I don't want to use the word tragic to describe Father's Day from my childhood, because it involved a Bloomin' Onion. Nothing can be too terrible when it involves a Bloomin' Onion. But I will say our Father's Day lacked imagination. Every year we'd pile into a station wagon and drive to Outback Steakhouse, waiting outside for at least an hour. We'd sit in the heat, swatting at mosquitos, enduring the screams of hungry kids and grow irritated with one another. I'd stare at the plastic disc in my hand, willing it to blink red. When it did, we got looks.
Now that we're older, Father's Day has become a more thoughtful occasion. Here are some ways to give it some heart. And the best part? All the gifts in the below photos are available at Ladles and Linens!
The Great Outdoors
In case you were thinking of going to a chain restaurant, know that thousands of others are too. Why not pack a picnic in the great outdoors? The old neighborhood playground is not going to cut it. Cruise into a national park and give him a little escape from the everyday. Pick a spot with a great view of water or a mountain vista - something wild. Bring an oversize blanket, or multiple ones, so everyone has room to stretch out. Pack some of his favorite foods, whether it's Mom's famous meatloaf or a bonfire with s'mores. Bring a bottle of chilled wine, use stemless wine glasses to avoid spills on bumpy terrain, and be sure to toast him!
Why do women and children get all the gift baskets? Every Easter, kids are handed rainbow hued cavity-makers half their size. I can't tell you how many times I've enjoyed a themed basket - it's usually about pampering. But equality means guys get baskets too, and if you go to your local Ladles and Linens store, the associates will help you put together a customized gift basket for Dad. The place is positively stocked with staples and inventive homemade goods, made by Virginians! From a Wusthof Portable Grilling Set to the Smoking Gun Woodchip Set these sophisticated products will make Dad feel taken care of. You and the siblings can go in on it together, making it hassle-free for everyone!
Take Dad's endless home movies on VHS and have them transferred to a DVD collection or a digital library, labeled and organized by year. Then invite the family over, shut off the lights and take a trip down memory lane. There will be squeals, there will be tears. There should also be good food, so fill up the family with homemade pizza - an easy food to eat while basking in nostalgia.
Leave Him Alone
Sound harsh? Then you must not be celebrating a father to young kids. This is for all the newer dads who have recently put their hobbies on hold for diaper duty. Time is precious - give him some. Whether he wants to tinker on a project in the garage or enjoy peace and quiet while fishing on a lake, let him go. But not empty-handed. Surprise him with a cooler filled with quality craft beer, and if he's in the garage, order him some great take-out. Then say goodbye and face the chaos alone.
You got this.
Happy Father's Day!