This isn’t a post with a list of generic Father’s Day gifts, good for just any dad. Those lists are great if you need to find a quick, last minute gift, or you’re looking for something for the father-in-law you don’t necessarily spend a lot of time with. No, this blog post is about using an awesome tool to get the dad in your life a gift specific to his wants and needs. A gift that will really show him your love.
This tool is called the Five Love Languages.
I discovered the Five Love Languages a couple of years ago and it changed the way I celebrate my husband on his birthday, our anniversary, and Father’s Day.
It’s not a new concept. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, was actually published in 1995, but if you haven’t heard of it, here’s a quick overview. According to Chapman, everyone expresses love differently using one of five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of services, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts. Often times couples will have different love languages, and their messages of love are lost in translation. When you learn to speak each other’s love language, it can improve the quality of your expressions of love, and even your overall relationship.
It can feel a bit silly to try to “speak someone else’s love language,” but try it and you may find it works. If you would like to find out your or your spouse’s love language, here is a quick quiz you can take!
Before I found the Five Love Languages, I had been expressing my love to my husband with material gifts, because that’s my love language, but I discovered my husband’s love language is Acts of Service. He feels more love when I take out the trash for him (usually his job) than when I give him a small gift. That’s why I find it important to consider love languages when giving a gift. Gifts are still my love language… I HAVE to give gifts, but I try to find a gift that they can appreciate through their love language, too.
Here are few ideas I’ve come up with for each love language for Father’s Day:
Words of Affirmation
If the dad in your life shows his love with words, try writing a heartfelt letter telling him how much you appreciate him. Men with this love language need to hear why you love you them and what makes them special. If you have trouble with words yourself, try writing a list of things you appreciate about him. If this idea seems boring to you, make it fun by sticking the note on the inside of a box of doughnuts, or buy him a six pack of his favorite beer and attach a simple message to each beer. Don’t forget to get the kids to write a quick note or draw a picture of something they enjoy doing with daddy. I love this collection of free printables!
Acts of Service
Dads with this primary love language will feel loved if you serve them with your time. Let him sleep in while you take the kids out for breakfast. Pick a chore that’s usually his job and complete it for him. Set him and the kids up with a movie and some popcorn while you mow the lawn or clean out the dryer vent. Make him his favorite meal for dinner, complete with that dessert you only make for special occasions.
If your kids are old enough, put them to work helping out, too. After all, its Father’s Day, not Husband’s Day, they should show their appreciation, as well!
Dads fluent in “quality time” as their love language will want to spend time making memories on Father’s Day. Buy him a board game you can play together as a family. Purchase a new picnic blanket and plan to attend a movies in the park near you, or buy some tickets to Film on The Rocks featuring The Goonies and take the whole family (every Colorado kid needs a Red Rocks memory). Pack a lunch and head up to the mountains for a family hike; many local libraries will allow you to check out a State Park Pass for free! Or, he may love some quality time as a couple. Find a babysitter and take him to his favorite restaurant, or head up to Iron Mountain Springs for some quality alone time. Think about the things your partner loves to do, and plan to do that!
Physical touch doesn’t just mean the obvious. People with this love language need lots of hugs, kisses, and close proximity to their loved ones. Schedule some time to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie as a family with a bowl of popcorn. Get him a gift card to local massage studio, or give him some massage oil and plan to give him a massage yourself. Draw him a bath with this calming soak from a local Etsy shop.
Many think that those with this love language are materialistic or expect expensive gifts, but having this love language myself, I am here to tell you that this is completely false. The love language of receiving gifts means that we feel loved when we receive a thoughtful gift. Something that shows you were really thinking of us when you bought it. One of my favorite gifts is an engraved necklace my husband bought me with our children’s initials engraved on the pendants. It cost him less than $30. I also feel loved when my husband stops and gets me favorite drink from a coffee shop.
If you are shopping for a dad with this love language it’s important for you to really think about his likes and interests. If he isn’t really into barbecuing, he probably won’t love that monogrammed BBQ apron and utensils set usually included in Father’s Day gift guides. A gift basket of his favorite gourmet snacks (or these local treats) for the foodie, a trail guide for the hiker, a personalized jersey for the sports fanatic, or a new video game for the gamer will all tell him he is loved. I also love this fun frame idea, because all dad’s love their kids!
At the end of the day, it really is the thought that counts. If you put in a little thought, you are sure to find a gift he will love. It’s my hope that these ideas will help you to do that and I would love to hear your ideas, too!