This year Father's Day falls on June 17 — which means you've got time to come up with creative ideas. Why wait until the last minute to get started with a tribute to your papa?
"To me, Father's Day is about thanking your dad for what he's done for you," says pediatrician Michelle Barratt, the mother of five and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas at Houston.
If you think your kids need a nudge, talk to them about what they think would make their dad happy on his big day. "What would really bring a smile to his face?" says Nashua, N.H., psychologist Carl Hindy, the father of four and the co-author of If This Is Love, Why Do I Feel So Insecure?
Some idea-inspiring tips:
Make it yourself. Brainstorm with your kids to come up with something for their dad that is "creative and personal and memorable," says child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger, author of Raising Kids with Character. "Children's artwork, poetry, and photos can be framed and a special meal created to celebrate the occasion." Don't forget to join in and make something crafty for your own dad. You're never too old to hand-paint a picture frame with "I love you, Daddy."
Give an experience. "An emphasis on shared experiences rather than monetary gifts sometimes takes the pressure and emphasis off material things and puts the focus where it belongs," says Berger. How about a gift of a day out together? "It could be something you enjoy, too," says Hindy. "Reserve the pool hall, or go to the NASCAR race with your father - maybe just a you-and-dad kind of thing."
Know that hokey is OK. "A corny gift give with love can be very moving and meaningful," says Berger. "There is nothing wrong with a necktie!"
Create a gift from a favorite photo or quote. One possibility: personalized, create-your-own iPhone cases from sites such as Zazzle.com and custom.case-mate.com. Another: picture mugs. Just upload your picture and place your order at sites such as Walgreen's photo center.
Match the present to dad's favorite with-the-kids activity. "If he helps you build your bike, maybe you could plan a bike date," says Barratt. "If your dad always cooks dinner, maybe you could make dinner for him so he knows you've learned some things from him!"
Pick or create a worth-saving card. Choose one that "you think would really move him," says Hindy. "Maybe pick the card that you really would like to say to your father but you find awkward to say. Tell him you love him."
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