Father’s Day 2011: Why Do We Give Gifts on Father’s Day?

The most important gift of all this Father's Day? LOVE! Image from GettyImages.com

The first Fathers’ Day ever celebrated started in 1908 due to a tragic mining catastrophe that occurred in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907, by a woman named Grace Golden Clayton, who chose the Sunday nearest to her recently deceased Father’s birthday. 

The day was overshadowed by other events in West Virginia, and as others tried to implement other versions of Fathers’ Day, it wasn’t until 1972 when the day was signed into law. Ironically enough, Woodrow Wilson wanted to make the day official in 1916 but Congress said no because they feared the holiday would become commercialized. If only they were alive today, when every holiday is celebrated with a sale, a Hallmark card and gift wrap. 

It might very well be that the commercialization of the holiday actually saved it, though. In the 1930s, a group of men’s clothing retailers came together and formed the National Council for the Promotion of Father’s Day. Their goal was to legitimize the holiday to, of course, sell more things, and although consumers at the time saw through the obvious façade of aligning the holiday with a reason to consume, they purchased gifts anyway. In 1937, the council figured that one of every six fathers received presents on the holiday. By the 1980s, the Council regaled: the one-day holiday had turned into a three-week commercial event, being known and economically celebrated by many families across the United States. Their justification? In 1949, the executive director of the Council said that without their efforts in making the event celebrated, the holiday would not have gained the same popularity nor would it have gotten national recognition. 

Just like the Father’s Day Council, Appliance Factory Outlet is celebrating the holiday by offering LED TVs at cost to our customers, but only through our exclusive email offer. You’ll have to sign up for our newsletter by 5pm tonight in order to get this offer. 

Regarding this, what’s your opinion? Would the holiday have survived without the commercialization of it, or would Father’s Day still have become as nationally celebrated and revered as it is today? Answer in the comments below!