The annual glut of Father’s Day advertising is upon us. I dread card shopping this time of year. Rows and rows of cards with irksome, insulting stereotypes that suggest the men in our lives are beer-swilling, remote control hogging goofballs who break anything they try to fix – really? Is that the best the card industry can do?

In this month when we honor the Dads in our lives, I challenge you to do something different: sidestep the card aisle, save yourself from buying an overpriced piece of paper filled with someone else’s (usually awful and inaccurate) words, and instead, thank Dad in your own way.

In my house, there’s a guy who will wake up early to make Green Eggs and Ham – just because it would have been Dr. Seuss’s birthday. His Hanna Barbera impressions are spot-on – not even the four-legged children in our house miss Daddy’s Scooby Doo bedtime stories. And his paternal prowess reigns supreme now that we’re in the stage of “I’m not eating that.” Did you know how much your kids can flip out (in a good way) over nitrates shaped like sailboats, pirates, and ponies?! The man’s got mad hotdog prep skills, I tell you.

So how will I say thanks this year (for this, and the million other little things he does for the sake of family sanity?) Ok sure, cards are an obligatory ritual, so of course I will get him one. Maybe on the opposite end of the aisle? Away from the belches and pictures of inept golfers, and onto the ones that wax soap opera sentimental? Box checked.

Better yet? While sentiments are lovely, shared experiences are better. Grab your group, and make a memory. With all the events happening in and around Hoover this month, you’ve got plenty of opportunity.

For example…

You could just buy your Dad the latest bestseller. Or, you could take him to the Library. Show him why the grandkids are so jazzed about summer reading. From Dinoman to Madcap Puppets to Safari Greg, each week in June at the Library is jam-packed with fun-filled events!

You could give him a gift certificate to … fill in the blank. Or, you could put that dough towards learning a hobby you both can enjoy. Like at the “Hydrangea Propagation Workshop,” happening June 8th from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Aldridge Gardens. I will add here that one of the most meaningful gifts I ever received from my Dad was a brown paper sack full of Canna bulbs from his backyard. I planted them along the fence in my own backyard, and I think of him each time they bloom. Mutual green thumb = good memories.

You could take him out to eat just anywhere. Or, you could (shameless self-plug) graze tapas-style on fare from the more than 40 Hoover area restaurants who will be serving up their best at the 2nd Annual Taste of Hoover event (also at our beloved Aldridge Gardens). It all happens June 13th from 5 to 8 p.m. Did I mention there will be live entertainment?

You could be predictable. Like going to see a summer blockbuster at Carmike with everybody else. Or you could step out into a balmy June night for one of Hoover’s first Free Friday Flicks! The films will air at Veteran’s Park each Friday starting June 7th.

You get the idea. It’s all about time thoughtfully spent together. No tacky Father’s Day cards required.

Happy June!

Rebecca

Originally published in the June 2013 issues of the Vestavia Voice and the Hoover Sun.