“Any fool can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy!” Philip Whitmore, Sr.
In Canada, as in the United States, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. In recent years, it has become an occasion on which not only biological fathers, but all significant male figures in a child’s life are honored.
Since approximately 50% of marriages currently end in divorce, many children are growing up in single-parent or blended families. Accordingly, it has become customary on Father’s Day to recognize step-dads, grandfathers, uncles, and “Big Brothers” as well as biological fathers, if they have maintained an ongoing presence in the child’s life.
The idea for Father’s Day originated in 1910, with Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. Her mother had died in childbirth, leaving her dad to raise herself and her five brothers.
On Mother’s Day that year, Mrs. Dodd sat in church listening to a sermon extolling the sacrifices mothers make for their children. She realized how unfair it was to honor only the female parent, while ignoring the contributions made by many fathers to their children’s welfare.
Mrs. Dodd began a campaign to establish a special day to honor fathers, but it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon gave the day official national recognition. Although it spread slowly at first, the celebration of Father’s Day has since extended around the globe.
Father’s Day has not been recognized as a federal public holiday in Canada, but since it always falls on a Sunday, many men are home from work anyway. On that day, children usually present gifts to their fathers or father-figures and wives present husbands with tokens of love and appreciation in recognition of their outstanding success as fathers.
Most men are pleased with gifts such as a CD, a book, a DVD, a set of tools, or equipment for a hobby such as golf balls or fishing lures. That day the focus is on Dad. Everyone in the family does their best to make him happy.
For adults, it has become customary to wear a flower for their father. A red rose pinned on the lapel or worn as a boutonniere signifies a male parent who is still living. A white flower is worn in memory of a father who has passed away.
Often families will do something special together to celebrate Dad’s special day. They may:
* have a picnic or barbecue outdoors if the weather is fine
* go to the zoo, a park, a movie, a museum or other place of interest
* go out for brunch, lunch or dinner to a family restaurant
* participate in a family “Fun Run” or walk for charity
Whatever agenda is chosen to celebrate Dad’s special day, he gets to cast the deciding vote. After all, Canadian families, like their counterparts around the world, hope that his memories will be outstanding and pleasant enough to last throughout the coming year.
“A dad is respected because he gives his children leadership,
A dad is appreciated because he gives his children care,
A dad is valued because he gives his children time,
A dad is loved because he gives his children the one thing they treasure