Sunday, May 13th is the day to celebrate moms this year. In my research for this post, I discovered that this holiday has an interesting history (of course). Maybe it’s just that I find nearly ANY history interesting…..I digress.
As you begin reading this post, I hope you find yourself thinking warmly of a certain person who had great maternal significance in your life. I, myself, am lucky enough to have three people who I consider to be “Mother” to me. I feel abundantly fortunate to have had (and to continue to have) a very strong feminine presence in the group of people most important to me.
Whether you are a mother yourself, have a mother you cherish, or simply find yourself thinking fondly of a certain woman who has been significant to you; I hope you find a way to have a meaningful celebration on the second Sunday this month.
Mother’s Day is presently celebrated in nearly all countries throughout the world in some form or another. However, not every country observes it on the second Sunday of May as we do. Most of these celebrations stem from another observation or festival from their history. Most of them are connected to a spiritual ceremony of some sort. The way we celebrate it in the U.S. stems from the British holiday “Mothering Sunday”. Mothering Sunday came about from a tradition that started in the Middle Ages. The custom allowed people who had moved away to return to their native land and their mothers on Laetare Sunday.
The custom that we recognize in present time directly stems from a woman named Anna Jarvis from Philadelphia. On May 12, 1907 she held a memorial service for her mother in Virginia. Within five years, almost every state in the union was celebrating the holiday. President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday in 1914.
An Unexpected Twist
In reading further about Anna Jarvis, I learned that before she died, she spent all of her inheritance protesting the holiday and trying to abolish it. At first, I was kind of shocked to read this. As I read further, her plight became clear to me and I began to understand. She was embittered by the commercialism that has sprung up around Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis and her mother were both activists of a sort. The elder Ms. Jarvis began Mother’s Day Work Clubs. The women who attended these clubs worked hard to improve their communities in many ways including improved sanitation and health conditions in order to lessen the number of children dying in the community. These clubs were also encouraged to remain neutral and nurse soldiers in both the Confederate and the Union armies during the Civil War.
The younger Ms. Jarvis began the Mother’s Day that we know to bring honor to her mother and the work she had accomplished in her life. It seems that she believed there was a more personal way to honor one’s mother than with items you purchase. She was quoted as saying, “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment”. I found this statement to be a bit on the harsh side…..
My Esteemed Opinion
As with a lot of things, I fall somewhere in the middle of this point of view J Having been an employee of Hallmark for many years, I appreciate a good greeting card (not to mention cute little gifties!). However, I do see a great deal of value in Anna’s plight to more personally and sentimentally honor those who come to your thoughts on this day. I am in no way saying that you should not bestow cards, flowers, candy, or gifts on your loved one for Mother’s Day! You of all people will know just what she wants J
I AM suggesting that perhaps this year, put a different kind of effort into your giving and honoring. Maybe take a few minutes and think about the things that you respect most about this person, impressive or hard-won accomplishments of theirs, and exactly what and how they have contributed to you as a person over the years. Find a way to express what you come up with to your “Mom”. Let your creativity flow! Use the talents that you have and create something meaningful out of it all. I can almost GUARANTEE they will cherish it so much more than a delicious chocolate truffle or a beautiful bouquet. If time is problem (as it always is for me), I imagine a personal, hand-written note detailing the findings of your reflection about their life and contributions to yours will bring forth the same joy as a project that takes days (or longer if you REALLY get into your projects).
Go Forth and Celebrate!!
I leave you now to go and reflect on the person or people who you count as “Mom”. I hope this post inspires you to appreciate more deeply and express more creatively. I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day and a relaxing and tranquil weekend!
For this article, I used information collected from the following websites:
Until Next Time,
Your Library Blog Maven,