Honoring Dads this Father’s Day

By Beth Casey on Email

No matter how tall we grow, many of us look up to our fathers. A father is a mentor, hero, guide, role model and a friend. In our society, mothers are typically given the role of shaping lives but fathers do it just as well, but in their own way.

Common gifts for fathers are the go-to necktie, tools, or sporting goods. Since Father’s Day falls in the summery month of June, this is the perfect opportunity to do what most dads love doing -grilling. Some fathers encourage their children to constantly save money and skip the gift. Taking a little time out of your day to make a phone call or do a favor can make a father’s eye sparkle.

Jim Valvano, ESPY Award winner and college basketball coach once said, “”My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” Fathers are always by a child’s side, giving advice and teach life lessons. Memories shaped by fathers can be tedious-seeming road trips across America to playing catch in the front yard.

In the United States, Father’s Day was first recognized in Westmont, Virginia on July 5, 1908 in what is now known as the Central United Methodist Church. President Calvin Coolidge was the first president to recommend the holiday be celebrated nationally in 1924 and in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson proposed that Father’s Day should be celebrated annually on the third Sunday of June.

From a Hallmark perspective, Father’s Day in the United States is the fourth-largest card-sending occasion with nearly 95 million cards purchased last year. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 67.8 million fathers in the United States, making Father’s Day a grand celebration.

In Germany, Father’s Day, known as Vatertag is celebrated a little differently than here in the United States. Historically, Vatertag originated in the Middle Ages as a religious procession honoring “Gott, den Vater” on Ascension Day, which typically falls in May. Today, Vatertag is more of a “boys day out” where fathers get the fleeting chance to spend time with other fathers, telling stories about their children and families over a beer or two at a local pub.

Organized by groups of men, Vatertag has a tendency of turning into a bar crawl of sorts as men can be seen in the streets, walking from bar to bar with a wagon full of beer. In the area previously known as Eastern Germany, Vatertag is commonly referred to as Herrentag.

No matter which country you are in, you have a father or a father-figure in your life. Summer time boasts endless opportunities for great outdoor activities. A great way to spend Father’s Day would be to embrace the weather and the man who taught you valuable life lessons with a trip to the zoo, baseball game, picnic or fishing (just remember to wear sunscreen like Mom reminded you too!)

If your father has more experience in life and is not easily mobile, taking time to sit and talk can make you feel closer to a parent. Finding out answers to how he met your mother, what his first jobs was or what he wanted to be when he was younger can help you relate to your father better and bring the two of you together.

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Beth Casey