MOTHER’S DAY—A day to forget or remember?

mother and childOf course we remember Mother’s Day ( Sunday, May 11, 2014) because if we forget, we are in the doghouse. Today, Mother’s Day is one of the most successful holidays, providing big payouts for florists, greeting card and gift companies. But did you know that the woman, Anna M. Jarvis, who’s tireless efforts began this popular holiday, was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against what she had spent her life supporting.
Anna M. Jarvis’s intent was to honor the dream of her mother to create a day to celebrate all mothers, but eventually became disgusted with its commercial evolution.
So how did Mother’s Day come to be?
Celebrations honoring motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and later to the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday” in the UK and parts of Europe. The Christians would return to their “mother church” the 4th Sunday of Lent for a special service.  That evolved to a more secular holiday, where children would present flowers and small gifts to their mothers.
In the United States, the actual first Mother’s Day was based on abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe’s effort in 1870 to bring women together and protest what she saw as the futility of their sons killing the sons of other mothers. In 1873, 18 women’s groups observed Howe’s new “Mother’s Peace Day”, promoting world peace and motherhood. However, due to lack of funding the celebration died out. Inspired by Howe, Anna Reeves Jarvis, led a group of women in West Virginia to begin a celebration of reconciliation to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the day honored as “Mother’s Friendship Day.”

After the death of Anna Reeves Jarvis in 1905, her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, continued the cause and enlisted the services of a wealthy retailer, John Wanamaker, who financed a campaign to establish Mother’s Day as an official holiday, honoring the sacrifices made by mothers for their children.  It was first celebrated on May 8, 1910 in Philadelphia in Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church, establishing the second Sunday in May as the official Mother’s Day date. With the financial support of Wanamaker and much persistence, Anna promoted the holiday until 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson declared the day an official national holiday.
In short time, the holiday became so commercialized that Anna regretted having started it. She denounced florists, greeting card companies, confectioners and even charities. She died unmarried and childless.

keep calm Mother’s Day is a wonderful platform to celebrate moms. Moms rarely take time out for themselves and if only one day a year they are honored and pampered, it’s because they deserve it!  If you are a mom, celebrate it and enjoy all of the pampering you hopefully receive, because on Monday, it’s back to the business of being MOM.  And remember to “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.” You are loved each and every day of the year.


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