Theresa Giarrusso is taking a few days off of blogging to tackle a couple of family and school projects. Keith Still, a mother of three, will be filling in this week.
I don’t know what kind of mom (or daughter) this makes me, but I honestly didn’t realize Mother’s Day was just a few days away until Theresa mentioned it to me on the phone. I chalk it up to the fact that I have three school-aged children (6, 9 and 12) whose schedules have taken a life of their own as of late.
When I think about it, I am sure I have passed by dozens of Mother’s Day-related displays at the grocery, pharmacy and every other shop around town. I just wasn’t paying attention. Recently, I have operated under the “get in the store and get out” mode. I put on the blinders, grab a cart, power-walk down the aisles and race out the doors on my way to gymnastics, softball, dance class, the orthodontist, Field Day, band concerts, choral concerts, sports clinics, foreign language club, and Girl Scouts.
In short, I didn’t think about Mother’s Day, because I have been inundated with mother-related activities. With the second Sunday in May bearing down on me, I thought I’d take a quick look at the origins of this special day before I freak out about finding and posting a gift to my own mother in time.
The folks at theholidayspot.com note that mother’s celebrations reach back centuries, varying from religious observances to calls for peace and friendship. The modern-day American version of Mother’s Day, however, began in the early 1900s, when Anna Jarvis was mourning the death of her mother. She worked to create a national day that would help increase parental respect and strengthen family bonds for mothers while they were still alive. The first Mother’s Day was held a church in Grafton, WV on May 10, 1908. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914, setting aside the second Sunday in May to celebrate.
It didn’t take long for President Wilson’s call for a “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country” to morph into the commercial holiday that we all know; and many people throughout the years (including Anna Jarvis) have lamented the depreciation of the holiday’s meaning.
Commercial or not, I think the original concept of showing love and appreciation for our living mothers still drives most of us to celebrate this national holiday. Sure, there’s a reason why florists, greetings card makers and restaurateurs throughout the country absolutely adore the second Sunday in May. Flowers, cards and brunch out may not be original ideas, but I know very few mothers who would turn down any of them if they came from their children.
Personally, I just want a free day with my family to help restore some sense of my sanity; a day in which I don’t have to be anywhere or clean anything. That, according to this story, is a pretty lame, or at least unhelpful, answer to the age-old question of what to get mom for Mother’s Day — but it is sincere. The story mentions top vote-getters in the Mother’s Day present category. Among them: family time, dinner, sleep, handmade gifts, jewelry, flowers, and a day at the spa/salon or a trip.
I laughed at some of the “worst” ideas, which included socks, cleaning supplies and, of course, nothing. Honestly, I’d take a heaping helping of nothing over a bottle of Windex any day.
For something different this year, a day at the zoo, a museum or a park might be a true mother-child treat, no matter your age. I have heard Publix is offering a 2 for 1 deal through May 14 on tickets to the Princess Diana exhibit at the Atlanta Civic Center (exhibition runs through June 13).
If your mom enjoys exercise (or strives to enjoy exercise), consider taking a walk, run or fitness class together with her this weekend. On Saturday, Atlantans can jog on over with their moms to the 20th Anniversary Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run/1 mile walk at Atlantic Station or the 4th Annual Running Away the Pain 5K and Fun Run/Walk at Douglasville’s Boundary Waters Park.
Now, what to get my own mother, who lives 5.5 hours away? A nice brunch or dinner at her favorite restaurant is out, of course. Like most women her age, she has everything she could want, need or fit into her house. So another blouse, trinket or kitchen utensil seems superfluous. Given the time, it’s looking more and more like flowers, a card and a phone call are in order for the big day. I know Hallmark, FTD and AT&T may be thanking me, but underneath those cliché Mother’s Day gifts, I will be thanking my mom for all she has given and taught me over the past 38 years.
How do you show your mother love and appreciation on Mother’s Day? What’s the best gift you could receive for Mother’s Day? Have you ever gone the non-traditional route with your mother, or been the recipient of an alternative Mother’s Day gift?
What’s the worst gift you have received? Do you view Mother’s Day as a day to spend with your children and family– or a day you deserve to spend on your own/with whomever you choose (i.e. a day out with friends or pampering yourself)?
Be sure to check out Theresa’s weekend blogs on two separate recalls involving baby cribs and children’s medicines.