Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Mother Day

Remember Her on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 13th of every year. It’s a day to honor and recognize the state of motherhood throughout the United States. Mothers who nurture and raise their children to the best of their abilities don’t particularly desire recognition for doing so, but Miss Anna Jarvis thought differently in 1907. A Philadelphia native, Miss Jarvis thought it would be nice for people everywhere to recognize the hard work and dedication it takes to be a mother, and organized a special mother’s church service in May of that year.

While mothers around the world know that child raising is a labor of love that lasts a lifetime, the idea was a popular one and every year, more churches and more towns observed the day that reflected to mothers everywhere that their efforts were indeed appreciated. By the spring of 1911, most states within America celebrated the day in one form or another, and the idea quickly spread around the world.

The celebration of Mother’s Day knows no boundaries, no race, creed, social status or belief. Mother’s everywhere bear and raise their children with love and patience, a sometimes strong hand and plenty of compassion. In late 1912, a Mother’s Day International Association was created in order to help spread the word about this most wonderful of days, though it wasn’t really necessary in the United States. On the second Sunday in May, mothers everywhere were regaled with breakfast in bed by husbands and children, or treated to gifts and hugs and kisses galore. In 1913, the House of Representatives adopted a unanimous resolution that asked the President, his cabinet and all the senators and representatives, in addition to all federal government employees, to wear a white carnation on the second Sunday of May every year. In 1914, the day was officially designated as Mother’s Day by President Woodrow Wilson, as a “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country”.

The wearing of white carnations was also adapted to reflect the memory of mothers who had passed away, so it became a custom for those whose mothers were still living to wear a red carnation, while the others wore white. Children everywhere make special cards and gifts for mothers on Mother’s Day. In the 1950’s, one of the most popular gifts for school children to make their mothers was an imprint of their hands in clay, which would then be decorated and given as a ‘thank-you’ in recognition for unerring dedication to duty and love. These days, mothers are treated to specially made dinners or a night out for an evening of fine dining and other entertainments. Celebrating Mother’s Day is a private affair for most families, and each one has their own traditions and ways of celebrating the special day.

Families get together and children come home from long distances to celebrate the special day. On Mother’s Day, a mother, young or old, is the center of attention and, if they’re lucky, spoiled mercilessly. The efforts of mothers are extolled and praised, their sacrifices recognized and their selfless and unending attention to their young used as an example for future young mothers. As the years passed, health organizations took advantage of the extra attention given to mothers to promote women’s health issues, especially in health during pregnancy.

Mothers have been around since the dawn of man, and while many husbands and children recognize the efforts of wives and mothers, Mother’s Day serves a reminder to all that whether a stay-at-home Mom or a woman with a career, a mother’s efforts to raise healthy, happy children is a need, and a goal that can never be matched by anyone else.

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day

mothers day

Let’s face it; mothers rarely if ever get the thanks and appreciation that they deserve.  In our infant years, they provide us with every bit of life-sustaining support necessary to nurture us and turn us into healthy and happy adults.

In 1890s, a woman named Anna Jarvis swore on her own mother’s grave to establish a day of remembrance for mothers everywhere.  After eighteen years of attempting to gain support for her efforts, a West Virginia church agreed to dedicate a Sunday service in May to the mothers of the congregation. One year prior to the agreement, Anna personally attended a service at the church and passed out over five hundred carnations to the mothers attending that day.  Anna’s efforts did not stop with the hand-delivery of the carnations however.

Her efforts included a letter-writing campaign where she sent personalized letters to business leaders and politicians in an effort to gain national support for the establishment of a “Mother’s Day.”  The first politician to move for the establishment of the holiday was Elmer Burkett from Nebraska who introduced a bill the U.S. Senate.  The bill was supported also by the YMCA, a leading national philanthropic organization. Although the bill was rejected, Anna’s plight continued.

In 1912, two full years before the holiday would be nationally established by Woodrow Wilson, the State of West Virginia legally established Mother’s Day as a state holiday.

Anna Jarvis was not the first woman to push for a Mother’s Day.  In 1872, a woman names Julia Ward Howe began to campaign for a Mother’s Day of Peace after the Civil War.  Funding the Boston, Massachusetts public celebrations herself, Howe intended to establish a tradition of celebrating women and mothers everywhere.

Howe, in addition to establishing the first public celebrations of women, contributed significantly during the beginning establishment of women’s rights in the United States. Howe is also known as the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a national folk song popularized during the Civil War.

The United States is not the only country to devote a day to the celebration of mothers and women everywhere.  Some of the other countries with a national holiday include Great Britain, Denmark, Australia, Finland, France, Turkey and Italy.  Of course, every country celebrates at a different time throughout the year.  Spain for example, celebrates motherhood on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which is already a national holiday.  Britain calls it’s celebration “Mothering Sunday,” and the celebration occurs on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

The commercialization of Mother’s Day was scorned by Anna Jarvis, who intended for the day to be a personalized celebration, mainly due to the popularity of pre-made greeting cards for the occasion.  She believed that an hand-written letter of thank was much more appropriate.  However, there are many industries today which can thank consumers for ignoring Anna’s insistence on personal attention and creativity.

Everyone sends mom flowers on Mother’s Day! Just ask the florist industry, which peaks on Mother’s Day, making it very busy for the nearly 25 thousand U.S. florists.  Also, since mom is not going to expected to cook on this day most restaurants claim that Mother’s Day is their busiest day of the entire year.

This is not to mention the greeting card industry, which touts sales of Mother’s Day cards for almost 95% of America’s 80 million mothers.  Yes, they definitely profit from the labor of our mothers.

Some non-commercial ways to celebrate your mother include sending her a home-made greeting card with a personal note included, make her dinner or a special dessert or just make it a point to spend some time with her.  Not every celebration warrants the expense of supporting retailers and commercialism, and Mother’s Day is one of the few where the sentiment is often more desired than any gift.