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Though Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June, “dear ol’ dad” nonetheless deserves a special day off. The “honey-do” and “daddy-fix” lists can wait. On Sunday, fathers, stepfathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers and even great-grandfathers nationwide traditionally put their feet up and enjoy the warmth of family.

Usually, dad is the first to fire up the grill on weekends, but Sunday may be an excellent time to treat the family patriarch to his favorite meal without the bother of lugging charcoal briquets, spraying lighter fluid and constantly waving smoke from your eyes:

• Texas Cattle Co., 44206 10th St. West, Lancaster, has been a popular location for celebrating dad and will feature a new, expanded menu this weekend. Favorites include baby back ribs, barbecue chicken, grilled salmon, ribeye and Porterhouse steaks. For reservations or more information, call (661) 948-3927.

• Outback Steakhouse, 1061 W. Avenue O, Palmdale, serves all of the backyard favorites with a special Australian twist. Its “Outback Steak Delights” are grilled to order, including Outback special sirloin and Victoria’s filet. Other menu items include grilled shrimp and Ahi tuna, New Zealand lamb, baby back ribs and sweet glazed pork tenderloin. For reservations or more details, call (661) 274-9607.

• Black Angus, 44690 Valley Central Way, Lancaster, is another popular steak restaurant where dad can let someone else do the grilling. Among their popular menu items for Father’s Day are either prime rib, filet mignon or top sirloin (all served with grilled prawns, fried shrimp and large lobster tail); New York strip steak, bacon-wrapped filet mignon, and bacon and bleu butter ribeye steak. For reservations, call (661) 942-5225.

• Sporting goods items are among the biggest sellers for Father’s Day. Retail outlets often see a big rush for skis, fishing poles and tackle boxes, golf clubs, hunting rifles, bowling balls and, for the dad who remains young at heart, tennis racquets and jogging shoes. “This is one of our biggest sales days,” said Leslie Estrada of Big 5 Sporting Goods in Palmdale. The store has had special Father’s Day hours since Wednesday and will be open until 10 p.m. on Saturday.

“This year, some of our biggest sales items have been fishing equipment, golf clubs, hunting ammunition and lots of T-shirts and sunglasses,” said Estrada. “We see lots of young adults coming in to purchase sporting items for their dads, and we also see older women making purchases for their husbands. This is always a big weekend for us.”

Hunting rifles, shotguns and requisite ammunition are big sellers locally. In fact, Big 5 Sporting Goods in Lancaster counts Father’s Day as its second-most profitable holiday behind Christmas. “Father’s Day is a big sales day for us. We always get a good-sized crowd of shoppers looking for items,” said Joe, a salesman at Big 5. “This year, firearms and ammunition have seen large sales. There are hunting ranges in the Antelope Valley, and people traditionally come in this time of year to prepare for the season.”

Palmdale’s DryTown Water Park will host a special “Bring Dad Free” promotion on Sunday. “Shower your dad with love this Father’s Day by bringing him to DryTown Water Park absolutely free this Sunday,” said DryTown recreation coordinator Laura Rice. “Race him down Dusty’s Mineshaft Racer, DryTown’s newest attraction; introduce him to the twists and turns of the Rattlers Revenge, and get him dizzy in the Devils Punch Bowl slide. It’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.”

The six-acre Old West mining town-themed water park also features a 925-foot lazy river, a 35-foot waterslide tower, and a 6,000-square-foot children’s water playground.

The Palmdale Pony League will host its 14th annual Father’s Day Tournament tomorrow and Sunday at the Youth Baseball Complex at 38302 20th St. East.

The Antelope Valley Mall, 1233 Rancho Vista Blvd., Palmdale, today through Sunday, will distribute a free gift with the purchase of any Father’s Day gift.

“What to buy dad?” has been a pressing question for generations, but today’s father has much more to entice him as opposed to his dad or grandfather. Years ago, a tie and handkerchief, a tie tack, a money clip, a billfold, a new hat, a pocket watch or a shaving kit with mortar, brush and razor were the traditional gifts for dad.

Today, loved ones often splurge on aluminum ballpoint pens coated in lacquer, quartz watches, digital MP3 players, cordless drill sets, “carbon composite” golf clubs and “theater-wide” HDTV sets. The National Retail Federation estimates this year Americans will spend more than $12.5 billion for Father’s Day gifts, about 30 percent of which is spent online. The average person will spend $88.80 on dad, while mom is lavished with $122.16 per person for her big day in May.

The newest items for the 21st-century dad include a tool-shaped bottle opener (resembling a hammer, pliers or crescent wrench) for $20, vintage darts with real feathers ($8 each), a tape dispenser for masking, painting with duct tape ($35) or a canvas iPad case also for $35.

Besides a steak dinner with all the trimmings, or a new putter or fishing reel, the biggest gift choices last year were taking in a ball game (generating $2.3 billion), electronics ($1.7 billion), gift cards ($1.7 billion) or books or music ($645 million).

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to demonstrate your love for dad. Children often come up with the most touching gifts, because they are “from the heart,” with imagination and affection. In fact, a 2012 survey conducted by the website CreditDonkey.com reported that 24.7 percent of fathers said they would like to receive something homemade:

•Handmade cards of construction paper, craft glue, a photograph of you and dad and a poem expressing your love.

•A personalized hammer is a unique gift for dad to keep in his workshop. Just take an old hammer, paint it a festive color and use a colored marker for a special message.

•A personalized ball cap is as simple as a white cap and fabric paint.

•Give dad his own coffee mug. Just get a white mug and some enamel paint and demonstrate your love for him during each coffee break.

•How about a “tube ‘o cookies”? This simple gift requires an empty potato chip can, some colorful paint and a batch of hot, homemade cookies. How could he resist?

Generally, fathers are given gifts in the realm of home improvement, electronics and outdoor tools. There are no official ways to celebrate Father’s Day, but many children will celebrate with a collect call (the most of any day of the year says AT&T), a meal out or a family gathering. In the U.S., some persons wear a red rose to honor dad, while a white rose is adorned if the father has passed away.

Men in Western nations are becoming more concerned about their appearance. Today’s dad visits spas, purchases skin care products and seeks the advice of dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Men’s grooming and personal care products have become a booming market, far exceeding the traditional bottle of Old Spice or soap-on-a-rope. A major reason why men are now seeking the help of clinical interventions for their complexions is the development of signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. The “middle-age” father, it seems, wants to resemble exactly that 20 years down the road.

Father’s Day was created originally in the United States as a complement to Mother’s Day. After the success of Anna Jarvis’ promotion of Mother’s Day in 1909, Father’s Day was founded the next year in Spokane, Wash., by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father was a Civil War veteran who reared six children on his own at a time when most widowers placed care of their children with others, or quickly remarried.

Dodd’s idea wasn’t an immediate hit. In fact, it would take almost 30 years until the Father’s Day Council (founded by men’s wear retailers in New York City) organized regular promotion. Americans resisted the holiday at first, perceiving it as an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day.

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson visited Spokane and was an early booster of an official holiday. Congress was not impressed. Even Jane Adams, the famous social worker and suffragette, suggested in 1911 that a day should be set aside for fathers. She got nowhere.

President Calvin Coolidge tried again in 1924, attesting that the day deserved national recognition. Then in 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith submitted a proposal that, essentially, accused Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “ . . . singling out just one of our two parents,” she stated. This time the campaign worked, and by 1966 President Lyndon Johnson had issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

From late February through mid-June, Father’s Day is celebrated in a number of nations including Austria, Bolivia, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Russia and South Korea. These celebrations are often associated with International Men’s Day, which honors males who do not have children. Father’s Day overseas does not differ much from American traditions, except for the date. It is not a national holiday anywhere, but Germany has a unique celebration (Ascension Day) held 40 days after Easter. In this case, men go hiking with large wagons of food and liquor and, reportedly, consume the goods in short order.

In Russia, they host Defender of the Fatherland Day, which honors the establishment of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. A native Hindu and Buddhist community in Nepal honors the holiday by going to the Shiva Temple, while some communities there trek to the holy city of Bahal in India in order to honor deceased fathers.