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Mother’s Day

Although not a Federally observed holiday with office closures, Mother’s Day is one of the most popular National Holidays of the year. And for good reason. Mother’s Day is a day to honor the women in your life, especially those who raised you. Yes, even grandmothers, step-mothers, and other important female role models and women who have contributed significantly to your life.

Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday in May. Other countries also celebrate Mother’s Day, but most fall on different dates, and may be observed in different ways.

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day will be observed on Sunday, May 12, 2024

Best Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day

Most Common Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day

  • Buy her flowers and greeting cards.
  • Get Mom a gift like jewelry, a nice purse, etc.
  • Spend a day at the spa or beauty salon.
  • Serve her breakfast in bed.
  • Take her to a nice brunch, lunch or dinner.
  • Attend a church service together.
  • Do all of her chores for her.
  • Make her a special dinner.
  • Bake her favorite dessert.

More Great Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Fun Facts

  • More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year.
  • Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother’s Day, was unmarried and had no children.
  • Mother’s Day is the 3rd best selling holiday for flowers.
  • Mother’s Day is the 3rd best selling holiday for greeting cards.
  • Mother’s Day is often the busiest day of the year for restaurants.
  • Carnations were the original traditional symbol for Mother’s Day.
  • President Woodrow Wilson issued a Presidential Proclamation on May 9, 1914, officially establishing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.

History Of Mothers Day

There were a few early attempts to establish a day to celebrate mothering and motherhood. Activist Juliet Calhoun Blakely initiated a Mother’s Day celebration in the 1870s, and Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering attempted to establish an official day as well. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the efforts paid off.

Mother’s Day as we officially know it began with Anna Jarvis. After her mothers death in 1905, Jarvis conceived this day to honor the sacrifices women make for their children. Jarvis received financial support for the holiday from John Wanamaker, a department store owner in Philadelphia. Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia at a Methodist Church, and at Wanamaker’s department store. Thousands of people attended at the store in Philadelphia.

The first celebration was a success and Jarvis, who felt American holidays favored male accomplishments, began a campaign to add Mother’s Day to the National calendar. Jarvis wrote letters to politicians and newspapers urging the adoption of Mother’s Day.

Jarvis established the Mother’s Day International Association to promote her cause, and by 1912, many states and churches were celebrating Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Jarvis’s original concept of Mother’s Day was intended to be a family celebration and involved wearing a white carnation when visiting mother’s or attending a church service. But when Mother’s Day became a national holiday, commercialization ramped up. Greeting card companies, florists, and other retailers saw the holiday as an opportunity to capitalize.

Jarvis was quite unhappy with this commercialization, speaking out against the entities profiting from the holiday. She launched lawsuits against companies using the name “Mother’s Day”, and even lobbied to remove it from the National Calendar. In spite of her efforts, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated every year.

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Heidi Deal
Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights. When she's not writing you can find her solo hiking and going on new adventures with her kids and pup.