Happy Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner!
Not that we celebrate it much in my family!
Both my mother and I each have four children. But Mother’s Day is not a big day, part because both my mother’s and my birthdays are very close to the second Sunday in May, and part because in my early teens I realized there shouldn’t be just one day a year to celebrate and honor all the mothers.
After all, mother’s day is every day!
As children, my siblings and I used to pick flowers, make handmade cards, and wake up mother with a nicely laid out breakfast on a big tray. Making mother breakfast was a huge task, considering our mother woke up very early every morning. I think she stayed in bed longer on Mother’s Day just to give us time to make the coffee!
Our sweet little celebration was what all families I knew did to honor their mothers. But then, one day, I realized my mother should be honored every day. I also realized the commercial aspect of it all. That’s when I decided not to celebrate Mother’s Day anymore!
Instead I would, on a whim, on an ordinary day, bring my mother flowers, or, a special treat from a fancy bakery, and wish her happy Mother’s Day. It always surprised her! The smile on her face would last all day!
I also learned that the celebrations of mothers on a specific day is an age old tradition with roots in the ancient world, as a celebration of mother goddesses, and later incorporated into religions.
The idea in the U.S. was first brought up by Julia Ward Howe after the Civil War. She was an amazing woman, mother of six, a poet, and an activist for women’s rights. Every woman should know her name! Her Mother’s Day activities died with her, but the idea lived on.
The modern celebration was started by Anna Jarvis in West Virginia. The first Mother’s Day was held as a memorial in 1908 for her mother, and in 1914 (one hundred years ago!) president Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May to be a national holiday honoring all mothers.
That was a huge victory for Anna Jarvis. She had worked hard for many years for that to happen.
A special day to honor the person who has done more for you than anyone else in the world.
Anna Jarvis soon realized, just as I had, how this day fast became commercialized by companies urging people to buy, buy, buy for their mothers. And so Anna Jarvis became the most ardent opponent of the commercialization of Mother’s Day. She went as far as organizing boycotts, and even getting herself arrested!
But the time was right for the idea, and it kept spreading around the world. Maybe in part because the idea is so great and heartfelt, maybe in part because it is a good marketing scheme. Today the day is a national holiday all over the world, albeit not all on the same day as in the US and Finland.
My grandmother moved to Sweden in the 80’s. There Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. Therefore, she jokingly expected to be celebrated on both Mother’s Days!
I am not expecting much for Mother’s Day. For that I can only blame myself!
But instead I get to be in touch with my grown up daughters almost every day of the year! And then there’s my birthday coming up … =)
Whatever you do for your mother, remember that mothers normally don’t care for the gift as much as they care for you spending time with them. My mother used to wryly say that:
“If you can’t be here for me now, don’t bother bringing flowers to my grave!”.
On that note, give your mother a call, or send her an email. Now!
In my spread-all-over-the-world family, there will be a lot of Skype’ing going on between my mother, her daughters, and our kids!
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. There’s still time for a handmade gift! If you can’t make one yourself, do support the crafters in your community by buying a gift for your mother from them.
Or, crochet a little heart! It won’t take long!
My free heart patterns:
My patterns on Etsy: