On June 17, 2018, families across the U.S. will gather to celebrate fathers who teach, guide, and lead with love. Celebrations can range from a simple family picnic, to an elaborate outing, to his favorite weekend getaway, as long as they show Dad the appreciation he deserves. Whether you choose to celebrate Dad with your immediate family, or wish to recognize other father figures such as a grandfather, godfather, uncle, or mentor, reflect on how to best honor the men in your life with these four tips.
- Beyond Biological: Father figures may not just be your biological dad – consider mentors, coaches, teachers, and family members who have supported and guided your personal growth. Whether you send them a hand-written card, or plan a special day to recognize these honorary fathers, let them know how much you love and appreciate the special role they’ve had in your life.
- Save the Date(s): Although Father’s Day 2018 falls on June 17 in the U.S., festivities can occur up to a week before and after. For those with several paternal figures such as grandfathers, uncles, or godfathers, make time to call, visit, or recognize everyone. While scheduling can be tricky, it’s possible to find days and times that recognize each deserving dad, coordinating with family members (especially siblings) as necessary.
- Offer an Experience: Shopping for the perfect Father’s Day gift can stump even the most retail-savvy, so consider planning a special event just for Dad. A national survey of the average U.S. American’s major life regrets highlighted that one of the biggest regrets is not spending more time with parents. So use this day to express how much your father has meant to you over the years. A family barbecue, an outing to the movies, or a dinner prepared with all his favorites gives the gift of precious memories filled with the ones he loves.
- Great Gifting: Gifts for dads can range greatly depending on your father’s interests, so pay attention to the movies, books, and events he talks about, as well as how he spends his leisure time. According to research by the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending is up by 34% since 2015. Consider the three P’s to guide your gift giving: Practical, Personalized, and Perfect.
Practical Gifts: Is he practical? Go for the gift that won’t get tossed in a closet or re-gifted. Talk to your dad about his needs or communicate with family members. Contribute toward a group gift he will truly love, for example:
- Business and casual clothing
- Restaurant gift cards to his favorite eatery
- Hobby accessories (cooking gadgets, paints and art supplies, how-to books)
Personalized Gifts: Go the extra mile to highlight his name, family crest or favorite team:
- Engraved Watch
- Personalized Glassware, Flask or Beer Growler
- Sports Team Wine Stoppers
Perfect Gifts: Find the gift that quintessentially represents your dad or his future goals. Where does he want to go? What’s on his list? A perfect gift for your father:
- New sports equipment: golf club, fishing rod, tennis racket
- A fly-fishing or deep-sea trip he wants
- Concert tickets to his favorite band
Sharon Schweitzer and Amanda Alden co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.
Amanda Alden is an intercultural research assistant with Access to Culture. She graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University with a major in Global Studies and a minor in French, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Intercultural Mediations at l’Université de Lille III. Feel free to connect with Amanda at on LinkedIn.