Mother’s Day: Give thanks to Mom and celebrate mothers nationwide

Young son kissing mother, mother smiling

Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

SUNDAY, MAY 14: Give thanks to Mom, Grandma and any maternal figure in your life today on this, the second Sunday of May—it’s Mother’s Day!

The modern observance of Mother’s Day began with Anna Jarvis in 1908, when she collaborated with the founder of Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. From the beginning, Jarvis specified the day should be “Mother’s Day,” as a singular possessive, so that each person would honor their own mother. Jarvis herself promoted the holiday tirelessly until she caught the attention of President Woodrow Wilson, who made the day an official national holiday in 1914. Unfortunately, the day became so commercialized that Jarvis later regretted having established the holiday at all.

Did you know? Mother’s Day yields the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter. Most churches honor their congregation’s mothers in some way—with a special prayer, perhaps, or in many congregations, with a flower.

RECIPES, GIFTS & THE MOTHER’S DAY MOVEMENT

Cooking Mom brunch? Look to Martha Stewart and AllRecipes for ideas and recipes.

Flower bunch pink carnations

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

In search of the perfect gift?

  • Find an array of clever ideas, from state cutting boards to a perfume sampler box, at Romper.com.
  • Got a mom who loves to travel? Find ideas in this article, from Chicago Tribune.
  • Know a Millennial mom? This list was rounded up just for them, from Money.
  • Is Mom active? Try the gift list at Forbes, for everything from sportswear to ski lift ticket charms.
  • Does Mom enjoy personalized gifts? Try these handmade gift ideas, courtesy of CBS Boston.

Care to care more? The Mother’s Day Movement supports women and girls in the developing world, with the belief that empowered women strongly impact the lives of their children and their communities. Help these women by donating your portion of the $14 billion spent annually on Mother’s Day. This year, the Mother’s Day Movement is focusing its campaign on Nurse-Family Partnership, an organization that aids first-time moms in impoverished situations from pregnancy through the child’s second year.

MOTHER’S DAY: ORIGINS OF THE HOLIDAY

While the modern observance of Mother’s Day began just a century ago, celebrations for women and mothers have been common throughout history. Greeks worshipped the mother goddess Cybele, while the Romans held the festival of Hilaria; Christians have observed Mothering Sunday for centuries, while Hindus have honored “Mata Tirtha Aunshi,” or “Mother Pilgrimage Fortnight.” The first American attempts for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” arose in the 1870s, when Julia Ward Howe called on mothers to support disarmament in the Civil War and Franco-Prussian War. Several decades later, Anna Jarvis created a holiday that became the Mother’s Day we know today.

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