A guide to celebrating and reflecting on Dad, fatherhood
Looking for ways to delight your dad on Father's Day? Read on.
June 15th, 2012
02:15 PM ET

A guide to celebrating and reflecting on Dad, fatherhood

In the early 1900s, a Washington state woman heard a Mother's Day sermon and thought that her father - a widower who raised six children by himself - could use a day of honor, too. She started the first Father's Day in the city of Spokane in 1910.

More than 100 years later, Father's Day, while no doubt a commercial hit - nearly 94 million cards are exchanged annually, according to Hallmark - remains a time to celebrate fathers or remember the ones we lost. For this Father's Day, many of CNN.com's writers and contributors came up with columns and articles that examine many ways to honor dad through gifts, food and time; and offer reflections on fatherhood and what dads want for their children.

To start, check out how others are paying tribute to their fathers, both dead and alive. In "The bittersweet side of Father's Day," CNN's Emanuella Grinberg talks to people who've lost their dads and examines how they mark the day and deal with the difficult moments - like discovering a book that would be a great gift, only to remember there's no need.

In our GeekOut blog, author Joe Peacock praises his stepfather for supporting all his geeky hobbies (the sci-fi and comic-book fan has an extensive "Akira" art collection) and helping him be a happy person who is "unapologetic about loving the things he loves.”

Thinking about grilling out for your father on Sunday? In our Eatocracy blog, top chefs at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival offer tips for worry-free grilling. Interested in cooking something else? In Eatocracy's Spouse vs. Spouse series, a husband-and-wife team offers dueling suggestions for delighting your father at brunch: polenta with farm egg and sausage, and French toast with a fruity, chocolaty twist.

Maybe your father likes a stiff drink now and then. If you're considering the gift of alcohol, check out these scotch, rum, tequila and wine ideas from Ray Isle, Food & Wine's executive editor.

What better time than Father's Day to hear what dads have to say about what they do and what they wish for their children? CNN contributor LZ Granderson, father of a 15-year-old boy, reflects on what many fathers encounter when they see their sons live to a certain age: realizing that the son has surpassed him in physical strength and learning that it's time to let the son find his own way in life.

Regular CNN contributor Roland Martin also shares what it means to be a 21st century dad. While he and his wife don't have biological children, they became surrogate parents because of a compulsion to take responsibility for others' children.

TV shows and commercials sometimes offer a stereotype of fathers as inept and bungling: think Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin, or advertisements that portray dads as less competent than their wives in chores. CNN's Josh Levs gives a report on fathers who are striking back against companies that use such ads.

Gallery: TV dads through the years

Michael Schulder has a Father's Day wish: that his children would get interested in science. The CNN senior executive producer talks to science and psychology  experts to find out how this might be done.

For 20 years, Paul Treacy has been a photojournalist and street photographer. In his project "Boyhood," Treacy aims to apply his journalistic approach to capturing the essence of boyhood through pictures of his two sons. See his gallery of images, comprising "a father's view of 'boyhood'" on our CNN Photo Blog.

Finally, tell the world what makes Father's Day special to you, and read how others celebrate their fathers, through iReport.com. The idea of making a special day for dads was taken 100 years ago, but you might be inspired by how other readers honor their old man.

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Filed under: Father's Day
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Ghaand

    My dad passed away when I was young, but what wonderful memories he left me with. He taught me to swim, play soccer, ride a bike, cook

    June 16, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    @ dazzle, i know the feeling. And the thing im finding most odd is since my dads passing, im finding out i never knew him as well as i do now, after going thru all his odd little collections, and mainly his mamoth book collection. And it makes me sadder.

    June 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Its hard to explain and even harder to understand. I just wish i had known while he was alive all the things ive learned since he passed.

    June 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    I have a question? My dad is gone (1992), but if I wanted to get a cool Father's Day gift for a dad I know, I might want the story of the 1st daughter who came up w/the concept to honor her dad! CNN didn't include the names of either the daughter or father, but I bet there are books about it! It would be a great gift from a daughter to her dad, or like me, from a friend to a man w/daughters! A shout out to my dad, Rune the Viking! He was gregarious, funny, brilliant & lived life w/gusto! His daughters, nieces & grandson (wow, a boy, dad!),miss him everyday & especially on Fathers Day!!

    June 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fernace

    @Philip, not sure where you live, but my town doesn't shut down for holidays! If people want time off, they have to arrange it in advance & find people willing to work their shifts, on their own! Stores (esp. grocery) stay open at least a 1/2 day! Same for fast food places! There is no force at all, to observe, participate or accept any holiday! In fact, in the past few years, if I hadn't consciously decided to celebrate, many holidays could have slipped by as just another day! Just an observation!!

    June 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
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