While holidays can be a wonderful time filled with family and excitement, preparing for them can also be a source of stress. That’s why I was incredibly relieved when I experienced a revelation of sorts while preparing for Mother’s Day this year. Instead of asking myself, “What I should do for my wife?” I asked myself, “What would make her feel special?” That simple change in thinking made it all come together quite easily. I wondered what would make her smile as it was presented to her… and it did! With that in mind, Father’s Day is right around the corner!
As is the case for many people, a typical workday of mine can include an array of tasks, challenges, and even frustrations. Regardless of how stressful or otherwise unpleasant each day may start or end, I am able to bookend each workday with a moment of pure joy. Seven years ago, my two oldest boys gifted me homemade crafts for Father’s Day. The crafts each included pictures of them, some simply showing them at play and others having them cheese for the camera. The pictures are on display in my overhead cabinet, which I open at the start, and close at the conclusion of each day. Their smiles are so genuine, I often find myself actually smiling back.
“They may forget what you said – but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -origin debated1
With Father’s Day fast-approaching, so are plans and gift ideas. All over, I imagine the question is posed, “What would you like the kids to get you for Father’s Day?” A couple of possible responses that come to mind are “nothing” or “peace and quiet.” While both are simple and honest, neither is terribly practical. The former, “nothing,” does little to advance the preparation process. Afterall, kids often love giving a gift to their parent, anxiously hoping that they can share in the joy of it. As for “peace and quiet,” the term “oxymoron” comes to mind when considering “peace and quiet” for a day highlighting parenting.
All of that said, I don’t think that there is a single gift or day plan that would be appropriate for every Dad out there. Last year our family was due for a portrait and so a family photo session was my gift request. This year I’ll be requesting that perhaps we take a trip to a nearby beach and later all settle in at home with some popcorn while checking out a new release. While this might not sound like a particularly ideal day for all Dads, it would be the recipe for an amazing day for this family- and film-loving Dad!
When we want to show someone the love and appreciation we have for them, maybe the question isn’t, “What would they want to receive or do?” as much as, “What would make them feel special?” As the quote suggests, “They will never forget how you made them feel.”