Father’s Day: The long and short of it

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Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June each year in the United States. Many other countries celebrate that same day, however, some countries acknowledge Dear ol’ Dad at other times. Guess that’s ok, as long as Dad gets the attention he deserves!

Father’s Day – some history:
Father’s Day in the United States is nearly 100 years old, and technically reaches that milestone in 2008.

Begun on July 5th, 1908, in the state of West Virginia, Father’s Day is thought to have been inspired by tragic loss of life in a West Virginia mining disaster in December, 1907, when 361 men, many of whom were fathers, lost their lives.

It is thought also that another event in the state of Washington played a part in promoting Father’s Day celebrations.

A woman from Creston, Washington, an only daughter of a Civil War veteran single father of six, became inspired to promote Father’s Day when she heard a sermon about Mother’s Day. Since she held her father in the highest esteem, she influenced Father’s Day celebrations in Washington beginning on June 10, 1910.

The impetus to celebrate fathers:
With Father’s Day officially established as a U.S. Holiday in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, we have certainly come a long way. These days, Father’s Day is on par with Mother’s Day and several other Holidays. Today’s father is honored with the best, as he should be!

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Fathers often need to wear many hats!

What is a father?
Most fathers make mistakes and blunders, just as other human beings do. Most fathers are a work in progress along the path of rearing those they are fathers of. It’s one of those on-the-job-training programs.

Most fathers would also probably do anything to take back or change some things after they’ve experienced a few setbacks or discouragements; even if those setbacks were not because of anything they did or didn’t do. It’s a Dad thing! And it’s driven by love.

How to celebrate your Father’s Day:
How you celebrate your Father’s Day – that is, your own Dad’s Father’s Day – is entirely up to you, but one suggestion I would like to pass along is this:
Even if your own father has become estranged for some reason, or has otherwise disappeared from your life; try to remember him, at least. For it is he who enabled your own life — in spite of what he may have done with his life, and in spite of how you might feel toward him for any of that. Like you, he did the best he could with what he had at the time he had it. That’s all any of us can really do anyway, isn’t it?

If your own father is lovingly present in your life, consider yourself blessed and privileged, for many do not have such blessings, and would give anything for them. Make him feel loved, maybe a little pampered, on his special day. Gifts are alright, but the most important gifts can only be given personally, and from within. Time spent together is an important gift, and something that can create lasting memories, too. Be there.

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Let Dad be himself, too!

Not to be overdone:
Don’t overdo it! I think most Fathers prefer simple pleasures over extravaganzas. I could be wrong, but my vote goes toward the quietly joyful gathering of family and close friends for a few hours of good conversation, good food, good drink and good feelings. Then it’s time for Dad to finish up his day however he wishes to. Maybe a quick dip in the pool or lake; maybe a zip around the back nine at the local golf course; maybe watching a favorite movie, or reading a good book. Let Dad be himself for a few hours. He’ll love you more and more!

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