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Happy Father’s Day to yours, to mine and to me!


Father’s Day is a time to show appreciation and honor to fathers and those special persons who have been fatherly figures. The first Father’s Day was officially observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington.  The special day was started by Sonora Dodd who was inspired to honor her own father, William Smart, a widower who was left to raise six children alone, following his wife’s death during childbirth. The idea of a national Father’s Day gained support in 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge, and again in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.  Here are some tried and true reminders of ways to make Father’s Day as special as it can be.

Help dad to enjoy the day. Perhaps you’ll let him sleep-in this morning, or perhaps you won’t badger him to be somewhere on time, for a change. Whatever it is, let it be his day. Some nice ways to start it include: making him breakfast in bed; bringing him the Donalsonville News to read in bed and making a pot of  his favorite coffee.

Make it a family event. Father’s Day is by nature a family event. Use this opportunity to get everyone in the family together for a fun day. You don’t have to remain at home; you could go to the beach, the state park, or just go outside and walk around the block!

Consider building the celebration around an activity you all can enjoy. Some ideas include: have a family picnic; enjoy a family barbecue; sign up and take dad on a Father’s Day nature excursion at Seminole State Park; go fishing together; go plane spotting or train spotting or play a round of golf with him at the Donalsonville Country Club.

Be creative. When it comes to making gifts for Father’s Day, perhaps steer clear of the traditional store-bought gifts of ties and socks. He’s probably still got last year’s socks stuffed at the back of the drawer. Expensive or typical gifts are not necessary, but the time and effort you put in to create a personalized tribute will be deeply appreciated. Instead, let your own creative abilities shine and make him something special: Bake a cake or, if it were me, call Betrice Widner and ask her to bake one for him; make his favorite dinner; make a gift basket and fill it with homemade candies, cookies, crossword or other puzzles you’ve created yourself, hand-crafted woodwork objects, etc.; if you’re artistically inclined, draw or paint a portrait of your dad from a favorite photo or from memory or write a song and perform it.

Celebrate your shared experiences. Look at old photos of you and your dad doing fun things together. Take a walk down memory lane by creating either a photo album or a photo slideshow. You may be surprised at how many things you both have forgotten,  especially if he doesn’t talk much about his life. Consider recording his voice or taking notes as you talk about old times or old photographs and make his words and memories part of the family history.

Acknowledge the importance of fatherhood. Being a father is a tough job. Dads are responsible for at least one half of the financial and emotional well-being of the family. A thoughtful card, a letter, or short speech that expresses your love will benefit both you and your dad. Giving dad a heartfelt speech, toast, or card of genuine, loving words at the dinner table, or at some other point when the family is around (siblings especially), will make this a poignant occasion. Here are some ways to prepare:  Make a handmade card; write a letter; write a speech or prepare a toast or  have all of your siblings explain why dad matters to them.

Make the day joyful. The most important aspect of the day is that you are present and attentive. It does not take material presents to make a dad happy — it takes showing your love, and reassuring your dad that you’re proud of him and all he’s done for you. For many fathers, the most rewarding part of being a father is feeling that your children love you, and the knowledge that each child is on a path to a successful future, no matter what age, coping well with the problems that life inevitably throws at us all.

End his “fun-filled day” by telling your father you love him. Don’t forget a hug and a kiss!

Father’s Day is just one day a year that is set aside to honor a special person for all that he has done in your own life. One day doesn’t even come close to enough time to do that. This is my fourth Father’s Day without my dad, who passed away in November 2014. I cherished each and every moment I had with him and I will forever be so proud to be his son. He was my father, my friend, my hero, and for all of that and so much more, I am going to spend each and every day for the rest of my life honoring the memory of the greatest man I ever knew.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and to every dad in Seminole County. Here’s hoping its a great and memorable day!

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