The last day of October has always been filled with a sort of spookily magical aura of alluring mystery and superstition. But not always quite like it is today. Actually, it wasn’t until about 80 years ago that the customs we now associate with Halloween came into fruition, though their roots can be followed back thousands of years.
Historians trace Halloween’s beginnings to a pagan Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The event was held on the eve of October 31st, lasting until November 1st, which is the date of their new year, and signified the need to stock up on food items in preparation for the winter months. They thought that this night was a time when the dead were among the living, so they dressed in scary animal costumes to ward off the evil spirits, danced around a special fire, told stories, practiced divination – the whole shebang.
During the 8th century, Catholicism began to make its way into Ireland and Samhain became integrated with the religious celebrations of All-Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. These holidays take place November 1st and 2nd, and are meant for honoring saints and those who have recently passed. All Saints’ Day is also known as Hallowmas, All Hallows, and Hallowtide (so you can guess where the current name for October 31st stems from). And the whole dressing up thing didn’t disappear, as you may have guessed. It was believed that All Souls’ Day was the spirits’ last time to get revenge on their enemies, so the Christians did what anyone smart would do: they made masks and costumes to disguise themselves. (Pretty sneaky, guys.)
Trick-or-treating also has roots in these Catholic holidays. For All Saints’ Day, people would make special breads called soul cakes that the poor would go door to door collecting in return for prayers. Thus, trick-or-treating was created. But this act of collecting didn’t gain popularity in North America until fairly recently.
We love our grandparents. They introduce us to new ideas, offer perspectives that differ from our parents, and spoil us. And not just with unconditional love and letting us get away with things. Generally, grandparents should spend between $50 and $100 on birthday presents, depending on a variety of factors like how old the child is, finances, and how many grandkids there are in the family. Grandchildren certainly don’t come cheap. But you can make the money go further by spending it more wisely than on useless toys.
So say you’re spending $100 on a grandkid’s birthday buying – let’s face it – stupid toys that are prized for a few weeks and are then forgotten. How about putting that money to better use? Still give them a gift – something small – and spend the remainder at the bank, by putting it into an account for them. If you put $75 into a bank account twice a year, your grandchild will have close to $3000 by the time they’re 18 and if you put $25 into it once a month, that’s $5400 by the time they graduate high school. When they’re checking out student loans, having their first semester of state college taken care of will be a lot more useful than video games and meaningless plastic they haven’t touched in a decade.
Before you came along, your dad was sort of a regular guy. He may have had long hair and been a regular at the local dive where he spent every night living his “dream” of becoming a pool shark. Before you, your dad may have listened to his music too loudly, spent his days off at the beach with mom, and gone out every Friday night. Before you, his ambitions may have been outlandish – reaching into space with astronauts or plunging deep into the ocean with scuba divers. But things changed. Life was no longer about staying up late and getting out of work early. It became all about you.
Your father has dedicated all of these years to you, making sure you’re provided for, safe, and happy. This amazing love deserves some recognition, which is why we have Father’s Day, but this year, take the time to recognize exactly why your dad is amazing – because he is. Our fathers have done things for us over the years that when we’re younger, we don’t understand, but in retrospect, we comprehend the immeasurable love they have for us and what an amazing gift that is.
He’s Your Biggest Fan
Remember when you went through “that phase?” Well, your dad still loved you and thought you were adorable, didn’t he? Yeah, that’s because our dads will always think we’re great (it’s sort of an unwritten law). Our dads brag about us, congratulate us on our achievements, and are proud of our accomplishments. If it was a fad to wear buttons expressing sentiments towards their children, you’d probably think that ½ the world’s youths were running for president.
The Perfect Gifts for the Perfect Guy
Though they’ll say it’s the other way around, we know men are no picnic to shop for. No man lusts after yet another button down shirt and really, how many bad ties does one guy need? If your dad is techy, then sure, go for some cool new invention, but not all even understand texting yet. And, as always, there’s the issue of money. For those of us who can’t afford an all-expenses paid trip for Dad to Europe, our options are fewer – but that doesn’t mean he has to like his gift any less, we just have to be smarter about what we’re getting. It’s said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…and based on experience, I’d say it’s pretty accurate. So, this year for Father’s Day, try out gifts that unite your #1 guy’s favorite pastimes with the tastes he loves most:
Because He Eats Like a Man…
For reasons I’ll never be able to comprehend, men love to grill. So, help them get to it. Give Dad a gift that allows to get his grill on. Gifts like our Barbecue Boss Basket give Dad all the rubs and marinades he needs to create delicious meals like never before. Not so sure of the tools he’s got? Check out our Father’s Day Grilling Gift Basket which includes not only gourmet marinades and rubs, but all the tools required to man the grill. And don’t underestimate the power of steaks. Would I be a little leery of someone sending me a steak? Yeah, but guys really like them. In fact, they’re listed in the top 10 Father’s Day gifts on AskMen.com, and we’ve got plenty on our site to choose from.
…Drinks like a Man…
Everyone knows that man’s best friend is a dog – but puppies aren’t really the greatest presents. Second best mate? Beer, of course. But then, buying Dad a six pack doesn’t really cut it for Father’s Day. So, we’ve created beer baskets that combine unique brews with gourmet treats – so his night’s ready to go. Whether he’s a microbrew kind of guy, enjoys different tastes from around the world, or prefers beers specifically from Ireland, we’ve got the right arrangement of drinks and snacks for your hero.