There are so many great ways you can honor your dad or grandpa, whether Father’s Day is fast approaching, your dad or grandpa has recently passed away, or it’s just another normal day. After all, you don’t always need a special reason to honor your loved ones! We should be showing our father figures what they mean to us whenever those feelings may arise.
In this article, we’ll discuss opportunities and holidays when you can honor your dad or grandpa. Additionally, it will cover some of the best ways to honor them—separated by the distinctions that they are either alive, or they have passed on. Depending on the situation, you will find fitting ways to celebrate them and their impact on your life. We will cover both traditional and modern, creative ideas for tributes honoring your father or grandfather.
Firstly, let’s talk about some purposes which can serve as inspiration to you to honor your dad or grandpa. You don’t always need a reason, but sometimes it can help to be reminded of the things we tend to forget in everyday life. Take a look at some of the reasons you can pay tribute to grandpa or dad.
Your dad or grandpa might have played a big part in your life, and therefore you could feel compelled to pay them tribute in some way. This is probably the most common reason people honor their family members—they feel it’s an appropriate way to thank them for everything they did.
This can work for the death of dad or grandpa, or also to pay them tribute while they’re still living.
A great reason to honor your loved one is for all the times in your life that they were there to support you. It can serve as a “thank you” for everything the father figure in your life has done for you.
If your dad or grandfather was your rock through the bad times, and your biggest fan during the good times, this is a perfect motivation for honoring them.
Another fitting purpose for honoring you father or grandfather might be that they raised you by themselves. Being a single parent can be extremely hard work, and it’s never a bad time to recognize a parent for this.
Show him how much you appreciate his sacrifices and dedication to helping you have a good life.
It’s always touching when someone plays the father role to someone who isn’t their child, yet they genuinely care about them. This could be a step-father, grandfather, an uncle, or even a godparent or family friend who might’ve taken you in as a child for one reason or another.
Alternatively, this could be someone who felt like a father to you because they were simply around when you needed them most, while your biological dad wasn’t. If you have one of these kinds of figures in your life, it would be a wonderful reason to have a memorial for them. Sometimes, blood isn’t the only thing that makes us family.
Everyone must process their grief at some point, but the route they go to grieve may vary from person to person. Honoring your deceased father or grandfather is the perfect way to also help process your grief.
Of course we think every day is a terrific way to show dad or grandpa how much they mean to you. There are holidays however that provide an ideal time to show dad or grandpa the love they are deserving of.
Father’s Day would a great day to celebrate your father, or anyone in your life who has been like a father to you. Whether you were going to get him another watch or toolkit this year, honoring him will certainly outshine those things.
Father’s Day gifts are always so hard to decide on anyway—having a memorial for your father can save you from hours of searching for a gift that he may not even need. People don’t need material things as much as they need to feel loved and appreciated.
Many people still don’t know there is a day designated for grandparents, but we’re so glad there is one! Grandparents can be the sweetest, most supportive people in one’s life.
They’re the ones who often spoil and nurture us lovingly, so we should certainly return the favor on Grandparents Day by honoring them.
This is another idea for when to honor a dad or grandpa. If they served our country in a war, Veteran’s Day would be a very fitting day to pay them tribute.
This is do-able whether they are still alive or not. Make them feel special for the sacrifices they made in their service.
Thanksgiving is another great day to pay homage to a father or granddad. After all, this holiday is all about giving thanks and highlighting the things in our lives we are grateful for.
Show them you’re thankful for their role in your life by honoring them on this fitting holiday.
Christmas is also a wonderful opportunity to have a memorial to dad or grandpa. This is a holiday of time spent with family and loved ones, so it’s perfect for showing them how much they mean to you.
Instead of any normal old gift, give them the gift of a tribute to their life and what they mean to you.
Honoring your dad and grandpa would be an amazing birthday gift for them. The whole point of birthdays is to make the person feel special and loved.
It’s a celebration of them and their life. If any occasion was appropriate for paying tribute, it’s this one.
A wedding is a huge event in someone’s life. In fact, many people claim that their wedding day was the best/happiest day of their life, and that’s how it should be! Everyone comes together for the marriage of two people who love each other—and they come to celebrate those people and the fact that they have found each other.
In itself, a wedding is like a tribute to both people and who they have become thus far. Therefore, a wedding is an ideal time to show your dad or grandpa some extra love by showering them with appreciation.
If you find yourself unsure of what to get your father or grandfather to celebrate their wedding anniversary, consider making them a tribute to their life! There’s not much that’s more deep or meaningful than showing your loved one that you appreciate them for who they are and what their presence in your life has meant to you.
Just try not to upstage their partner’s anniversary gift! Better yet—you could include them in on the tribute, which would make things easier for both of you.
There are so many ways you can show honor to your dad or grandpa, but the method you choose will obviously differ between them being alive or having passed on. See the two below sections for each situation, and find both unique and traditional ideas for paying tribute to your granddad or father’s life.
You could take the man of honor to see a movie you both would like, go for a beer at a local favorite spot and play pool, or any other activity he really enjoys. The outing could also be something for old times’ sake, like fishing, camping, or something else that reminds you of good times you spent together in your childhood.
They might also like enjoy the idea of having a get-together where you invite those who love him such as his friends and other family members. You could try and get those who live out of town to make the trip, too, and surprise him with their presence.
Is his favorite hobby playing a sport? Traveling? Carve some special time out for him to honor your loved one by doing his hobbies with him.
For example, if he loves cooking, you could tell him you’re cooking a meal together one night. Alternatively, you could cook a meal for him and have him judge how you did. Make him feel like an expert, and let him impart more of his wisdom onto you if he enjoys doing so.
If they need some down time, let them relax and do whatever they want to do for a day while you take over their usual responsibilities. You could even book a massage for them as well for the ultimate relaxing day!
You could also make them their favorite meal or bake them a dessert they love. This could go along with a day of relaxation, or combined with any other ways to honor dad or grandpa that we have listed. It’s a great addition to latch onto a tribute for them.
Every man tends to have a project that still needs finishing around the house—at least from time to time. If that sounds like your father or grandfather, help them nip it in the bud. Tackle the project with them and achieve two things at once by spending quality time with them, and helping them get momentum back in getting things done.
We all get a little stagnant sometimes, but it feels so good to achieve something. Achievements actually release dopamine, one of the ‘happy chemicals,’ according to a Psychology Today article. This includes home projects hanging over our shoulders! Help your loved one get a win today and feel happier.
Take them to go see their favorite team play! This might be a great way to bond and spend some special time with you father or grandpa. It would be especially significant if it represents time you used to spend together in the past.
If they enjoy a good beer or other type of drink, this would be a good thing to add on to the special day you have planned for them. Some people open up more over a drink, so it would be a great method of honoring your dad or granddad and also having some bonding time.
If the father figure (or granddad) in your life has a prized muscle car or motorcycle, wash it and take it out together! If it needs fixing up first, then that can be the first step in the process. You can help them get it ready for the road again.
Honoring your dad or grandpa can be as simple as having a movie night together and watching their favorite movie of all time. If they’re a movie buff, this might become a binge session. You could make the day of it, or couple it with another honoring activity.
A cool and fun way to honor your dad or grandpa would also be to take them on a day trip somewhere. You could take the trip with their favorite muscle/sports car, if they have one.
Go to a spot they love, but maybe haven’t been in a while; or, you could take them somewhere new where you can be in nature, have a beer, and just reflect on life together.
A weekend trip could be an unforgettable memory you create together. If you both have the time, you should definitely consider this one.
Whether your dad or granddad loves travel and going on adventures, or they just need to get out of town for a few days, this is a wonderful way of honoring them and spending quality time.
Honoring your dad or granddad can be as simple as doing one of their favorite activities. Doing so will be sure to make it feel as though they’re present. This could be a trip to their favorite restaurant, a lake or park they frequented, or any other such activities.
You honor your dad and granddad by simply talking to your kids about them, who they were, and what they meant to you. Maybe share a favorite lesson that you learned from them with your children.
Portray what exactly he stood for, and in the same breath, help to keep their memory alive with the little ones he cared about (or would have cared about).
A nice tribute to your loved one would be having a nice meal with family and friends who cared about him. Have a toast in their name, honoring them and dedicating the night to them.
You might even save a chair for them where they would’ve been sitting, particularly if they had a favorite chair.
Have a day once a week or once a month where you visit their grave. You could bring your kids and other family members, and maybe even have a picnic there. Make sure to pick a day with nice weather!
This is a meaningful, unique way to honor your loved one. Planting a tree is a natural memorial method which also creates new life in the death of your granddad or dad. You can buy a tree from any store that sells plants and shrubbery, and find a fitting spot where you’re allowed to plant things.
Alternatively, you can order a tree to your door made for memorial tree planting, such as Tree 2 My Door.
Donating money, or your time, to their favorite charity is a great way to honor them. That charity will have represented a cause they cared about greatly, and will certainly be a form of tribute to them in their death. Plus, you’ll be giving something to others in need, which in itself will feel pretty good.
If you enjoy creative activities, you might like making a scrapbook dedicated to your dad or grandpa. This is a wonderful route for paying homage to your loved one, and summarizing their life up in a beautifully visual and meaningful way.
It’s also something that you can share with friends and family. You could transport it anywhere and let his memory live on by displaying it proudly to those who loved him.
You can honor your loved one simply by listening to his favorite music. If it was oldies/classics, then shamelessly blast it on a road trip. Play it in his memory whenever you want to feel close to him again.
Watching old home movies is one of the best ways to reconnect and remember your dad or granddad. This can open your eyes to how much he loved and care for you and your family.
It can make the house feel like he’s there again, in some way. It will also bring about lots of nostalgia.
You can always donate to the hospital wing that cared for him in his final weeks or days. Or, you could donate to something else they cared about a lot, like a school they taught at, etc.
A great way of honoring your father or grandfather consistently is to create a yearly tradition in their name. This can be starting—or ensuring to continuance of—a family reunion on their behalf.
It could also be a simple barbecue where you invite over loved ones and share stories and memories about the man of the hour.
If you’ve got editing and video recording skills, tell their story in an unforgettable way by creating a documentary-style film of their life. You can put clips from video footage from their life events throughout the film with a voiceover narration. The rest of it can comprise of interviews of their close friends, family members, and others who they positively impacted in their life.
In fact, it’s amazing for the loved ones of the deceased to hear about the ways they added meaning to people’s lives who their family never even met. This could be people they worked with, their patients or clients, etc. Open yours and your family’s eyes to how large your dad or granddad’s impact really was on the world by seeking out others who knew him and interviewing them on the sides they saw of him that you might not have.
If there was a place where they spent a lot of time, such as reading or feeding ducks at their favorite park, you could buy a park bench to name after them. This will put a little placard on the bench, dedicating it to them. You can often put their birth, death, and a little message.
Check out this Garden Benches article for more information on memorial park benches.
Memorial jewelry is one of the most creative and unique ways to honor a father of grandfather. It’s a way to symbolize the meaning this person had, and continues to have, on you and your life. In fact, you could get a piece of memorial jewelry for a few of their family members and friends who are mourning them. It can also be a great gift to pay tribute to them while they are still alive. See the different options you could look into below.
This has become quite popular because it represents a beautiful way to commemorate someone in a way unique as their fingerprint. This one could also be a gift you give to them, with your fingerprint engraved on the pendant.
There are fingerprint pendants that hold ashes, as well, if your grandfather of father is deceased. There are many different types of jewelry on which you can put a fingerprint engraving. Check out some of our favorite tribute pieces of jewelry.
Jewelry can also be engraved with photos to honor someone you loved. It’s a wonderful way to keep a visual memory of them close to you. This type of jewelry would also work great as gifts to others who are mourning their loss. Take a look at some of the most popular types of photo engravable jewelry.
These days, lots of people are memorializing their loved ones by using cremation jewelry to hold the ashes of the deceased. It’s a way of being able to carry a piece of them with you wherever you go, all in a stylish piece of jewelry.
Peruse the trendy styles available for cremation jewelry with which you can commemorate your dad or grandpa in the above link.
Honoring dad or grandpa can be done solo and it can also be done with the love and support of family and friends. Here are a few suggestions on how you can share in honoring a man you love.
Invite your siblings, cousins, and other relatives to help out with planning the tribute. They’ll appreciate the involvement in an event honoring someone they, too, cared about. They can also give good insight on what they would or wouldn’t like, since they know/knew him, too.
Any kids can help out with small tasks as well. Whether it’s your kids, or other extended family of your father/grandfather, they’ll be happy to be able to say that they’ve helped.
You could also ask some of your friends to get involved, too. Delegate as many tasks as you can to anyone willing to help out—especially if they had a relationship with your loved one!
Your co-workers might want to get involved, too. Check to see who’s available to help out on the day of the memorial event. Additionally, if they were still working, you might want to reach out to their coworkers, too.
Your loved one have/had people they interact with in their community, such as allotments, playing bingo, or doing some kind of community service together. They might be interested in helping out!
Your dad or grandpa might have been close friends with his neighbors, so these might be good people to involve in your plans. If your loved on is still alive, you could even utilize their neighbors to distract them while you plan the tribute for them. You could make it a surprise and even plan it in their home while they’re spending time with the neighbor.
If you’re looking for more ideas on ways to honor dad or grandpa, you could use other sources. For example, you can post online in various social platforms for ideas. You could also ask members of your church, friends and family, and even your therapist. Find out specific ways these resources can help below.
Online, you could ask for advice and ideas on platforms such as Quora, Reddit, Facebook, and even Instagram. Questions are actually proven to get more engagement than other posts, so you’ll be sure to get some interaction from your friends online. Pinterest is another great place to go as its whole purpose is to spur ‘Pinspiration’ in its users. You can search almost anything and find ideas there.
Members of your church might be good people to ask for ideas on honoring a loved one—especially if they have memorialized someone before. They will likely share your values, and maybe even your tastes, since you attend the same church. You might get some great ideas from them.
Your family and friends are a good source of advice about ways to honor your father or grandfather because they know you the best. They also probably know/knew your grandpa or dad, so they will have some valuable insight on what methods might be the most fitting for paying them tribute.
Your grief counselor or therapist can give great insight on this as well. They have likely heard a lot about your life—and the people in it. Plus, there’s a chance they have given advice on memorials before, or at least have been exposed to them. They will have some idea of what works and what doesn’t. They can also likely give you tips on how to get the most out of the experience.
Here are a few resources for finding a good therapist for you:
Find below some of the more frequently asked questions when it comes to honoring dad or grandpa.
You should write your thoughts and feelings. Write whatever has been on your mind, and use the card as an outlet. Say whatever you would if he were still here. Overall, you should write down whatever you feel would be the most therapeutic for you.
Honoring your grandparents can happen in many different ways, whether they are deceased or still around. You could name an event in their honor, such as your wedding day, a family reunion, or the birth or baptism of your child. Similarly, you could name your child after them in their first or middle names if you and your partner both agree.
Whatever way you choose to honor them, make sure you go with one that you feel good about, and that feels fitting to your relationship with your grandparents.
You can comfort someone during Father’s Day who has lost their dad by being there to support and listen to them. If they want to spend time reminiscing about their dad, be present with them for it (if they’d like).
You could suggest watching old videos or looking through cards their dad might have sent to them over the years. You could also have a drink to commemorate their dad on this day, or go with them to a grave site visit for support.
If they are very recently mourning the death of dad, you could offer to help them plan a very special memorial service.
You might also suggest going with them somewhere meaningful to their father where they might want their ashes spread (if they were cremated). Make a day of it. The main idea is to help them understand the day can still be a special day—even if their dad isn’t around anymore.
First, you could take a look at other tributes that have been written to get an idea for the things people mention, and the tone they use. Then, reflect on the special things your dad did for you in particular.
Think about the kind of man he was, and the impact he had on your life. What were the most positive ways in which he affected you? Think about the best times you had together. Start putting all those thoughts and memories down onto paper.
You can also consider starting with an anecdote of one of your favorite memories—ideally one that was exemplary in the kind of person your dad was. You could write what you would want to say to them if they were still here.
Decide whether you want the mood to be lighthearted, funny, uplifting, sad, or all of the above. You can then get some feedback from others to see if it comes across the way you’d like, but overall say what feels both healing for you, and that also honors your dad appropriately.
There are few ways you can honor a deceased grandfather, or any other relative at your wedding. You could:
Just keep in mind any guests who will be attending that might be sensitive to the concept of death before deciding anything. This would be particularly important if your grandfather passed away quite recently.
If your parent was abusive and/or toxic to you throughout your life, it can seem impossible knowing what to say or do, and how to handle their death altogether. It’s best in these situations to try and find the positive moments you remember, if you can.
Remember that they are human…try to not judge them for their mistakes too much. You don’t have to lie or fake that your relationship was great—you can bluntly admit that it wasn’t. While speaking or writing about them, though, it’ll be best to skip the negative details and try focusing on the good things.
If there is nothing you can think of to say about them that is positive, it might be best to refrain from speaking at all. You can try assisting with their memorial in other ways, like helping to carry out the behind-the-scenes tasks that need to be done.
You might also benefit from writing a letter voicing your disappointment, and addressing all the things you needed that they didn’t provide for you. Keep it to yourself, and let it be an outlet and way of processing your true feelings. Resolve to then break the cycle of their abuse and live your life differently.
If you feel it’s time to carry out some tributes in memory of your dad or grandpa, consider the many options out there by checking out some of the more traditional ideas as well as the modern and creative ways you can honor them. First, think about your intentions behind paying them tribute. This can center your energies into the right place for setting up a memorial, helping to put you into a good headspace.
Then, think about the different holidays you might want to use as potential dates for the event. Lastly, remember to involve other people who also care about your loved ones you are wanting to honor. Delegate tasks to others to keep it from becoming too cumbersome. Overall, enjoy honoring your dad or grandpa. Make sure you’re completely present so you can fully appreciate the experience, and get everything out of it that you needed.
April 20, 2021 by Frances Kay