Sad fact: Father's Day was kind of an afterthought.
For thousands of years, people have celebrated motherhood through springtime fertility rituals. When the holiday we call Mother's Day emerged in the early 20th century, it was just the latest manifestation of those festivities, and it was an instant hit.
Father's Day? Not so much. It debuted in 1910, but languished until its founder, Sonora Smart Dodd, rallied shop-owners in the 1930s. In the midst of the Great Depression, retailers were desperate for customers, and Father's Day proved just the thing to set cash registers humming.
But none of that history is especially important. No, there's only one thing you really need to know about Father's Day: it's this Sunday, June 17, so you've got just seven days to shop for dear old dad.
Lucky for you, we've picked out a handful of great Father's Day gifts to suit the needs of nearly any dad. (Unlike several we mentioned earlier that you should probably avoid.) If you're fortunate enough to still have a father -- especially one with a fondness for cars -- have a look at these ten picks, all of which you should be able to order online and receive before the big day.
Chevrolet wall clockEnlarge Photo
1. Branded gear: Various prices
Going with branded items from dad's favorite car line may seem like a cop-out, but have you taken a good look at the merchandise on display from automakers these days? It's not just baseball caps and t-shirts anymore: there's a whole range of items from Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, GMC, Jeep, Ram -- almost any marque on the market. (In fact, Ford just made some serious upgrades to its online store.) From apparel to auto accessories, there's something for every budget and taste. Our favorite item this year may be the Chevrolet wall clock ($119.95), which is perfect for giving dad's garage that professional touch, no matter how "professional" his repair skills really are.
Energizer 84020 12V All-In-One Jump-Start System with Built-In Air Compressor and Power InverterEnlarge Photo
2. Portable jump-starter: $99.95
Yes, it's true: dad probably already has a pair of jumper cables stowed in the trunk. Heck, he probably has two -- he's dad, after all. But this handy kit kicks things up a notch, providing not only a jump-starter (no need to find a Good Samaritan when that battery fails), but also a power inverter and an air compressor, turning dad into the one-man A Team he's always dreamt of being.