Today’s fathers may get a pat on the back, perhaps a card or enjoy a day of golf on Father’s Day.
Many will also surely enjoy the deals on beer, wings and other treats offered to honor the nation’s 72 million dads.
Longmont’s Ian Schwartz is happy to put some vegetables in the ground to mark the day followed by a trip to the mountains. His low-key approach reflects his attitude toward Father’s Day, which he admits hasn’t meant that much to him over the years.
“I don’t have a recollection of us doing anything while I was growing up,” Schwartz said. “We probably had dinner or something. But I just don’t think we made much of a big deal about it.”
Other fathers like Philip Armour, barely acknowledge the spot on the calendar. Armour says the whole idea of a Fathers’ Day is an invention of a commercialized society bent on celebrating just about anything.
“If you truly consider it, every day is Father’s Day, like every day is Mother’s Day,” said Armour, who has two biological children as well as two step-children. “I mean if you dig deep enough, you can find a day celebrating anything. Grandparent’s Day, Secretary’s Day. What’s next? Cousin’s day. “
“I mean, when does it stop?”
Armour and Schwartz, who is a first-time dad, concede Father’s Day lacks the emotional or commercial heft of Mothers’ Day.
“Mother’s Day gets the heavier social media play,” Armour said. “Especially in this day and age. Moms are considered the heart of the home and they seemingly have more of an influence especially in the early years of a child.”
“Father’s Day,” Armour said. “Doesn’t get the same play.”
Father’s Day is a relatively new invention. The day was conceived over 100 years ago by Sonora Dodd who wanted a special day to honor her dad, William Smart. A widowed Civil War veteran, Smart raised his six children by himself on a farm, according to the United States Census..
Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972, when President Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent. By contrast, Mother’s Day was recognized as a national holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson.
The U.S. Census says there are 29 million fathers who are also grandparents. In 2019, there were two million single fathers, living with their children under the age of 18.
The image of fathers is also rapidly changing, says Armour, as dads now find themselves dealing with blended families. “In a lot of ways, for my step-kids, I am more of an interested uncle more than anything. Fathers these days aren’t anything like they were even 50 years ago.”
Their tastes are changing as well. Longmont’s Lovin’ Oven owner Susan Coates wanted to create Father’s Day treats for dads who are trying to eat cleaner, healthier fare. Coates’s daughter produced a gluten free triple chocolate cake for Father’s Day..
The online store also offers dairy-and-soy-free cakes and cookies for fathers, Coates said. “They are very popular with dads,” she said
There are other traditional pursuits offered Sunday, including a round of golf at Sunset Golf Course.
“This is always our biggest day of the year, Father’s Day,” said a Sunset spokesman. “Especially now, people just want to get out.”