Today, 20th of June, marks a particularly poignant day for me as it’s 10 years ago today my father, Gerald, died of cancer. Many of you know my story and how my father inspired me in so many ways to grow and develop my business so for any of you who haven’t read the story of ‘Geraldo’s’ here’s the link to ‘The Story of Geraldo’s Ice Cream.’
To a lot of people Father’s Day is just another day created by the retail industry to encourage you to spend money. It seems everywhere I’ve been over the last few weeks there are marketing messages and sales offers to entice you to spend, spend, spend and show your dad he’s number one. If there’s anything I would like to ‘spend’ my money on it would be to give up everything I’ve worked for during the last 15 years to ‘spend’ just 1 day with my dad. Knowing my dad, if I could actually hear his voice, his response would be “Don’t be crazy, you know I’m with you every minute of every day anyway!” There are times when I absolutely do feel that but there are also times when I feel like screaming “Where the hell are you dad when I need you?” Inevitably something always happens to remind me he’s never far away.
Traditionally, Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June every year. A lady called Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington State was the first person to think it up back in 1910. Her father was a civil war veteran named William Smart. When Sonora’s mother died giving birth to her 6th child, William was left to raise all the children on his own. After a church sermon about Mother’s Day, Sonora suggested to her pastor they should have a Father’s Day and proposed her dad’s birthday, 5th of June, but the pastor had no time to prepare a sermon and moved it to the 19th of June. One of the earliest ways of celebrating the day was to wear a red rose if your dad was still alive or a white flower if your father was deceased.
What do fathers want?
According to a recent survey I read online 87% of dads would rather have dinner with their family. Simple, don’t you think and me – a retailer?!! Most fathers don’t want another tie, as 65% said they would rather get nothing than have yet another tie and before you go running out to buy your dad aftershave, only 18% of Dads said they would want some kind of personal care product. Not surprisingly only 14% of fathers said they wanted some kind of car accessory so why not make him something really special for his dinner tomorrow night and perhaps treat him with a little gift at the table. That’s something I’ll always remember my Dad doing and he always did it when we least expected it.
Whatever you do with your dad tomorrow, make the most of it and cherish every minute with him. If like me your father is no longer here these are for you.