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Father’s Day Party Themes

Father’s Day has been a designated holiday in the U.S. since way back in 1956, originally proposed by Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington in 1909. While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, Mrs. Dodd came up with the suggestion that there also be a holiday to honor fathers like hers, who was a widower who raised 6 kids on his own. Though a National Father’s Day Committee was formed in 1926, it took 30 years for the designation, and in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent observance on the third Sunday in June.

Many people believe that dads have gotten the proverbially “short end of the stick” when it comes to a day of observance in their honor. A much bigger deal is made of Mother’s Day, but the truth remains that there are just as many dads who deserve major accolades on this holiday named for them.

So, why not throw Dad a party this year – a little something different from the normal barbecue? Consider a themed party that’s fit for a man! Dad is sure to enjoy it and it’s a great way to say “thanks” to the one who usually paints the house, takes out the garbage, teaches you to ride your bike or drive a car, and much more, including many things that will have a lasting impact on your life.

o Western theme – What could be more macho than a bunch of cowboys?? Yee haw! Start by designing a western-themed invitation. Best done on your computer, look for a design with a bandana print or cowboy boot border or, if necessary, purchase pre-made western invitations. Set up your backyard like the Wild West. Make a “saloon” where you’ll serve beer and soft drinks and prepare a chuckwagon-type dinner, which might include items like steak, chili, ribs, baked beans, corn bread, and chips and salsa. Give your guests an inexpensive cowboy hat and a bandana to wear so they can get in the mood and buy a piñata for some after dinner fun. Remember, this is Dad’s day of rest, so designate someone else to do the grilling if you’re doing barbecue.

o Golf (or other sport) theme – If your dad is a golf aficionado, organize a golf outing for him – at a miniature golf course! Get the family together and head to the local putt-putt course for a few hours of fun. (If this is going to be a large group, it’s a good idea to call ahead and warn the management.) When you’re finished playing, head to the restaurant at the local country club (if it’s open to the public) or to his favorite eatery for lunch or dinner. Gifts for the day should include monogrammed golf balls, a new club or two, a golf towel or glove, or maybe a few golf lessons at the country club. (If the whole family enjoys “real” golf, you can organize this get together at a regular course, but don’t bring kids and others you can’t play or you’ll irritate the other golfers.) If your dad likes other sports, you can adapt this theme accordingly, offering perhaps typical ball park food or the kind of munchies he enjoys during a football game.

o Father of the Year theme – Gather all the kids and grandkids together and proclaim your Dad the best in the world! The invitations for this party should encourage those who are old enough to write a “speech” about the honoree, which can all be delivered from a makeshift podium before, during, or after the dinner. Also have each make a homemade award or trophy that they can give him at the end of their speech, something Dad can keep long after the day is done. Choose his favorite foods for the meal and, remember, don’t let him lift a finger. He’s the guest of honor!