Gift giving is a common custom when it comes to celebrating holidays and special occasions; however, spending time and creating memories is the most important gift that we forget to give our loved ones. It is our things that remind us of memories and sometimes we can put more effort into the symbol of the memory than making the memory itself. When a loved one has passed on, we tend to regret not spending more time together. We don’t regret not getting them better gifts. As our loved ones are living longer and longer, here are few ways to give less and less material things this Father’s Day and spend more and more time connecting and being family.
1. Write down a collection of favorite stories from your childhood. They may be family legends or moments that just you remember. Stories tend to come out of the woodwork after a person has passed on, but it is important to share them now and tell how they shaped your perspective of your father.
2. Get outside and explore a trail in a favorite park together or enjoy the landscape of where you live. Here in the Puget Sound, a boat ride can be the perfect way to take in the sights and just be.
3. Something as simple as making a meal together can be a great way to connect. Grill out and make Dad’s favorite recipes. Whether he is a master chef or quality control, everyone loves a good meal together.
4. Story Corps has really taught us that people are a storehouse of stories and there are so many things that we don’t know about even our closest loved ones simply because we didn’t ask. Take time to interview your dad and ask if you can record it. Ask what your father has learned in the process of being a dad. Having his voice captured can be a treasure for years to come.
5. Go golfing together or just hit a bucket of balls. This can be a relaxing time to be active and get outside
6. Enjoy a film together. Maybe it is an old favorite of his or something new that he has been wanting to see.
7. Work on a project together. Maybe it is a project around the house, caring for a boat, building models, or some other hobby. Join in and do what dad loves to do.
8. Volunteer Together: Find a way to give back by doing a service project together. This can really foster a conversation about the blessing that you share in your lives.
9. Check Out a Museum: Whether it is a car museum, a history museum, an art museum, or an airplane museum, spark the conversation by visiting a collection that your dad would really enjoy.
10. Go to a concert together. Maybe it is a musical blast from his past or a band he really loves now. Show that you care by engaging in what he likes to listen to.
As our parents age, our relationships change. We think we know our loved ones because we are so familiar with them; however people change and grow over time and so should our relationships. This Father’s Day, take time to continue to connect and get to know your dad and leave room to be surprised.
Published on June 9, 2014.