When Americans send tributes to their mothers and grandmothers this Sunday, they will be celebrating a holiday that is observed on various days in countries around the world.
In the United States, Mother’s Day took root about 150 years ago when West Virginia homemaker Ann Reeves Jarvis began “Mother’s Work Day Clubs” to improve poor sanitary conditions in her community, a cause she believed would help lower infant mortality, historians say. Those clubs also cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War and later began Mother’s Friendship Day pacifist events to promote reconciliation after the war.
However, it was Jarvis’ daughter, Anna Jarvis, who is credited with founding what we know as Mother’s Day. The younger Jarvis envisioned the day as a way to celebrate your mother by spending time with her.
At a church service she organized to honor her mother in 1908, she handed out white carnations, her mother’s favorite flower. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation officially naming the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.
Jarvis eventually disowned the holiday because she felt it had become too commercial. She didn’t want children to send printed cards, but personally written letters thanking Mom for what she’d done for them.
Instead of flowers, candies, clothing or jewelry, she would have preferred children offer handmade expressions of love. Most mothers today probably would agree with her. Ask a mother what was her favorite Mother’s Day gift and she might recall receiving a drawing or letter with heartfelt sentiment or perhaps a youngster’s breakfast effort of slightly burned toast and runny scrambled eggs.
This Sunday, impress Mom or Grandma with a family brunch served at home. Here are a few recipes to get you started on your menu. Some are easy enough for older children to prepare on their own or with some help from Dad or another adult.