How to make Fathers’ Day disappear

Every year, I start writing this post, get upset and abandon it. But since speaking to a fellow member of the Dead Dads Club who was having the same problem, I think it’s time I finished it.

Fathers’ Day is no doubt a lovely and enjoyable event for fathers and people with fathers everywhere. But there’s also a considerable group of people who have lost their dads, hate their dads, or otherwise just don’t want dad-dom shoved in their faces every year. This post is for those people.

Make Fathers’ Day disappear from your inbox

First, let’s get rid of all those emails desperate to flog you the very same thing they tried to sell you on Mothers’ Day, but with a weak dad twist.

I can only give instructions for Gmail because that’s the only service I use, but any one with filters should work similarly – try Googling ‘create filter <email service>’:

  • Click the arrow in your search box:


  • Put the words to filter in the subject line box, separated with OR in capital letters (I use ‘dad OR daddy OR father’, which will also pick up ‘dads’, ‘fathers’ etc). You could put the words in the ‘includes the words’ box, but that would include the body of emails and someone might mention their dad in a perfectly normal email and get filtered. I find it safer to just filter the subject line – it should pick up all Fathers’ Day marketing mails:


Then click ‘Create filter with this search >>’ and decide what you’d like to do with those messages. I set them to skip the inbox and auto-archive, but you could also choose to auto-delete. I prefer not to just in case an innocent email gets filtered and I need to find it.


  • Click ‘Create filter’ and we’re done. You can leave the filter running all the time, or choose to remove it after Fathers’ Day by clicking the gear icon on the top right, then Settings, then the Filters tab.

Stop dead relatives popping up on Facebook

  • Fill in this form to get their account memorialised.

Mute Fathers’ Day chat on Twitter

These apps allow you to ‘mute’ certain topics and keywords on Twitter, so you just don’t see them in your stream:

Again, just set up words you’d like to filter – I’d recommend father, fathers, father’s, fathers’, dad, dads, dad’s, dads’, daddy, daddies, daddys, daddy’s, daddies’, and daddys’ just to be on the safe side. You shouldn’t need to include ‘day’.

Real life

  • Avoid all card shops, TV and the radio until it’s over (note to trolls: JOKING)

Of course, all this advice can also be applied to Mothers’ Day or anything else that pokes you in the heartstrings. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you to ‘get over it’ and ‘life doesn’t stop for you’ and all that bullshit. The fact is, if there’s a way to avoid seeing something that’s going to kick you in the feels, it’s completely fine to use it.

We’re all fragile in our own ways, and it’s OK to wrap yourself in cotton wool sometimes.

With thanks to Lorelei Mathias, @AJKandy, @Shell_568, @DrFidelius and @KidCircus

4 thoughts on “How to make Fathers’ Day disappear

  1. Arland says:

    This post mildly surprised me to be honest…I’m an orphan (Dad died 13 years ago, Mum, 10) and Mothers and Fathers Days mean less than nowt to me. I mean, it’s just a day made up by advertisers, when people reluctantly bung a card in the post or go out for a meal with their family. Do people with parents even make a big deal about it? It’s not an anniversary, or a birthday. Of course it sucks that most people have parents and some of us don’t, but in time, that will change and that’s something big and horrible they all fear. And we don’t have that.
    And after all, Father’s Day no Easter, where everyone buggers home to family for a long weekend for roast dinners and whatnot and forgets about you. That does suck, and you can’t filter that out.

    You can live your life getting hyper-sensitive about what could have been or what you don’t have, and although I would never dream to presume for your father, I know my parents would have wanted me to spend every public holiday plus a few made-up-by-advertising ones being sad because of their absence. So I don’t bother.

    An ad for Father’s Day? Might as well be an ad for viagra or Hanukkah candles or some other misguided Google Ad thing that just doesn’t apply to me.

    • copybot says:

      I was waiting for someone to call it “hyper-sensitive”. The fact is, people react to trauma in different ways and just because you’re skipping along not feeling sad, doesn’t mean everyone is the same. Not every blog post has to apply to every person ever.

  2. David says:

    I’m fortunate enough to still have my dad, and I’m a dad myself however I lost my mother a couple of years ago and it still hurts. I celebrate Mother’s Day for the sake of my wife however I feel pangs of guilt and sadness for mum. I still get teary on the bus when it goes past the hospital. Everybody hurts, everybody is allowed to hurt, and, as you say, it’s okay to want to protect yourself every now and again.

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