Passionate About Providence
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How to Make This Father’s Day Count (and Avoid Lame, Last-Minute Gifts)

Father's Day Gift Ideas Providence Moms Blog

Father’s Day is coming up soon. And, of course, the pressure is often on you to make the day special. But I beg you to grab a glass of wine and remind yourself to never underestimate the power of in-school Father’s Day crafts. Because they count. Big time.

I do have to warn you that as your kids get older, there’s no in-school Father’s Day craft time. It’s all about planning ahead or experiencing an uncomfortable, holy-schnikies-last-minute-race-to-the-pharmacy-to-find-something. Anything. For dad.

But there are ways to avoid this last-minute almost-laughable-gift-giving debacle.

It’s all about the thought, yes. And about thinking ahead a little.

I get it. Father’s Day means so many different things to different families. I’ve had friends who have forgotten Father’s Day (and the dad was surprisingly fine with it) while others celebrated the occasion with weekend-long parties, fishing trips, baseball games and pricey gifts.

No judging here. But if you ask me, Father’s Day is all about the dad. His personality. And his idea of the ideal day. Give or take an As-Seen-on-Shark-Tank last-minute lame gift.

Father's Day gift ideas Providence Moms Blog

I believe the guy in your life should celebrate the day the way he wants to celebrate it. Whether it’s taking a walk on the beach or doing nothing special at all but spending time together as a family. After all, it’s Father’s Day.

As I wipe the sweat from my un-plucked brow, I’m grateful to share that at our house, Father’s Day is about keeping it simple. My husband is a witty, hard-working, thoughtful, and generous guy who will give you the shirt off his back. But when it comes to Father’s Day, he likes to keep things low-key. Nothing fancy. Just enjoy the day with homemade cards, taped-up signs, family time, and meaningful moments.

Through the years, his favorite gifts have always been ones made by hand. By the kids. Whether a scribbled card or a plaque crafted in wood shop, he loves them all. And keeps them on his workbench. He always stresses that the gifts shouldn’t come from me, they should come from the kids.

I’m not exactly a Pinterest queen. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m domestically challenged in some ways. But what about when your kids are 13 and 16? And Father’s Day is in a matter of days? (Insert holy-schnikies emoji here.) I guess it helps to give them gentle reminders a week or so beforehand. And find out what they have planned! (Insert surprise emoji here.)

All my husband ever asks for on Father’s Day is that we don’t go overboard. (Unless we plan to watch the movie Overboard with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as a family. And, yes, this is one of his all-time favorites).

If the name Ron Swanson rings a bell, you can get a pretty clear picture of my husband’s idea of the perfect way to celebrate. (If you’re not familiar, Ron Swanson is the character portrayed by Nick Offerman on the popular sit-com Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler. ) Some dads expect a huge party. My husband is a very fun guy and can be the life of the party. But like the character Ron Swanson, he prefers a good steak and war movie over a huge party on Father’s Day. (Phew.)

No matter what, you still want to make the day count.

Father's Day Gift Ideas Providence Moms Blog

Some of my husband’s favorite Father’s Day gifts (ones you can use):

  • Photo collages on cardboard.
  • Giant laminated poster-sized family photos. Check out this service at print stores like Staples. The best part is you get to re-use and re-purpose the posters forever. We do this almost every year for birthdays and they’re fun to bring out every year.
  • Giant poster or memo pad listing “Things To Do With Dad Today.” Have your kids create an agenda and decorate it in their own way.
  • Framed print of kids’ hands. You can do it yourself with a stamp and a picture frame or buy a kit at the craft store.
  • Framed prints of kids’ feet. Same as above, with tiny toes!
  • Breakfast, lunch or dinner made by the kids.
  • Family Olympics Day. Create fun games throughout the day, from playing basketball to racing around the house. Then enjoy nap-time together! It really is a gift. 😉
  • Homemade Q&A booklet. – Featuring questions and answers from the kids. You might need to help with the questions, but leave the answers up to the kids. It’s the best part.  Some favorite answers come from the simplest questions, such as:
    • What is dad’s idea of the perfect day?
    • When did he graduate from high school?
    • How did he meet mom?
    • How old is dad?
  • Kids illustrations with craft store frame.
  • A painted picture. Forget expensive art. You should see some of my daughter’s first grade masterpieces. He still has a painting she did on a craft store canvas hanging in our room.
  • Framed pictures of your kids with dad.
  • Cemented hand print. We still keep a stone in our garden from Father’s Day from 12 years ago. It’s fun to see the kids hand prints from when they were little. You can find kits for these at craft stores.
  • Memory Jar – Mason jar filled with sweet quotes about dad.
  • A pottery mug made by hand and signed by your kids.
  • Playdough creations displayed in a shoe box.
  • Baseball signed by kids.
  • Basketball with kids’ handprint.
  • Paper sign hanging in the kitchen that says, Happy Father’s Day!

My husband still has the scribbled chunk of wood that our son made when he was in kindergarten, my daughter’s canvas first grade masterpieces, a rayon tie four inches too short purchased from the elementary school Father’s Day sale and a candle my daughter purchased from the dollar store with her own money.

Do what you can for that special dad. Like I said, it’s the thought that counts. And it’s even more thoughtful when you plan ahead a little. xo

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