A recent survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) claims a record amount will be spent on Father’s Day gifts in 2017. Excellent news for businesses but when I queried my husband on what he wanted and my kids on what they wanted to give, they all said “spend the day together”. Well my hubby just shrugged, and said “aren’t we going camping?” Thus my spend time together interpretation.

We’ve been lucky in that even when fireman daddy works on Father’s Day, we’re able to visit with him at the station. For as long as Father’s Day has pertained to us firsthand, we’ve been together for all of them. In retrospect, I’m sure deep down he’d rather be surfing, but time with the family is what he gets.  

Father’s Day isn’t traditionally a big ‘brunch reservation’ day like Mother’s Day is, and it’s only the 4th largest card-selling holiday (though in Germany, I’m told, men drink all day at beer gardens). It didn’t even become an officially recognized holiday until 58 years after Mother’s Day was made official.

This idea that the head of the household must be a strong figure makes for overt sentiment getting tossed to the wayside in a silly attempt to protect the manly notion of manliness. When researching Father’s Day, I ran across this gem, exclaiming many men “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself”. Yeah, I had the same reaction. It’s time to realize that sentiment and manliness can coexist.

Maybe it’s news of terrorist attacks, and people dying in the path of oncoming trains, and firemen falling to their death from ladders during training or maybe it’s just me. As a woman, I’ve no manliness to domesticate so by society’s standards, I am allowed to feel but the truth is, time is fleeting, time is precious. Five years ago, my father-in-law passed away at the very end of May and last year, my biological dad passed away a few days before Father’s Day. My dear friend lost her father this week. These are holes in our lives, so we need to celebrate, as sentimentally as possible, who and where we can.

From active gifts such as deep sea fishing and golf to technology (noise-canceling headphones, TVs, tablets, drones – you name it, you can find it) to a silly tie, the gifting options this Father’s Day are endless. But honestly, the best gift of all is just time.

Time with each other, to appreciate the joy of parenting, of being parented, of being a role model, of just being there.

Because that is the best part of fatherhood, being there. Ok I’m a mom so I don’t really know, I’m just assuming that’s the best part. Don’t mind me, over here, tossing around sentimentality again.

In all seriousness, being adopted, my favorite Father’s Day quote is, “anyone can be a father, but it takes someone very special to be a dad.” Because that is the truth. You have to show up, and you have to care. And for that, you should be recognized by your kids and loved ones.

So bust out the sentiment along with the BBQ and enjoy every minute, together. Happy Father’s Day!

 

A Few Fun Facts:

  • The official Father’s Day flower is a rose. A red rose is worn in the lapel if your father is living, a white rose if he is deceased.
  • It is believed that the word “Dad” dates back to as early as the sixteenth century.
  • Census data from 2015 states there are more than 70.1 million dads in the U.S.
  • More than 214,000 men are stay-at-home dads.
  • Two million fathers are single.
  • The person credited for inventing the concept of Father’s Day is a woman, one Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, an American whose father raised his six children single-handedly after his wife died in childbirth.