Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that recognizes all mother’s – living and dead, motherhood and maternal bonds in general. It also celebrates all the positive contributions that women have made to society. It is celebrated in different months around the world – usually in March, April or May (but does spread throughout the year in different countries). In the United States it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
Mother’s day in the US was created by a woman named Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a day to honor one’s mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother’s (Ann Jarvis’) dream of making a celebration for all mothers. Anna kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. At first, people observed Mother’s Day by attending church, writing letters to their mothers, and eventually, by sending cards, presents, and flowers. With the increasing gift-giving activity associated with Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis became enraged. She believed that the day’s sentiment was being sacrificed at the expense of greed and profit. In 1923 she filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother’s Day festival, and was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a convention selling carnations for a war mother’s group. Before her death in 1948, Jarvis is said to have confessed that she regretted ever starting the mother’s day tradition.
Mother’s Day has continued to grow in its commercialism. It is now the most popular holiday to dine out in the United States. And telephone lines record the highest volume on this day.
So maybe this mother’s day is a good time to look beyond the commercial aspect of the holiday – and look again at the roots. To celebrate all mother’s. To thank mother’s for their giving and nurturing. To look at our own mothers and mother-figures in our lives and what ways they have changed and added to our lives. And to give them thanks!