Simply put, Moms are the best. They often are the glue that holds our families together, offering unconditional love and always knowing just when a hug is needed. They serve as playmate, confidant, nurse, chef, chauffeur, judge, cleaning lady, psychologist, teacher, provider, coach, and finder-of-all-things (just to name a few of their countless roles). In other words, Mothers are most deserving of a special day of recognition.
This year, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 14th. What many people aren’t aware of is this is the American version of a worldwide holiday, but not necessarily when most of the world celebrates it. Many other countries actually celebrate Mothering Sunday, which always falls three weeks before Easter on the 4th Sunday of Lent. This tradition began centuries ago when grown children were known to go visit their mothers during the Lenten season to honor them and pay respect.
In the 1860’s, the tradition we know as Mother’s Day started taking root in America, but with a slightly different meaning. It began as a movement called Mother’s Friendship Day. It was designed for mothers of both Union and Confederate soldiers to come together and pray for peace and reconciliation. In 1870, the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was written to unite women and promote peace, honor mothers who were having to send their sons off to war, and protest having to send them at all. Taking a slightly feminist perspective, this further developed into an officially recognized holiday specifically dedicated to women in a largely patriarchal society. Now known as a day to honor mothers and thank them for all they do for our families, Mother’s Day always falls in May, after the Easter season. Step-Mothers and Grandmothers are also largely celebrated on this day and recognized for their significant roles in the family.
Historically, Mother’s Day has been commemorated with flowers, whether a simple bouquet picked fresh from the garden, an elaborate arrangement from a florist, or an elegant corsage designed with love. Flowers are still the most given gift on Mother’s Day, although other traditional favorites include candles, chocolates, and champagne.
Some more trendy gifts and tokens have emerged in recent years. These can include anything from sentimental homemade presents to gift certificates to planned outings together. Mothers may appreciate a handmade family scrapbook, or a homemade coupon book for chores around the house. Others may enjoy time spent together, whether it is brunch prepared at home with the family, planting a garden together, or going for a picnic. For others, going on a shopping trip or having spa time together may be more their style. And although they may not admit it, many may actually enjoy a day of peace and tranquility by themselves. The ideas are as original as the mothers in our lives.
Whether you select a more traditional or unique gift, be sure to choose the one that most reflects your mother’s interests or hobbies. Better yet, treat her to something you know she would love to have but wouldn’t get for herself. Choose something to honor her and all she means to you, reflective of the true meaning of the holiday. Whether it’s a tangible present or the gift of time with you, do something to show your mom just how much she is loved and appreciated. After all, we know she has more than earned it.
All photos from Shuterstock
Guest Author Bio
Amy Williams is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety