Shannon Brady
Writer & Editor

Mother’s Day is a holiday observed in many ways around the world to celebrate the efforts of mothers and mother figures everywhere, giving family a particularly special opportunity to show how much they care. In the United States, it falls annually on the second Sunday in May.

It is popularly observed by Americans today due to the efforts of West Virginian social activist Anna Jarvis. Inspired by the wish of her own late mother Ann Maria Jarvis to establish a holiday commemorating mothers for their service, Jarvis began and led a nationwide campaign to do so in the early nineteenth century. Though President Woodrow Wilson did not sign the annual observance into law until 1914, many towns began holding formal celebrations in the years prior. Jarvis’ memorial ceremony for her mother at her local church in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908 was the first recorded official Mother’s Day ceremony in American history.

Jarvis would later come to reject the popular way of celebrating the holiday, finding it to be too commercialized, with a particular contempt for the giving of store-bought cards and chocolates, which she thought were too impersonal to be proper gifts for one’s mother. Nevertheless, gifts and cards remain among the most popular Mother’s Day gifts, though typically they should go with a phone call or message, a special visit or outing, or any other gesture to really show Mom that you care.

Another of the most popular gifts is one that Jarvis actually did approve of: flowers! Specifically, the white carnation, which she advocated to be the official symbol of Mother’s Day for the fact that it does not drop its petals as it wilts, but “hugs them to its heart as it dies,” which reminded her of her own mother, who also incidentally kept a garden of the same flowers.

Since Mother’s Day is not a federal holiday, expect government buildings, businesses, and banks to operate on their usual Sunday hours. Mother’s Day sales and special deals are common in several stores and restaurants.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us anytime at Stay safe and healthy, and Happy Mother’s Day!