My research associates at the Internet tell me that “Mother’s Day began in 1870 and became official in 1914 while Father’s Day only became official in 1972”. Furthermore, my associates inform me, “In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and traditionally masculine gifts such as electronics and tools.”
My sources don’t come out and say it clearly, but I assume these greeting cards and masculine gifts are to be given to Dad. Can anyone confirm that for me? In the weeks leading up to Father’s Day, I usually drop hints about the things I can’t wait until Christmas for (e.g. iGrill remote thermometer that sends meat smoker temp signals straight to my Tablet and Smartphone via Bluetooth … stuff like that).
But around our house, we don’t always march in the direction the retail Pied Piper is leading us. Two years ago on Father’s Day I invited all the kids (and the Babymomma, of course) to brunch. Before they fetched their Hallmark Cards and tool kits, I presented each of my four sons a gift. Nothing extravagant, but thoughtful.
Let me remind my readers that my family does something very unique at Christmas. The boys each get four gifts – The Jesus Gifts. You can read more about it here. The “big gift” is the Gold gift. My wife and I put months of thought into a gift that honors the life, character, interests, and love language of each child. Hopefully, the Gold gift blesses and encourages the child in a significant way. That’s the goal anyway.
That’s the goal and that’s the role of Dad – to bless and encourage our children. I thought to myself, “I’m not going to be selfish and let this day just be about me getting stuff. I want to flip the script and in my daily role of Encourager in Chief, I want to let my sons know that I’m proud of them and that I pay attention to their lives.”
So on this particular Father’s Day, I presented a book to each son. They weren’t expensive books and nothing too profound. Just something that said, “I know who you are and I love you.” At the table, I said a few words about each child, noting their interests, activities, and steps forward in the last year.
The kids (and Momma who knew nothing of my caper) were wonderfully surprised by my gesture. Granted, they were in their teens to twenties so No, I was not smothered in slobbery, loving kisses, but I hit the mark and I knew it.
Anytime the commercial world turns the spotlight on something, a wise person will at least look in the opposite direction and see if there is any value to be found. I love receiving gifts, it’s my love language. But remember that Golden Rule thing, “gift unto others as you would have others gift unto you”. Likewise, if you want encouragement, give it. If you want honesty, give it. If you want love, give it.
What do you want this Father’s Day? Flip the script. Give it!