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2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the first Father’s Day celebration. According to our research, Father’s Day was established in Spokane, USA by Sonora Louise Smart Dodd. Aged only 16 when her mother died in childbirth, Sonora and her siblings were brought up by their father, a Civil War veteran.
The story goes that while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, Sonora had the inspiration to establish a day to honour fathers. Thanks to her tireless campaigning, the first Father’s Day was celebrated the following year in Spokane on Sunday, 19 June 1910. Eventually Sonora’s campaign led to Father’s Day receiving official recognition.
Today, Father’s Day is still celebrated on the third Sunday in June in over 50 countries worldwide, including the UK and USA.
Other countries also celebrate Father’s Day but on different days in the year. For example, in Australia and New Zealand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September, and in Scandinavia on the second Sunday in November.
Throughout the world, children traditionally celebrate Father’s Day by sending cards and gifts to their ‘Dad’, in other words the man who is most influential in their lives – be it their natural father, step-father, or grandfather.
It’s a chance for children to spoil their Dad and show them how much they are loved and thought of. While expensive gifts are always welcome, often it’s the little things that mean the most to a Dad on Father’s Day.
Starting the day off right by treating Dad to breakfast in bed can be followed up by giving Dad control of the TV remote control for the day. Taking over those summer Sunday chores, like cutting the grass, can also be a welcome gift.
Yet, many children will also buy or make a card and present for their Dad. Traditional gifts like ties, socks and chocolates are always high on the list, but more personal presents that show how much thought has gone into the gift are often most valued. Perhaps a book by his favourite author, a CD by his favourite group, or even tickets to a favourite sporting or music event, if budgets allow, will make him smile.
For younger children, home-made cards, pictures or stories drawn and written by their children can make delightful Father’s Day gifts. Similarly framed photos of their children are also excellent ideas.
While it’s easier for adults to simply spend money on their Dad, time can be a wonderful gift on Father’s Day. Taking Dad out for a meal or cooking him a homemade meal is a great way to spend more time with Dad on Father’s Day. It also returns to the root of why this day was first established – to appreciate all the things that our fathers do for us throughout our lives.
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