Did you know there was a Mother of Mother's Day? Anna Jarvis, though never a mother herself, is today recognized as the Founder of Mother's Day. In 1907, two years after her mother's death, Anna began an aggressive campaign to establish a national day to honor mothers, living or dead.
Anna along with her supporters began writing hundreds of letters to executives, businessmen, and legistators on both the state and national levels. By 1909, Mother's Day was celebrated in 45 states. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother's Day a national holiday to be celebrated the second Sunday in May.
Now this is where the history gets really interesting. At first Mother's Day was celebrated by attending church, wearing white or red carnations (red if your mother is living, white to honor deceased mothers), or sending a letter or note to Mom. Over the years as the gift giving increased Anna became concerned and angry about the commericalization of Mother's Day. She felt the day should be filled with sentiment, not profit. In 1923 she filed a lawsuit against a Mother's Day festival and spearheaded a public protest that got her arrested for disturbing the peace. Her later years were spent fighting to get the holiday, she worked so hard to establish, rescinded.
Anna would be shocked and aggravated that over $16 billion was spent on Mother's Day last year.
So do your part to boost the economy. Take mom out to dinner, buy her that braclet she's been admiring, or surprise her with her favorite flower. And to remember the true reason for Mother's Day, add a personal note with your gift, take her to church and wear a carnation in her honor, I know your mom and Anna will be pleased.