, Gloucester, MA


June 14, 2013

Personal Maters: Loving words are most important Father's Day gifts

On Sunday, the third Sunday of June, fathers celebrate their special day.

All across the country, dads will try on new shirts, admire new cameras or camping equipment, exclaim over a book they’ve been wanting to read, and taking long-distance calls from grown children living in countries around the world.

Father’s Day was created by Sonora Smart Dodd in Arkansas in 1910. After a number of failed congressional attempts to make it a national holiday, it was, in 1966, finally proclaimed a day to honor fathers by President Lyndon Johnson. The day was then made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

I think the idea of honoring fathers (and mothers) with a national holiday is a good one, despite the incorrect, yet often heard complaint that it is another gimmick of the greeting card companies. It is truly a good idea because it is personally healthy to honor the relationships in our lives, and acknowledge those that are especially meaningful.

Unfortunately, the reality of Father’s Day celebrations often has little to do with thinking about or sharing feelings of love. Rather, it seems to be about buying specific kinds of material goods, and sending somber or cartoonish greeting cards that speak someone else’s words instead of your own.

This year, along with the gifts and funny cards (or perhaps in their stead), why not do something different for your dad? On Sunday, either in a letter, or even better with a letter and directly, tell your father how much you love and appreciate him for all he has given to you and your family.

This might seem like a difficult suggestion to follow if you do not have a relationship with your father that allows for openly expressed feelings. Traditionally, men in our culture have not been encouraged to give or accept expressions of love and affection comfortably. However, as I have noted in many other columns, in the same way that we need food to nurture our bodies, we human beings require love, both the giving and receiving of it, to nurture us psychologically and emotionally. Expressing and receiving love is a necessity in order for us to be well-functioning and healthy.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Your news, your way
Pictures of the Week
Comments Tracker
AP Entertainment Videos
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards