I get it. Your Dad is a total minimalist and he doesn’t want more stuff! He’s already got everything he needs, and he started decluttering with Marie Kondo’s method a few months ago and is ON. A. ROLL. The last thing he wants is another sweater vest or “Greatest Dad Ever” coffee thermos. Trust me.
This is why I set out to create a list of 5 meaningful ways you can show the minimalist dads in your life you love them this Father’s Day while still honoring their wishes for less stuff. Seriously. Even if he isn’t on the minimalism train, these are still amazing ways to love on him this year.
1. Send him a voice memo reminding him of a favorite memory of yours that is still with you today. Whether it’s a childhood memory of riding on his shoulders through the park or a more recent time when he’s offered to help you move to a new apartment, there’s something extra special about hearing your voice recount the memory instead of just writing him a note in a greeting card. He’ll probably replay it at least a couple of times.
2. Take him on a mini-adventure! Has he been talking about a new restaurant downtown he’d like to check out, a concert he wants to go to or a day trip he wants to take one day? Make it happen. Tell him when he needs to be ready and what to wear for your surprise adventure. I recommend telling him as many details as possible without giving it away (length of time you’ll be gone, is it indoors/outdoors, if he needs to eat before you leave, etc.). You want to set proper expectations so everyone has fun!
3. Create a personalized journal for him. Write 52 personalized, weekly prompts in a blank journal for him and gift it to him for Father’s Day. Yes, this involves giving him an item to put somewhere, but we promise this won't effect his minimalist mindset! Tell him you want to capture his life lessons, funny anecdotes, memories of his parents, etc. Here are a few examples of writing prompts to get him started: What is your first memory as a child? Who was your hero growing up? How did you first find out you were going to be a father? What is your greatest lesson learned? What are you most proud of?
4. Book him (and you) a lesson to learn something new. Does he want to perfect his guitar playing skills? Is he interested in getting back into martial arts? Your Dad will feel the love with the gift of time to pursue his interests and hobbies with you. Here are just a few suggestions to get you going: improv classes, gardening classes, photography classes, yoga classes, drum lessons, painting classes or rowing lessons. If you’re able to, try to join in on the learning with him. At the very least, it will give you both something to look back at and laugh about later, but maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.
5. Share your photos with him. We live in a time when we take hundreds of pictures a week on our mobile devices but never actually print any of them out to be shared with family. This gift idea is especially useful for the Dads in our lives that are also Grandpas. It’s easy to take for granted the joy a picture of the grandkids running through the sprinkler might bring when it's hanging on his fridge instead of hiding in your camera roll. I like using the Shutterfly mobile app because it pulls the pictures straight from my phone, is really affordable and will mail them directly to him. How easy is that!
You know Dad best, but I hope these ideas will be helpful and get you thinking a little differently about what holidays like Father’s Day can really mean. Our goal was to ease your stress of shopping for dad this year, and embrace his minimalist lifestyle by offering him the gift of memories and time spent together. I’d love to see you share your thoughts and comments below with any other ideas that come to mind!