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Holiday Insight: Mother's Day

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General Information

Current Mother's Day celebrations include moms being treated to breakfast in bed, receiving bouquets of flowers and being pampered all day long. At least that's what mothers would like, and some are lucky enough to get it. But no matter how you honor your mom on Mother's Day, she is going to feel blessed because being a mother is her greatest joy.

Here are some ideas for honoring the woman who has loved you from the start:

  • As mentioned, breakfast in bed is always a good start! Don't forget to add a bud vase with a single bloom or two. A stem of lilacs from your yard, or a tulip from your garden are good choices.
  • Take her out for Sunday brunch. Many restaurants have special brunches on Mother's Day and most will present moms with a rose or carnation. It's a good idea to call and make reservations since this is one of the busiest days for restaurants.
  • If your mom goes to church regularly, bless her by going with her. Nothing will make her feel prouder than to have her family sitting in the pew with her!
  • Send her flowers.
  • Write her a heartfelt letter telling her how she has inspired you through the years.
  • If you're out of the area and can't visit with her on Mother's Day, don't forget to call her!! Just hearing your voice will brighten her day. And don't forget to tell her that you love her.
  • While she's out for the afternoon, prepare her favorite foods for dinner. When she returns to a set table (don't forget the flowers!) and the smell of dinner cooking, she'll think she has the best kids in the entire world! Make sure that you clean up the kitchen and wash the dishes before the night's over. Mom shouldn't have to lift a finger.
  • If your mom is on the computer at work, send her an eCard during the week. She'll love showing it off to her co-workers!
  • Clean her house while she's out. She'll be thrilled to walk into a fresh-smelling house that sparkles! Or tackle that basket of ironing or mending that she has set aside for when she has time.
  • Plant flowers in her garden.
  • Be creative. Ask yourself what your mom would really like and then do it! The reward of seeing the smile on her face, or the grateful tear on her cheek will make it all worthwhile!

History of Mother's Day

Mother's Day, as we know it, hasn't always been about honoring our moms. It actually originated in ancient Greece and was a spring celebration honoring Rhea, the mythical mother of the gods.

In the 1600's "Mothering Sunday" was celebrated to honor the mothers of England. This was a time when the poor servants of the country were given the day off so that they could spend it with their mothers. Often they would take along a "mothering cake" for their moms to enjoy.

Eventually, as Christianity started to spread throughout Europe, the celebration changed and the "Mother Church" was honored. With time, the church festival merged with the Mothering Sunday celebration and people began honoring their mothers as well as the Mother Church.

In the U.S., Julia Ward Howe, the lyricist for The Battle Hymn of the Republic, started organizing Mother's Day meetings in Boston in 1872. She wanted the day to be dedicated to peace.

In 1907, on the second anniversary of her mother's death, Ana Jarvis from Philadelphia started a campaign for a national Mother's Day. She convinced her mother's church in Grafton, WV to celebrate the holiday on the second Sunday in May. The following year, this celebration also took place in Philadelphia. Encouraged by this, Jarvis gathered supporters and started writing to ministers, politicians and businessmen in hopes of making the second Sunday in May an official celebration of mothers throughout the United States. By 1911, nearly every state took part in honoring mothers on this day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it official - Mother's Day was a national holiday to be recognized yearly.

There are only a handful of countries that celebrate the holiday at the same time as Americans do. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, The Netherlands and Belgium all honor their mothers on the second Sunday in May. Other countries have chosen different dates for their own celebrations.

What is striking is that this is a universal theme. Mothers deserve special recognition, no matter what nationality they are. This day wasn't just invented by the greeting card companies and florists to promote sales. After all, where would any of us be without our mothers? Don't forget to honor her this Mother's Day!

Date of Celebration

In the United States and several other countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the year. Here are some dates:

DayMay 14thMay 13thMay 11thMay 10thMay 9th
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