Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There's More to Father's Day Than Just Ties

Somewhere between when Father's Day was first established in June of 1910 and present day the tie has become synonymous with the holiday. One may never know just who introduced the tie into the picture. It certainly wasn't the person credited for making Father's Day a mainstream holiday.

Sonora Dodd, of Washington, came up with the concept for a "father's day." She thought of the idea while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909, and realized there should be a similar day set aside to honor fathers, most especially her father, William Smart. Smart was a Civil War veteran and also a widower, who raised his six children all on his own.

When Dodd became an adult, she realized how selfless her father had acted and how difficult it must have been to raise such a large family. In his honor, she held a father's day in Spokane, Washington on June 10 -- her father's birthday. The idea of the holiday was supported by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. But it wasn't until 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day, and subsequently when President Richard Nixon signed the law in 1972 that the holiday became permanent.

Since then Father's Day has been celebrated annually worldwide. And, the sale of ties spikes considerably at that time of year. After all, could there possibly be a gift that fits Dad more perfectly than a tie? The answer is a resounding yes.

By now your father may have enough ties to fill his closet. So this year, consider a gift that may be more heartfelt and unique. Here are some ideas:

* Music and movies: Reasearch Dad's favorite musical artists or actors and put together a care package filled with DVDs or CDs. If he's a high-tech sort of fellow, download MP3 tunes that he can use on his iPod or similar player.

* Food: It's often been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Play upon this notion by cooking Dad his favorite foods or treating him to a night out at a restaurant he's wild about.

* Family portrait: What Dad doesn't like to brag about his kids? Set up a photo opportunity with a local photographer or enlist another family member to take a picture when the gang is all together. Enlarge the image and frame it for his desk, workshop, or any place Dad loves to hang out.

* Detail his car: Give dad a gift certificate to a car wash or auto spa. He'll leave with his prized set of wheels sparkling clean.

* Novelty ties: If giving a tie is a family tradition, try any number of novelty ties that might fit Dad's personality. Or better yet, purchase a light-colored tie in a solid shade. Design a greeting or picture on your computer and print it out on iron-on transfer paper. Adhere to the tie with a warm iron and you'll have a one-of-a-kind personalized gift.


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