From beautiful bouquets, delectable candies, breakfast in bed, and spa days to hugs and kisses and hand-drawn cards, there are thousands of ways to celebrate the most important woman any of us will ever meet.
Today is her day, Mother’s Day. The day dedicated our first true love, the woman who rocked us to sleep and made all of the booboos better with a simple kiss and a band-aid.
Thank you to the women who gave us life and often threatened to take it away. Our biggest fans and sharpest critics, the ladies who cuddled us when our dreams were scary and darkened corners were too much to handle and wielded wooden spoons, switches, and slippers when our sass was too much to take.
For those with us and those that have gone before us, thank you.
For teaching us the difference between right and wrong and showing us the exact moment to flip a pancake, thank you.
For pigtails and braids and emotional and financial bailouts when we forget how to adult, thank you.
Mother’s Day is no new concept. Ancient Greeks devoted entire cults to “mother” goddesses. Romans celebrated with the festival of Hilaria. “Mothering Sunday,” which referenced mother churches and not motherhood specifically, eventually took on a more secular tone and became the foundation for our Mother’s Day celebrations.
The first American Mother’s Day celebration occurred in 1908 when Anna Jarvis, founder of the modern Mother’s Day, held a memorial for her mother who had passed three years earlier.
Jarvis campaigned for years to have Mother’s Day registered as a recognized holiday to honor and continue her mother’s work as a peace activist and to set aside a day to honor all mothers. By 1911 all states observed the holiday with some officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Very quickly the day was commercialized and companies such as Hallmark Cards, confectioneries, and even florists began to profit greatly from its inception. Jarvis organized boycotts and even threatened lawsuits against the companies involved, arguing that the emphasis of the holiday should be the sentiment, not profit, and people should honor their mothers with handwritten letters and gratitude instead of pre-packaged gifts and cards. The commercialization of this and many other holidays continues into the present day with telephone companies adding to the list of profiteers, citing reports that reflect nearly 40% spikes in phone traffic on Mother’s Day.
While many people choose pre-packaged novelties and glittery cards there are still those mothers that get breakfast in bed and cards made with crayon or fingerpaint. As long as both versions are given with love and gratitude then the original sentiment still exists.
Take the time today to make a phone call, plan a lunch date, kiss a cheek, or write a letter.
Make the time to say Happy Mother’s Day!