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Father’s Day 2014: The secret gift; what dads really want for Father’s Day

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Father’s Day 2014 is just a few days away and in case you are thinking about what to give a dad for a present, it might be interesting to read what dads say what they really want for Father’s Day. Quite surprisingly, according to a June 11 Komo News report, many of the dads that were asked what they wanted as a gift for Father’s Day didn’t even know when it was.

So, for those who are unaware of it – Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 15, 2014. This applies to the United States. If you live in France, the UK, Greece, Canada, Japan, or the Philippines, Father’s Day is also celebrated on the third Sunday in June. But if you live in Germany, Austria, Spain, or Bolivia, the day to celebrate dads has already passed. To find out when each country celebrates a specific holiday, you can visit TimeandDate.com.

The secret gift that most dads in the U.S. want for their special day is time. During an interview with several guys in San Diego, it was somewhat of a surprise that men considered what they really wanted for Father’s Day a secret. “You know what,” said one dad, “I’ll tell you what I really want on Sunday, but I’d prefer to keep it a secret, quiet, you know.”

When asked why he didn’t really want to talk about his “secret” Father’s Day gift, the father of three said that it was difficult to talk about it. It was so much easier to say I want a watch, or go out for dinner, or some “techno gadget,” but what he truly wanted was time – having quality time with his wife and children.

“Speaking from the heart is not really my style,” he said. “And when you ask me what I really want, wouldn’t it sound somewhat girly if I’d say, ‘I just want time’ with the ones that matter to me?” “But when you look at it, time is all we have. Everything else isn’t as important.”

As it turned out, wanting time with his family for Father’s Day was more than just asking for one gift on one special day. It turned out to be the story of one 56-year-old man’s life. His two oldest daughters had moved away to go to college during the past two years, and now his youngest just graduated from high school and was also looking forward to leaving home. Besides feeling the empty nest syndrome, his dad had just passed away of a sudden and unexpected heart attack.

“You know, time is all we have and the time we spent with those we love is really all we have, and that is what I really want for Father’s Day.” And with a smile he added, “if you still want to give me something to make YOU feel better, what the heck, throw in a watch.”

Even though many men might not want to say that they want “time” as a Father’s Day present, it might be a gift worth thinking about. As Komo News reported, some men in Seattle also talked about wanting time as a Father’s Day gift.

“Love from our girlies and their mommy. And of course time with us just as a family - maybe a hike, maybe a picnic, maybe a movie. But most importantly, just time to be together, especially since they have been away at college this year!" - John (father of two)

"Because I’m often found at the office, all I am asking for is a day with no email, no social media and no phone calls, but the day has to be spent with the kids!! #Seriously!" - Aaron (father of three)

"What I really want for Father's Day is a day with my kids and wife. A day where I can watch them play, enjoy, and experience life. With our work schedules, we don't get much family time that isn't already booked by something else (errands, other family, etc). I just want to spend it with them. All of that, plus French toast!" - JR (father of three)

When it comes to the way dads have been celebrated during the past decades, they do deserve time “plus some French toast.” After the nightmare that Anna Jarvis experienced by having invented Mother’s Day (and then spent the rest of her life fighting against it, dying broke, insane, and blind in a psych hospital because of it), Congress was hesitant to establish another commercialized holiday and delayed Father’s Day for 40 years.

Anna Jarvis invented Mother’s Day in 1908 and Congress was presented a bill in 1913 to add a Father’s Day. But even though President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane in Washington in 1916 for a Father’s Day celebration organized by the YMCA there, Congress continued to resist declaring it a holiday after Mother’s Day had turned into a commercialized fiasco. It was not until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. After another six years, in 1972, President Richard Nixon finally made Father’s Day as a permanent national holiday.

Father’s Day 2014 and the “secret” gift that most men mention (time with the family), is a reminder of the origins of the holiday. According to the author Leigh Eric Schmidt, Father's Day was founded in Spokane in Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Sonora was born in 1882 in a little town in Arkansas, moved to Washington as a young child, and after the death of her mother in 1898, her father, William Jackson Smart (a farmer and Civil War veteran), continued to raise six children on his own. For Sonora, it was her father’s dedication and time for the family that she wanted to be acknowledged and honored – the very same thing that dads would in turn appreciate today. To add a Father’s Day gift gadget under $60, watch the above video.

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