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Father’s Day. A day to cheer, wave and love your dad.

This day of celebration was first mooted in 1910 by the wonderfully named Sonara Smart Dodd, the daughter of an American civil war veteran from Arkansas. Her mother had died in childbirth, and she was raised by her father William. She saw a ‘gap in the market’. If mother’s could have their own day, why not dads? 

The actual date for this observance moved around - although June has always been the month. It took until 1972 when President Nixon established the now accepted date as the 3rd Sunday in June. Little would Sonara have anticipated that her love for her father would become one of the most important marketing dates in the retail calendar. 

Mugs, cards and gadgets will start to hit the shops as soon as Mother’s day closes the door, but dad’s are not mum’s. When it comes to giving they are a tricky group. Mum’s really are terribly easy to please - they just like to be remembered, and treated in a pretty simplistic way. Make a mum breakfast and she will be sobbing into the orange juice, take her for tea and the day is made. Make of this what you will. 


Dads are not so easily pleased. Everyone knows that at Christmas every female friend is done and dusted by the time you’ve written the list. Blokes (which after all includes dads), seem to want items that really don’t qualify as gifts - my partner regularly asks for some kind of obscure machine cleaning oil, or a box of widgets, which I’m sorry, I just can’t bring myself to buy.

They like the practical, but surely there are only so many Leatherman tools a man can own? Actually the answer to that is ‘no’, men love a collection. 

 fathers day gift experiences

Ideas for a Father's Day experience gift this way >


They aren’t that bothered with after shave, but of course there is always an exception. We have a very smart bottle of ‘Floris After Shave Balm’, given to my partner by his son, twenty five years ago. It remains in the bathroom cabinet, unused, but also much loved. It is not allowed to be discarded. I may bury it with him, or donate it to the Museum of Brands. Against all odds, it has become his talisman.

So what to give the dad in your life? I have run a straw poll amongst the local dads that I have happened upon this week. They varied in age, but all seem to agree on the main event, which in reality isn’t much different from mums. They were all entirely indifferent to cards (unless you happen to be five, and have made it yourself), socks, or anything with an ‘amusing’ meme written on the front. They all really want to spend time with you, their son or daughter.

fathers day lunch

It’s that simple. They want to be with their family.  So give up your Sunday. Take dad out for a drink, cook him a meal or if you’re reading this, an Indytute experience. Something that is out of the everyday, and makes him feel cherished.

After all, for one Sunday, once a year, he has a day to call his own. His special day. 

Think about it...

How to annoy mum on Father's Day >

  • Hoxton Hotel
  • Selfridges
  • Soho House
  • Stella Magazine
  • Stylist
  • Time Out
  • The Times
  • Press