Man’s Day

While my children cost me quite a lot in many ways one thing they have helped me save cash on is greeting cards. No longer do I have to waste my money buying an unfunny joke from a shop that everyone has seen before, instead my poor family and friends are lumbered on their special occasions with a piece of home-made artwork from my children. Handprints, finger prints, squiggles, random shapes stuck on card, all end up sealed in envelopes to wing their way to some unfortunate recipient who will no doubt open it and say, “what the heck is this?” and chuck it in the bin. It is only with reluctance that I sometimes relent and stick up on the wall what can only really be described as the mess that they have brought home from nursery. So I am not sure why I then think anyone is going to appreciate it on their birthday? One day in particular when their DIY cards really come into its own is Father’s Day. For years I would scour the shelves looking for a suitable “dad” category for my dad and father-in-law. What do you get for the one who does not like beer, barbecues, wine, golf, cars, horse racing, DIY or is especially attached to the TV remote? And for the one who does like a drink – will he get offended if year after year I keep sending him a card with a bottle of red on the front? But now, all I have to do is find a blank piece of paper, hand my child a pen and let her do her thing. No judgement involved. This year however we hit a snag. Having left it to the last minute as usual, we were in a rush to catch the last post and when I handed my three -year-old the pens and told her to work her magic, like a temperamental artist, she decided she did not want to draw today. No matter how much I bribed, joked, lost my rag, the inspiration just wasn’t there and she would not do as much as a dot. So, I have to come clean, I grabbed the pens and did it myself and with my forged squiggles in their envelopes, we managed to get to the post box just in time. I think I got away with it. Another thing that is popular at times like Father’s Day is what I believe is called genetic jewellery, where you get your child’s fingerprint put on a cuff link. Other ideas are also handprints on mugs or family photos on keyrings or mousepads. While I am sure any new daddy is delighted with such a personal gift, I do wonder how much they would have just preferred few beers or a pass out to the pub. It sounds like dads in Germany get the best deal. Also called Man’s Day, in the countryside it usually begins with a male-only hike accompanied by waggons filled with regional food, beer and wine, which are pulled by the men. In the cities, the done thing is to head to the beer gardens to drink all day. Many take the day off work the following Friday, and some schools are closed, too. Mother’s Day incidentally, is marked with a bunch of flowers.

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