To tell the truth, I’m not sure how to address the Mother’s Day issue, here. Over the years, I’ve had really mixed feelings on this official holiday. Mixed feelings that have nothing to do with it’s commercialization that’s resulted in an industry worth over $23 billion in Canada and the USA.
When our girls were little, as each Mother’s Day rolled around, I’d find myself mentally preparing. Preparing for what you might ask? Why, for the coming ’recognition’ in our weekly church service. A lot of you here will recognize the routine but for the sake of those who aren’t church goers, I’ll explain what I mean. All the mom’s in the congregation would be asked to stand where they were and the children would get called down to the front to take a carnation or two from a basket there. They would scurry back to where their moms and other older ladies stood waiting and solemnly present them with a flower as a token of ‘theirs and the church’s’ appreciation of the mothers good work.
If anything, I enjoyed the kid’s enjoyment of it and after all, they’re all so darn cute when they’re being earnest, aren’t they?
Cynical Me and Why Mother’s Day Makes Me Uneasy…
But from a personal perspective, I struggled against a sneaking suspicion. The suspicion that Mother’s Day was more designed to capitalize on the guilty feelings of an adult population of children. Children who had perhaps neglected to cherish their moms throughout the year. I know, I know, cynical as all get out! But cynical me could not escape the uneasy feeling that it was sort of a ‘one-day-a-year-makes-up-for-the -neglect-of-the-remaining-364’ sort of exercise. By the way, I’m not unaware of the irony of that. Just like everyone else, I also have a mother. I wonder how she felt in those years on Mother’s Day? Dare I ask?
But now my children are grownups. I don’t get carnations from a basket at the front of the church. And I never remind them that Mother’s Day is coming up soon. I guess I’ve never gotten over that weird angst about a holiday that seems to be enshrined in the psyche of our societies and that equally, seems to have become synonymous with ’shopping’.
So Where Did Mother’s Day Come From?
Many of our holidays are traceable to to the ancient Greeks and Romans. And to a degree, Mother’s Day is no different. Except back in their day, it was a festival to honour the mother goddesses, Rhea and Cybele. In later generations that changed to Mothering Sunday in Europe and the UK and was held on the fourth Sunday in Lent. But while those versions of ‘the day’ were firmly attached to their religious origins, as time passed, it eventually shifted to a secular event.
How Did a Peace Activist Inspire Mother’s Day?
In 1905, peace activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. During the American Civil War, Mrs. Jarvis had provided care for wounded soldiers of both sides of that conflict. A truly compassionate and caring woman, after the war was over, she founded the Mother’s Day Work Club, whose mandate was to address public health issues.
When she died in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis, set out to recognize her mother’s generosity of spirit. She started a campaign to officially recognize the good work of all mothers. The first memorial was held in 1908 in Grafton, Virginia. But it wasn’t until 1911, that American politicians officially recognized Mother’s Day.
Do We Succumb to the Commercialization of Mother’s Day, Or…….
By the 1920’s, the commercialization of the holiday was well started. And today that market is worth more than $23 billion. Anna Jarvis’ original intention was that children would honour their mother’s with letters of love and appreciation. But early on, the astute marketing efforts of Hallmark cards and other companies changed that.
However Mother’s Day started, it’s a tradition that is here to stay. And at the very least it’s good I suppose. Because it does remind even us forgetful adult children, that someone had our backs when we were the most vulnerable. So I guess it’s a good thing. Otherwise we might sink even deeper into the drama that we can create in our own lives and to the exclusion of someone who was super important to our own existence.
So How Can You Tell Mom You Love Her?
I once knew a woman who liked to give her adult children Mother’s Day wish list. And there are any number of posts in the ‘web-world’ that will present lists of possible gifts to give dear old mom. Not to mention that Pinterest is replete with boards that are focused on gift lists including specific lists for Mother’s Day gift ideas.
But as I get older, my need to collect things has changed. When we’re young and have children, we seem to be ‘collectors of stuff’. Sometimes for it’s own sake and sometimes because there are so many interests and events going on in our day to day lives. The result being that each hobby or fascination has it’s own list of products and tools that go along with it and so we buy, buy, buy!
Now though, after all the garage sales and trips to the thrift store to drop off a now uninteresting assortment of items, I’ve come to understand that things are not me and they are not you and they don’t add to ‘us’.
What does matter is time and how we make use of it especially in relation to the people we love.
How Can I Give Her More Time In This Life?
As I’ve sorted out and disposed of the ornaments and the extra kitchen things and stuffed numerous, seldom worn sweaters and tops into garbage bags for the Goodwill stores, I’ve learned to value time so much more than I ever used to. And when it comes to Mother’s Day, as we are aging and as our own mother’s are aging, time moves into the realm of ‘priceless’.
5 Ways You Can Tell Her You Love Her With an Offering of Time
Instead of a $5.00 card with it’s predictable poem about loving mom, you could write her a real letter that says those things in your own words. Include memories that you have of her when you were little, the things that she did so selflessly for you and how you loved her then for it and love her even more now because of it. Just remember to start it early enough that you can get it mailed on time.
Take your mom out for tea. It will take a little looking probably, but most cities have wonderful little tea houses that would be a delight to share with your mom for an hour on a Sunday afternoon. Different than just your typical restaurant, it’s an opportunity to share a new experience and make a memory with her. Vancouver has the Stanley Park Teahouse and in Victoria, BC there’s High Tea at The Empress. But even small cities have their own little, singular spots. Abbotsford has Ivana Teahouse for example. My guess is, if you decide to go this route, that you should make sure that you reserve a table for your afternoon tea on Mother’s Day. You might not be the only Mother/Daughter duo on that particular day.
Make a little coupon book where each page entitles her to claim help with something around the house. Especially if Mom is starting to have some physical issues that make it more difficult to get around. She may be uncomfortable with just asking you to come and clean her closets out, but if she knows that you expect sometime to help her with that specifically, she’d be less reluctant to call on you. You can include anything that you’re comfortable with doing and hey, the book doesn’t have to be huge! Two or three ‘coupons’ or even just one rain check for an afternoon of closet organizing on the first rainy day next month….it’s all good and all appreciated.
Dinner for Two?
Make her a special dinner for just the two of you to share at her place. Take all the fixings, a bunch of fresh flowers to dress up the table and a special dessert to have with coffee afterwards….more memories my dears and that is what it’s all about! The creation of special memories to build and bless the most special relationship of our lives.
A Road Trip?
You could set out on Mother’s Day for a little road trip with your mom. Is there some place that you can drive to in a couple hours, that your mom has always wanted to see? Why not rent a room to share with her and just jump in the car and go? Even if you only go for one night and come home the next afternoon, it’s time spent together and priceless.
I hope that this has given you a few ideas. And my dears, if there’s nothing here that rings a bell, but it triggers your own idea, don’t forget to share it with us! I always love to hear from you and adding to the list of ideas on top of just you being you with us, well, how wonderful is that?
Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!
As always, I will remind you that I’m not a medical doctor. I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health however. And that’s what I’m sharing here. All of it based on my own experiences and also the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.
If you change anything about your activities or lifestyle, please check with your doctor. This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.
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