By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Mother’s Day was on Sunday, May 13. Father’s Day will be coming up on Sunday. So neither of them gives anybody a chance to take some time off.
But their children spend a lot for both celebratory days. An estimated $15.73 billion was spent for Mother’s Day this year. And an expected $9.9 billion will be spent this year on Father’s Day.
However, according to AT&T, Father’s Day beats every day in the year on collect calls. Of course, AT&T didn’t say whether it was children calling fathers or vice versa.
Vital information like this can be found on menstuff.org.
In 2000 menstuff.org tracked Mom’s Day versus Dad’s Day and found that:
• Dads got 95 million cards. Moms got 150 million.
• Phone calls: For Dad, 140 million plus. For Mom, 160 million.
• Flowers: Mother’s Day ranks as the third highest flowers-sent day. Fathers have to settle for the 10th highest.
The menstuff.org site also suggests that: “Mother’s Day is about heartstrings. Father’s Day is about hardware and last-minute shopping.”
“Statistically, men are more likely to get flowers at their funeral than for Father’s Day.”
“Top gift for mom — clothing. Top gift for dad — one of 8 million neckties sold for the occasion.”
Of course, another Web site points out that more is spent on Mother’s Day because dads make more money and have more money to spend.
A Newsweek column on the Web written by Rabbi Marc Gellman said: “Mother’s Day was brought from England where women serving as maids were given a day off to go home and see their own children. It grew naturally in this egalitarian country to be a holiday celebrating all mothers.”
Could that be true? Another article on “Mothering Sunday” said that masters released young people in servitude on that day so they could visit their families.
Then another article added that the British holiday was brought to America by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the Civil War. She intended it as a way of uniting women against war. That didn’t take, but in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day, to honor the mothers whose sons had died in the war.
But Mother’s Day swiftly became, according to the National Restaurant Association, the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant.
Father’s Day? Compared to Mother’s Day, it has little history. A woman got the idea for Father’s Day in 1909 while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. And there are other inspirations for the idea.
It got the support of President Calvin Coolidge. And, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation making Father’s Day the third Sunday in June. But it wasn’t officially recognized until 1972 when an act was signed by President Richard Nixon.
So Mother’s Day was begun to honor mothers whose sons died in the war. Today, there are mothers whose daughters have died in the war.
And today it isn’t only the sons of fathers who have died in the war, fathers are dying, to be honored by their sons and daughters.
So Mother’s Day and Father’s Day aren’t that different.
It isn’t one day versus another, but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day that we should all observe.
Chelle Delaney is associate publisher of the Quay County Sun. She can be reached by calling 461-1952 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org