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What's up with Father's Day?  

June 13, 2017

What IS the deal with Father's Day?

Malaysian fathers are among those who often receive nothing for Father's Day, according to a study conducted by vacation rental company HomeAway, and cited by The Star Online and Malay Mail Online today.

“When asked about the gifts they had received over the years, it was shocking that half of the dads surveyed said they had most commonly received nothing for Father’s Day,” the company said in a statement.   

Well that's one thing we have to acknowledge for sure. It's obvious when compared to Mother's Day that there just isn’t as much attention given to Father's Day. Just listen to radio announcements and adverts, read the papers, look at the promotions brands and merchants offer; there is a stark difference in the amount of reminders, offers and gift packages dedicated to Father's Day.   

Now, let’s go back in time. The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, while Father's Day on June 19, 1910. Mother's Day was declared as a national holiday in 1914 by The President of the United States, but Congress resisted Father's Day as a national holiday fearing it would become commercialised and eventually only signed it into law almost 60 years later in 1972. (Yes yes, who cares about America lah, we're Malaysians – fact is, a lot of our national holidays originated elsewhere. Take New Year's, Christmas, and Teacher's Day for example).  

In the past, we had mainly working Dads and stay-at-home Moms, where Dad brings home the money and Mom looks after the kids and home. Today, we have more households with both parents contributing to the financial pot, and spending roughly equal amount of time with the kids. So when it comes to parenting, our moms and dads often contribute different things, but contribute nevertheless to our growth and well-being. In that case, shouldn't they both get the same amount of appreciation from us? Why are Dads given less attention and gifts?

Some commenters on these posts have said the following:  

"We are not materialistic".
Is it alright to generalise than men or fathers are less materialistic than women or mothers? Does that mean Dads don't like presents or gifts? Surely that's not true, another commenter proudly announces:
"too bad to hear that.. My son bought me an iPhone and my daughter took me out for a grand dinner. Very happy Father’s Day".

"Fathers have themselves to blame, many fathers don't relish family time & the time they spent with the family ... by the time they want to, the kids have grown up & out, then they ask why don’t they children want to spend time with them? so fathers out there make time for your children. be there for them ... money helps but is not everything if at the end of the day we are alone", and while it may true that some fathers spend a lot of time working, that is usually out of sacrifice to provide better for the family.

 It appears many are also of the opinion that:
“My dad marah kata waste money....365 days also father’s day....come back home more often or makan with them lagi bagus!”
U know why...? Bcos children are using Daddy's pocket money to buy gift. So daddy prefers to save the money.”

Thus many feel giving dad a hug and some love is sufficient which seems perfectly in line with what some dads are saying:

“I told my children, I prefer a hug” and “A hug from the children is good enough”.

One of the saddest comments has to be this one: “early this month I wanted to celebrate my father whom birthday is in June. I went to a party supplies shop and saw most helium balloon decorations are either for baby, lover, or mommy. I asked for anything ‘I love dad’ or ‘happy birthday father’ in it. the seller said, we don't import them anymore. Rarely people come to buy it. I guess people here love their moms more than their dad’”. This is definitely an impression we don’t want to leave.

And perhaps the best suggestion came from this commenter: “All parents just want to meet their children, nothing more but if u can afford that extra that would be better...sum time mulut bising but hati gembira tak terkira....”

It has never been in question that what all parents really want is for happy, healthy families that love and stick together.

What truly matters is that you show your appreciation and love, and get that message across sincerely. It can be spending more time with him, running some errands for them or even gifting, as long as it comes from the heart.

What do YOU think?

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