The History of Father’s Day and Why We Honor Dads
Father’s Day is coming up on June 21, and while it may seem like an odd holiday (who doesn’t love their dad?), it does have a history and purpose all its own. There was not always a day to honor fathers in American culture and it is in contrast and opposite to Mother’s Day so that no one feels left out, whether they are a single parent or part of an awesome couple. It is a day meant to celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the unique influence that fathers have in society on all types of individuals.
Historians may squabble on the origins of Father’s Day, but it is traditionally seen to originate from a memorial service held for a large group of men that died in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. The official holiday was then proposed by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington in 1909 at the YMCA and semi-officially adopted as a holiday in 1910. It was meant to honor her father, a Civil War veteran, who raised six children as a single parent. While Dodd would go on to promote fathers for years in her personal creation, the celebration would not become an official holiday until 1972 when Richard Nixon signed it into law as an official contrast to Mother’s Day.
It may have had a rocky start, but it looks like Father’s Day is here to stay. Always celebrated on the third Sunday of June, it has inspired countless films, products, and services, including the “gift ideas for the handyman dad” stereotype that dominates everything. But whether you believe in commercialized holidays or not, it’s worth celebrating your dad being in your life. Fathers are important in their own unique ways, and that should not be discounted like the candy you might buy him to go with his gift.
Fathers Can Be Just As Important As Mothers
In many societies, mothers are seen as natural caregivers of children because women carry children biologically for nine months and are thought to have a more intimate bonding structure with children. Whether this is objectively true or not can be left up to personal debates, but nonetheless, fathers still carry an important role in raising a child. 22% of fathers that live in a different place then their children see them more than once a week, depending on local laws. This will be good for the child who otherwise may lack a fatherly presence.
Fathers play a unique role in families that is hard to duplicate. Although some moms are better at throwing a football around or going kayaking, it usually falls in the realm of dear old dad. The handyman dad is a stereotype for a reason, and this is where the “gift ideas for the handyman dad” section in retail stores get its truth.
Gift Ideas for the Handyman Dad That (Sometimes) Cost A Pretty Penny
Father’s Day is a special day designed to honor the dads that care about you in their own unique way. Most fathers have a handyman quality to them, even if it doesn’t involve power tools, and you’re probably scratching your head wondering about gift ideas for the handyman dad that has “everything.” No need to worry, because nobody has everything and there’s always new products hitting the market to reflect the changing culture and dynamics. Perhaps your father’s interests have changed as well, and while in the past you would have gotten him an alpaca sweater, now he’s more into custom t shirts with his small business logo on the pocket. He might not need another hose clip for various clamping needs, but probably would appreciate a make-your-own-sushi kit. The sky is truly the limit, but here are some ideas to get your creative juices going.
Lots of dads are outdoorsmen. You may have bad memories growing up of them dragging you to family campgrounds and trying to teach you how to “build character” or catch fish to later fry, but try to understand where this comes from. Men are physical beings that enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air, feeling the sunshine, and catching the breeze – kind of like a dog. As a result, the outdoor tasks of maintaining a household will typically fall to the father. Consider a mower package for a gift. Perhaps your dad has been trying to fix the same one for years now and could use a new one. Anything that gets them outdoors and moving will tend to be appreciated. Do they have camping equipment that needs to be replaced or repaired? It’s always good to start with what is needed or necessary and expand outward rather than trying to guess your way to their heart. While they surely will appreciate anything, it’s always nice to cater your gifts to an individual’s needs.
For the Techy Dad and Beyond
So far we’ve gone over gift ideas for the handyman dad that are more traditional, especially when dealing with things like power tools, outdoor equipment, and custom t shirts. But what about the dads that work in the digital world? The dads that are engineers, but instead of dealing with automobiles or machinery they tool software? They deserve some sweet gifts as well. However, they tend to be a bit more specific and technical than the gifts that have previously been mentioned.
If your father is a computer whiz that’s much more comfortable with a keyboard than a snowboard, considering looking at the various technological gadgets in his life and seeing where you can improve his experience. Does his computer have enough memory or storage? Query him or a trusted expert to find out if you can help him upgrade this to supercomputer quality. Does he have an affinity for games, video, or audio production? Scour the web to either find vintage or new equipment that will brighten his day – and his pixel quality. Perhaps he needs a new computer entirely, but just hasn’t gotten around to replacing it and you can pitch in some meager amount of dollars toward “upgrading dad’s old computer” (as it would read in a sweet greeting card). Every little thing helps, and the fact that you took the time to think of him in his time of digital need will surely warm even the coldest CPU that he calls his heart.
Sometimes dads aren’t the best technologically, but still use a variety of tech services. When we think of gift ideas for the handyman dad that extends into the digital realm, sometimes we mean things that he’d like to get around to but simply hasn’t. Electronic video doorbells are all the rage now and provide a feeling of security at any property that can’t be matched. Perhaps your father’s WiFi is slow and should have been upgraded back during the 1990s, but he never got around to it and just puts up with the slow service. Maybe he’s missing Netflix’s new shows because the speed is too slow and the router is only equipped for email, or he never upgraded from DVDs. These are easy fixes that a modern-day professional can look at and diagnose with ease for a small fee while saving your dear old dad the hassle and embarrassment of looking like a Luddite.
New technologies enable new hobbies, and perhaps your father is the type that has always wanted a drone or remote-controlled car, but never made the purchase. Now it’s easier than ever using sites like Amazon and Fry’s to find electronic gifts that will make your father feel like a child again and full of wonder. It can even enable him to take trips with people to explore places via drone, or race cars in various small competitions. You may have enabled your father to explore via drone and post the videos on YouTube, enabling him to connect with a community that supports his interests. Before you laugh, do some research instead and find out!
Tools, Experiences, and More, Oh My!
You’ve been racking your brain over various gift ideas for the handyman dad in your life and come up with nothing. Even after all the digital exploration, you’re at zero. He doesn’t need hammers, nails, carpenter squares, or a swift kick in the pants. Perhaps he needs snowmobile equipment, but it’s not even winter yet and nothing is on sale. No, he needs something truly experiential and worthwhile that cannot be replicated at any Home Depot or Lowe’s in the country, even with a military discount. Why not get him an experience instead? Not only will it be one of a kind, but it can still involve handiwork, usually for a good cause.
One of the ultimate gift ideas for the handyman dad is to take part in an experience that allows him to help others through physical craft, such as building a house or making repairs for people. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity build houses and other structures for those people that cannot afford to buy or construct on their own. This is an amazing way to bond with your father while he indulges in his carpentry abilities and perhaps can teach you something. They are always looking for craftsmen and experienced laborers to volunteer on their construction sites and will even feed you pizza at the end of the day to congratulate you on a job well done.
If there is no charity such as Habitat for Humanity located around you, consider seeing if your local church(es) are doing any mission work in other countries. Usually, churches will travel to more impoverished countries to help construct buildings such as schools, churches, or other meeting places at low cost for the residents of these areas. Sometimes the structures are already built and you’re simply improving them like building stairs, awnings, railings, etc, which is always appreciated. If you’re not religious or cannot find a suitable church, then there are other secular organizations, such as Cross-Cultural Solutions or United Planet that do the same work without and religious doctrine involved. Of all the gift ideas for the handyman dad, this one might take the cake.
Sometimes the Most Important Gift of All is Acknowledgement and Love
We’ve discussed the history of father’s day, why fathers are important, how men are associated with tools/working culture, and some “gift ideas for the handyman dad” to show him thanks and appreciation. But maybe you’re broke right now, in between brokerage transactions or just spent your last $20 on your cat’s litter box. Without taking out a credit card advance, what do you get the man who raised you and seemingly has everything? While you’re probably not going to spring for a flower bouquet, though it’s entirely possibly your dad would appreciate it, remember that anything can be appreciated as long as it’s a genuine symbol of your love and appreciation of having this special person in your life. Sometimes the simple things are worth more than all the boating accessories in the world.
When you’re low on cash or can’t afford to get your dear old dad new air compressors for his workshop, you might feel pretty low. But it should be noted that your worth as a child is never really evaluated on how much stuff you bring to the table, it is the content of your character. How you treat your dad is much more important than the stuff you get him. So if you’re struggling to physically manifest your love for him through objects, why not give him something intangible instead? Instead of obsessing over various gift ideas for the handyman dad in your life, get something that can’t be bought. A hug, a card, or even a social media post of you two together can mean the world to people. Because it shows you care and are present, that you want these people in your life. And isn’t that what matters at the end of the day?
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