Like birthdays, Christmas, and Hanukkah, Father’s Day can be rough. Yes, it is a great opportunity to recognize our fathers (and father figures) for their profound impact in our lives, but it is also a time when many of us feel tongue-tied.
How can we tell dad exactly what he means to us in a simple card or letter? Here are five tips for writing the perfect note to dad in honor of Father’s Day:
Share important memories.
Father’s Day is more than just a reminder that you love your dad. It’s a time to recall the best memories you have with him, a day to really show him that he has made a difference in your life. A powerful way to do this is to recall great memories you have with your dad and write about them. Spend some time to paint a vivid picture of that one great day with dad that you will never forget.
Write from the heart.
Whatever you write, make sure it comes from your heart. That is to say, if you are not the sentimental type but you have a great sense of humor, there is no reason to force deep thoughts on to the page. Hit your dad with your best jokes, the ones that he will really appreciate. On the other hand, if you tend to write flowery prose but you aren’t great at stand-up comedy, don’t try to be overly witty.
When writing the perfect Father’s Day message, the old adage “write what you know” is key to success. Your dad knows your voice and style—he’s probably read your work before. And better yet, he knows and loves you. Stick with what you do, and who you are, and the message will be genuine.
Tell your dad exactly what you really want to say. Don’t be afraid that saying “I love you” is too cliché. Don’t worry that telling your dad, “You’ve always been there for me” is cheesy. Sometimes, keeping it simple and straightforward is the best way to approach a note to dad. If, “Thank you for always being there,” is what you want to say, then say it and say it just like that. You can always expand on this idea later.
Remember that mixed sentiments are not mixed messages.
You can combine different sentiments within the same message. For example, you can mention a touching idea alongside a humorous anecdote. Something like, “Dad, thank you so much for always being there for me…like that one time I ran over an orange cone and we had to use a crowbar to get it out of the wheel well!
For inspiration, here is a list of clever, witty, and touching Father’s Day sentiments.
Say thank you.
Regardless of what else you say in your piece, say thank you to your dad. After all, whether your sentiment is “you have always been there,” “you have given me wisdom,” or “you have always fought for me,” what you really are saying is “thanks for being there,” “thanks for your advice,” or “thanks for fighting for me.” Your father will appreciate being thanked.
Writing the perfect Father’s Day message is a lot harder than it seems. The basic ideas you want to convey, however, are pretty straightforward. And, if you speak from the heart, you’ll rarely go wrong.
What are some of your favorite Father’s Day messages? Share more tips and links in the comments below!