Festivals celebrating mothers date all the way back to Greek and Roman times, but in the United States, the official Mother’s Day holiday began in the early 1900’s when Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, wanted to do something to honor the sacrifices mothers make for their children.
How Mother’s Day Became Official
The whole thing really took off when John Wanamaker, a Philadelphia department store owner, provided financial assistance to Anna in 1908, and she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in May at a Methodist church in West Virginia. On the same day, thousands of folks attended a Mother’s Day celebration at one of Wanamaker’s department stores.
Anna spent the next several years lobbying for a national holiday for mothers, arguing that American holidays were unfairly geared toward men. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Anna’s intention was that Mother’s Day would be a personal celebration of family, but it quickly turned into a way for retailers to make money. Consequentially, she began advising folks to stop purchasing gifts for Mother’s Day and eventually renounced the holiday completely.
How To Make Mother’s Day Memorable
While my family has purchased gifts for me in the past, some of my favorite Mother’s Day memories are those where my husband and son helped out around the house. Mother’s Day is just a few days away, and now is a good time to come up with a game plan to make the day memorable for your wife/mom. A few suggestions include helping with chores and laundry, giving her a day of rest, planning family time, and cooking (and cleaning up) dinner.
The thing is that moms don’t want extravagant gifts; a mom simply treasures knowing that you really thought about her. Take some time this week and plan something special to let your mom know you care.