Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day in 1908 as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1914, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity. 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. (1)
Isn’t it interesting how a non-religious holiday like Mother’s Day also has been commercially hijacked in some fashion from its original purpose? It just goes to show how easy this is to happen in everyday American life. This story is a reminder (and call) for us to constantly return to the roots of things and reclaim the source of why we are doing them in the first place. As Christians, we need to remember the source of Christmas/Easter/Worship. As families, we need to remember the source of Mother’s Day. It is a day to honor the love and the devotion which Mother’s so often give. So while, you may buy that card/flowers/gift/dinner don’t forget the heart of the thing. Love and honor your mom this coming Mother’s Day. If she is still with us in this world…that special gift which she will hold close to her heart is not so much a “thing” as it is a heartfelt message that comes from within.
Happy Mother’s Day!