
- Backyard games are fun too. How about croquet, volleyball, badminton or catch with a flying disk?.
- Go on a picnic for breakfast, lunch or dinner featuring Dad’s favorite foods.
- Go exploring on the water with canoes or kayaks.
- If the wind cooperates, go fly kites!
If you won’t be able to spend time with your Dad or Granddad on Father’s Day, be sure to call or Skype/Face Time him. Let him know that he’s special and that you care.
Looking for a gift that your Dad or Granddad is sure to like? Let him choose with a Whole Earth gift card, available in-store or online.