Father’s Day is here again. Have you got any good ideas to show my dad how much I think of him?
Dear Grateful Son,
Celebrating fatherhood may have its origins in pagan sun worship. In some types of paganism, the sun is the father of the universe and celebrations are held around the June solstice. Father’s Day itself may have begun as a Catholic holiday in the Middle Ages, first celebrated on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19.
In the early 20th century, Father’s Day became commemorated on the third Sunday in June in the United States and was made a national holiday, in 1972, by President Richard M. Nixon. Father’s Day is now observed around the world, including in Canada.
Father’s Day is a time to show one’s love and appreciation for one’s father or father figure, such as stepfather, guardian, foster father, father-in-law, and uncle. Special gifts such as books, aftershave, candy, flowers, clothing, electronics, or sporting equipment are frequently given. Purchased or homemade cards are often added to the gift. Sometimes the men are treated to special meals at home, such as pancake breakfasts in bed. Other times dads are taken to restaurants for more elaborate meals. Phone calls and video chats are used to make connections and have great conversations. Perhaps one of these ideas will help you, Grateful Son.
My preference, however, is to create a warm and wonderful memory by spending quality time alone with your father in a special one-on-one activity. Long after that golf shirt has been through the wash a dozen times and the aftershave bottle is empty, the memory of the time spent in an event or activity done just with him will live on, to be cherished and enjoyed over and over in the future.
The value of memories has been captured in numerous songs, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Memory‘ from the Broadway musical ‘Cats.’ According to musicologist Jessica Sternfeld, ‘Memory‘ might be “the most successful song ever from a musical.” Over 150 artists have covered it from Barry Manilow to Celine Dion, and by 2006 there were over 600 recorded versions. How powerful is the following stanza?
‘Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can dream of the old days, life was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again.’
Memories give life meaning and help us get through times when loved ones leave us. They enrich our lives. They help us reflect on the past. According to Psychology Today, memories help define who we are and create our worldview. “Like a character made of Legos, we’re built of blocks of memories that all fit together to form our consciousness.”
So why not spend some time with your father on Father’s Day doing something together that will be especially memorable. Perhaps you can participate in a charity run together, go camping together, go fishing together, go sky-diving together, go to a Blue Jays game together, go kayaking together, or go to a musical concert together. Planning and carrying out such an activity with your father that gives him quality time together with you could create a memory that will bring him repeated moments of happiness for years to come.
I will finish with a few quotes about fathers which might inspire you:
“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but the guiding light whose love shows us the way.”— Unknown
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”— Billy Graham
“If I could be anything in life, I would be a good father.”— Barack Obama
Happy Fathers’ Day to your dad. He is lucky to have such a caring son.
I’m looking forward to your questions! Email me at [email protected] and please put Heart to Heart in the subject line. All columns will remain anonymous.