Mother’s Day

by Cami Swafford

Mother’s Day: the day we celebrate some of the most amazing people in the world. On the second Sunday of every May, we show our appreciation by giving our moms a break from all of the hard work they put into making our lives better. We shower them with gifts, love, and sometimes even with breakfast in bed. But we haven’t always taken time each year to celebrate our moms.

Although mothers have been celebrated since ancient times, Mother’s Day was not an official holiday until Anna Jarvis pioneered an effort to create a day that honored mothers. In May of 1908, Jarvis organized the very first Mother’s Day celebration in a church in West Virginia. The very same day, another celebration ensued in Philadelphia that saw thousands of attendees.

Once Jarvis saw the success that Mother’s Day had, she relentlessly sought to put the holiday on the national calendar. She began a letter campaign to newspapers and politicians to urge the adoption of Mother’s Day as a national holiday.

By 1912, most towns in America were celebrating the holiday but it wasn’t until 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson officially deemed the second Sunday of May “Mother’s Day.”

Unfortunately, like most holidays, Mother’s Day soon became an opportunity for businesses to maximize their sales and increase their prices. The day became more about buying the best and most expensive gift rather than taking the time to truly appreciate motherhood. By 1920, Jarvis’ focus had taken a 180-degree turn by striving to remove the holiday from the national calendar. For the rest of her life, she sought to erase all of the work she had accomplished.  

In a study conducted by Kantar Worldpanel, it was found that we spend almost twice the amount on Mother’s Day gifts now than we did a decade ago. Why? Because, like previously stated, businesses view Mother’s Day as an opportunity to double – even triple – prices on their products. They rely on people who wait until the last minute to buy a gift for their loved ones and force them to pay way more than the product is worth. In the end, though, we end up giving our moms overpriced items that they don’t need and probably won’t use that often. So why do we do it? Shouldn’t we all just celebrate the holiday like it was meant to be spent? On this Sunday, give your mom that expensive gift you bought. Because that’s what we do. But don’t forget to spend time with her and make sure to show her she’s important and loved. Appreciate your mother on Mother’s Day, give her a gift, love her, and maybe even make her breakfast in bed.