Social distancing and stay at home orders may mean the Father’s Day celebrations you originally planned need to change. But whether you’re living at home with dad, or across the country, our ideas can help you make Father’s Day 2020 one to remember.

How did Father’s Day start?

For the cynics who think Father’s Day is a modern invention to sell cards and gifts, its origins are way older and more sincere. Back in 1909, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, the daughter of a civil war veteran who raised six children alone, first came up with the idea to officially honor fathers during a Mother’s Day service at her local church (although father and mother celebrations can be traced back to pagan times).

Dodd’s petition to dedicate the third Sunday in June to celebrate Father’s Day was well-supported and her hometown of Spokane, Washington held the first such celebration in June 1910. However, despite localized observances and Dodd’s continued efforts, it wasn’t until 1966 that the day was more widely recognized as a holiday, and only in 1972 that it became an officially recognized federal holiday.1

How to celebrate Father’s Day 2020

We can’t all create a national holiday to honor fathers like Dodd’s dad. However, in the spirit of Dodd, the best celebrations and gifts are those that show how much you care – and they don’t have to cost the earth. In fact, with our recent survey results showing that Boomers are more confident about their financial futures than other generations, a gift from the heart may mean far more. Here’s some ideas to think about.

1.     The way to a man’s heart - food

Food can help show how much you care. Whether it’s baking sweet treats to send, planning a BBQ at home, sending him a feast from a food delivery service, or cooking something special together, choosing food that you know your Dad enjoys and sharing it with them is a great choice

2.    Virtual celebrations

Even if you’re socially distant or can’t travel this year, you can still celebrate virtually with your Dad. Inviting family members to be part of a video call and sharing memories about special times can be a great way to connect. Many apps allow people to interact virtually through watching movies or playing games ‘together’ too, which can help give a purpose to the call, particularly if participants are nervous.

3.    Homemade from the heart

Spending time making a gift means a lot, and the internet is full of great ideas to inspire you. You could create a framed collage of special moments in your lives, a memoir of adventures you’ve shared, a keychain out of something meaningful (maybe a fishing tie or golf tee), or even write a verse.

4.    A gift that keeps giving

Educational institutions have responded to the stay at home message by creating a raft of free or low-cost online courses. If your Dad has ever hankered after learning a new language or trying a new hobby, now could be the perfect time to get started.

5.    Take a virtual trip

You may not be able to take the day out you had planned, but many museums and galleries around the world are offering virtual tours, musicians are streaming concerts, and theatres are screening shows. There’s sure to be something to interest your father and sharing it will make it even more special.  

6.    Special delivery

Even if you can’t be there with your Dad, you can still get gifts delivered. You could choose between a one-off gift or purchase a subscription. A father interested in fine wine, for example, may enjoy membership of a wine club, whilst those amateur sports enthusiasts may welcome a subscription to a specialist magazine.

7.     Create now, redeem later

Gift vouchers for a favorite store or experience are a tried and trusted choice. For something a little different, you could try creating your own vouchers – perhaps for breakfast in bed, washing the car, or even for a post-COVID hiking or fishing trip.

Whatever your choice, showing that you’ve thought about your Dad this Father’s Day will mean a lot, especially to those who have been apart for some time. For those struggling to adapt, sharing some top tips on how to cope may be especially helpful.  With careful thought and planning, you could make Father’s Day this year one to remember – for the right reasons.

1 “Father’s Day 2020: History and Celebration Ideas, ”Farmers’ Almanac. Accessed June 11, 2020.  https://www.farmersalmanac.com/when-fathers-day


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Media contact
Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-6955
Kevin_B_Maher@newyorklife.com

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