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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Personal Ways to Celebrate Dad

Personal Ways to Celebrate Dad

Created just after the turn of the 20th Century, Father’s Day is a time for families to celebrate dads, stepdads, and granddads with a host of traditions. Though initially established to commemorate a West Virginia mining disaster where upwards of 200 men were lost, over time Father’s Day has evolved into an occasion to thank the man or men in our lives who held us when we cried, caught us when we fell, carried us on their shoulders, and gave us their undivided attention when the world ended over a failed test or lost spot on the team.

With an estimated 13.9 million single parents in the U.S., and a growing percentage of these single fathers, men’s lifestyles have evolved to include holding down one or two jobs as well as cooking, cleaning, tutoring, chauffeuring, and general household maintenance. This Father’s Day, whatever role dad has assumed or continues to play in your life, why not give him a more personalized gift. While traditional gifts like ties and wallets are always great, finding a special, personal way to let him know you appreciate his love, hard work, and dedication may mean even more.

A hearty breakfast in bed, impromptu softball game, barbecue, a day of fishing at the lake, a few hours on the links, or maybe just a sanctioned day off without the burden of errands or chores, or the temptation to turn on the laptop and catch up on bills and work, is what most people think about when it comes to a holiday for dad. But what about finding something unique that reflects a special time only the two of you spent together in the past?

If you cooked alongside dad, whether it was burgers, pancakes, or his grandmother’s recipe for stuffed peppers, and if a Father’s Day backyard barbecue is on the usual agenda (with dad at the helm, of course), surprise him by purchasing a hibachi instead. Pack up the ingredients for a first-class cookout and head to a beach or park where grilling is allowed. Dad can swim, read, or just unwind, and you can master the coals.

Because dad did his best to make sure you had new jeans, highlights, or looked great for the prom, a spa day may be just what the doctor ordered. While it may not be something he’d typically do for himself, chances are he also likes to look and feel great on the outside. More and more spas today have separate rooms for their male clients, and services like manicures, pedicures, facials, body wraps, and massages can relax, refresh, and energize a tired dad on his day. (If the spa is closed on Sundays, he’ll appreciate his special visit just as much the day before.)

If dad taught you to throw a softball, wield a tennis racquet, sail a boat, or even achieve a perfect game of darts, chances are your accomplishment required a great deal of time and patience on his part. A personal memoir in a leather-bound journal of that adventure together, whether it was a few weeks or a few years, accompanied by some photos from the time, can make for a singular gift he’ll appreciate each year for the rest of his life.

For some families, music was an integral part of their growing up years. Whether your dad plays the trumpet or violin, or simply loves Wagner or Warren Zevon, tickets to a concert you can share and enjoy will show him you remember and appreciate all those music lessons he financed, and the times he insisted you practice instead of going to the mall (which resulted in the music scholarship that got you into college).

Whatever you do, a personal gift is a way to tell dad that in so many ways he remains the center of your world, that nothing he did in the past went unnoticed, and that he continues to inspire you every day.

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