Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Angela Vaz

My dad is not a big talker.

He’s one of most quiet people I’ve ever met.

And my mom was the mediator. She was the life of the party and with her around, everything was so much easier.

But things changed when she passed away.

And this year I am celebrating Christmas with my pups but he is coming over on Christmas day.

And I thought this was a great idea for a blog post – how to celebrate Christmas with your father.

So, if you’re spending Christmas with your old man, and want some ideas on how you can make it more special for him – I hope these ideas help you!

give him a present he will love

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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1. Decorate the house together for Christmas

Because I love minimalism, this year I got a small plastic Christmas tree for my dining table that I can reuse every year from Ikea.

We decorated the tree together when we got home and I honestly enjoyed those few minutes because it was something we could do together.

The idea behind spending Christmas with your dad is to bond over things you can do together – like physical activities.

We then hung up some lights around my bookshelves and I asked him for his help setting up some cute lamps.

Think of ways you can decorate the house and ask your dad to help.

Men love helping around the house especially as they grow older because children don’t usually ask for help.

But on the contrary, it actually makes them feel useful and loved. They feel like a huge part of your life when they can contribute to yours.

You can ask your dad for help to:

  • Buy a Christmas tree
  • Set it up and hang the decorations
  • Put up the lights
  • Wrap the presents
  • Grocery shopping for the holidays

Think of different activities that both of you can do together and include your dad in the festivities.

2. Cook a Christmas meal together

cook with your dad

Because my dad likes chicken, I’m going to roast a chicken this year for Christmas and include his favorite stuffing.

But I know it’s going to be a lot of fun going grocery shopping together.

Your dad may or may not enjoy cooking but he is certainly going to love being a part of the process.

If you have a dad that doesn’t like cooking, then at least let him be a part of the shopping.

Ask him for his opinion on dishes he’d like to eat during Christmas.

Reminisce about old times, ask him things like:

  • What did you usually eat on Christmas when you were young?
  • If you could eat anything, what would it be?
  • What does Christmas mean to you?

Bond with your dad.

My dad bonds over fixing stuff in my home.

So, he’s always walking up and about looking for things to improve or fix. And he loves carrying his tools with him.

My dad also likes cutting vegetables, so I usually give him all the veggies to cut – he enjoyed doing this for my mother too so I know it’s something we can bond over.

You can also ask your dad for help regarding desserts – make sure you ask him for his opinions while you’re cooking.

You can also let him taste or sample the cooking and ask him his thoughts on that.

If you and your dad don’t cook, try watching a Youtube recipe and recreating a simple dish from scratch.

If none of this is appealing to you, then order takeout but go pick it up together. Enjoy a car ride with your dad and talk about old times while you’re waiting for your food to get ready.

3. Take him Christmas shopping

go christmas shopping together

My dad loves Ikea and my fiance and I took him shopping at Ikea. We made a whole day out of it where we had breakfast together and then walked around buying some household items.

It was so much fun because it reminded him of when my mom and he would go shopping at Ikea.

Think of something your dad genuinely enjoys buying and then take him shopping.

Buy him something nice and surprise him by paying for it yourself.

Maybe he likes fishing or maybe he likes barbecues.

Take him to an outlet where he is lost looking at all the things he loves. And ask him to pick out something that he likes.

Pay for it and make his day – it’s such a wonderful way to surprise your dad.

If your dad can’t move around a lot and is confined to a bed, then buy him something special and take it to him.

If he already has everything he wants, buy him something he needs.

Some ideas for presents for your father are:

4. Volunteer together

Think of a charity that both you and your dad can volunteer for together.

If you both love animals, you can volunteer at an animal shelter and help out for a whole day.

It’s such a great way to bond and give back to the community.

You can also volunteer together at a soup kitchen.

5. Bake cookies and distribute them to the neighborhood

bake cookies together

If both you and your dad love doing things together, you can bake cookies and distribute them among your neighbors.

There are countless easy recipes on Youtube that you can follow.

Bake the cookies from scratch as cookies only need 10 minutes in the oven pack them up yourselves and distribute them to families in your neighborhood.

You can also make a hand-written Christmas card to go with each cookie packet.

This is a labor-intensive activity and it’s time-consuming but it’s such a wonderful way to bond with your dad and your neighbors.

Christmas is all about celebrating people and giving back to society.

6. See a show together

go to a show together

This depends on what you and your father enjoy together.

If you both enjoy sports, you can go see a game together.

If you both love Star Wars, go and see a Star Wars movie together – they usually release a new movie every year around the holidays.

If your dad likes neither, take him to a comedy club. Both of you can enjoy some warm whiskey or cold beer and laugh at some cool jokes together.

Make a night of it.

Take your dad out for a walk.

Enjoy some quality time together.

If your dad is too old to walk or move around, then you can both sit in a car and drive around town while looking at the lights and the various Christmas displays around your city.

My dad loves visiting churches, so I’m planning to take him around the town and see nativity displays in different churches.

7. Sit together and talk

sit together and talk

I know most of these activities involve doing something but sometimes the best thing you can do with your parent is to sit and talk to them.

Because trust me, it’s all parents want – to sit and talk to their children.

You can make a cup of hot cocoa for yourself and your dad and sit beside the fire and talk about anything and everything.

Talk about current events, politics, the world, and anything his heart desires.

If you’re quiet for long enough, he will talk about the past and honestly, listening is perhaps the greatest gift you can give your father this year.

If you need something to do with your hands, get a puzzle box of 1-2K pieces and do a puzzle together while you talk.

It’s fun – it’s peaceful and a great way to bond.

8. Decorate a gingerbread house together

decorate a gingerbread house together

Both you and your dad can get one of those huge gingerbread house boxes that you can assemble together.

This is a great way to build something together and just bond over talking.

You can also have a competition if your dad and you are competitive.

And listen to Christmas carols while you’re doing it.

It will be fun!

9. Teach him something

teach your dad something

My dad always wants to learn more technological things like online shopping or creating playlists.

The best thing you can do for your dad is patient and teach him everything he wants to know.

This will take a lot of time but watching your dad learn new things and being able to become more independent is going to make you both really happy.

It’s a wonderful way to bond and show your dad that you care about him.

10. Take a family photo

take a family photo together

If it’s just you and your dad, dress up and take a wonderful family photo.

If you have other members in the family, then surprise your dad by showing up at his door one day and asking him to wear his sweater and take a family photo.

Get it printed and give it to him as a present.

It is something he will treasure forever.

11. Do an activity that he enjoys

do an activity that your dad will enjoy

Think about the time your dad has always wanted to do something with you but you’ve never had the time or you were always busy.

Do it now.

If it’s something you’ve been putting off for a while like fishing or seeing a movie together, then do it.

Don’t waste any time and go spend some quality time with your dad.

Your dad will remember this day forever.


At the end of the day, let the holidays be about your father if it’s just you two spending Christmas together.

Do activities that he enjoys.

Make him feel part of the family and give him all the attention he needs.

Your dad only wants to feel loved and be a part of your life, so give him that.

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Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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