Mom or Babysitter with 2 Children - Ethnic

One of the best things that has come out of writing these blogs, is that I am learning so many things I did not know before.  For instance, this month I learned that the idea of a day to celebrate mothers not only began in the United States way back in the late 1800’s, but Mother’s Day as we know it today is now celebrated in over 40 countries around the world!

My research revealed that early advocates of Mother’s Day originally envisioned it as a day of peace, to honor and support mothers who lost sons and husbands to the carnage of the Civil War.  Julia Ward Howe, an American author and poet who wrote the song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and was also an abolitionist and suffragette, thought it would be nice to have a day when women could join together for world peace.   So in 1870, Julia wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation”, a call to action asking mothers to unite. Then in 1873 she campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2nd.

As the call for a Mother’s Day carried on, it gained new momentum due to the efforts of Anna M. Jarvis, who among other things, was a social activist.  When Anna’s mother passed away in 1905, Anna began a letter-writing campaign to try to win the support for a national Mother’s Day holiday.  Anna and a group of friends reached out to influential leaders including William Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Wannamaker, to try to get them on board.  Like Julia Ward Howe, Anna believed mothers deserved their own special day and that it would help strengthen family bonds.  Anna eventually persuaded the church her mother attended in West Virginia to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the 2nd Sunday of May. Anna’s persistence paid off and by 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state, with flowers quickly becoming a lasting tradition to express love on the occasion. In 1914, Congress passed a resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, “a public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making it an official U.S. holiday.

Today, most countries join the United States and also celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, although other countries celebrate at other times during the year.  Regardless of the day it is celebrated however, the world seems to agree that Mother’s Day is a day to shower mothers with love and thanks for the devotion and care they provide to their children.  The way mothers are thanked varies from country to country, although it wasn’t long before people felt (especially in the US), that the holiday had become more of a profit-making affair as marketers try to play on the emotions of those celebrating their moms as a way to sell goods…especially florists and greeting card manufacturers.  I actually read that at some point Anna Jarvis became so disappointed in the holiday’s commercialization that she spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.

The article, “Mother’s Day Celebrations Around The World” by The Holiday Spot, explains how certain countries celebrate Mother’s Day and what type of “gifts” are typically given.    If you want to read the entire list, here is the link to the article:

I picked out two countries’ traditions which I thought were worth mentioning here…

The kindest…

Mother’s Day Celebrations in Sweden
The Swedish Red Cross sells little plastic flowers on the days leading up to Mother’s Day. They then use the money raised to help needy mothers and their children and will even send mothers with many children on vacation.

And the funniest…

 Mother’s Day Celebrations in Yugoslavia
Mothers’ Day is observed in December. The children sneak into their mother’s bedroom and tie her up in bed. When she awakes she promises to give the children gifts that she has hidden in order to be untied.

However Mother’s Day is celebrated, I am sure everyone will agree that moms deserve to be honored in some way.  I might be in the minority, but the best Mother’s Day gifts I have ever received were hand-written letters from my sons when they were young expressing their love and appreciation for all I did for them.  I would rather have those letters, which I saved and have tucked away in my closet, than any bouquet of flowers or gift card to a spa  or to my favorite store so I could shop for myself (which I DO love to do!)

I just hope every mom in the world gets to enjoy this special day in the way that means the most to her.  Here’s to mothers all over the world!  Enjoy the love, celebrate, and look forward to hearing those very special words, “Thank you, Mom!”

Shopper with Flower Dresslove you to the moon and back christmas ornaments 

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Bed Family with 3 People & Heart

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Church Family with 3, 4 or 5 People