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 “Hey Dad, what do you want for Father’s Day?” “Nuthin’.” It’s a bit of a cartoon stereotype, but we’ve all had this conversation with our dads, right? Heck, if you’re reading this and you are the dad, you’ve probably said this very thing yourself. (Not that we’ve had that problem here or anything.)

Sorry to say, pops, but your family is going to wind up doing something for Father’s Day, even if you’re going to grumble about it the whole time. If you’re the family looking to do something for your beloved patriarch, we’ve put together some father-approved ideas and tips to make sure you do something he secretly really wants, even if he’ll never admit to it.


Set up a barbecue – but don’t let him do the cooking. There will be some complaining, no doubt, but a good way to show your dad he’s appreciated is to let him take some time away from the grill. Get a few of his favorite cuts together, set up some of his favorite grilling supplies on a nearby shelf or table, and tell him to stay inside and watch a movie while you and the kids handle the burgers this time around.


Help him clean up his spaces. Every dad has a room or two to call their own around the house, and sometimes they need a hand getting it tidied up. Does he work out in the garage a lot? Set up some garage storage to help him get his tools organized and out of the way. Does he play outside a lot? Get him some sports equipment storage to keep those clubs, bats, and hockey sticks where they belong. Or if he’s the type to bring his work home with him, help him organize your home office a little bit to help him stay productive – on Monday, of course. (Don’t let your dad do any at-home work today, of all days. We’ve seen it ourselves.)


Give him what he needs to relax. Dads are a funny species, of a number of interests. Some dads like to watch movies, some dads play sports (as much as frisbee can be a sport), and some dads even like to mow the lawn to unwind. Whatever the dad in your life likes to do in his spare time, on Father’s Day try to set him up with what he needs to relax a little. Get him a new TV stand to help keep all of his James Bond movies together. Set up some tool storage in the shed or basement to let him get to his yard supplies more easily. Or maybe just let him sleep until noon. It’s his day, right?


Keep the family involved. A lot of kids are happy to help with things like Father’s Day, and you can put that enthusiasm to good use. Let your kids help with the cleaning, the present-picking, and even the decorating if your kids are the artistic sort. They’ll be proud of themselves for helping and they’ll appreciate the chance to show dad he’s appreciated!


Above all else: let him relax. A pretty common problem with holidays is that plans tend to get a little too complicated a little too quickly. The tension of trying to coordinate everyone for a big dinner or a day out somewhere can get a little overwhelming, so if the dad in your life would rather take things easy, sleep in, and just eat at home – go ahead and let him. There will be plenty of other holidays to overcomplicate later.

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