Happy Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards and other gifts.
In the years before the Civil War (1861-65), Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.
Another precursor to Mother’s Day came from the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. ~ History.com:Mother’s Day
Once the holiday was official, the commercialization began. Jarvis made several arguments about the commercialization saying it takes the “work” out of honoring your Mom. On a day when you’re supposed to be honoring ALL the work you Mom does for you during everyday of the year, she thought this was unfair and unjust.
All she asked was that you wear a white carnation to honor your Mom, go visit her if you’re lucky enough to still have her here in your life. And maybe take her to church. Fix all the meals of the day and shower her with kindness, thanks and gratitude for one day out of the 365 days of the year.
Once the holiday became a national day of recognition, Florists began advertising the use of red carnations for Moms who are no longer with us. Consequently red carnation sales went through the roof. Candy makers jumped in on the game by packaging confections in boxes with white ribbons and nearly doubling the price for this special day.
Then came the worst offenders, according to Jarvis; the greeting card companies. Gone are the days when you had to make an effort to tell your Mom you loved her. Now you can buy the words of someone else and sign your own name to it.
“The sending of a wire is not sufficient. Write a letter to your mother. No person is too busy to do this. Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card or telegram.” Jarvis said.
Today Mothers have come to expect the flowers AND a phone call from their children who are living far away. But for those who are close by and can come for a visit or take Mom out for Sunday brunch, you better show up with flowers in hand. And forget the fancy greeting card. Get a piece of computer paper, fold it in half and write your Mom a note. A poem would be good. Even if it’s not the greatest writing of all time, your Mom will say it is. Because it came from YOU.
Happy Mother’s Day!
© 2006-2014 Evilwordsmith.com. All Rights Reserved, Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D.