‘Tis the season to love yo Momma

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Quid pro quo, kids!

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Tis’ the season to be bombarded by “Moms kick butt!” greeting cards in the grocery store, for television ads to be popping up with young children giving their mothers a new pair of heart shaped diamond earrings from Kay Jewelers, or maybe you could just send her a “personalized” Facebook greeting for $1.99.

In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason to have personal contact with your mom on mother’s day at all! After all, it is simply another Hallmark Holiday. What better way to show your mom you love ‘em then spending more money, right?

Mother’s Day has become one of the most commercially profitable holidays since President Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance in 1914.
Prior to the nationally recognized holiday a woman named Julia Ward Howe conceptualized the holiday in 1870. After experiencing the carnage of the Civil War, Howe called for an “International Mother’s Day celebrating peace and motherhood,” to be celebrated annually on June 2.

However it wasn’t until Anna Jarvis started lobbying for national recognition of Mother’s Day in 1908 that it started to become a much more popular tradition. It was Jarvis that fought for its national recognition that came to fruition in 1914.

Jarvis chose Mother’s Day to be celebrated on the second Monday of each year, to memorialize her own mother on the day she died.

Celebrations of mothers have been a common root of many cultures throughout history. Mothering Day, for example, is believed to have started in the 16th century in Western Europe. A religious tradition where on the 4th Sunday of Lent all children would make a trip home to celebrate their mothers. It was a rare occasion at this time for mothers to see their adult children.

Still celebrated in the United Kingdom, Mothering Day has become just as commercialized as the American Mother’s Day celebration.

In fact, Anna Jarvis, the same woman who fought for national recognition of Mother’s Day, spent the second half of her life trying to reclaim the holiday from the commercial efforts of the floral industry. She even tried to copyright the term “Mother’s Day” in 1938, but it had already become too widespread.

Jarvis fought for many years. She was arrested for protesting the sale of flowers at a meeting of the American War Mother’s Group. She also sued Mother’s Day event coordinators and fought against the creation of a postage stamp with an image of her own mother in recognition of the holiday. She was even known to have threatened First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using the holiday in fundraising attempts.

Jarvis died in 1948, without success in changing the commercial path of Mother’s Day.

So what is the true meaning and intention behind this holiday? Is it a celebration of mothers across the world? Or is it an individual’s recognition of their own appreciation of their mother? Some have even given up on the overly commercialized hallmark holiday, claiming it to be just another way for corporations to entice consumers.

What I would suggest: get your homework done early, call out of work, leave Sunday, May 12 completely free so that you can get your butt home to see your mother.

Don’t waste your money on a $5 card and flower bouquets that will wilt in a day. If anything, pull out your construction paper, your crayons, colored pencils, maybe even your computer programs. Make a card, write a note, and deliver it in person.

And if you’re a college student like me, you probably owe your Mom a whole lot more than one day a year and Hallmark card.

 

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