18/06/2012 06:08 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Why The Perfect Father's Day Gift Is...Nothing!

Why the perfect Father's Day gift is...nothing! Rex

I have a personal message for my wife and children ahead of Father's Day: "Please don't buy me a gift. We can't afford it, I don't need anything – and, as you know, I am a very ungracious gift-receiver."

Will they take heed? I very much doubt it, because my family, like millions up and down the country, have been suckered in to the annual hype that is Father's Day.

I'm all for equality – as my stay-at-home-dad status no doubt testifies – but why do we dads have to match, present-for-present, event-for-event, everything that mums do?

I get the sentiment behind Mother's Day: by and large, they are the unsung heroines of family life, self-sacrificing and slogging their guts out for the greater good.

They deserve a treat – a gift even. And certainly a day off from the rigours of the day-to-day assault course that is childcare.

But do we dads deserve the same? In our house – and I know a stay-at-home-dad's residence is atypical – it's Father's Day every day. Every. Bloody. Sodding. Day!


But seriously, when will this relentless march of celebrating everything cease? What's next? Auntie's Day? Uncle's Day? Second-Cousin-Twice-Removed Day?


I don't want a gift that I don't need on some American-invented over-hyped commercial opportunity.

The 'celebration' came about in 1910 as a response to Mother's Day, but families saw through it, refusing to get involved.

It wasn't until the mid-1980s when, due to never-look-a-gift-buying-opportunity-in-the-mouth pressure from retailers, the Day of the Dad (my term, not theirs), became what the Fathers' Council described as: "a 'Second Christmas' for all the men's gift-oriented industries." Well said!

Get me something for my birthday, and for Christmas – yes please – but Father's Day? No.

I don't want a bottle of whisky (can't stand the stuff), a thrill 'experience' that will make me bring my breakfast up, nor a lie-in with breakfast in bed (I prefer to make it myself). Although, to be fair, I could do with a new pair of socks as the ones I have are of the religious variety (holy – geddit?).

Do other dads feel the same about Father's Day gifts?

According to a survey, two-thirds won't receive anything on Sunday. The survey, from shopping website, seems to suggest this should be a cause for concern.

The company's co-founder, Duncan Jennings, said: "While mums get made a fuss of, unfortunately dads typically lose out when it comes to presents, especially on Father's Day. If you haven't bought a gift yet, there's still time to go out and get one and make sure your Dad isn't one of the unlucky ones on Sunday."

Sorry, Duncan, but in my opinion, failing to contribute to yet another cynical consumer commercial exercise should be celebrated.

The survey says children will spend an average of £21.21 on gifts (what? Have they won the Lottery?) whilst an "unlucky" eight per cent of dads will receive a present worth less than a fiver.

Give me a fiver and I'll buy myself a pint. For that's all I actually want on Sunday: not any of the following on the survey's Top 10 Fathers' Day Wish List:

1. Game of Thrones – Complete Series 1 DVD Boxset
2. Bottle of whisky
3. iPad3
4. Red: My Autobiography by Gary Neville
5. Socks
6. Nespresso
7. Pixie Titanium Shirt
8. Rally driving experience
9. Cufflinks
10. Leather iPad case

Get a grip guys. If you want your kids to get you an iPad3 for FATHER'S DAY, then what do you expect for your birthday? A Ferrari, perhaps? Please leave gift-giving for the times of the year that are really special. And celebrate Father's Day every day.

What do you think? Is Keith right or should we celebrate Father's Day with presents?