Where does Mother’s Day come from?
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There’s the common story and then there are the backstories. The mother of the Mother’s Day that we know — the day to celebrate mothering and all the mothers of the world, including our own — is Anna Jarvis
, who held a memorial in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia to honour her beloved mother, Ann and all mothers. This was 3 days after Ann’s death, at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church — this service has evolved into International Mother’s Day and eventually led to The International Mother’s Day Shrine at the site of Jarvis’s memorial, which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992. It was President Woodrow Wilson who, in 1914, designated the second Sunday in May as the US national mother’s day holiday, a date that has spread to many countries. Jarvis was not, however, the first to honour and conceptualise Mother’s Day.
In 1872, author Julia Ward Howe promoted a Mothers’ Peace Day, as a day to rouse anti-war activism and promote global unity after the American Civil War and Europe’s Franco-Prussian War. Howe encouraged women to gather in parlours, churches and social halls to promote peace through essays, hymns and prayers.
Peace was a motivation for Jarvis, also, though throughout her life, Jarvis held on proudly and tightly to her title as Mother of Mother’s Day, while others created movements around differing concepts of Mother’s Day — some of which Jarvis curdled against, including Frank Hering, a former football coach at the University of Notre Dame, who had initiated a US nationwide day to memorialise mothers and motherhood in 1904. Jarvis was not happy with the idea of a “father” of the mother’s movement and spoke unabashedly against his promotions with a public statement titled, “Kidnapping Mother’s Day: Will You Be An Accomplice?” Her fight didn’t end there. Jarvis was adamantly against the commercialisation of the holiday and saw the evolving culture of gift giving as well as fundraising, which became a tradition in the 1920s.
As we know it, the charitable and gift giving has remained for a day that, whichever way you turn it, is a celebration of women who the world could not do without.
What to Buy for Mother’s Day?
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How do you say gratitude? There are many versions of “mother” — the women who gave birth and the adopted mothers of all kinds are in the spotlight on a day for closeness and celebration. Gifts are a thank you
and can also honour Mum’s desires and style, which some Mums may well have sacrificed in their motherhood. Gifts also last longer than the day, so that the gratitude keeps on giving. Flowers will always say thank you and brighten a Mother’s day, and they’ll also brighten a new, special piece for Mum’s home. A unique vase for all the flowers Mum should receive throughout the year will always be a vessel for thanks. Artwork is a beautifully personal and forever choice for a gift — photography that captures love and friendship and true relationships, or a painting with personality and flair for the background for Mum’s days. There’s always a place also to surprise a mother with the lounge, the side table or the kitchen island she might always have had her eye on, and never had the heart to indulge in.
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Shop gifts all mums will love here: