Every time I think about going shopping for Father’s Day, I can almost hear my dad’s voice, saying, “Why on earth do you need to spend so much to say something I already know?”
Father’s Day? What’s that?
The part of the world where I come from, Mother’s day and Father’s day aren’t really a big deal and everyone goes about their lives on the premise that parents love children and children care about parents, no matter what the date or month.
But after moving to the USA, I started noticing how much was made out of these occasions. From talk shows to commercials, magazines to malls, you could tell what month or date it was merely by glancing at the displays or topics being discussed.
I kind of liked it. I began to see things in a new light. These occasions give people the chance to express their appreciation and love. It made sense to me because I had moved so far away and it gave me a chance to do something special for my parents, who, I knew, missed me terribly.
And so it was that I started sending my parents flowers, greeting cards, restaurant reservations, tickets to shows and other such gifts.
And they appreciated my efforts. They really did. But they just didn’t get it.
“No more Father’s Day gifts, Please!”
My dad would say over the phone, “Why did you spend all that money on a watch? Haven’t I taught you anything? Learn to save, young lady, save!” My attempts to explain that I really wanted them to have the gifts and that it made me happy to send them stuff, were lost in the echoes of his booming voice.
My mom would express how lovely the gifts were, but would also tell me not to spend so much on her. “If you’re happy, that’s the greatest gift we can ask for,” She would say.
“But, Ma” I would protest, “I want to do this. It’s no big deal really. It’s Mother’s day after all.” But my arguments were completely lost on them.
To my parents, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are simply superfluous. They don’t need them to know how much their children love them. All they want is for their kids to be happy and to stay in touch.
After years of trying to convince them, I finally decided to give in. I thought to myself, “Well, whatever makes them happy.” It seems as if they would be happier if I didn’t spend as much. So, I decided to cut back on gifts this year and send them free ecards instead.
My mom loved the free Mother’s Day ecard I sent her. And guess what my dad will find in his inbox on Father’s Day!?
While I will be spending just a few minutes browsing and selecting a free Father’s Day ecard, my dad will probably be thrilled to learn that his daughter has finally learnt to save. And what better gift can there be?
Now, that’s what I call a win-win!