By Nate Day
When it comes to holidays, most people prepare themselves with a “What’s in it for me?” mindset. Most holidays involve getting gifts or attention—but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to spend the time! Doing the exact opposite can be the most fulfilling approach to these annual celebrations, and Father’s Day is no exception.
Being a father is more than just a title. If accepted wholly, it’s an honor that requires patience, ingenuity, care, and an overall desire to help improve the next generation in character and joyfulness. I can honestly say that I didn’t know or understand the possible depth and sincerity of love until I became a father. There is something so eternal in our relationships with the little people we helped create! Everything we do that makes an impact on their life is of the utmost importance.
Everything you say and do is noticed by your children—when you get a flat tire on a long road trip, when someone cuts in front of you in line at the grocery store, the way you treat waitstaff when dining out, and even the way you react to holidays. If you act like so many commercial entities want you to during Father’s Day and just kick back and let it all come to you, they’ll remember and learn from this. It will become a holiday that they understand as being about “me time.” But I believe it should be about family time! A celebration of collective traditions, memories, and heritage.
Of all the stories I read as a boy, one of my favorites was the famous Hobbit. What struck me the most had nothing to do with magic, giant spiders, dragons, or orcs. At the beginning of the book, J.R.R. Tolkien explained that a hobbit’s birthday party is a celebration in which the host gives small gifts to all of their guests. The idea of throwing a party to celebrate you—while focusing that very event on making others happy—was fascinating to me! Such a celebration leaves people with a sense of appreciation, musing sentimentality, and wistfulness. What a wonderful way to honor you, your life, and the people who have helped make it meaningful.
Father’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate being a father while demonstrating to those perceptive little ones just how lucky you are to have them in your life. You might imagine it like a movie star throwing an acceptance party after winning an Academy Award. “I won! Thanks for being my friends; let’s party!”
Remember, you wouldn’t be a father without your kids. And in my opinion, one of the very best ways to spend Father’s Day together is celebrating with movies!
Many of my childhood experiences were influenced by my favorite films. From westerns, sci-fi blockbusters, and comedies to thrillers, dramas (my personal favorite), and chick flicks, so much in film has had a role in shaping who I am today. As a former cop, I took a bit of my stand-off look from the steely-eyed Kurt Russell when he portrayed the historic Wyatt Earp. When it came to my dating life, I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, waiting for Richard Gere to prove the hurdles of love could be overcome. Many of the lessons that I want to share and enjoy with my kids can be viewed on-screen.
Another great reason to celebrate Father’s Day with a movie night is that it’s basically effortless once you pick the movie. You can make things extra special by prepping popcorn, having some special drinks on hand, and a sweet snack to round it out. That’s pretty much it, simply leaving you to sit back and enjoy the works of the cinematic masters with your family.
So, this Father’s Day, if you want to leave a lasting impression, make it a movie night. Prep the popcorn, bring the beverages, grab some sweet treats, and fluff the pillows on the couch. If you have smaller kids, here’s a bonus pro tip: pick a simple movie with a straightforward message. Be sure to tell them how and why the film is one of your favorites so they can internalize what dad loves about the story, acting, or explosions.
Enjoy being a dad by celebrating time with your kids, who made it a reason worth celebrating.