This Father's Day, choose to spend time with your dad rather than giving him an expensive gift. Shared experiences are much more effective in improving or maintaining positive relationships than material gifts, a study shows, because experiences are "more emotionally evocative".
Shared experiences have the added value of strong reactions, be it excitement or awe, an adrenaline rush or the bliss of relaxation. So, create some memories to last youa lifetime.
- Cook a meal with your dad, or make him a meal or simply a cup of coffee or tea.
- Invite him over and braai together.
- Sit down and talk to your dad. Go and have a beer together.
- Go and have a haircut with your dad.
- Find a live performance to take your dad to and enjoy it together: a live band, a play at the theatre or a stand-up comedy event.
- Take him to the park or out to the countryside and enjoy a walk together.
- Watch a sports game on TV.
- Take your dad to a live sports game.
- Go fishing.
- Test drive a new car together.
- Enjoy an ice-cream with your dad and this time you be the one to buy it.
- Write your dad a thank you note or a letter instead of just sending him a text.
- Do some gardening with your dad.
- Take him on a picnic.
- Go and fly a kite together.
- Take your dad hiking.
- Go and cycle with your dad, or play a game of tennis or any other game you both enjoy.
- Play frisbee on the beachor at your local park.
- Go camping with your dad for the weekend.
- Play a game of putt-putt.
- Take a ride with your dad in a steam train.
- Take your dad sightseeing in the city.
- Go with him to the zoo or a bird park.
- Take your dad to a flea market or a Sunday food market and enjoy the experience together.
Father's Day History
The modern traditions of Father's Day are easily traceable to the beginning of the 20th century in the United States. The Americans pinpoint the origin of Father's Day to June 19 1910 in Washington, when Sonora Smart Dodd, while attending a church service in honour of Mother's Day, decided to honour her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his six children alone after the premature death of his wife.
Of course, the idea could have been sparked by a church service that took place two years earlier, when a congregation from West Virginia honoured 361 men killed in a mine explosion. But it wasn't until 1966, when the 36th president of the U.S., Lyndon B Johnson, signed an executive order that the third Sunday in June became the official day on which to celebrate Father's Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon recognised it officially as a U.S. national holiday.
Catholics have celebrated their fathers since the Middle Ages. Western Christianity has honoured fathers since the 10th century on March 19, the Day of St Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ. It was the Spanish and the Portuguese who brought this celebration to Latin America.
Father's Day Traditions Around the World
In Germany, Father's Day is celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday 40 days after Easter) and it is also called Gentlemen's Day, Herrentag. Men over the age of 18 go hiking in groups, pulling a small wagon filled with wine or beer and lots of food. The tradition is probably rooted in 18th-century Christian traditions, when men would be seated in a wooden cart and carried to the central plaza of the village where the father with the largest family would win a prize.
Greece celebrates all fathers on this special day, including those who are divorced. Professor Dr Nicolas Spitalas created the International Movement of Dads. His association, SYGAPA (Men's and Father's Dignity), is the biggest movement of this kind in the world with 35,000 members.
In Thailand,it is tradition to give fathers and grandfathers a canna flower as a gift. It is considered a symbol of manhood.
In Mexico, during Father's Day, Dia del Padre, fathers often participate in a 21km race.
In Japan, fathers receive origami presents made by their children.
In France, Father's Day, La Fête des Pères, was introduced by a lighter manufacturer in 1949. A national committee would decide which dads deserved the reward, a "Flaminaire" lighter, the most.