When I was growing up, our parents would occasionally announce that such and such a day was going to be a “fun day”. This would involve an outing, not just to the park or the beach or to the carnival after the Sunday roast but an excursion to perhaps a fishing village south of the county and maybe a boat trip to an island, a tour of a neighbouring county, museums and exhibitions, an adventure park something big. We’d be bought treats and maybe even something from a gift shop. The only purpose of the activity was to have fun, an entirely wholesome objective.
Forty years on and we’re still going on fun days only now, it’s with our own kids and adult siblings. I might be on the phone to a sister or talking to my brother in his shop about plans for the weekend and often they’d say we’re going on a fun day to Dublin or wherever, it’s a family thing.
One of the last presents I got my father was a voucher I made and printed at home for a fun day to Dublin to visit Epic. It’s Ireland’s answer to Ellis Island where we celebrate our brain drain for the past thousand or so years, it’s worth a visit. He was delighted with the gift and we even allowed my then twelve-year-old to bunk off school and come along.
Memories of days out last longer and mean more than a physical product or an online voucher bought and emailed in two clicks. I don’t remember any of the birthday presents I received as a child but I treasure the memories of the many fun days. I hope my sons will too when they reach my age. Spend time with your peeps, it doesn't have to be a full-on Redmond fun day - even a long walk or leisurely lunch will do it. I know time is money and all that but sure what’s the point if there’s no fun?
This is pretty much the reasoning behind the birthday presence card.