Most people don't actually know the history of Father's Day, the when and how we first came to officially honor dad.
Father’s Day is a fairly new holiday. It is often mistakenly understood that Father’s Day and Mother’s Day evolved together side by side. This might be the logical assumption, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The reality is that when it came to holidays reverencing parents, the women came out of the winning end of the equation.
The first observance of Mother’s Day, or celebrations honoring mothers and motherhood dates back to well before the rise of Roman Empire. Dad has been overlooked for centuries. It wasn’t until 1909 when Sonora Smart Dodd first decided it was high time to give Dad his due and began to organize and agitate for such a holiday.
Dodd’s own mother had died in her early childhood. This left her father to raise her on his own. In a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909 Dodd thought of her own Father, and what a pity it was that there was not a corresponding holiday to celebrate fathers.
The first official celebration of a Father’s Day type celebration was held July 5th 1909 in West Virginia. The following year on June 19, 1910 Dodd held what was to become the first annual father’s Day celebration. She also began to lobby for the creation of an official holiday.
This was not a popular idea. At first the popular public opinion was rather disparaging. The majority of people felt the creation of Father’s Day was a largely commercial effort to increase sales. Other’s thought that the very idea of throwing a party for dad was laughable.
Dodd was persistent in her efforts and slowly the concept began to catch on. Ironically, as pubic perception had predicted the first and most consistent promoters of Father’s Day other than Dodd herself were retailers.
In 1924 President Coolidge lent his approval to the creation of a national holiday and so it finally went onto the calendar. Yet the celebration still was an uphill road to tread before it really caught on and became the annual hoopla it is today.
When it comes to Father's Day gift ideas, the key to choosing is to keep it fun and simple.
Dad doesn’t want a new razor, tie or cologne for father’s day. The old adage that food is the way to a man’s heart and dad will eat anything is off the mark too. Dad’s will gladly eat the chocolate given them, but it not usually what they’d pick for themselves.
What do Dads really want? The answer might surprise you. Men, of any age, like toys. Seriously. Think about any grown man you’ve ever known. What does he do with his spare mad money? New tires, new golf clubs, fishing poles, lures, guns, video games, techy gadgets and the list never ends. The grown-up in us all will say these aren’t toys. They are sporting gear, equipment and gadgets. I have news for you. Those words are all synonyms for toys.
Want proof? What did you get the last time you had to buy a gift for a 5 or 6 year old boy; a plastic set of golf clubs like dad maybe? Or a laptop type toy or a PSP gadget perhaps? The man hitting his midlife crisis doesn’t buy a sensible sedan; it’s a motorcycle or convertible sports car. Boys, no matter how old they are like toys.
Use this newly found epiphany to make Father’s Day gift giving this year the best ever. There is something in it for you as well. Shopping for toys is so much more fun than shopping nose hair clippers.
Does your Dad like movies? Buy him more than just a DVD of his favorite flick. Get him an x-wing fighter from Star Wars, or a couple of light sabers so he can play Jedi. (He will.) Dad doesn’t feel the force? No problem there is merchandise to be had for any movie dad does enjoy. If doo-dads are not what you’re after think about movie posters. He can hang them in his office, man-cave or other spaces like the garage.
First decide if your dad prefers to watch or participate. Spectators will get a kick out of fan paraphernalia or better yet tickets to the games. Participants enjoy all sorts of equipment pertinent to their sport. If your dad’s sport of choice is not full of immediate gift choices, like the runner, don’t give up. Tachometers, i-pods or gift certificates for music downloads or new socks and shoe laces all work well for those sports that are not heavy on equipment.
Gadget dads are the best! Almost any new-fangled techy gadgetry will do. Just walk into Radio Shack, shut your eyes, point and there you go.
Take the toy thing one step farther and get dad an actual toy. Head for the nearest mall with a great toy store there you will find a million gifts for dad. Marble roller coasters are a classic favorite. Remote control anything in a shape your dad is attracted to is a hit (cars, trucks, airplanes, boats, robots, dinosaurs…).
Fathers Day ideas are easy to come up with when you realize that all you need is in your own back yard.
You’ve spent your very last ounce of brain power finishing the school year, now in the first few days of summer break, before the dust even has time to settle you are blind sided by Father’s Day. It shouldn’t be that way; it is the second Sunday in June and has been so for decades. Yet there you are scrambling last minute for an appropriate way to honor dad. Whether you choose to put the last minute scramble on hold this year or proceed as usual here at a few ideas that will pull together nicely, quickly and really let dad know he’s tops.
While mom is usually best honored by giving her a complete day of R&R, Dads genuinely enjoy pitching in if you speak the right language and prepare properly. BBQ and DAD have been tossed together for eons. Make the most of the pairing this Father’s Day.
Pull together foods worthy of the grill and get cooking. Great grilling is yummy; it pleases kids and adults alike. Another beauty part of the backyard grilling experience is that the whole family can gather together in the yard while the meal cooks.
Keep stress at bay by keeping it simple. There is no need to complicate this with the needless frills. Those fancy, foofey things are usually for mom’s sensitivities anyway. Dads like the simplicity of being together without the stress of preparation and hassle of clean up. Honor dad by doing things just as he’d do them, even if it goes against your grain a bit. It is his day after all.
To that end kids like hot dogs and chips, let them have them. If you want to dress it up a bit, get bratwurst or steaks. Dad is not going to mind eating a great sausage or a T-bone, if he really has to. Spread out a quilt and eat right there on the grass off of paper plates. Want to include a fancy potato or macaroni salad? Make it the night before so the mess and prep work don’t land on Dad’s Day.
Foods that do well on the grill: hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, chicken (choose cuts that have the bone in, they don’t dry out on the grill). What about veggies? Cut a variety of zucchini, yellow crook necked squash, asparagus and green, red or yellow peppers, soak in salted water put onto to the grilling rack and brush with olive oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, they will be a crowd pleaser every time; all with virtually no mess or fuss.
The grill can even prepare a great dessert. Wrap marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched by gram crackers in aluminum foil and toss them on the warm grill. When they are warm and toasty enjoy your BBQ s’mores.
To keep the kids and Dad occupied while the food cooks get a few out door games. Water guns or balloons are great. Dads are usually overgrown boys and will like the chance to just cut loose and play with the kids. Get a football to toss around or a baseball, a few mitts and a bat. Dad is more into another sport? Then prepare for his particular passion.
At dinner honor Dad by having each family member share their special memories of Dad. This is a great way to pass the afternoon, allow dad to feel loved and escape from his daily grind. In essence the perfect Father’s Day.