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Is Father’s Day As Important As Mom’s Day? Doesn’t Seem So

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five days away from Father’s Day, many families don’t have any plans yet — or gifts.

Dads don’t seem to get quite the attention that Moms do.

This year, people said they planned to spend an average of $168 on Mother’s Day, compared with only $120 on dad, according to a survey in Forbes magazine.

Abby Larkin of St. Louis Park admitted she doesn’t always devote a lot of time to planning her Father’s Day gifts.

“Yeah, it’s normally a card,” she said, “and then kind of a last-minute, maybe a gift card. Or I’ve also thought of like a gift card to a restaurant.”

The restaurants should have plenty of room.

At Jimmy’s Food and Cocktails in Minnetonka, Mother’s Day is the biggest day of the year, with brunch sold out weeks in advance.

Father’s Day is not nearly as crowded, even though the restaurant drops the brunch price by $4 to attract more families.

“We do about half the business we do on a Mother’s Day,” said Mike Jennings, owner of the restaurant.

Experts have a few theories for this.

As much as gender roles have evolved over the years, the average mother still spends more time with the kids.

“Day to day, it’s what they do; they’re a mom,” said Gretchen Arana of Minneapolis. “And so it’s kind of their day to get the jazz hands out and [say], ‘It’s me! It’s about me today!'”

Many men say they don’t expect their families to spend a lot on them.

“I’m sure the kids will do something for me,” said Greg Powers of New Hope. “But as for expectations, nothing too high.”

“It’s not about the money,” said Kevin Kimes of Minneapolis. “It’s about the time, and it’s about the experiences we do together.”

Those experiences, in the summertime, can get in the way of the planning, too.

“You know, we just got back from vacation yesterday,” said Arana, “so we need to get some plans in place. It’s in the works, definitely in the works.”

A National Retail Federation survey projects that those celebrating Father’s Day will spend $2.5 billion this year on a special outing, such as a sporting event or meal, $1.8 billion on gift cards, $1.8 billion on clothing and $1.7 billion on a new electronic gadget.

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