Are You Turning Father’s Day into Groundhog Day?

In case it slipped your mind, Father’s Day is almost here. It snuck up on me too, and I’m a father! So if your dad is still alive or is one you actually want to celebrate with, there’s still time to pickup up something meaningful. Don’t wait until Sunday and show up with a gas station gift you bought on the way.

What to buy? What to buy? What the hell did you buy last year?

It got me thinking. What is Father’s Day really about, and how did it become a holiday?

It’s been celebrated in Europe since the Middle Ages, but here in the U.S., a young woman from Spokane, WA started campaigning for it in 1910. Since action from men was involved, it took over 40 years for them to get around to recognizing it as a holiday. The intent was to honor fathers and the efforts required to be one (not those efforts). This isn’t an automatic either, as plenty of dads out there are either  “sperm donors” who disappeared or deadbeats who still kind of want to be a father, only without any responsibility (I have a separate post about that one Are You Making the Father of All Mistakes? )

But time is short, so how about some gift advice? More often than not, dads can be tough to shop for. If we need something, we typically go buy it. We’re also pickier than we’d like to admit. You can of course go buy a shirt, a tie, or accidentally grab the same set of socket wrenches you bought last year, or you can dazzle him with something he totally won’t expect. Here are a few ideas off the top of my head you may/may not consider:


Likely an evolutionary trait passed down from caveman days, I can’t think of a man I know that doesn’t like cooking things with fire. Swing by the butcher or seafood shop and grab a hunk of something he can burn while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Maybe throw in a jar of seasoning and a Viking hat. If he’s vegetarian, there are plenty of farmers markets open on Saturday, so go crazy there instead.



Bourbon. Scotch. Wine. Whatever. Nothing helps dad reflect on roads not taken, parenting mistakes, and missed opportunities quite like a glass of something fermented. I have the drunk texts to prove it, and so do many of you (Some of which are probably from me! )


Does he live out of town and you can’t make the trip, what about signing him up for a wine club or whatever dad’s favorite liquor is? There are lots of them out there for practically any budget. Remember, few things say “Thanks, dad,” more than contributing to his alcoholism.


Believe it or not, some of the bands dad liked back in the day are still around. And even if they aren’t, there are likely touring tribute bands that do a pretty damn good job. Hop on Google to see who’s playing where in the next few months and buy some tickets. Sometimes, memories made together are the best gifts of all.


The Ultimate Gift Card

Normally I consider these to be the last option, but I’m not talking about just ANY gift card. Home Depot, Lowe’s, or whatever the hardware store is closest to your dad’s house is generally a win. These places are to men what Sephora and Ulta are to women. We can spend hours there and not even buy anything. If you’re really up against a wall, this is a decent option. And they can usually be sent through email, so it solves the distance problem if dad lives far away.


Of course I’m kidding. Or am I?

One last thing. I’m thinking of starting a couple of new Father’s Day traditions with my boys.

Memory Lane George Constanza’s family  from Seinfeld had Festivus and the Airing of Grievances. In that spirit I’m planning to recount my favorite memories of the year, whether it was places went or laughs we had, with each of my sons. Sure it seems a little Hallmark Channel, but we’ll see how it goes.

Teaching of Skills Nobody thinks about skills until you end up in a situation with someone who doesn’t have any. So my plan is to show them something new each year that they’ll eventually need to know. How to tie down a load so it doesn’t bounce off a truck and onto I-459; How to change a tire; What’s the stock market and why should they care how the DOW closed?

Have any cool Father’s Day traditions? I’d love to hear them.

2 thoughts on “Are You Turning Father’s Day into Groundhog Day?

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