Image courtesy of nongpinny at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you’re anything like me, there’s every chance you’re not even aware Father’s Day is approaching until one of the children returns home from school with a handmade ‘World’s Best Dad’ card, and then it’s panic stations. So this year, let’s upgrade Father’s Day from its position as Mother’s Day’s poor relation, and do it right with a few of the best ideas around.
In arguably the world’s most generous Father’s Day deal, dads in some parts of Germany are gifted not just a wagon-load of beer, wine and meats, but an entire day off from the world to consume it. In the hills. With all their dad-friends. Yeah, really. It’s known as Vatertag (Father’s Day) or Männertag (men’s day) and it sounds pretty awesome. A note of caution however; since incidents of fighting and alcohol-related traffic accidents also increase three-fold in Germany on this day, this might be a gift that has to come with a long list of terms and conditions. Laut dem Statistischen Bundesamt steigt die Zahl der durch Alkohol bedingten Verkehrsunfälle an Christi Himmelfahrt auf das Dreifache des Durchschnitts der sonstigen Tage an und erreicht einen Jahreshöhepunkt.  Seit etwa den 1980er Jahren wird der Vatertag auch als Familienfest gefeiert, etwa um gemeinsame Tagesausflüge zu gestalten, aber auch um über das verlängerte Wochenende (mit Freitag als Brückentag , der in vielen Schulen freigegeben wird) einen Kurzurlaub zu unternehmen.
Embrace German-style ‘Mans Day’ with a wagon load of quality beer – just drink responsibly
- Treat Him To a Bit of ‘Mampering’
Long gone are the days when the spa was considered a strictly female domain. With most day spas and health hydros now being fully geared towards the needs of men, any stigma attached to a visit to the spa, has been pummeled away like a niggly shoulder knot. So encourage him to kick back, unwind and take a load off with a day of spa treatments and poolside relaxation.
- Spend some time with him
With British fathers amongst the worst in Europe at making time for their family, pencilling in some family time is fast becoming not just a treat, but also a necessity. So why not block out a whole day, banish the mobile phones – or if you can’t manage that, at least switch the email notifications off – and engage in some good old-fashioned family fun. Bird-watching, star-gazing, kite-flying, rounders-playing, go-karting, frisbee-throwing, den-building, BBQ-burning… whatever it is, just do it together. And if the British Summertime weather isn’t up to much, then cook up some popcorn and make it family movie time.
- Make Him King For A Day
Give him the royal treatment with breakfast in bed, an undisturbed leisurely browse through the weekend papers and a full day’s uncontested control over the TV remote.
- Road Trip
Did you know we all carry more of our dad’s genes than our mum’s? Well, that alone makes a trip down memory lane worth the petrol. Take a journey to some of the places that are special to him and helped make him what he is today. Or, make new memories with a trip to somewhere he’s been itching to go, but somehow never quite found the time for.
- Get Him a Present He Truly Wants
If we were to believe the supermarkets, there really is only one genus of dad. He’s a beer-swilling, football-mad, silly-tie-wearing, DIY failure, when in reality we all know that no two dads are the same. The trouble is, when you’ve left present buying until the last minute (and no judgements here; we’ve all been there) it’s all too tempting to pop something in your shopping basket that ticks the convenience box, even when it doesn’t tick many other boxes. So put down the novelty pint-glass-shaped beer goggles and take some time ahead of the day to consider a gift he’d really like.
Is your dad a nature lover? A gastronomic wizard? A fine wine connoisseur? A culture vulture? The joker in the pack? Is he a style icon? A coffee addict? A fitness fanatic? A model railway enthusiast? A DIY demon? A keen golfer? A technophile? There’ll be a present that’s spot on. It just might not be in the ‘Father’s Day’ aisle of the local supermarket.
Or ditch the shopping basket altogether and make his day with a homemade gift. A photo album of some of the best moments he’s shared with his family over the course of the past year will no doubt be treasured for many years to come. As will a video or voice recording of his children talking about the things that make him special. What dad, of any variety, wouldn’t love that?
This year Father’s Day is on Sunday 15th June 2015