Raleigh, N.C. — One year, I forgot Father’s Day. I did. I admit it. I was seven months pregnant with my second child and weary from a day of travel to the beach house that we share with my in-laws each year and all of the packing and preparations before the trip.
I didn’t realize I’d missed it until the end of the week. I had nothing to give my husband. I hadn’t even called my own father. I didn't even wish my wonderful father-in-law a happy day. I will always feel absolutely horrible about it.
Thankfully, none of them really minded. At least that’s what they told me. But I’ve always made it a point to mark Father’s Day each year in some special way since then. If we’re headed to the beach that weekend, we celebrate what we call “Father’s Day observed” on some earlier date so something special happens.
When it comes to gifts, we focus on handmade items. Homemade cards and pictures from the kids. A simple, but special meal somewhere. My husband’s current favorite restaurant is Chuck’s in downtown Raleigh.
But I do always get him a little something else too … usually focusing on gifts of food or experiences like sports tickets. Because, seriously, how many dads need another tie rack or drill each June.
Here are some things that may or may not be gifted to my husband this month:
1. Slingshot Coffee. This Raleigh-made bottled cold brew coffee comes ready-to-drink or in concentrate. My husband, a coffee lover, found this coffee last year and it turned up in his stocking for Christmas. He’s a fan. It’s great for iced coffee lovers, especially. Plus, it comes in a fun bottle. The website features a variety of adult drinks that you can make with the coffee, but there’s also a smoothie recipe that sounds like a delicious way to start off Father’s Day.
2. North Carolina made craft beer. The beer industry in North Carolina is growing and we’re lucky to have a variety of great brews made here in the Triangle and across the state. NCBeerGuys rated their favorite crafts beers here on the Out & About blog in April. The Aviator Brewing Company in Fuquay-Varina and Big Boss Brewing Company in Raleigh were on the list, and there are many more out there.
3. Meat. I’m talking beef, pork, chicken, and also other proteins including seafood. While you certainly can pick up a slab at the grocery store, you also can check in with local farmers to try out some of their products. You can go big and sign up for meat to be delivered to your door every week or month. Or you can just order what you need for a meal. LocalHarvest offers a good database of local farmers and allows you to search by product. Most farmers’ markets in the region have booths with meats and seafood too.
4. Sports tickets. One of my own family’s favorite outings is a trip to see a local sports team play. We have so many to choose from – Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats, Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina Railhawks and all of the college teams. You can buy tickets for a game this week or make a date for something later this year. And while the college football and basketball teams get most of the attention, don’t forget all those other sports. We have had just as much fun at women’s basketball, volleyball and soccer games for a fraction of the price.
5. A tie. OK … I said it. But I’m not just talking about any tie. I’m talking about something from High Cotton or Lumina, both Raleigh shops that feature North Carolina-made products. High Cotton offers bow ties, pocket squares and shirts, along with items for boys, girls and women (you could all be matchy matchy with matching bow ties and headbands). Lumina features all things men need including ties, trousers, shirts and all sorts of other accessories.