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. Transtesticle Dad

    I want my kids to stop calling me on fathers day. I was born a woman trapped in a mans body, even though I really enjoyed making babies.
    Now that I am a woman, I expect my grown children to treat me as such, and the Supreme Court agrees with me.
    You now have two moms kids! And as we all know, there is absolutly NOTHING wrong with Elton John's family either.

    June 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fathers Daynot

    Fathers Day (nor Mothers Day for that matter) is not a holiday. (taken from Holy Day) Fathers are no more holy than mothers or children. ('holy' def. clean, seperate from the others, sacred in Gods eyes)
    What next? Cousins Day?

    June 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Because a word has it's origins from andother phrease doesn't mean that Father's Day or Mother's Day shouldn't be treated as a holiday for fathers or mothers.
      One isn't forced to observe any holiday, holy or not.
      If one doesn't want to honor their father on FD, then they don't have to.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I don't know what that picture above is, but it looks revolting.

    June 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. American Jewry

    It looks like a picture of Homer Simpson, a gentile with little dog children.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    American Jewry:
    I see some kind of food.
    I think it would be wise to get your eyes checked it it lookes like a cartoon to you.
    Just a suggestion. 🙂

    June 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    I see they have changed the picture!
    I had no clue as to what that other picture was supposed to be...

    June 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hogwash

    We all observe many "holy days" wether we like it or not. Everythings closed! We aren't even allowed to goto work...the big boss shut US down for the day or three.
    But yeah, I agree w/banasy. They SHOULD be optional.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    What I said is that is that if one doesn't want to observe FD, don't.
    Hogwash says what it says.
    Do NOT even try to twist what I say for an agenda that Hogwash wholly owns.

    I further do not care if anyone, mysh less Philip, ever agrees with what I say.

    June 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dazzle ©

    @banasy©, Hey girl, it looks as though someone is driving with their eyes closed on this thread. Be that as it may, Happy Father's Day weekend to all the guys out there. Chef P a special shout out to you too.

    June 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dazzle ©

    LOL, I guess I opened that box.

    June 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. raven

    Happy Fathers Day, Daddy. I miss you.

    June 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ♚Mmmmm♛

    that's right change it from a sloppy sandwich to stale steaks leftover from memorial day...

    June 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Barney

    And if you dont want your kids to honor you, dont have any! Kids should be taught to honor their mother and father always!

    June 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    Well i especially love it when my girls call me on dads day to wish me happy dads day. This year will be extra hard tho cuz it was a year ago fathers day when i found out my dad had terminal cancer, and he passed shortly after. But kids are a blessing!

    June 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©


    June 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
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