Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Brief History of Mother's Day

Staff Writer, DL Mullan
Mother's Day / Commericalization

Is Mother's Day a day of celebration for the sacrifices of mothers or a cheap, commericalized holiday? If you said both: you're right. 

Mother's Day in one incarnation or another is celebrated the world over. In the United States, Mother's Day is celebrated with dinners, flowers, and cards. Most of which the founding mother of Mother's Day found repugnant. Anna Jarvis lobbied for the holiday after her mother died in 1905. By 1915, Woodrow Wilson was signing the day into law:
Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood.
As soon as her holiday for motherhood was official, the holiday became one of money and greed. Jarvis was soon disenchanted by her own achievement because others had ruined it with commercialism. 
While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.
As you spend your Mother's Day remember: it's the thought that counts, not the cards, the gifts, or the pies. Those materialistic things are not what the holiday is about and never was to the founder Anna Jarvis. 

It's about celebrating family.

Source: History Channel