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It’s that time of year again. I’m talking about Father’s Day, the one holiday of the year when most children, wives, relatives and friends will be spending hours online and in-store trying to find the perfect gifts.

Father’s Day was started in the United States to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. Like many American holidays, gift giving tends to take center stage, while spending time together takes a back seat. The question is, what does Father’s Day mean to you? There will be several different responses to this question, as different individuals will see it from different perspectives.

iStock_000006327242SmallFor many, Father’s Day is when we express gratitude to fathers and present them with gifts. While your dad might have a few things in mind, he most likely won’t be the first to come out and say what he really wants. So for the majority of us, it’s going to require some digging.

Every dad is different, of course, and maybe yours will just be happy with a really heartfelt card, while others might be expecting a new bbq, a drill set or some other type of new tool. The good news is that most fathers really just want to spend time with their family.

For me, this will be another Father’s Day I will face without a key ingredient: a dad. To be completely honest, I had forgotten that the holiday was approaching until the emails started arriving this week. Macy’s, Target, Lowe’s and a horde of other retailers have recently hit my inbox, reminding me of the upcoming holiday. Some may get mad at these emails, but I appreciate them. These annual reminders from retailers are well received, I am grateful to them for helping keep my father alive in thoughts. While I don’t have someone to physically buy gifts for, we do go out to dinner and often a movie to celebrate the great father we once knew.

To all fathers, know your role as a father. Always be there for your children. They need you to help sharpen their lives and look to a good future. My dad was always really good at being there for us, whatever that moment held, good or bad. So as we approach Father’s day, I hope my friends, family and their dads have the happiest Father’s Day ever.