What to get Dad for Father’s Day? Put down the necktie! We’ll help you out with great Father’s Day food gifts and other ideas.
Mothers and fathers have special days in their honor. However, the steps taken to create a day to recognize the great things fathers do was much more difficult than the process to develop Mother’s Day, which took off commercially in 1908.
History of Father’s Day
A concerted effort to establish Father’s Day came from Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father raised her and her five siblings as a widower. She campaigned in her home state of Washington, which responded by establishing a statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. The campaign was slow to catch on but was championed by Presidents Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and Calvin Coolidge in 1924. Even with presidential backing, public support was less than enthusiastic.
Manly men didn’t necessarily want a touchy/feely day to commemorate their contributions to their offspring, although retailers across the country (having seen the wide commercial success of Mother’s Day) were in unanimous support of a Father’s Day that would be akin to a “second Christmas.” This was especially true after the Depression era, when store owners were more than ready to promote “goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.” (source: history.com)
Still, it took the mass deployment of young men and fathers in World War II to impart enough empathy to rally the nation’s consciousness. And although it was not officially recognized, the Father’s Day movement finally achieved national status in 1972 when President Richard Nixon made the official proclamation.
What to Get Dad for Father’s Day
The top father’s day gifts typically follow a simple philosophy. To choose the best gifts for Dad on Father’s Day, keep these four key words in mind:
Want, Need, Wear, Read
Of course, it always helps when the gift recipient offers suggestions on what he would like to receive as a gift. But if you know the person well, these four guidelines should get you pretty close to finding perfect presents…even gifts for men who have everything. (This will also help you decide what to get Dad for his birthday.)
Want: Father’s Day Food Gifts and More
Typically, a “want” is something aspirational—an item or service that your father would not necessarily purchase for himself. If he wants a new golf club or a shiny riding mower, it might be worth rounding up a group of siblings to all contribute to a big gift. Other, smaller “wants” could satisfy cravings…like meat, cheese or chocolates. There are lots of food gift baskets out there. Consider the meals men love, and think of your dad in his man cave or well-worn recliner snacking away on his private goodie stash while he watches his favorite sport on TV, and it will become easy to choose gift baskets for Dad.
Need: Essential Gifts for Dad
A “need” gift is a bit easier to buy. However, you really need to know the person well to identify true needs. For example, maybe his ladder has broken and he could use a nice, sturdy upgrade. Or perhaps a couple of tools need replacing. If you ask him what’s broken, lost or worn out, that will usually answer the question of need.
Wear: Personalized Father’s Gifts
Something to “wear” seems easy enough, if you know his size. Maybe he’s a fan of flannel shirts, loves to lounge in comfy slippers or even show his wild side while wearing a fun Hawaiian shirt as he barbecues in the back yard. Sports-themed wearable presents are always a sure bet, as are personalized Father’s Day shirts and other wearable gifts for him.
Read: Great Ideas for Father’s Day
To get the most out of a “read” gift, find out if your dad is a traditional reader of printed books, or if he has embraced the digital age. E-readers make excellent presents, as do tablets and other smart electronics for him. Don’t forget gift cards for him to purchase online books. Clever reading accessories can also make unexpected gifts. On the flip side, you could spend a little extra for a hardcover book from his favorite author or one that is written about his favorite topic.
These basic principles apply when you need birthday gifts for men, too…but Father’s Day has truly earned its status each third Sunday in June, as Americans who purchase presents for their fathers spend approximately a billion dollars annually. With all the unique Father’s Day gift baskets and other choices out there, it won’t be hard to find Father’s Day food gifts he’ll appreciate!