Father’s Day versus Mother’s Day
By Bob McDonnell
As a father of one son, I am well aware it’s almost Father’s Day. And again, fathers will take a back seat to mothers and their day. In the United States we celebrate both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day each year. But it seems moms get a lot more attention than dads do.
The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. That was a long time ago.
Father’s Day had a much slower beginning. Honoring dads had a few false starts, with small celebrations in some cities across the United States. In 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation honoring fathers. A full six years later, in 1972, Father’s Day became a permanent national holiday. President Richard Nixon signed the new law. As you can see, moms got a big head start with their day.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) 2019 Mother’s Day/Father’s Day spending survey shows more people celebrate Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. Their latest numbers are that 84 percent of people plan to honor mom, while 76 percent will do the same for dad.
It is commonly known people spend more on Mother’s Day gifts than for fathers. The Christian Science Monitor (www.csmonitor.com) in June of 2015, pointed out the holiday for fathers comes after a few other big spending days at the start of the year. These include Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and school graduations at all levels.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates U.S. consumers will spend $23.6 billion, or $186.39 per person, on Mother’s Day in 2017. The year before the NRF put Father’s Day spending at $14.3 billion or $125.92 per person.
Dr Lars Perner, a consumer psychologist at the University of Southern California had a possible explanation for this money gap. Perner said, “To some extent, wrong or right, mothers are often considered to be the biggest contributor to the home life.” Perner adds that perhaps dads are also “less interested in tangible tokens of appreciation.”
Some would argue another reason for moms getting more attention is they are easier to shop for. A consumer website, www.bradsdeals.com researched this topic through a survey of 700 bradsdeals shoppers. The results posted on June 15, 2016, were telling. A full 38 percent of those surveyed said Father’s Day shopping is trickier than Mother’s Day. Almost 13 percent (12.7) felt mom was more difficult to find gifts for.
As a father and grandfather, I don’t care about Father’s Day gifts. I just want time with family. Also, I take joy in hearing my granddaughters wishing their dad a happy day. Maybe I set a good example for my son. I hope so. Happy Father’s Day.
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