What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day

If I tried to write a new post for Father’s Day, I wouldn’t really be able to say it better than this one which I first published years ago. It’s how I felt then and it’s how I feel now. It may not be my best work, but it comes from the heart.

In 2016, I wrote a post about my thoughts on Father’s Day and I haven’t changed my mind yet. It really did come from my heart. I think the message in it says what every dad (and mom too) thinks and feels about a day like this. Even though the environment we live in makes us feel like honoring our dads and moms is all about buying gifts and making a big deal out of just the one single day a year, I can tell you from personal experience, that’s not what dads (and moms) really want from their kids.

Father's Day is coming on June 20th. I'll share with you the secret of what Dad really wants for his special day and you won't need to spend the big bucks.

I hope you won’t mind if I repeat my real feelings today about Father’s Day, in anticipation of this Sunday, June 20, 2021. I am republishing this old post so if you didn’t see it then, I hope you will read it now. I also hope that it says what you are feeling the same way it does for me. Here’s hoping all the “kids” of any age out there read and get the message I am conveying. Have a great Father’s Day and make it last all year long!

Being a dad has been the biggest responsibility I have ever had. After all, bringing a new life into the world and literally trying your best to help make that person the best kind of person they can be and fulfill their life’s real potential doesn’t weigh easy on anyone.

I sometimes get a bit misty eyed when I think about my two kids and I always miss seeing them when they aren’t right here with me. I think we all feel that way because after all they are so very important to us.

Father’s Day is coming on June 20th. I’ll share with you the secret of what dad really wants for his special day and you won’t need to spend the big bucks.

It’s Just Around the Corner

Another Father’s Day arrives on Sunday, June 20th. If you’re like most people, you’ve already planned what you’re looking to give your dad this year, checking the Sunday paper, looking online, and talking to your mom and your siblings about what dad really wants this year.

I’m a dad of two (they’re grown now and out on their own) and I’m sure they are thinking those same thoughts and hoping to surprise me with something I’m just dying for but would never go out and buy for myself. That’s probably how they think.

A Shocking Reality?

Would it shock you to learn that dad doesn’t always want or need the kinds of things that you have in mind for him? Despite the fashion trends and the fact that you have or want that thing you’re going to buy for him, he may not. I bet it would surprise you to learn that he doesn’t really want “a thing” at all. Most dads will tell you, if you ask them, “don’t make this a big deal, I don’t need that kind of stuff from you. Here’s what I would love to have happen for Father’s Day.” And, yes, they would really mean it.

As a dad, I can tell you that the last thing I want my kids to do is to spend lots of money on material gifts and blow their finances out of the water. I’m certain that they need things more than dear old dad. Believe me when I say that I have enough of almost anything that you can think of, from T-shirts to books, from ties to tools, and everything in between. I have been collecting “things” like that all my life and honestly, other than better health there’s not much I want for myself.

The Best Dad’s Day Gifts

Looking back over the years, my very best father’s day gifts have always been the things my kids made with love for me while in school which both myself and my kids are most proud of. To prove it, I still have that clay ashtray that my daughter made me in 3rd grade somewhere around here. Even though I have never smoked, it really was a treasure to get.

And you know something else? Those fancy $6.99 cards might impress some, but the truth is the handmade ones my kids used to make meant a whole hell of a lot more to me. So here’s hoping that I don’t get any of those expensive ones this time. I’d love it if I received a note from each of them sharing their feelings and that they keep their hard-earned money for themselves. Whatever they might spend on a gift for me won’t make me feel as good as a sincere hug or kiss will do, that’s for sure.

What Dad Really Wants

In fact, I can think of a whole list of things that would make Father’s Day most special. I think most dads would say those kind of things are the most important things if they were asked about it. So just in case you weren’t sure or you don’t have the gumption to ask your dad in advance, let me fill you in about Father’s Day from my very own “father perspective”.

1. I value family time more than anything

The truth is that seeing the kids, no matter what their ages, is the biggest kick you can give me for the day. If and when there are grandkids involved, that’s even better. I’d much rather spend that time with you all than get tickets to a show or some kind of fancy watch. If I need a watch, I can pick one out myself.

2. Please don’t surprise me

You know me well enough by now to know I hate surprises. If you have something in mind, just ask me about it first please. If I am surprised, of course I’ll be thankful, but in my soul I’ll be thinking, “I really wished you would have asked me about it first!”

3. I am a very practical guy

You know what I really need? New underwear and a nice pair of casual socks. Please don’t buy me some new expensive electronic gizmo. I have trouble with the remote control for the TV and I just have gotten the hang of my smartphone. I don’t need more expensive technology in my life. Somehow I got here without most of it and besides, if I need anything like that, your mom will tell me what to do.

4. Talk to me regularly

Call me more often or even better, drop by for no reason at all. That’s what makes me happy. Hey, I know you’re busy and have lots on your plate, but you are so important to me and I need that regular connection and update of knowing you’re doing ok. Some fancy gift doesn’t tell me what’s in your head. If you do something great in school or at work, I’ll be a very proud dad. In any event, talk to me, acknowledge me, or call me. That’s a great way to make me feel connected and acknowledges my importance to you much more than a fancy tie does.

5. You will always be my child

Getting gifts and making a fuss over me seems like it’s a little out of place. You see, no matter how big you get, you will always be my child and in my head that means I take care of and cater to you. It makes me feel good to do that, so let me be the one who does that, ok? As crazy as that may seem, it’s the way I really want to feel.

6. Father’s Day should be every day

When you leave on June 20th, Father’s Day doesn’t end. I am your dad every day of the year and if you want or need my advice, opinions, or even a sounding board, I’m here for you always. I mean that.

Final Thoughts

Someone once told me that Father’s Day is the most important day of the year. I think it was my father who said that (chuckle) and of course he was right! Whether it is or isn’t, I certainly hope that it will be a special day for all of you and the kind of day when you get the chance to feel connected to your kids and/or your dad in a way that will make it a really special event.

We don’t get to keep dad forever and that’s why it is so important to make time and make memories every chance we get with all the people we love. If you weren’t thinking that way before, maybe you will now? I hope so.

What are your plans on June 20th to celebrate? Do you get overwhelmed with all the fuss, gifts, and hoopla on Father’s Day? Or are you having that special day that you truly pine for? I’d love to hear about your plans and what Father’s Day means for you.

Originally published June 3, 2016


  1. Becky@Frametofreedom

    Gary this is a great post from a Dad! I love it. I think you are spot on with this too. I know for my husband, a couple years ago he got a handmade gift from our oldest and that is his prize possession. It is a pen holder made from popsicle sticks. Our babysitter helped our son make it and to this day, it is his favorite gift he has ever received. Thanks for posting. I am sure this will help tons of people when they decide what to get their Dad for Father’s Day!

  2. Mrs. CTC

    This is so sweet Gary! And very personal, thank you for sharing. It’s about time we realized that dads too prefer love over a bottle of expensive shower gel 🙂

    Funny how I’ve come to love those hideous handmade presents myself. They are the best, honestly.

  3. Lisa O

    Nice post ~ I totally agree with you! This last Mother’s Day,I told my youngest, no need to spend money on me….keep yourself moving in the right direction is all I want to see 🙂 I loved the handmade presents, cards and breakfast while they were home and young. Those memories are really all the gift I will ever need.

  4. Great post, Gary. I know my dad would have agreed.
    For my husband, we’re going to take him out for lunch. We’re recent vegan converts (though I’m still not making any promises to stay vegan), and we’re discovering the vegan restaurant options that are around. Asian vegan is on the menu for Father’s Day 🙂 I hope you get to spend time with your children this Sunday, Gary. Happy Father’s Day!

    1. Thanks so much, Ruth. I’m looking forward to seeing my children on Sunday. It’s very interesting you’ll be celebrating with your new vegan dining habits. I can’t think of anything better than trying to be more healthy and enjoying a new venture like that. I hope you and your family enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save even more?

Join our community today to get our weekly emails including blog posts, updates, saving tips, and more.