It’s time, again, to ask my daughters if they have a gift in mind for their dad for this Sunday and if we need to rush out at the last minute to shop? Although we all know deep down that allowing ourselves to be entrapped by society’s marketing routines is our own choice, we also know we would feel slightly guilty if we didn’t step somewhere within the seasonal shopping loop. Where did it all start?
Raised on a farm in eastern Washington state, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd wanted to pay tribute to her father, William Smart, who gave his life in the Civil War. In 1909, she proposed a fathers’ day to be celebrated in June (the month her father was born). The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Wash. on June 19, 1909, but it was not made official until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed it a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
Since then, Father’s Day has taken its place in the list of occasions that merchants capitalize on – special products, special sales, special advertising – and consumers likely feel guilt if they don’t get with the program.
Sorry, Dad; that’s not to say I take any less meaning from the day than was originally intended. It has always been hard to find the right gift and sometimes harder to convey the meaning behind it because love and appreciation can’t truly be represented by material things.
I should be shopping for a closer look at my feelings and better ways to express them. Heartfelt hugs and the listening ears of an open mind can’t be put in a gift bag, and these are best implemented on, not only one special day, but every day. Love you, Dad!
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