What Dads Want for Father’s Day

This is a guest post from Michael Denmon.  Michael is a Dad who is working on being a better man, one project at a time. Catch up with his latest attempts at Dad Level Viking.

If I asked you what the most common gifts are for Dads on Father’s Day, I’m sure the first answer would most likely be a tie. This has become the go-to answer for some reason, but I can promise you that I never bought my Dad a tie. After ties probably come some other form of clothing, like a shirt with “World’s Best Dad!” on it, or maybe a hat with the same words. I never bought my Dad one of these either. Ironically, I bought myself a couple of shirts that say that I am the Number One Dad, tied to my favorite sports teams (that I hope will become my son’s favorites, as well). But my own son played no part in that either so they don’t really count.

Please, No More Ties

Unfortunately, I cannot really remember what I bought for my own Dad. At least, not as a kid. I remember buying items for him when I was an adult but typically they were items he wanted and specifically circled in some form of catalog that he regularly received. But as a kid, I am sure I bought whatever was available on the seasonal holiday aisle at the local department store. Or, more accurately, my Mom bought the item…I just got to pick it out with my sister.

That’s why I am going to explain to you what it is that Dads really want for Father’s Day, and the answer is that they want meaning.

The usual gifts used to be fine for most Dads and they are still fine for Dads of today, honestly. We don’t tend to make much of a fuss about ourselves, preferring instead to make a fuss over our kids. If my son were to buy me a tie for this upcoming Father’s Day I would thank him and wear it for him to see. Or when he asked me about it. Most likely it would sadly drape over a hanger in my closet for the next 12 years without being recalled or mentioned again.


However, what would mean more than anything to me would be for my son to give me the same tie, but one that he had made or decorated himself. Because that tie would show time and thoughtfulness spent on me to celebrate Father’s Day. The tie would show his attention to me. That his intent was to celebrate with me. The present would be something we would both remember and recall for years to come. That’s what Dads really want these days.

Time is a gift like no other. Time spent between a father and his children is not simply time, but memories that a Dad will recall when he needs them the most. Having a child spend time on something for you when so many other things in this world are competing for that same time is an amazing feeling. As we age, and the true value of time becomes more relatable, we appreciate the time spent on us. So, as a Dad, I implore all of you significant others out there to help your children spend time with their Dad for this Father’s Day.


Attention is another important part of what makes a great Father’s Day. There is no greater feeling in the world than when a child devotes his attention to his Dad. Dads sacrifice a lot for their children and having a child show attention to you makes all of those sacrifices seem well worth it. Go for a walk with your father. Forgive him for his Dad Jokes. Better yet, indulge him in his Dad Jokes. Listen to him, thank him, and give him your attention. 

Being intentional with what you get your Dad for Father’s Day is also a sign of attention and time spent on coming up with the best possible gift. That means not just grabbing a tie off of the rack or a three-dollar hat from a bin. You can spend zero money and still provide the most treasured gift to a Dad by being intentional with what you gift him. Remember a movie that you and your Dad loved to watch? Then don’t just buy it for your Dad. Buy it, your Dad’s favorite snack, and spend an afternoon watching the movie with cell phones off and just you and him.

Finally, as I alluded to earlier, aim for giving a gift that will be remembered. Money is never the object. Memories to warm the heart and lighten the soul is what Dads care for the most. Eventually, the memories your father holds most dear will be what is left to go through after his time on this world is done. Aim for making sure you can go down your own memory lane of times spent with your Dad, by going through all the past Father’s Day gifts your Dad could not bear to part with.

Remember this year that high-tech gadgets, great cigars, very nice single-barrel whiskeys, or days of pampering at your local Gents Place club, are all great presents. But without time spent with your Dad, giving him your attention, being intentional with how you spend that time, and providing space and environment to create a long-lasting memory, these fancy gifts will be forgotten. Giving your Dad the real gift of your time, attention, intent, and devotion to making this a memorable Father’s Day, however, will be the true gift to show your Dad how much he means to you.

Sharing a single-barrel whiskey with Dad will definitely add to that memory, though, if you are old enough.

43500cookie-checkWhat Dads Want for Father’s Day

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