You're back at work or school on Monday and everyone is chatting about their weekends. Lots of stories of fun afternoons spent with Dad, tossing around the football and catching up. Actually, there seems to be an awful lot of talk about fathers … then it hits you: Father's Day was yesterday and you completely forgot!
Most Dads won't point it out if their kids forgot Father's Day, but they should. Dads deserve a day of recognition and even if they don't show it, they do notice when the kids forget. You've made a major gaffe and it's going to take more than a hokey Father's Day gift to make it up. But don't worry, we can help you set things right:
Call and apologize
The first things you've got to do are call immediately and apologize profusely. No Dad is going to fall for a "surprise" party the day after Father's Day, and don't try to shower him with excuses for your forgetfulness - you shouldn't emphasize that there are things in your life that are more important than he is. Instead, simply say you're sorry and promise to make it up to him.
Now that you've told Dad you're sorry, you've got to show it. Book some time with him in advance. Don't assume that he'll be available the next weekend, but ask him when he's got some free time, then start planning your Father's Day ideas.
Think about what kind of Dad you've got. What are his hobbies? What does he do on the weekends? What is his favorite sport? Start with the basics and build from there. Plan to take him to a baseball game then out for dinner, or put together a picnic lunch and go hiking together. Rent a boat or get his cleaned up and arrange for a fishing trip. Whatever you do, be sure your belated Father's Day ideas involve a lot of one-on-one time that you can use to catch up with Dad. And remember, the activities you plan should be ones you know Dad enjoys. Go even further and pick up a Father's Day gift that he can use during your planned activities or one that you can assemble together.
Write it down
This is the trickiest part of your apology. Getting him a thoughtful Father's Day gift is one thing, but writing out what he means to you is another.
Guys and emotions don't always mix well, so think about your relationship with Dad and use that as a gauge for how sentimental your card should be. Don't just grab any random one off the rack and sign your name. Put some thought into picking a card, then write a few heartfelt lines in it. You don't have to take the road to Sapsville, but talk about things that you admire about him or share the most important lesson you've learned from him. Tell him that you're proud of him and thank him for making the sacrifices it takes to support a family. Don't mention that you forgot Father's Day though - just let that lie.
To be sure you're not caught in the same predicament next year, put Post-It Notes on your calendar or make notes in your day planner for a few weeks before Father's Day, as a reminder. Plan your Father's Day ideas well in advance next time, and remind others so they don't have the same misfortune.