This Sunday is Father’s Day – yet another Hallmark holiday some may argue, but an excuse nonetheless, to show our dads our appreciation for them.
The past week or two has seen shops promote cards and gifts, with large “Don’t forget Father’s Day, June 17th!” posters beside the generic array of ‘dad-type’ products, such as golfing accessories, soccer memorabilia, and novelty ties. The cards are similar, usually aimed at dads who like watching the footy, or golfing, or boating.
Now feel free to contradict me, but usually these shops are British chain stores, with British dads in mind. And, again, feel free to contradict me, but in my opinion, Irish dads and British dads have little in common.
Judging by television ads and programmes, the stereotypical British dad takes his kids swimming every Saturday, enjoys a round of golf with his workmates, and supports a major English soccer team. The stereotypical British dad would no doubt appreciate the gifts on offer in such stores.
Therefore, I doubt the stereotypical Irish dad would have any regard on such presents. The stereotypical Irish dad is usually an avid GAA supporter, quite often a farmer, and considers it a crime to miss the RTÉ news and weather.
Now obviously this is not true of all Irish fathers. My own dad, for example, doesn’t slot into that category. He’s more historian than hysterical GAA supporter. But he does enjoy spending his evenings reading the Indo, he does like his traditional music, and he by no means would appreciate a novelty tie, cufflinks, or Man United jersey as a Father’s Day present (actually, the thought of him wearing any sort of jersey is making me laugh. He’s more of a shirt and jumper kind of man!).
But the point I’m trying to make is – Father’s Day commercialism rarely caters for the Irish daidí. This makes him quite difficult to buy for. But we’re lucky in that Irish men usually choose to ignore the commercialism that surrounds such holidays, and therefore don’t seem to expect much. In fact, when I told my dad about this article, he said “Father’s Day? Is that this Sunday?”
But it’s good all the same to surprise them with something. After all, your dad will always be the most important man in your life. And although Irish dads aren’t the best at showing emotion, they adore their children more than anyone else in the world, so it’s nice to return the favour. It also needs to be said that grandfathers and stepfathers should also be acknowledged this Father’s Day.
Here are a few gift ideas with Irish fathers in mind.
The biggest mug you can find. It’s a given that Irish people love their tea, and Irish men in particular love a big steaming mug of strong tea in the morning…and the afternoon…and the evening…and a few in between. So your dad is always going to appreciate a big mug. I got mine one last Father’s Day that said “My Dad’s no mug” and he loved it!
Sunday lunch. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and if it’s one thing Irish dads love, it’s their grub. Take your dad out for lunch this Sunday, somewhere with decent portions and a friendly atmosphere, not a sushi bar or some such place!
Tickets to a match in Croke Park. If your dad is a GAA fan and your local club or county make it to Croker, why not treat him to a ticket? Maybe throw in the ham sandwiches as a bonus!
A book. If you have a bookish dad like me, he’s always going to appreciate another one to add to his collection. My dad has dozens of books to get through and he’s never without one.
A subscription to his favourite newspaper. Whether he’s a Times man or an Indo man, or even the Farmer’s Journal, a subscription will ensure he never misses out on anything if it’s delivered to his door. A gift he’s sure to appreciate.
If none of that suits, no dad, Irish, British or anything else, will say no to a Lynx set!
Lead Image via Wikimedia Commons.