Father’s Day is around the corner so I thought I’d dedicate this week’s posts to that topic. You may not like everything I write but I hope that it at least gives you something to think about. Last year I wrote about my opposition to celebrating mothers on Father’s Day. This year I plan to write something equally thought-provoking, so I hope you stay tuned!
Since it’s the beginning of the week, I think that I’ll start with the origin of Father’s Day:
Father’s Day started in 1910 by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, who was often referred to as the “Mother of Father’s Day.” She was 16 years old when her mother died in 1898, leaving her father William Jackson Smart to raise Sonora and her five younger brothers on a remote farm in Eastern Washington. In 1909 when Sonora heard a Mother’s Day sermon at Central United Methodist Church in Spokane, she was inspired to propose that Father’s receive equal recognition. The following year with the assistance of Reverend Dr. Conrad Bluhm, her pastor at Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church), Sonora took the idea to the Spokane YMCA. The Spokane YMCA, along with the Ministerial Alliance, endorsed Dodd’s idea and helped it spread by celebrating the first Father’s Day in 1910. Sonora suggested her father’s birthday, June 5th, be established as the day to honor all Father’s. However, the pastors wanted more time to prepare, so June 19, 1910 was designated as the first Father’s Day and sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city. It was years, however, before Father’s Day gained national prominence. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge recognized Father’s Day and urged the states to do likewise. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation calling for the third Sunday in June to be recognized as Father’s Day and requested that flags to be flown that day on all government buildings. President Richard M. Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972, permanently observing Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June. So voila, here we are!
So what should you get your dad? Some of the more traditional gifts include: watches, techy gadgets, shaving sets, new shoes, a pair of cufflinks, a BBQ set, tickets to a sporting event, a wallet, power tools or the good old standby – cologne.
Celebrating fathers is expensive. This year it is estimated that the average gift for dads will be about $113. Total spending for the holiday may reach up to $12.5 billion*. Whew! That’s a lot of money. And to think I’ll be spending at least one millionth of that on my own dad this year so you can’t say I’m not doing my own part to help the economy 🙂
And so the countdown begins! Get your gifts together because Father’s Day is in less than 1 week!
*The National Retail Federation