Gifts – Antiques, Jewelry & Time
On Mother’s Day it is universally understood that mothers as a rule don’t really want anything- except for you to visit. And you will. You’ll enjoy being fussed over even though you’re the one who is supposed to be the one doing the fussing. But you still can’t help it. A present? You still need to look for something for your Mother. It is Mother’s Day, after all.
So, I went on a quick trip to the Strasburg Emporium and Marci Deaver of H&H Antiques and Collectibles found several nice things for Mother. I particularly enjoyed the heart and flowers quilt, which is perfect as a wall hanging, too. The plates by Avon are a really nice tribute, I thought. Jewelry works, too. Cameos remind you of Mother right away, while the rhinestone necklace has a prominent sapphire that is the gemstone of Mothers, or so Marci tells me.
Flowers still fit the occasion, of course. Dinner, too. If money isn’t an object, Christie’s is auctioning off a 101.27 carat diamond tiara starting at $6 million. But it’s the time you spend together that really is the gift that is appreciated the most.
Lá na Máithreacha
Γιορτή της Μητέρας
Fête des mères
No matter how we say it, we all speak the language of Mother’s Day.
Like so many traditions and holidays, the idea to honor Mother is not a new one. It just had a different meaning altogether at first. About the 16th century or so in England and Ireland, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, you were expected to visit your Mother Church and remember Mary, the Mother of all Christians. While participating in Mothering Sunday as it was called, you were also expected to visit your own Mother at home, too.
Ann Jarvis had another way to harness the power of Mothers. Ann was a mother and homemaker who lived in the Appalachian foothills of Grafton, West Virginia. She organized mothers for Mother’s Work Days as a way to improve sanitation. Even during the height of the Civil War she managed to bring mothers from both sides of the conflict together for Mother’s Work Days and continued to do after the war until her death in 1907.
Curiously, though, it was Julia Ward Howe, the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” who may have been influenced by the work of Ann Jarvis to organize mothers for a Mother’s Day of Peace in 1870. Her Mother’s Day Proclamation was an attempt to organize mothers for peace and disarmament, but like Ann Jarvis’ attempt to organize mothers for sanitation, it didn’t quite catch on.
But they say third time is a charm. Ann Jarvis’s daughter, also named Ann Jarvis, promoted the idea of a National Mother’s Day, with no other purpose than honoring our mothers. On May 10, 1908, the very first National Mother’s Day celebration was held at her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. This very special day devoted to one’s own Mother then spread quickly throughout the United States.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first National Mother’s Day in the United States as a way to recognize mothers who had lost sons in the First World War. Mother’s Day, however, has evolved beyond wartime sacrifice into a time of remembering your mother with love and attention.
Today, almost every nation celebrates a version of National Mother’s Day. Even Mothering Sunday in England and Ireland has evolved into a more secular version very much like the one celebrated in the United States. Religious or secular, our Mothers deserve their own day.
If the soul of the nation is the family, then the soul of the family is our Mother.