Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day - I'm against it.

And I'll tell you why...

Did you know?

The sad history of Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis has done nothing to slow down the popularity—and commercialism—of the holiday.
Anna Jarvis, who had no children of her own, conceived of Mother’s Day as an occasion for honoring the sacrifices individual mothers made for their children. In May 1908, she organized the first official Mother’s Day events at a church in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia, as well as at a Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, where she lived at the time. Jarvis then began writing letters to newspapers and politicians pushing for the adoption of Mother’s Day as an official holiday. By 1912, many other churches, towns and states were holding Mother’s Day celebrations, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association. Her hard-fought campaign paid off in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Jarvis’ conceived of of Mother’s Day as an intimate occasion—a son or daughter honoring the mother they knew and loved—and not a celebration of all mothers. For this reason, she always stressed the singular “Mother’s” rather than the plural. She soon grew disillusioned, as Mother’s Day almost immediately became centered on the buying and giving of printed cards, flowers, candies and other gifts. Seeking to regain control of the holiday she founded, Jarvis began openly campaigning against those who profited from Mother’s Day, including confectioners, florists and other retailers. She launched numerous lawsuits against groups using the name Mother’s Day, and eventually spent much of her sizeable inheritance on legal fees.
In 1925, when an organization called the American War Mothers used Mother’s Day as an occasion for fundraising and selling carnations, Jarvis crashed their convention in Philadelphia and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Later, she even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day as an occasion to raise money for charity. By the 1940s, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the calendar. Her efforts were to no avail, however, as Mother’s Day had taken on a life of its own as a commercial goldmine. Largely destitute, and unable to profit from the massively successful holiday she founded, Jarvis died in 1948 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.  - Finish reading here.

It is so out of hand today Ms. Jarvis would crap her knickers.

On the other hand, profiteering mommy bloggers may get enough donations to buy steak for the kids and maybe even get an all expenses paid trip to Rome for the Family Synod on single parents.

BTW:  In addition to the more traditional gifts (ranging from cards, flowers and candy to clothing and jewelry), the survey showed that an unprecedented 14.1 percent of gift-givers plan to buy their moms high-tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets.


  1. Actually, the origins of Mother's Day predate Anna Jarvis . . .

    1. Michael you are back!

      Welcome home.

      Anyway - I knew that. PLUS! It too has pagan roots. What?

      (You know when I'm kidding, right?)

  2. Thank Christ the Church does not celebrate this, but honours her "mother" with her own feast days.

  3. Aw...gee...All my kids called me yesterday including one who is in a serious depression. It gave him a reason to focus outward. Another son sent me a card with a note I will treasure for the rest of my life. It will be a bookmark, perhaps in my Bible, so I see it often. A daughter I rarely hear from called and we had a lovely chat. I'm thankful for Mother's Day -- not for any gifts (but what's wrong with that -- the three kings brought gifts to Jesus), but for the verbalization of appreciation that mothers often do not hear. This post gets the Grinch award, Terry. (Just kidding.)

    1. Actually, your Mother's day is exactly how it is intended to be.

  4. +JMJ+

    My mother asked for a floor lamp. Modern Mother's Day reverses modern Christmas by making children the Santa Claus figures.

    I was just musing to a friend that there's something about Mother's Day that makes people play down the idea of motherhood as an extraordinary vocation and state of life. Blog posts and articles by infertile or childless women have developed from a novel alternative angle to an annual tradition. And then there are the non-mothers claiming this day anyway because they have "fur-babies" and we know there's no difference between two-legged children and four-legged ones. =P Anna Jarvis was on to something when she envisioned Mother's Day as a way to honour your own mother and not motherhood in general.

    1. Excellent points - my Grinch-like posts on the subject is probably due to the fact that my crazy mother made the day into one long agonizing pity party and reminding the family of how unappreciated she was and that the gifts were last minute, cheap, or 'Why would you buy me something like this? Take it back!"

      I credit mums for my wonderful sense of humor.


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