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Phoenix Forward

5 unique ways to celebrate Father’s Day

Five unique Father's Day ideas

If your dad has received one too many ties, coffee mugs or pairs of socks as Father’s Day gifts, it’s time to kick your creativity up a notch. We asked several members of the University of Phoenix community to share stories of how they celebrated a father figure in their lives. These ideas can inspire ways to honor Dad throughout the year — not just on Father's Day — and they won't cost much more than a little time and loving effort:


Have a roast.

Kathy Gromoll, an instructor at the University of Phoenix Austin Campus, suggests getting your family together for a roast to share some good-humored laughs at Dad’s expense. For instance, you could poke a bit of fun with a “10 things my dad taught me” list. If that kind of tongue-in-cheek humor isn't your dad's style, tell favorite stories about him. Gromoll says you can involve young children by having them draw pictures of Dad instead.


Take him down memory lane.

Assemble a collage or album of cards, photos and drawings of Dad and your family through the years. Think about favorite activities, sports or other aspects of his life that could become a running theme.

"My wife and daughters secretly made a book for me that included pictures and testimonials from every military assignment we had over 28 years,” says Garland Williams, associate regional vice president of the Military Division. “My wife contacted people we knew at each assignment and asked them to write letters. The giant effort made it so special."


Plan regularly scheduled "dad time" throughout the year.

Give the gift of time together, doing things you both enjoy. Josephine Ellsworth, instructor at the University of Phoenix Southern Arizona Campus, says she and her father loved fishing along the banks of the Sacramento River. "I usually had my dad all to myself. We'd leave right after school (he was a school principal) and not return until the sun was far down. Those evenings are a gift I've had for a lifetime of memories."


Bring music to his ears.

Create a CD or playlist of songs with special meaning to both of you. For instance, you could include a lullaby he used to hum to you, a tune he crooned while driving you to school, the music for your father-daughter dance at your wedding or a song with a verse he often quoted.


Lavish attention, not gifts, on Father's Day.

Every Father's Day, Gay Lynn Smith and her siblings woke up their dad with "hugs, kisses and trinket gifts," followed by a Southern breakfast and afternoon games. She was convinced he stayed in bed longer just so they could "surprise" him.

"What I learned from his reaction is that spending time together outweighed any gift," says Smith, regional assistant dean for the College of Education. "Dad gave us the example of how to receive service with gracious kindness, patience and appreciation. That lesson was a Father’s Day gift my dad actually gave to his children."

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