Moms often get all the credit for the role they play in raising kids and keeping the family together. While that credit is obviously well-deserved, sometimes it feels like fathers’ contributions aren’t as appreciated or recognized as they should be.
That’s partly illustrated by the fact that Father’s Day is a much smaller spending holiday than Mother’s Day. In 2017, the National Retail Federation estimated $23.6 billion would be spent on mothers nationwide on their special day as compared to only $14.3 billion on Father’s Day.
Read on to learn about the origins of Father’s Day began and to find out what you can do to make the day special for dad.
How Did Father’s Day Celebrations Begin in the US?
The idea of a dedicated Father’s Day first started gaining serious traction in the United States all the way back in 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd, a native of Spokane, Washington, pointed out to her church congregation that Mother’s Day was, at the time, the only celebration of parenting. As the daughter of a civil war veteran father who raised her and her five siblings alone, Dodd felt that that wasn’t right.
When Dodd spoke to her pastors about the need to recognize fathers for their role in parenting, they agreed and felt compelled to do something about it. At the church level, the idea was a success. However, it proved contentious in the public space, with Americans remaining skeptical of its intentions. Most believed that it was just another way for business to benefit from the celebration of parenthood like they had done with Mother’s Day.
Multiple legislators tried to ratify Father’s Day and failed. But in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
Best Gift Ideas for Dad
If you’re looking to celebrate your old man for the part he’s played in making you who you are, you’ve come to the right place. Here we go:
1. Find some nostalgic photos
The older (and obviously wiser) generations tend to enjoy looking back on the days of yore, and your father is probably no exception.
We recommend you start by going through the family archives and digging up some of those old memories. Reach out to relatives to ask if they have any noteworthy pics of him from back in the day. If he there’s a friend or a group of buddies from back in the day that he likes to reminisce about, try reaching out to them. You can search for their contact information using a people search engine. Ask if they have any photos from those good old days that they can send your way. Another strategy is to look for photos that show his most memorable parenting moments from your youth like birthdays, graduation, even a wedding. These will remind him of the journey and how obviously fantastic he is as a father to have raised someone as exceptional as you.
Take those photos, grab a couple high-end looking frames online and you’ve got yourself an easy, inexpensive yet extremely touching gift.
2. Show appreciation for his interests
Take some time to reflect on what really makes him tick. Think about his latest hobbies, his sports teams, the things he loves to eat or drink.
The goal here is to give him something he will receive and instantly feel that you really and truly know him. You want him to know that his offspring appreciate him to the point that they would spend hours on hours scouring the internet for something meaningful to him and his interests.
If he’s into fishing, do some quick research to learn about the latest fishing rod or lures on the market. If your dad’s is a bird watcher, splurge a little to get him the swankiest pair of binoculars out there. Maybe he has eggs every morning for breakfast, you could splurge on a ceramic, non-stick egg pan to make his clean-up easier. If you’ve been out of touch with him recently, you can always ask your mom, uncles, aunts or any other relatives about what he’s been into lately.
We all know that dads aren’t always great at choosing long-term hobbies, but let’s face it; most dads out there absolutely deserve the top-of-the-line gizmos and gadgets regardless of how often they’ll actually use them.
3. Cook him a homemade meal
Handmade or customized gifts are one of the best ways to surprise our dads. With food, you can have both…at the same time!
Start by doing some research with family to see if they can remember any of the meals he loved when he was growing up. It could be lobster rolls, chicken parmigiana, BBQ, homemade burgers…just about anything, so long as you know it’s something that he’ll appreciate. Don’t forget a six pack of his favorite beer while you’re at it. Making the effort to cook a big meal for him will go a long, long way.
While not a physical gift, a great meal featuring the people he loves and great conversation are will probably be even more meaningful to him than a gift he may or may not use. Be sure to document the evening by taking pictures…you may even be able to use those pictures as a future Father’s Day gift!
4. Surprise him with a family gathering
This one may require some planning and coordination, but we believe in you! Throw a surprise party for your dad (and the other fathers in your family). The first step will involve getting all of his family members and old friends together.
Odds are he has some friends he hasn’t seen since high school or college, and this is your opportunity to be the center of a grand reunion they’ll talk about for years. Under conventional circumstances, reuniting people who haven’t seen each other is hard to do, but there’s a quick, easy way to get it done with Spokeo.
With Spokeo’s phone lookup service that syncs data from online and offline sources, allowing you to locate long-lost family members and childhood friends your dad lost contact with. With this service, you could find your dad’s long-lost friends at the click of a button, and you’ll be able to enjoy his look of total and utter shock upon reuniting with people he loves but hasn’t seen in decades!
It’s the Thought That Counts
At the end of the day, a successful Father’s Day is more about memories and emotions than it is expensive gifts. It’ll take a bit of time and creativity, that’s for sure, but it will be well worth it if you put in the time to really think about who your father is and what he’s all about.