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There's more to Father's Day than just ties

(MS)-Somewhere between when Father's Day was first established in June of 1910 and present day, the tie has become synonymous with the holiday. One may never know just who introduced the tie into the picture.

(MS)-Somewhere between when Father's Day was first established in June of 1910 and present day, the tie has become synonymous with the holiday. One may never know just who introduced the tie into the picture.


It certainly wasn't the person who created the idea of Father's Day.  Sonora Dodd, of Washington, came up with the concept for a "father's day," after listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. She realized there should be a similar day set aside to honour fathers, most especially her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran and widower who raised his six children all on his own.

When Dodd became an adult, she realized how selfless her father had acted and how difficult it must have been to raise such a large family. In his honour, she held a father's day in Spokane, Washington on June 10 - her father's birthday. President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of the holiday in 1924. But it wasn't until 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day, and subsequently when President Richard Nixon signed the law in 1972 that the holiday became permanent.

Since then, Father's Day has been celebrated annually worldwide. The sale of ties spikes considerably at this time of year since, after all,  could there possibly be a gift that fits Dad more perfectly than a tie? The answer is a resounding yes.

By now your father may have enough ties to fill his closet. So this year, consider a gift that may be more heartfelt and unique. Here are some ideas:

- Music and movies: Research dad's favorite musical artists or actors and put together a care package filled with DVDs or CDs. If he's a high-tech sort of fellow, download MP3 tunes that he can use on his iPod or similar player.

- Food: It's often been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Play upon this notion by cooking dad his favourite foods or treating him to a night out at a restaurant he's wild about.

- Family portrait: What dad doesn't like to brag about his kids? Set up a photo opportunity with a local photographer or enlist another family member to take a picture when the gang is all together. Enlarge the image and frame it for his desk, workshop, or any place dad loves to hang out.

- Detail his car: Give dad a gift certificate to a car wash or auto spa. He'll leave with his prized set of wheels sparkling clean.

- Novelty ties: If giving a tie is a family tradition, try any number of novelty ties that might fit dad's personality. Or better yet, purchase a light-coloured tie in a solid shade. Design a greeting or picture on your computer and print it out on iron-on transfer paper. Adhere to the tie with a warm iron and you'll have a one-of-a-kind personalized gift.