Thoughts on “Mother’s Day”

orange roses

Happy Mother’s Day!

On this day we thought we would offer some thoughts as to how Mother’s Day evolved, what it has become and what it’s intended purpose was.   As you can see below from the creator’s standpoint Mother’s Day got away from the simple intended purpose of honoring mother’s around the world and spun tragically into an commercialized event.  Flowers, greeting cards, brunch with the entire family, jewelry and much more have creeped into the intent and perhaps taken a little bit of the fervor out of the purpose.  A similar Hallmark-ian path was taken by Valentine’s Day as well.  Husbands, wives, partners and significant others find themselves panic stricken on the 11th hour trying to find the perfect gift or create the perfect evening and while that’s great; why not carry this passion every day and simply not be dictated as to when this should occur.  Same goes for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Carry your respect, gratitude, love and honor every day.  Not just one.  And if you’re someone who does, well then these holidays are icing on your cake.  LiFE is NOW… and you may not get the chance to wait until the next Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day to show your love and appreciation to those who deserve it.  This is not to say that these holidays should not exist, merely that we try to remember these days as more focussed times to honor those in question.

Without being panic stricken about the right gift, the amount of money spent or whether or not the card you bought for Mom says exactly what you want it to; there are simple ways to show gratitude and thankfulness toward the mothers of the world and they don’t cost a dime, don’t need a reservation and do not require planning.  They do require your conscious effort to show appreciation and love on a daily basis.  Don’t wait until some capital driven marketer at the greeting card company tells you when to do it.  It’s amazing what a smile or a hug can do to get your message across.  Actions are one of the best ways to respect those you wish to respect.  Some are as simple as a smile.  As they say; “actions speak louder than words”.  I wonder if they would change that to “actions speak louder than words but not as loud as Hallmark cards and gifts”?  Anyway, we certainly are not proposing a boycott of the commercialization of Mother’s Day (heck we bought cards and are serving up brunch); and if it is your choice to show appreciation through gifts well why not, just don’t lose sight that the simple intended purpose was to honor mothers.

Allow your actions to speak what your heart wants to say.


Mother’s Day History

The United States celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. Julia Ward Howe first issued her Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 as a call for women to join in support of disarmament. In the 1880s and 1890s there were several further attempts to establish an American Mother’s Day, but these did not succeed beyond the local level.

The current holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908 as a day to honor one’s mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother’s dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea did not take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. She kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914.

The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a “Hallmark holiday,” i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose.

Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create. She died in 1948, regretting what had become of her holiday.

In the United States, Mother’s Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like; it is also the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls. Moreover, churchgoing is also popular, yielding the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter.

Many worshipers celebrate the day with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she has been deceased.

In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”, and created the Mother’s Day International Association.

She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.

This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the law making official the holiday in the United States, by the U.S. Congress on bills, and by other U.S. presidents on their declarations.