It’s Father’s Day on Sunday 21 June this year.
We love the idea of celebrating dads in all their forms — live-in dads, part-time dads, stepdads, our own fathers, uncles who treat nieces and nephews like their own children, single dads, and more — but we’re not so sure about Father’s Day.
There’s something about this holiday that seems to not live up to modern fatherhood. Read on and pipe up to tell us what you think!
1. It’s like Mother’s Day, but less so.
Dads are doing more and more but Father’s Day remains a poor sibling to Mother’s Day. It has less of the fanfare and the gifts you’re expected to give are more generic. It always seems to sneak up on the calendar so you’re never prepared. On the other hand, you can generally avoid the overpriced Mothering Sunday menus.
2. The gift ideas are, for the most part, uninspiring.
Do you remember the last time you gave someone socks and they said, ‘Gee, these really embody all the love and appreciation I feel from you’? Or cufflinks that demonstrated thanks for all the sleepless nights, the worry and the care. It’s possible, but hardly a slam dunk.
3. It stereotypes dads.
What do fathers like? Why, socket wrenches and neckties. Beer, novelty boxer shorts and golfing gloves. In the Father’s Day world, the man gets up, pulls on his boxer shorts and a tie, works on his car, plays 18 holes then has a beer. The world is a varied and wondrous place so this guy probably exists somewhere, but he didn’t bring up our children.
4. It pigeonholes fatherhood.
There are all types of father — including mothers who are fathers — as mentioned above. So much messaging around the holiday, the images we see, the celebratory mood, focuses on a particular type of dad and a certain type of family. Some companies get it, but a lot of what we see around Father’s Day is stuck in an old-fashioned notion of ‘Dad’.
5. We should celebrate dads everyday.
Let’s face it, we should celebrate mothers and fathers everyday. That includes celebrating ourselves (perhaps in the loo with the door locked whenever we get 5 minutes to spare). Parenthood is not all handmade cards and cuddles. Usually we’re knee deep in cleaning and washing, holding the line on discipline or creating permanent brow creases. It’s good to set aside a day to thank the father figures in our life but let’s try to remember all they do the rest of the year.
So what are the best gifts for Father’s Day?
It’s time we think of things that are personal and something they might not buy themselves. For one dad we know, that means a stack of luxury car magazines — accompanied by an entire afternoon to drink tea and lounge on the sofa reading them. Another dad has been hankering for a new pair of chainsaw safety trousers for the weekends when he’s out cutting up wood. Go funky, go weird, choose something that’s definitely not standard Father’s Day fare.
The gift could be as small as doing a new dance for dad on TikTok to a fancy pedicure voucher (my dad always loved these!) to a first edition of a favourite book. It may not be as easy as picking up a pair of socks, but we think everyone agrees: Dads are worth it.