Mother’s Day is celebrated in 40 countries around the world. But, getting it started was not a slam dunk. Having a day just for moms was the brainchild of one Anna Jarvis, an American peace activist. When Anna’s mother died in 1905, she began lobbying the United States Congress to designate a single day as Mother’s Day. Although she was never successful with Congress, by 1911 all the states in the United States had embraced the concept of Mother’s Day. Finally, in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making the second Sunday in May officially Mother’s Day.
There are as many ways of celebrating Mother’s Day as there are mothers. Mothers are notoriously known to sidestep any efforts to get them to tell their child how they would like to celebrate their day. It’s not unusual to hear things like “oh just” or “don’t make a fuss” when you ask a mother how she’d like to celebrate her day. Sometimes it might be best for the child to use their powers of observation and recollection to figure out a fitting surprise celebration.
What does she like to do? Perhaps a day relieved of meal preparation duties would be appreciated? If you decide to take mom out to dinner, think about where your mother would like to eat as opposed to where would you like to take her. Is your mother into adventure eating or is it you who wants her to try Tagine? Just take some time to figure out what she might like. If you are stuck call her best friend and ask for suggestions. Try your best to make Mother’s Day all about mom.
Gifts are another opportunity to surprise your mother. What does she enjoy doing? Is your mother a gardener, an artist, a gourmet cook, an exercise enthusiast? Consider a gift or gift card that supports her interests.
Don’t underestimate the gift of time. Not every gift needs to break the bank. Time together like taking a walk, sharing an activity, or just talking is a wonderful gift. Consider giving your mother “service time” (washing windows, weeding a flower bed, or painting a room). Helping with something she would like to get done—but might be a stretch for her to do herself—really is priceless.
For those who have lost their mother, the second Sunday in May is an opportunity to remember her. Perhaps you will call your siblings and take a walk down memory lane. Think about what she did for you, how she shaped your life, how she handled the hard times and the good times.
“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” —Tenneva Jordan
“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” —Abraham Lincoln
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”- Sophia Loren
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