Sunday, June 19, 2011

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY- SAY IT WITH A GIFT

By Muhammad Mahtab Bashir
Islamabad
mahtabbashir@gmail.com

Who held you dearly when you first arrived in this world? Who held your precious hands, teaching you to take your first steps? Who did you want to emulate growing up? Who do you still look up to after all these years? – it’s your father.

Father's Day gives us an opportunity to recognise the contribution of the men who have nurtured us since birth - instilling in us values and inspiring us to be better human beings.

Our fathers are our guides, teachers and providers. They are the ones who work day in and day out to make sure that we get the best of everything life can possibly provide. Now is the time to show our appreciation for all the sacrifices that he chose to make for us. Every third Sunday of June, which this year happens to be the June 19 is celebrated as Father's Day.

On the occasion of this Father’s Day Sunday, I suggest sons and daughters to pack that perfect customised gift on this father’s Day- A perfect present truly customised to the taste of their fathers.

First, analyse the type of person he is. Think back and recall all the years spent closely with him. Is he a sporty person? Does he like to hit balls? Or is he a quiet person who likes to relax and listen to slow music? Is he a couch potato or does he prefer to read novels?

The next step is to brainstorm and prepare the surprise for him. If you grew up cheering your father when he played squash or tennis but now, due to age, lacks the vigour for strenuous sports, a golf club and a membership to his desired golfing club is ideal. He can enjoy sports that his age permits and also make friends with people his own age.

Did your father always cherish having a pet at home while your mom abhorred the very idea? You can get a bird, fish, puppy, cat, rabbit, tortoise or any other pet that he always wanted in the house. If you think a big aquarium or fish tank will take up too much space or cleaning it will be cumbersome, you can get a fish bowl with a single fish in it.

Is he a plant lover but could never manage the time for gardening? Buy him saplings of flowers, vegetables, fruits or herbs or and a combination of all. If your parents’ house lacks the space for a garden, arrange for a nook garden on your terrace. Arranging and paying for a gardener would relieve him of its high maintenance as well.

Does he like to listen to old music and watch old movies? If you can afford it, a DVD player will be just perfect. Nowadays the price of electric devices have become affordable and good quality DVD players are within most people's reach. Along with the player buy him a collection of his favourite movies from his early days. Try to recall his favourite movie stars or ask your mother who he cherished on the golden screen and voila, you've hit the jackpot.

Is he a bookworm? Get him a magazine subscription to any Pakistani, Indian or Western magazine. Depending on his preference you can subscribe to Readers Digest, Health, National Geographic, etc. Membership to a library like British Council or likewise libraries will take him into the kingdom of books too.

A hand made gift with a lot of thought and effort will be well appreciated. Make for him a card or paint “I LOVE YOU DAD” on a T-shirt. You can also make a collage of family pictures. Anything you prepare with your own hands will be adored.

If you have a big budget planned, you can buy a computer, cellphone or a ticket to his dream holiday destination or to see someone he has been longing to see such as other siblings, aunts and uncles.

Father's Day can provide the opportunity to get him what he needs. Buy a machine to measure his blood pressure or blood sugar. If his doctors have been recommending him to go on walks, get a pair of walking shoes and a treadmill.

You can also prepare his favourite meal or take him to dinner to a restaurant or spend the whole day together. You can also spend the day at home. Listen to him talk of his old days. A day well spent will fill in the gaps of the years of absence.

The gifts don't have to be awfully expensive or ostentatious. All that matters is you show him that his children, who are his greatest gifts themselves, love and care for him unconditionally and immensely. It can even be that he will never use the gift but will cherish it as a memento and hold it dearly to his heart.

Make Father's Day special for your father. Show him the gratitude that he truly deserves. Our fathers stood by us when we needed them. Prove to them today that we are here when they need us.

History of Father’s Day: It would be interesting to know how Father's Day came into practice and celebrated worldwide with an equal sincerity and respect as any other significant holidays. Here's a short history on the holiday, and meaning of the different colors of roses to be worn that Day.

About 4,000 years ago a young boy named Elmusu wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life by carving a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay. No one knows what happened to Elmesu or his father, but the tradition of having a special day honoring fathers has continued through the years in countries across the world.

The Countries, where the Catholic Church were of significant influence on the culture of the society, Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day (March 19). However, a more secular celebration which is not associated with any religion is followed in recent times to highlight the increased diversity among people from all over the globe coexisting together in one place.

Father's Day is celebrated popularly on 3rd Sunday in June in many parts of the world. The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. President Nixon, in 1972, established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. So Father's Day was born as a token of love and gratitude that a daughter cherishes for her beloved father. Roses are the Father's Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.

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