What a special time ... an opportunity to recognize the “father figure” in our lives, whether it be a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a favorite uncle, a brother, a best-friend kind of cousin, a special friend to the family or just any man who has served young people in a fatherly role.
It’s a special day for them all ... a chance perhaps to sleep late, enjoy breakfast in bed, enjoy a leisurely read of the newspaper, watch some TV, take the family on an outing, be taken to lunch without springing for the tab or just any activity that recognizes someone as a much-adored, greatly-loved father figure.
Popular Father’s Day gifts? The list is endless ... clothing, jewelry, cologne, books by favorite authors, gift cards, home-baked goodies, movie passes ... even the customary neckties, socks and handkerchiefs are still in style among those men who use them regularly.
A gift of growing popularity is a “free day” given by the entire family which grants the father figure 24 hours free from day-to-day issues, headaches and family problems. No one approaches the father with a question. No one asks for money. No one seeks permission or requests a favor. No one borrows the car. Everyone just leaves the father to himself to enjoy a brief respite from the cares of everyday life.
To some father figures, this “quiet” or “down” time is a small slice of heaven. Others favor the norm ... spending time with family, enjoying some rare togetherness or perhaps basking in the comfort of a family picnic or backyard barbecue.
The list of ways to make a father happy on this special day is limitless.
Speaking of Father’s Day ... did you know that contrary to popular belief it was not established as a holiday in order to help greeting card companies sell more products? Truth is, when Father’s Day was first proposed there were no Father’s Day cards.
Mrs. John B. Dodd of Washington state is credited with proposing the idea of a Father’s Day in 1909. She wanted a way ... and a day ... to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran whose wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.
Here are a few more notables about Father’s Day:
- The first Father’s Day was observed June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Wash.
- Ironically, at about the same time other people in various towns and cities across America were reported to have begun celebrating Father’s Day in some fashion.
- In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day.
- In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
Doesn’t it seem odd that Father’s Day as we know it has been an official third-Sunday holiday for only 44 years? Like the memory of long-passed father figures, Father’s Day is eternal.
It is a special moment of honor.
It is a time of memorial.
But most importantly, it is a rare chance to share our love for a day with those who have given us theirs for a lifetime.