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Why Father's Day is so special

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

In partnership with Royal Mail

Four and a half years ago, Tom and I became proud dads to two cheeky little sibling boys, Lyall and Rich - just four and five at the time. If you're a regular Daddy & Dad reader, you'll know all about the first nerve-wracking but magical day we met the boys. (If this is your first visit, welcome on board!)

Lyall and Rich had a turbulent, frightening start to their little lives, so Tom and I spend every moment of spare time as a family to make up on the years we missed out on before the boys arrived. We throw ourselves into every family celebration with gusto; birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Easter, New Year's Eve, Royal Weddings and even the Queen's Birthday gets an orange squash cheers.

This weekend marks our fourth Father's Day, and naturally with two dads, Father's Day is quite a celebration.

Typically, Father's Day (or Fathering Sunday as I like to call it with my tongue-firmly-in-cheek and a nod to the long established Mothering Sunday) begins quite early with a cute wake-up call from our boys. Revealed from behind their backs are home made cards (last year's featuring a fantastically detailed illustration of FC Barcelona squad from Lyall and a goldfish with stick on eyes from Richard) and occasionally a hand made gift, a jam jar lid medal perhaps or a paper-mache piggy bank.

Here's a sneak preview of this year's beautiful cards!

Once we're all up and dressed, we usually go out for an enormous breakfast at the hotel down the road and then enjoy a long cycle ride together, stopping for a pub lunch and a beer on the way home. It's a lovely day.

Thinking about my own Dad (now commonly known as Grandpa Mark), he's an amazing Grandpa and somebody I proudly call my friend. But, since I can remember he has spent Fathering Sunday 😜 surrounded by all his old best friends from school in a camper-van at Le Mans in France, probably with a well deserved mini french beer in his hand! This is his only week of the year to relax with his friends. So, while we're super-proud of the fantastic job he does with our boys and we love him, he usually just receives a Skype or Whatsapp message from the boys rather than a card or prezzy. He's happy with that - we love you, Grandpa Mark!

Similarly, our Grandad Neil is enjoying retirement by jet-setting off to sunny Bali with Granny Margaret. He's also a wonderful, hands-on Grandad with bags of enthusiasm, activities and love for our boys. We love you, Grandad! x

Anyway. Our family are famously home-made when it comes to greetings cards (and sometimes gifts, although not everybody appreciates a loo-roll rocket for Christmas apparently!). I come from a creative upbringing and we're all huge fans of a Sharpie and a pair of pinking scissors.

But is this handmade approach typical of other families?

Well. The Royal Mail surveyed 2,000 dads across the UK to find out what they really wanted from their children on Father's Day.

The research found that simple pleasures, such as a meal out with the family, hugs from their children and receiving a Father’s Day card are the top three ways to make the perfect Father’s Day.

But, despite these findings, its survey found that dads were most likely to receive generic gifts. 32% expect to receive beer (to be honest we wouldn't complain!), 29% expect to receive socks and 24% to receive aftershave this Father’s Day.

And, if previous experience is anything to go by, around one in four can expect a 'World’s Greatest Dad' mug to join their collection of excellent mugs! To be honest, our mug cupboard is already packed full of novelty mugs, I'm not sure there's room for another.

Most heartwarmingly (is that a word?) of all, when asked what would make them happiest in general, four in 10 dads said receiving a handmade Father’s Day card or Father’s Day present and 34% said spending quality time with their children. Furthermore, UK dads said these simple gestures would make them happier than their favourite sports team winning the league (22%), getting a new car (23%) or getting a promotion at work (14%). Lovely.

Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail commented: “This study shows that, when it comes to Father’s Day, it’s the personal touch that counts. All UK dads really want is quality time with their families and a lasting reminder of their children’s love. If you can’t be there with them in person, sending a Father’s Day card with a personal message and picture is a great way to show your dad that you are on their mind, and that you care about them.”

We completely agree, Mark 😊

What do you do with your handmade cards?

Royal Mail's research also asked Dads what they tend to do with their Father's Day cards. It turns out they're a keeper! Splitting the results by region, dads in Belfast are most likely to keep their Father’s Day cards throughout the years (75%), followed by fathers in London (73%), Cardiff (70%), Worcester (70%), Northampton (69%) and Manchester (69%).

We keep all our cards, letters and most of our homemade pictures too in a drawer in the office. Really excellent cards like this years are framed for our gallery! (It's in the hall, we're not posh enough to actually have a gallery - yet!). Box frames are fantastic for displaying children's proud artwork - check out what Daddy's done with Lyall's card this year.

Today (Friday 15th June) is the last day for posting your Fathering Sunday cards, by the way! Send them via First Class or Special Delivery to get them there in time. Or, if that's not possible, remember to call, video call or message your Dad or Grandpa this Sunday. He'll be over the moon!

Happy Father's Day, with love Daddy & Dad xxx

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