The Sweet, Yet Sad, Story Of Mother's Day

In case you have forgotten (let’s hope not!), Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13th. Millions of people will be running to the stores to buy gifts for their mothers. Stores will have “Mother’s Day sales,” while candy and card companies will earn millions off the day. Last year, consumers spent close to $24 billion on the day. Well, Anna Jarvis would be angry about all of this. Who is Anna Jarvis? She is the woman who invented Mother’s Day, and spent the rest of her life trying to prevent the commercialization of the day she invented. 

After her mother died in 1905, Jarvis began a campaign to get the second Sunday in May, the closest day to the anniversary of her mother’ death, declared Mother’s Day. Anna succeeded. The first Mother’s Day service was held in 1908. Eventually, on May 8, 1914, Congress passed a law formally recognizing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Unfortunately, as the day became more marketable, Jarvis became more frustrated. “They are commercializing my Mother’s Day,” Jarvis complained, “That’s not what I intended.” She spent the rest of her life trying to end the commercialization of Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis died in 1948 after being committed to a sanitarium.  A sad ending to a woman who did so much to honor mothers throughout the country. 

Tom & Becky

Tom & Becky

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