Mother’s Day was signed into law in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. Originally conceived by Anna Jarvis, a West Virginia native, she wanted to honor her mother Ann Jarvis, a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to help solve public issues. Anna Jarvis felt her mother’s legacy should live on and through her hard work and constant campaigning, by 1911 all of the states observed the holiday. President Wilson’s proclamation designated the second Sunday of May as the official date of observance. In 2019, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, May 12th.
By the 1920’s, even Anna Jarvis herself was despairing over the commercialization of Mother’s Day. In the early 1920’s, Hallmark and other card companies had already started producing specific Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis started protesting the holiday and organized a boycott as well as started to issue lawsuits against the companies who were looking at the profit and not the sentiment of the day. Jarvis wanted people to appreciate and honor their mothers by creating handwritten letters and gifts, instead of purchasing them. Today, Mother’s Day is the largest day for long-distance telephone calls and remains one of the highest sales days for cards, flowers, and other tokens of affection.
Luckily, we live in an area with a high number of independent eateries, local artisans, and beautiful scenery. So even with our busy lives, it’s easy to find something that your mom will love and will help support our lovely towns. If you are taking your mom out to eat, make sure you make reservations in advance. If you do want to get your mom a little something, visit one of the local art galleries or stores downtown to find her something unique and special. Many Moms appreciate quality time and if that is true of your Mom, don’t be afraid to go on a hike with her or take her to a local park for a picnic. And of course, you can always follow Jarvis’s lead and hand make your mom a card or letter that truly expresses your feelings.
Happy Mother’s Day!