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Why we have one day where we don't all hate our dads and their stupid ties

Dads. They really don’t need a card to tell them that they are the best Dad ever. They know they are. But it’s nice to tell them all the same. Dads, at their best, are one of life’s truly great assets. You can tap them for money, talk to them about football, go to the pub, get them to mend a tap and ask them to babysit. Dads are fairly easily pleased. They don’t mind doing any of these things, unlike Mums, who will usually say no to all of them.  If you’re a girl, your Dad will hate the boy that just dumped you, change the oil in your car and think you’re a Princess. You just can’t beat a good Dad.

Father’s Day comes around every year, but we seldom think about when it might have started. It is fancifully suggested that a boy called Elmesu wrote the first Father’s Day card, in 2000 BC. A clay tablet was excavated in ancient Babylon, bearing Elmesu’s wish to his father for long life and health. He was probably after an advance on his pocket money, but it is a great story, nonetheless.

So, when did Father’s Day really take off as an annual celebration that honours fathers and fatherhood?

It is a fairly young tradition, introduced as a counterpoint to Mother’s Day.  A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd declared the first Fathers Day on June 19th, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. She was somewhat irked by the fact she didn’t have a mother to honour on Mother’s Day – having been brought up by her single father – and decided that something celebrating Dads was in order. Quite right. Before long she her idea gained momentum, and she began promoting a range of tobacco pipes and other manly gifts to sell. They idea didn’t take off immediately. There was, surprisingly, some resistance to the notion of Father’s Day in the States, but eventually it was accepted, and embraced with typical American enthusiasm. Americans now send more than 90 million Fathers Day cards every year, so any reticence has clearly been overcome.

In the UK we are much more laid back about Fathers Day, usually opting for a funny card and huge bar of chocolate as tokens of our esteem. Dads countrywide seem more than happy with this. They don’t like too much of a fuss. But, never let the day pass unmarked, even if he plays it down. After all, he did give YOU the gift of life, and probably had a bit to do with bringing you up too.

Joking aside, if you are lucky enough to still have your Dad, make the most of Father’s Day. Dad are very laid back about it, as a rule, but it can be the one time of year when you express anything other than hilarity about his dreadful dress sense, disbelief at his ignorance of modern culture, and irritation with his refusal to shift out of third gear. There’s more to Dads than a bunch of annoying habits. So let him know.

Of course, not wishing to miss out on the chance to ride this particular bandwagon, we have our own range of cards.You'd be a fool (or a dad) not to find them funny.