More calls are made on Mother’s Day then any other day of the year. (history.com/topics/holidays/)
Even the ancient Greeks and Romans knew that mom was very important in their lives and celebrated mothers during festivals in honor of their mother goddesses, Rhea and Cybele.
Early Christian festivals known as “Mothering Sundays” in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe held on the fourth Sunday in Lent allowed children to present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation.
The American roots of Mother’s Day go back to 1908, when Anna Jarvis gained financial support from John Wanamaker, a Philadelphia department store owner and organized the first official Mother’s Day in Grafton, West Virginia. Thousands attended a Mother’s Day celebration in Wanamaker’s Philadelphia store.
Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis aimed to make it a national holiday, even though she herself remained unmarried and childless her entire life. She began a great letter- writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912, many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Jarvis’ version of the day involved wearing a white carnation signifying a visit to one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before business owners capitalized on its popularity, and Jarvis grew to loathe the commerciality of the holiday she created.
Today, Mother’s Day remains one of the largest days for consumer spending in the United States. Who can resist getting mom something on her special day after all she does for her family all year.
Jennifer Tighe, owner of All in a Basket (allinabasketpa.com) gift shop in Forest City, says that Mother’s Day is one of her busiest times. “It is a really big day for the shop. Everyone wants to get mom a special gift on her special day,” she explained. Big sellers on that day for Tighe include candles, coffee and tea, cookies and chocolates and custom, made-to-order lotion baskets. Gift certificates for local eateries are also popular because mom could use a break from cooking.
“Children come to the shop with their dads and pick out gifts that mean so much to their moms when they receive them on Mother’s Day,” Tighe said.
The celebration has taken into account that grandma is a special mom too, and Tighe says she finds that lottery tickets and snacks and goody baskets are popular with the older generation.
Joyce DeBastiani agrees that Mother’s Day is a busy one at her Honesdale store, The Wallflower. “Everyone wants to honor the person in their life who gave birth, raised them and supported them throughout their lives,” she said.
The Wallflower offers a large variety of unique and beautiful gifts for mom as well as several new lines of merchandise this season. From Crabtree and Evelyn and Thymes lotions and soaps to Mantra bands, Holly Yashi items, charm bracelets, Lokai bracelets and much more in the jewelry line, the two-story shop also offers great clothing and scarves for Mother’s Day gifts. Staff will help shoppers pick out great gift and box and wrap them for free.
On Sunday, May 8, remember to make Mother’s Day a special one for your special mom.