Even though celebrating Moms can be traced back hundreds of years, the official, American version was first celebrated in 1908 by Anna Jarvis in a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Through her letter writing campaigns, and sheer tenacity, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Here are five ways you can honor Moms.
Give Mom the day off. A major tradition is for Dad to help the kids make Mom breakfast in bed. She’s allowed to sleep late and wake up to a delicious breakfast lovingly prepared. Perhaps accompanied by some beautiful flowers. Breakfast is a great start, but what about the rest of the day? Give Mom a break by cleaning up that (now) messy kitchen and taking over all the other ways Mom contributes to the family.
Write Mom a Love Letter. Anna Jarvis’s original intention for Mother’s Day included celebrating Mom in Church and writing her a love letter. In the 1920’s, greeting card companies saw an opportunity to capitalize on this holiday (and have since turned it into the third highest card sending holiday behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day). Return to Anna’s vision: take a few minutes and write your Mom a love letter. Let her know all the ways you appreciate her. Include a favorite memory or piece of advice she’s given you. Whether it’s two sentences, or twenty, this will be her favorite gift!
Give Mom Flowers. The favorite flower of Anna Jarvis’s Mom was the carnation so in the first years of Mother’s Day, red or pink carnations were worn to celebrate Moms still living. White was worn to honor Moms who had passed. Wearing a carnation is a simple way to honor Mom. Bringing her a bouquet of flowers will last a little longer and if the opportunity is available, plant some flowers in Mom’s garden. Whether it’s a window box, a large planter or the border along the fence, give Mom the gift of beauty that will last throughout the months ahead.
Remember Moms who have died. Not only your Mom, but remember your friends who’s mothers have died. Let them know you’re thinking of them.
Support Courageous Moms. Many not-for-profit organizations help women succeed. Whether it’s a shelter that provides safety for abused women or an organization that helps women get back onto their financial feet or one that provides micro-loans to women intent on building a business to support their families, find one that inspires you and get involved!