If you’re a parent, then every birthday should be a particularly big day. It’s like mother’s day or father’s day. It’s your opportunity to let go of the reins (almost) entirely for a day. So when daddy’s birthday comes around, you want to make it special. There are a lot of ways to do that, too. Taking the time to celebrate someone is part of a stronger marriage and a strong family. If you’re lucky, you also get to set the precedent for you to get the return treatment in future.
Let’s start with the choice that will have most women painfully deliberating for the longest time. The kind of gift you’re going to get him. I find that the best answer is to get him two (at least). Not only to spoil him as much as you can justifiably afford. But to avoid some of the common traps. The most common being that you might sometimes only go for the style or practical gifts. A man might love a pair of cufflinks or a pair of BBQ tongs. But you should aim to surprise him with something that shows a little more passion. Even if it’s not tremendously valuable. Simple, fun gifts like a funny mug can add just a bit of silliness that a celebratory day needs.
Show him you care
Physical gifts aren’t the only way to make a man’s day really special, either. Try giving the gift of your appreciation as well. Put your feelings in written form. Make him breakfast in bed and attach a love letter of your own. Take time writing it so you have enough space to mull it over before delivering it. Make it warm. Make it romantic, if you like. Add some points of why you’re grateful to have him. You can get your kids to write letters for him as to why they love their dad so much, too. Even the gruffest bear of a man can have his heart cracked open by those.
Get all his friends around for a party
A surprise party is a more traditional idea, but it can still be a great way to make his birthday special. It gives him the opportunity to take a load off and enjoy the company of those he cares about. He gets the bonus of not having to help you plan. Make it festive and family friendly so your kids can enjoy it, too. Just make sure the kids have their space for food so they’re not jostling with hungry adults. Throw up some personalised banners with a funny message for him or a heartfelt declaration. This idea will keep you busy for quite some time, but it’s worth it for him.
Take him out for lunch
Perhaps you want a bit of festivity but a bit less fuss? It’s entirely possible that your man isn’t the kind of person for a big birthday party. If that’s the case, give it a miss. There’s no worse birthday present than having to be somewhere you don’t want to be. Instead, how about you all go out for a nice family lunch? It can be somewhere fancy or somewhere fun like TGI Fridays. Make it one your kids can join you for (fighting desperately to keep them on their best behaviour). This way, it takes away a lot of the effort of organisation and gives you more energy to spend on the family.
Make some alone time
You might want to make the family meal a lunch because you could just as easily keep the evening for yourself. Hire a babysitter for one night or ask a member of the family help out. Be the one to set up the perfect date night. Don’t go for the usual candlelit dinner, however. Think outside the box. It can be as simple as taking an evening stroll down the beach and stopping off for a hot dog after. Take him to a movie of his choice. Take a boat out onto the nearby lake and have a drink on it. You can even get competitive and take him to the arcade. Add a bit of spontaneity to the date and his birthday. There are plenty of man-approved dates out there for inspiration.
Make your own gift
If you really want to surprise him, why not go the extra mile and make him a gift of your own? Like a scrapbook, collecting all your favourite photos and memorabilia from throughout the years. Or something that he could really use like, for example, you. A bit of a rising trend and a really fun idea is the creation of DIY Love coupons you can give to your partner. You can give him a coupon book that’s full of all kinds of favours he can redeem at any time. It can be sweet and romantic like giving him a leg massage. It can be purely helpful like giving him half-a-day off from taking care of the kids. We’ll let you think of those examples yourself.
Hit the road
Your ideas for a birthday celebration don’t have to be so pedestrian either. Particularly if his birthday falls on a weekend, it can be a great idea to take that weekend and just run with it. Take him on a road trip and have an adventure with the kids. Plan an itinerary beforehand and put together all the stuff he will need to have packed in advance. You can surprise him with it if it’s clear he has no plans. There are a lot of routes to explore. Hit up some strange, funny little museums. See some gorgeous landscapes. If you’re in the south of England, for example, try hitting up Bath. A gorgeous old fashioned town and a really romantic spot.
Get out in the wilderness
If spending two-thirds of the day on the road isn’t his idea of fun, however, you can just as easily set up camp and enjoy a bit of peace in one location. A lot of guys love camping trips. They get to set up the tent and create fire, eat as much barbecue as they like and have a beer under the stars. For a really great family trip, you want to hit up some of the more varied national parks like the Lake District. You can go hiking, fishing, have a fun little wildlife spotting game. The wilderness has a certain ability to give you the kind of relaxing experience you wish most family holidays would be.
Get the kids out of the house
You don’t have to go anywhere at all, either. But for this idea, you don’t want the kids around to spoil it. We’re talking about having a romantic night in. About having little else to focus on than each other’s company. Sometimes all you need is a break. Sitting down with him, a bowl of popcorn and a movie is a great way to have one. Just make sure you have the kind of romantic film that men actually like. Sure, you may be using his birthday to have a small break from being a mum. But he’s having a break from being the dad, too, so it’s fair. Family life doesn’t give you enough opportunities to simply enjoy the company of the person you fell in love with. So make the opportunity yourself.
Let him go wild for the night
There’s another way to let him enjoy his birthday, as well. Take a hands-off approach. Giving him the night to go crazy with his guy friends isn’t putting distance between you or being a bad birthday planner. You can still find plenty of ways to have family time in the day. The truth is, however, that sometimes guys just like to cut loose with their friends. To shake off the conservative role of husband and father for a night. The role of the family is constraining on everyone sometimes. Both he and you need nights off from it. So give him a night to get in touch with his inner caveman and sit around a fire with his mates or whatever it is they do.
Get out of your comfort zone
If you two absolutely want to spend some time together, then why not do it by shaking off those conservative roles together? It might be you going to a sports match with him or indulging in his hobby. Or trying out a new hobby together. Neither of you have been fishing? Go for it! Break the mould and try something new together. If he enjoys it, you’ve done a good job. If neither of you enjoy it, at least you can make fun of it together. The point is to just add a bit of a new experience and some excitement to the day.
The above ideas have hopefully planted some inspiration in your head for a great birthday for the daddy of the house. You can stick to one or mix and match. Keep coming back to this list every year. Each new birthday can have a lovely new surprise for the daddy of the house.