Flipping Father’s Day on Its Head

  by Andrew Wolgemuth

Prior to fatherhood, I had no idea that I’d enjoy Father’s Day as much as I do. The third Sunday in June went from being just a reminder that I should start thinking about a present for my Mom’s end-of-June birthday to being a day I anticipate well in advance and then relish for weeks thereafter.

I’ve come to realize, though, that the fun of Father’s Day has less to do with being celebrated (though I’m not gonna lie … that ain’t bad, as these five dads can attest) and much more to do with the joy of looking into the faces of my family and celebrating the fun of being their dad and husband. In previous years I’ve expressed this joy with “thank you’s” and smiles … but this year, I’m going to step up my dadcraft a bit.

This year, I want to flip Father’s Day on its head.

Having been taught by a veteran dad the importance of gifting words, I’m going to attempt to do the same for my fam. With a couple of careful selected words and reflections, I want Chrissy, Malia, Davey, Naomi, and Drew to be reminded that they’re known and loved.

First, I’m finding a word for each family member that serves as a reminder of a fun, distinct, and notable trait or hobby or activity. I’m going to share these words with the family on Sunday, and I’m aiming to bring a smile to the recipient of the chosen word and a chorus of “oh yeah!” and “that’s true” from the other family members. For example: Naomi, when I think of you, I think of your laugh … when you think something is funny, everyone in the room knows it … and they can’t help but laugh themselves!

Second, I’m going to share a word with them that describes something that each family member did really poorly this last year … something they need to work to improve in the year ahead.

Just kidding. That idea never even occurred to me.

For real: Second, I’m going to share a word for each family member that describes something I particularly love about that individual. With this word, I’m aiming to bring another smile, to follow it with a hug, and to hear a chorus of “yep, I love that about her/him too” from the other family members. For example, Naomi, something that I love about you is how brave you are. You’re eager to try new things.

I recognize that there’s the potential for overlap between the first word and the second, but here – in a nutshell – is how I’m differentiating between the two: I want the first one to be fun and I want the second to be a bit more serious … a bit deeper. I want the first word to show my kids and wife that I know them well and the second word to demonstrate that I really, really love who they are.

I want to flip Father’s Day on its head so that my family realizes that the best part of Father’s Day is the special people who call me “daddy” and husband.


There’s fun in listening to and learning from other dads so we asked the question: what do we love about Father’s Day?

Do you have a fellow dad you want to honor? Whether it’s your dad, a buddy, or someone who has served as a father figure in your life, consider giving him a timeless gift.

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Photo by Jared Mackey; used by permission.