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. dazzle ©

    You know how to get my attention, good troll. LOL big time.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    Come on banasy. You said "One isn't forced to observe any holiday." I replied Hogwash! We ARE forced to observe many holidays. The observers shut everything down! Even the governemnt shuts down on certain holidays. I have no choice but to take the day off like everyone else. Taking an entire day off work is one of the most onservant things a person can do to honor something. Like taking a day off work just to be around homeless people. 😉

    June 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Philip:
    Being forced to take a day off work is not the same as observing the holiday.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @Philip:
    And for those people who own their own businesses, such as yourself, they are not forced to take a day off.
    Just saying. 🙂

    June 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Huh? Let me let you in on a little secret. It's harder for a business owner to close down for a day than for an employee to take a day off, not to mention more expensive. Especially in this economy.
    Now, mine is a small business compared to what it was before our economy started getting shipped overseas, but I still have to turn about 250 dollars per day before I break even. I work 3 weeks per month just to break even. If that fourth week includes holidays, my personal profit is purty much gone. X-mas-New Years can just about break a struggling small business for that month. (other than retail, of course)
    I would rather have days off nobody else had off so I could have the creek to myself. 🙂 Call me greedy for lonesome. Just don't call me greedy. he he.
    Looks like our bad hair year might be winding down?

    June 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    @Philip:
    I never meant to denegrate what you – or any other business owner does.
    I know that in many ways, it is tougher on them than a nine – to – fiver.
    I merely meant that akthough one may have to take the day off, one is under no obligation to partake in any observance of whatever holiday they're getting the day off for.
    Knowhatimean?

    June 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mary

    I hear ya banasy. Yet, how often does anyone take their car in the shop on a holiday?
    I think that's one of big problems for a business owner, if not the very reason for a low net income during the holiday month.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Hi, Mary.
    I know Philip's business is not the best analogy, bit many business owners work on paperwork, etc.
    I hope that people are not advocating observance of holidays; there are more people who probably do observe them than not.
    That being said, days like FD and MD, to me, are more like a day set aside to honor parents, and not a true holiday, such as Christmas or Easter, for example.
    I also know people who don't celebrate them, either.
    If one doesn't honor their father , for example, then it's a day like any other day.
    My father is deceased, so I don't observe it...but my childre's father is, so they observe it.
    My hubs isn't my Father, so I don't gift him or card him...but my kids do.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Boy, I butchered my last post...I'm tired.
    Off to bed.
    Good night, all.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dazzle ©

    @HIDE BEHIND, sad but incisive post. Yes his dad would be proud.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. raven

    Thanks, m.s! For the hug. For whatever it's worth, I don't observe fathers day or mothers day; fathers day because my father is deceased, and mothers day, because well, my (ahem) " mother" is an old blister. But I dont begrudge others acknowledging their parents by observing a day set aside for such a purpose. Each to his/her own.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dazzle ©

    @PTDOAC, may I ask why you are calling him The Duke?

    June 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TvNyC

    Your father is just as important as God.

    June 16, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    @ Fred, ty very much young man, and i hope you have a wonderful fathers day! And every day between fathers days! 🙂

    June 16, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. dazzle ©

    @Chrissy, good morning to you. Some of these posts are so moving and touch the heart. I miss my father so much and honor his memory this weekend also.

    June 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
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