In comparison to Father’s Day, Mother’s Day is a walk in the park — probably literally. As much as you love your dear old dad, you probably don’t have the slightest clue what would make him feel special on his day of appreciation. Most years, you probably go with a stereotypical card about his beer-drinking, golf-playing ways and a stereotypical socks or mug emblazoned with “World’s #1.” Even though he will smile and thank you, you know that’s not what he wanted.
Instead of trying to buy him something, this Father’s Day, you should surprise your dad by doing something to show you care. Your pops has plenty of activities he needs and wants help with, including, undoubtedly, the following:
1. Cleaning Out the Garage
The garage is a catch-all for stuff and junk of all shapes and sizes; your childhood toys probably sit in moldering boxes right next to the broken-down boat you’ve never seen on the water. It is entirely likely that your parents’ garage has been an absolute mess since the first day they moved in — and it is equally likely that your dad has been meaning to clean it out and tidy it up for about as long. This Father’s Day, you can save him the anguish of further procrastination by doing all that work for him.
Sorting through a storage room doesn’t take nearly as long as most people expect. The key is to make three distinct piles: save, donate, and toss. If the garage is as jam-packed as most parents’, you probably won’t have very much in the “save” pile. Only supremely sentimental items, like your favorite toy, should be salvaged. Meanwhile, nearly everything can go straight into the donate pile; you can even donate that old boat to give your dad a bigger tax deduction next April. At the end of the day, your dad should be able to proudly pull his car into the empty garage.
2. Tidying Up the Yard
Usually, the yard is the father’s domain and responsibility, which means that at the beginning of summer, right around Father’s Day, your dad’s outdoor chores begin to pile up. Because of the exponential growth that occurs during spring and summer, yards require diligence to maintain during this time of year, so your pop probably spends most of his weekends mowing the lawn, pulling the weeds, pruning the bushes, and more. The job is enough to make any man sweaty and irritable.
This year, you can let him relax for at least one Sunday by taking on some of the yard work yourself. If you have siblings, you can work together to finish the job in a fraction of the time; then, you can spend the rest of the day enjoying your dad’s clean, calm company.
3. Helping Him Finish a Project
Dads are notorious for accumulating hobbies and never quite finishing up one before they move onto another. As a result, your parents’ house is likely littered with half-finished projects that your dad swears he’ll complete someday. This Father’s Day, you can turn someday into today. Whether your dad’s hobby of choice was woodworking, metalworking, leatherworking, or something else, you can inspire him to finish by lending enthusiasm and another pair of hands.
4. Doing Something Active
Fathers tend to have a more active approach to parenting than mothers: Kids’ time spent with dads usually includes riding bikes, playing catch, hiking, fishing, or other energetic, outdoor pursuits. When you were young, your dad probably got you away from the television and into the sunlight, and this Father’s Day, you can do the same for him. You should choose an activity that provides feelings of nostalgia, so you can discuss past performance while you play.
5. Having a Conversation
Even in today’s progressive society, where dads are expected to show their kids love and support equal to moms’, many fathers still find it difficult to have meaningful conversations with their children. You might not be able to remember a time when you and your dad spoke about important issues and deep feelings, but that doesn’t mean your father isn’t interested in dialogue.
This year, after you clean the garage and tidy the yard, after you finish your dad’s project and spend a couple hours tossing the pigskin back and forth, you should make sure to be alone with your dad for some serious conversation. Likely, you will learn more about each other and develop a stronger relationship — which is the best Father’s Day present a dad could want.