Mother’s Day: Celebrate motherhood and more on Mom’s day

Woman and young boy sitting on wood floor, looking at each other, map on floor

Photo by Coffee, courtesy of Pixabay

SUNDAY, MAY 12: Honor Mom the way Anna Jarvis intended, on this centennial anniversary of Mother’s Day.

Although people have been celebrating motherhood for millennia, the modern American version of Mother’s Day began in 1908, with Anna Jarvis. Determined to bring awareness to the vital role of each mother in her family, Jarvis began campaigning for a “Mother’s Day,” and finally was successful in reaching the entire country in 1914. Jarvis’s concept differed considerably from corporate interests in the holiday, however, and the over-commercialization of Mother’s Day was irritating to Jarvis as early as the 1920s.

This year, in honor of the Mother’s Day centennial, honor Mom the way Jarvis intended: with a hand-written letter, a visit, a homemade gift or a meal, cooked from scratch.

Care to read a wonderfully inspiring column about these relationships? Author Debra Darvick’s headline is, The best words: ‘I had a mother who read to me …’

CARNATIONS—AND THE BEGINNINGS OF MOTHER’S DAY

American observances honoring mothers began popping up in the 1870s and 1880s, but Jarvis’s campaigns were the first to make it beyond the local level. The first “official” Mother’s Day service was actually a memorial ceremony, held at Jarvis’s church, in 1908; the 500 carnations given out at that first celebration have given way to the widespread custom of distributing carnations to mothers on this day. For Anna, the floral choice was easy: Carnations were her mother’s favorite flowers.

Did you know? President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation for Mother’s Day in 1914.

Despite Jarvis’s best efforts, the commercialization of Mother’s Day was inevitable. Mother’s Day is now one of the most financially successful holidays on the American calendar—mainly because it is the most popular day of the year to eat out and to make phone calls.

BRUNCH RECIPES, GIFT IDEAS & DIY

It seems that brunch is akin to Mother’s Day, and we’ve got plenty of ideas to get you started! Here are just a few, plus gift and craft ideas to boot:

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Categories: National Observances

Mother’s Day: From coast to coast, Americans celebrate Mom

Words for Mother's Day on yellow with flowers

Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

SUNDAY, MAY 13: Say “Thanks!” to Mom, Grandma and any maternal figure in your life today on this, the second Sunday of May—it’s Mother’s Day.

Although motherhood has been celebrated for millennia, the modern American version of Mother’s Day—the one we all know today—began in 1908 with Anna Jarvis. Determined to bring awareness to the vital role of each mother in her family, Jarvis began campaigning for a “Mother’s Day,” and finally was successful in reaching the whole country in 1914. Jarvis’s concept differed considerably from corporate interests in the holiday, however, and the over-commercialization of Mother’s Day was irritating to Jarvis as early as the 1920s. This year, in honor of the Mother’s Day centennial, honor Mom the way Jarvis intended: with a hand-written letter, a visit, a homemade gift or a meal, cooked from scratch.

Pink carnation flowers boquet

Carnations were distributed at the first official Mother’s Day service, in 1908. Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net

Though American observances honoring mothers began popping up in the 1870s and 1880s, Jarvis’s campaigns were the first to make it beyond the local level. The first “official” Mother’s Day service was actually a memorial ceremony, held at Jarvis’s church, in 1908; the 500 carnations given out at that first celebration have given way to the widespread custom of distributing carnations to mothers on this day. For Anna, the floral choice was easy: Carnations were her mother’s favorite flowers.

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.

MOTHER’S DAY: FROM ANCIENT ORIGINS TO TODAY

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.

Despite Jarvis’s best efforts, though, the commercialization of Mother’s Day was inevitable: Mother’s Day is now one of the most financially successful holidays on the American calendar—mainly because it is the most popular day of the year to eat out and to make phone calls. Yet it is with Mom in mind that Americans spend $2.6 billion on flowers annually for Mother’s Day; $1.53 billion on gifts; and $68 million on greeting cards. We love you, Mom!

FOR MOM: DIY, GIFTS THAT GIVE & MORE

Woman and little girl with cups smiling

Photo courtesy of pxhere

  • Cooking Mom brunch? Look to Martha Stewart (for gift ideas, too!) and AllRecipes.
  • In search of the perfect gift? Kaboose offers up do-it-yourself ideas for kids, while Mother Nature Network suggests gifts for moms who love gardening. For unique moms, Huffington Post has “weird” gifts, and Fox News suggests gifts that will boost Mom’s health.
  • 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.
  • A good read: Columnist Bobbie Lewis writes about the importance of actually setting aside time to talk to Mom and to listen to her. She calls her story Questions Left Unanswered; Stories Left Untold. Simple. And, a great idea.
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Categories: National Observances

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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Categories: National Observances

Mother’s Day: Millions of Americans celebrate ‘Mom’—however defined

Woman with two twin girls, young

Photo by Donnie Ray Jones, courtesy of Flickr

SUNDAY, MAY 8: Honor Mom today with a bouquet of flowers, a homemade card or just your time, as today marks the American version of Mother’s Day.

A 1908 church service in West Virginia gave birth to the holiday now known across the U.S. as Mother’s Day—a national holiday that, annually, grosses billions of dollars in flowers, gifts and cards and pays homage to the millions of mothers across the country. Though versions of the current American Mother’s Day predated its creation—and, worldwide, several variations have existed for centuries—today’s modern holiday holds no ties to a particular historical saint or figure, but, rather, just to Mom. The first “official” service took place at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, where a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis honored her own mother. After exhaustive campaigning by Jarvis, President Woodrow Wilson set aside the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, by 1914.

It may seem ironic that the primary advocate of the first Mother’s Day—Anna Jarvis—soon regretted having petitioned so persistently for the holiday, as the commercialism that rapidly followed its ascent was a stark contrast to the small-scale, personalized holiday that had originally been envisioned. Nonetheless, experts attest that had it not been for the early commercialization of Mother’s Day, it—like other smaller holidays of its time—would likely have fizzled out.

Did you know? Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church of Grafton, built in 1873, became the site of an International Mother’s Day Shrine in the 1960s. In 1992, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

During the 1850s, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitation conditions, lower rates of infant mortality, fight disease and contamination and assist other mothers. When the Civil War broke out, women in these clubs looked after wounded soldiers. Upon the death of Ann Reeves Jarvis in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, was prompted to organize a tribute service for her at her church. Jarvis distributed hundreds of carnations—her mother’s favorite flower—to mothers at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, in Grafton.

NEWS: HALLMARK FOCUSES ON THE ‘NEW NORMAL’

Hallmark is releasing cards for Mother’s Day 2016 geared toward the “new normal” of family structures, reports USA Today. This year, card messages focus not only on traditional moms, but also on stay-at-home dads, divorced parents and same-sex couples. According to a Hallmark representative, “Now you see a huge range of situations represented … We are really trying to represent a diverse range of relationships that represent current society.”

 

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Categories: National Observances

Mother’s Day Centennial: Celebrating Mom for 100 years

Asian mother with infant daughter, dressed in pink, both smiling

Photo by Din Jimenez, courtesy of Flickr

SUNDAY, MAY 11: There’s no one in the world quite like Mom, so honor her the way Anna Jarvis intended, on this centennial anniversary of Mother’s Day.

Although humans have been celebrating motherhood for millennia, the modern American version of Mother’s Day—the one we all know today—began in 1908 with Anna Jarvis. Determined to bring awareness to the vital role of each mother in her family, Jarvis began campaigning for a “Mother’s Day,” and finally was successful in reaching the whole country in 1914. Jarvis’s concept differed considerably from corporate interests in the holiday, however, and the over-commercialization of Mother’s Day was irritating to Jarvis as early as the 1920s. This year, in honor of the Mother’s Day centennial, honor Mom the way Jarvis intended: with a hand-written letter, a visit, a homemade gift or a meal, cooked from scratch.

After all, Mom’s worth it, right?

Care to read a wonderfully inspiring column about these relationships? Author Debra Darvick’s headline—to mark this centennial—is, The best words: ‘I had a mother who read to me …’

Want even more? Click here to visit ReadTheSpirit magazine’s front page, where you’ll find a dozen more stories about Mother’s Day, Moms and their families.

CHURCH, CARNATIONS AND
THE BEGINNINGS OF MOTHER’S DAY

American observances honoring mothers began popping up in the 1870s and 1880s, but Jarvis’s campaigns were the first to make it beyond the local level. The first “official” Mother’s Day service was actually a memorial ceremony, held at Jarvis’s church, in 1908; the 500 carnations given out at that first celebration have given way to the widespread custom of distributing carnations to mothers on this day. (Wikipedia has details.) For Anna, the floral choice was easy: Carnations were her mother’s favorite flowers.

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1914, sending the holiday coast to coast.

Despite Jarvis’s best efforts, the commercialization of Mother’s Day was inevitable. Mother’s Day is now one of the most financially successful holidays on the American calendar—mainly because it is the most popular day of the year to eat out and to make phone calls. Each year, Americans spend $2.6 billion on flowers for Mother’s Day; $1.53 billion on gifts; and $68 million on greeting cards.

JUST FOR MOM:
BRUNCH RECIPES,
GIFT IDEAS
DIY INSPIRATIONS

It seems that brunch is to Mother’s Day like cookies and milk are to Santa, and we’ve got plenty of ideas to get you started! Here are just a few, plus gift and craft ideas to boot:

Bouquet of assorted flowers wrapped in pink tissue paper

Photo by Kanko, courtesy of Flickr

(Originally published at www.ReadTheSpirit.com, an on line magazine covering religion, spirituality, values and interfaith and cross-cultural issues.)

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Categories: National Observances