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Father's Day: Five reasons it gets out-shined by Mother's Day

Father's Day spending is expected to reach $12.7 billion this year, but because of shopper fatigue and dads being just plain hard to shop for, that's  a much smaller total than we shell out for Mother's Day. 

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    Ties for sale at a Brooks Brothers store in Boston. Father's Day is a much smaller spending holiday than Mother's Day, in part because it comes later in the year after a rash of high-profile shopping events.
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Father's Day is fast approaching, and the National Retail Federation expects Father's Day spending to reach $12.7 billion.
That's, well, a lot of money, but it doesn't stack up to what was spent on Mother's Day: $21.2 billion. We wanted to get a little insight on how that breaks down on an individual level, so we asked over 700 Brad's Deals shoppers a few questions about Father's Day.

Our biggest takeaway: Sorry dads, but you might be getting cheated on your Father's Day gift this year.

1. Summer Retail Fatigue

Summer can't quite match the peak retail season of November and December, but there are always great deals to be had if you know when and where to look. The three biggest shopping evens of spring/early summer are Mother's Day, graduation, and Memorial Day, all of which precede Father's Day.

A combination of factors contribute to making Father's Day a lesser commercial holiday when compared to Mother's Day. After spending on the May trifecta of consumer events, it's easy to see how shoppers can justify spending less on dad, who's harder to buy for (more on that soon) and possibly laid back enough to be okay with receiving a smaller gift.

Only 4.7 percent of respondents said they spend more on Father's Day than Mother's Day. Over 57 percent said they'll spend about the same, and 37.5 percent said they'll spend more on Mom.

You dad probably doesn't want a tie for Father's Day.

2. Buying For Dad is Tricky

Why does Dad get the short end of the stick? For many gift givers it's because he's more difficult to buy for.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said Father's Day shopping is trickier than Mother's Day. Nearly half (49.2 percent) said the two holidays are the same, and 12.7 percent said they find Mother's Day more difficult.

3. Father's Day Clichés are the Worst

Ok, so Dad is tough to buy for. It makes sense — the clichés of Father's Day are, in comparison to Mother's Day, a little more worn out. Mom's probably going to appreciate flowers and chocolate more than Dad's going to dig his Daffy Duck novelty tie. Unless he's a novelty tie guy, in which case Father's Day shopping is probably pretty easy, if not corny and slightly embarrassing when he proudly Double Windsors the tie and wears it to work the following Monday.

4. Quality Time is an Acceptable Gift

The most popular Father's Day gift – quality time – costs nothing. Brad's Deals

Well, this might explain why many won't spend much on Father's Day — the number one gift is simply hanging out with Dad. There's nothing wrong with quality time, but since we're deal experts, here are some great picks for purchasable gifts for Dad from the most popular categories: gift cards, apparel, electronics, and tools.

5. Saying "Happy Father's Day" is Enough for Many

Father's Day doesn't stack up with Mother's Day in terms of spending, but not all is lost. The vast majority of poll respondents (83 percent) consider it important to acknowledge their dad (or another father in their life) by wishing them 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.

Still without a Father's Day gift? Use our Father's Day Gift Guide to get a great deal on a last-minute gift for Dad!

This article first appeared in Brad's Deals.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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