The History of Giving Gifts For Father’s Day

While Mother’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, it took quite some time for their spouses to receive the same kind of recognition. Father’s Day was invented as a complement to Mother’s Day, and although it did take some time, is now celebrated in countries all over the world. While the actual day of celebration varies from country to country, the most common day of celebration is the third Sunday of June.

Father’s Day is not only a day to celebrate the appreciation of male parenting, but is also a day to commemorate and honor our nation’s forefathers. What many people don’t realize is that Father’s Day actually came about due to the efforts of a woman. Back in 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd was attending church and had some issues with the fact that there was now a holiday honoring mothers, but no holiday honoring fathers. Through her efforts and with help from her local reverend, the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910. While this holiday was celebrated by many countries, it still took many years for Father’s Day to be recognized as an official holiday. It wasn’t until 1972 that President Nixon finally signed into law that Father’s Day would be a national holiday.

The history of giving gifts for Father’s Day is not as cut and dry as the actual holiday’s humble beginning, however. While there were presents given to the father by some, in the beginning Father’s Day was looked at more as a day to let Dad relax and gather together for a family dinner. In the 1930’s, however, there was an actual committee formed by the Associated Men’s Wear Retailers specifically designed to make Father’s Day more commercial. By the late 1930’s, giving Father’s Day gifts became more widely accepted and the tradition of giving gifts on this day continued to grow. In 1937, it was estimated that only one out of every six fathers received presents. However, since the 1980’s the giving of Father’s Day gifts has grown in such proportions that it is now known by retailers as “Second Christmas”.

Although celebrated on the third Sunday in June by most countries, Father’s Day is celebrated on a different day in others. In some Catholic countries, such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain, Father’s Day is celebrated on March 19. In Australia and New Zealand, the holiday is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, but it is not a public holiday. In Denmark, Father’s Day takes place on the same day as Constitution Day, which is June 5. Many Hindu countries celebrate Father’s Day in early September or late August on the day of the new moon, or Amavasya. In Taiwan, the holiday takes place on August 8th, and in Thailand it is celebrated on the day of the present king’s birthday. Father’s Day just became a legal holiday in Romania in 2010 and is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

While the tradition of Father’s Day and the commercialization of the holiday has swept across the globe, it will still never be as universally celebrated as Mother’s Day. While greeting cards have become a common Father’s Day item and the marketing of electronics and other “men related” products has also continued to grow, there are a number of factors that will always make Mother’s Day more widely celebrated than a day for dad. The most purchased Father’s Day gift is a tie.

The history of giving gifts for Father’s Day may have started back in the 1930’s, but each year the holiday becomes more and more commercial. It was started as a complement to Mother’s Day, but will never be considered as important a celebration. This is evidenced by an interesting fact about the two days that has been common in the United States for many years. Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for phone calls, while Father’s Day is the busiest day of the year for collect calls. It looks like part of the history of giving gifts for Father’s Day includes dad giving a little something as well.