In 1909, Sonora Dodd, raised by her father, listened to a Mother's Day sermon and came up with the idea for "Father's Day." She held such a celebration a year later. By 1956 Father's Day had been recognized by a Joint Resolution of the United States Congress. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance held on the third Sunday of June.

The celebration in the United Kingdom was, in fact, inspired by the American holiday, in contrast to Mother's Day, which has a very different history in the United Kingdom and the United States. But that said, 102 years later, according to the 2011 Brand Keys Father's Day survey, it's expected to be an $11 billion dollar retail holiday.

Seventy-one percent of U.S. consumers will be celebrating this year, spending an average of $123.00 (or £77.30 or 87€ ) just to honor Dad. That's up 7% from last year, and here's what celebrants said they were buying Dad this year (parentheses indicate percent-changes from last year):

Gift cards 35% (+5%)
Electronics 26% (+6%)
Clothing 23% (-3%)
Tools/Automotive 19% (+2%)
Sporting Goods 6% (NA)
Wine/Alcohol 5% (-0-)
DVDs/CDs 3% (+1%)
Books 2% (-1%)

The biggest change was in electronics, and here's what shoppers said they were buying:

Tablets (20%),
Electronic readers (15%),
Smartphones (12%),
MP3 players (7%),
Computers (5%),
and Cameras (5%)

Personal visits (25%) and meal excursions (43%) are down 5% each this year, probably due to the cost of gasoline. But online outreach and increased spend seems to be taking up that slack.

There's an old saying that a father carries pictures where his money used to be. This year's spending seems to indicate families are trying to make up for that!