The Reason Father's Day Gets Less Attention Than Mother's Day Has Nothing to Do With Favoritism

Remember the short-lived thankful flower reaction on Facebook? The social media platform famously rolled it out for just one day last month to celebrate Mother's Day:

Facebook reactions

The temporary Facebook reaction had disappeared by the following Monday, but Mother's Day photos, social media posts, and stories continued to flood the internet early in the days to follow. A star-studded film titled "Mother's Day" was even released just in time for the holiday:

It's no secret that Mother's Day gets a lot of attention, but many argue that Father's Day doesn't typically generate the same level of interest.



The contrast is reflected not just in attitudes, but in spending as well. According to 2015 research from the National Retail Federation, people spend billions more on Mother's Day compared to Father's Day.

In 2014, the National Retail Federation reported that about 64 percent of people said they planned on getting their dad a card for Father's Day compared to 81 percent of people who said they planned on getting their mom a card for Mother's Day.

Though some might assume Mother's Day seems like a bigger deal than Father's Day because dads often don't tackle as many household tasks or play the same roles as moms in every home, the two holidays are treated differently for other reasons.

Timing matters.

Many theorize that Mother's Day gets more love because it takes place in May, as TIME Money noted in a video last year regarding the National Retail Federation's Mother's Day vs. Father's Day spending report.

"In May, schedules are clearing up because school is getting out and the season is changing, making it the perfect time to buy mom some potted plants for the garden," the TIME Money video states. "Compare that to late June, which tends to be a busier and costlier time thanks to wedding season and family vacations."

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It might be time for dads to lean in — to their families, Forbes contributor Pam Goodfellow wrote last year:

"[E]ach year, Mother’s Day seems to occur at the near pinnacle of this seasonal transition; the weather warms, the grass is greener, and restaurants are opening up their outdoor patios. Plus, stores are positively bursting at the seams with blooms around Mother’s Day. Coincidence? Fantastic timing? Savvy marketing strategy? Whatever the reason, a new wreath for the front door, potted plant arrangement, or hanging basket is a guaranteed winner among most Moms."

As consumer saving website, Brad's Deals noted in 2015, Father's Day also follows graduation season and Memorial Day weekend, so it's likely that some people are burned out from spending money by that point.

It can also be more of a struggle to get gifts for dads compared to moms.


Robert Passikoff, president of market research company Brand Keys, told TODAY Money in 2014 that even though some people go all out for Mother's Day because they're closer to their moms, it might be easier to find a gift for mom versus dad.

“It’s just harder to buy for men,” he said.

Using Passikoff's theory, it means children are more likely to buy mom something such as a card, flowers or a sweater — maybe even brunch. The gift for Father's Day might be different, and could be a struggle to find something he might enjoy, "...followed by the inevitable tie, golf gadget or gift card."

In 2015, Brad's Deals surveyed nearly 700 customers and found that nearly 40 percent of respondents think Father's Day is more challenging to shop for than Mother's Day. Only 12.7 percent reported feeling that Mother's Day is harder to shop for. Brad's Deals also found that nearly 85 percent of respondents said that it was important to wish their dad a verbal Happy Father's Day:

"This all but confirms the theory that people do want Dad to feel special on Father's Day but know that he's probably okay without a purchased gift."

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