Father's Day is great time to celebrate and thank Dad for his contributions as a provider, caregiver and partner. If you are a military family, you know there may be a chance Dad will be deployed during Father's Day.
Just because he's not there, doesn't mean you can't honor him on this special day. Here's what you can do:
Have Dad write a letter or record a message for your family beforehand. On Father's Day, play the recording or read aloud the letter to let your family know that Dad is thinking about you.
On the flip side, have your family record a message to send to dear ol' Dad. With ease of social media, he may be able to view it quicker than you think.
Send a Father's Day care package to him. Note that care packages can take months to deliver, so pack non-perishables and other items that may cheer him up on Father's Day.
Plan a craft or DIY day to create something to give to Dad when he returns from deployment. This will keep the kids busy while keeping dad on their minds.
Make it a special day for spending special time together with your kids. Don't take them to places where Father's Day is in your face. Take them somewhere away from it all so it's just your family.
Create a digital memory book. Photo albums can be too bulky to send, and there may not be much room for them to store well. If Dad is deployed, the only computers around may not be USB enabled. Download photos to a disk or upload them to an online photo sharing site so Dad can be updated on the memories that are happening now.
Here are more tips from Liz Samet of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association.
Finish a home improvement project for him. If there's been a DIY project around the house that Dad never got to finishing, work together as a family to finish it up and show him the finished product. This will not only make him feel happy but proud of the handymen/handywomen you've all become since he's been gone. Both Home Depot and Lowes provide military discounts to get everything you need.
Send dad a homemade video highlighting what he's missed while he's gone. Videotape the kids' soccer/baseball/football games, family get-togethers and just little moments of you and the kids being silly around the house. Piece it together and put it on a flash drive for him to watch when he has a chance.
Don't forget to set up a time to video chat so he can hear his loved ones' voices and see the faces that he adores. This will make his day! Make sure to tell him how thankful you are for him, and how much you love and miss him.