I have to admit something: in the years since moving to Abu Dhabi, I have increasingly downplayed the celebration of Mother’s Day, to the disadvantage of my wife. This isn’t intentional, and seems to have resulted from the confusion amidst the utter ubiquity of various iterations of Mother’s Day being celebrated on a vast number of different days throughout the year. Being that we have so many nationalities represented in the UAE, everyone brings their traditions with them. And apparently most of the countries represented seem to disagree on the appropriate day to celebrate mothers.
However, it seems everyone agrees as to when Father’s get their day to be celebrated; this year, Father’s Day is June 21. End of story.
In contrast to mothers, it may seem that dads in general don’t do as much or make as many sacrifices for the family. And while this may be true for some, there are others who are making bigger sacrifices than is obviously apparent. Often times, it does not come natural for men to interact on an intimate level and be sensitive to other’s needs. However, this is the primary characteristic of being part of a marriage and engaging in family life and responsibility. Additionally, men tend to like roaming and having free time to themselves, so being (lovingly) anchored not only to one physical location but to the timeline and schedule of a group of others can be a trying experience for some fathers. If a man is a constant presence, honoring his commitment and engaging in relationships – regardless of how well he is doing it – know that he is making a concerted effort which is challenging to his nature, at least to some extent.
In general, dads aren’t so picky about how or even if they are celebrated. Perhaps that plays into the reason for there being only one day. But regardless of their seemingly laid-back expectations for being honored, it does not necessarily mean that father’s don’t appreciate being appreciated. I can’t speak for all dads, but I can give you an idea of what some men might want from their families on Father’s Day.
Personally, what I hope for is not so much for a great gift that totally embodies an understanding of who I am, but rather a sentimental gesture that communicates to me that my family recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices that I willingly make. Yes, part of that is a small gift that reflects my interests, but it’s really more of a token of appreciation than a chance to get that one big item that I’ve been wanting. Aside from that, just some love and quality time with my family is what I cherish most.
The fact that men may not be so picky about what gifts they receive does not necessarily make us fathers a very easy group to shop for. Men traditionally have much fewer options to choose from, which often result in accumulating unnecessary amounts of clichés such as ties, wallets, and golf clubs.
Here is my list of some unique and trending gifts ideas for the male parental unit in your family – one for every budget and timeframe (do-it-yourself, run to the mall, or order online). Hopefully it’ll surprise him this year with something he’ll get excited about: