Sunday is Father’s Day—just in time to note that dads are having their moment in the cultural spotlight. From dad bods to bad dad jokes, the world has taken new notice of the tender side of fatherhood.
The appreciation of fatherhood, however, dates way back. First celebrated more than 100 years ago, Father’s Day has traditionally been the understudy to its more established counterpart, Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1914. It wasn’t until 1972 that dads got their own special day—the third Sunday in June.
In contrast to the flowers and brunches often associated with Mother's Day, Father's Day gifts tend to be more practical: a tie, a wallet, a bottle of Scotch. Alongside the predictable “Best Dad Ever” coffee mugs and T-shirts, Amazon.com suggests power tools, beer coolers and other guy things on their Father’s Day gift page.
A snazzy tie or a new drill may be great, but the best gifts come in the form of simple, memorable moments, according to Rob Hart, a Northwestern University photojournalism professor, who often features his three toddlers on his blog. Kids turn such moments into “adventures,” he says, like the trips he takes with his children take each week, to the bakery down the street from their home, which gives his two-year-old a free cookie.
His family’s plans for this Father’s Day?
“We’ll probably pick strawberries with Grandma and Grandpa,” Hart says.