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Honor Your Mom This Mother’s Day

“God could not be everywhere and, therefore, he made mothers.” — Jewish proverb.

On May 12, 1996, President Bill Clinton urged all Americans “to express their gratitude for the many contributions made by our mothers and to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.”

During this proclamation, he described how “mothers hold a special place in our hearts, providing us with the lessons and care that have enabled generations of children to embrace the opportunities of this great land. They embody the compassion, devotion, and energy that have always defined our national character, and their daily efforts anchor our country’s commitment to the fundamental values of respect and tolerance. Mothers impart both the strength that enables us to face our challenges and the love that comforts and sustains us.”

Clinton’s words were similar to those spoken on May 8, 1914 when Congress designated the second Sunday in May each year as “Mother’s Day”   — thus creating a special day to honor our mothers, whether biological, foster, or adoptive. Actually, it was Anna Jarvis, a West Virginia schoolteacher, who first came up with the idea for Mother’s Day. It is believed that after her mother died, she felt guilty about not having done enough for her, and so, in 1907, on the second Sunday in May upon the anniversary of her mother’s death, Ms. Jarvis invited a group of friends over and announced she was thinking of holding an annual celebration to be called Mother’s Day.

The idea was received so favorably that Ms. Jarvis traveled long distances to promote it, aided by funds contributed by John Wanamaker, her wealthy clothing merchant friend. On May 10, 1908, her dream come true with the first Mother’s Day celebration held in Grafton, West Virginia and attended by over 400 children and their mothers.  After the service, she personally presented each person with a carnation, her mother’s favorite flower, and a tradition was born.

Not too long after, the House of Representatives passed a Mother’s Day resolution. However, when a senator protested, stating there should be other holidays, including a Father’s Day or Uncle’s Day, it was stalled. Anna Jarvis wasn’t one to quit, and began a successful one-person letter-writing campaign to congressmen, governors, mayors, newspaper editors, and anyone who would listen. Word quickly spread, and unofficial observances popped up in villages, towns, cities and states, until on May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation. Within a few years, almost every country also joined in celebrating Mother’s Day

     Although thanks should be given to our mother’s for all the good deeds they do throughout the year, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to extend our personal thanks to those mothers who serve as our caregivers, problem solvers, teachers, and mentors, and who have given us unconditional love and respect.

                    How can you honor your mom on her special day? Let your imagination run wild. A few gift suggestions include:

•     Letting her sleep late.

•     Serving her breakfast in bed on a pretty tray adorned with a single carnation or rose in a pretty vase.

•     Send flowers. Flowers always make quite an impact and are always appreciated.” If you go to the shop in person, make certain that the flowers are fresh, make the arrangement spectacular, and ensure that satisfaction is guaranteed.

      Send a basket of fruit or cookies or, a balloon arrangement attached to a package of candy.

•     Does your mom have a sweet tooth? Then accompany her to a well-known candy shop and let her select from the oodles of caramels, homemade Truffles, nut clusters covered in light or dark chocolate, or Perugina assortments imported from Italy  

•     Treat her to a fabulous brunch!

•     For a fabulous Mother’s Day dinner celebration, visit a fancy restaurant. Yum!

•     If she’s a lap swimmer or participates in water aerobics, a gift certificate toward  a new bathing suit, goggles, fins,  swim cap, or other accessories available would be a most welcome surprise.

•     Books always make great gifts. Choose one you know she likes or present her with a gift certificate from her favorite bookstore.

•     Whether she’s interested in bowling or has never played this fun game before, purchase any number of games in advance from a local bowling alley and surprise her with the opportunity to enjoy this exciting game. Or, if she’s already a pro, choose apparel and accessories your mom may be longing for.

•     Offer her the opportunity to select a new needlepoint kit, knitting yarn, or have one of her masterworks custom framed at a speciality shop.

•     something as thoughtful as a cake can be a welcome surprise, especially if a small child presents it.

•     Has your mom been complaining about cobwebs hanging down from the ceilings? Do the cabinet doors need cleaning? Or are the wall ornaments due for a dusting? Surprise mom by having a cleaning service do the job for her.

•     Stop in at a garden store, pick up a few bags of cedar mulch, and save mom the chore of renewing the flower beds around the house by doing it for her as a surprise.

     Treat mom to a massage for both health and relaxation. These include Swedish therapeutic massage, with long relaxing strokes to help open up and relieve muscle tension; Reflexology, a foot massage that corresponds to various parts of the body; Thai Massage; and Raindrop Therapy, as well as Body Scrubs and Wraps..

•     Give your mom a gift certificate for a wonderfully soothing facial or body waxing, an always welcome and considerate gift.

•     It’s never too late for your mom to learn Tai Chi or Karate.

•     Everyone needs a weekend free from worry and with nothing to do but eat, sleep, maybe play a game of billiards, or watch, uninterrupted,  a movie or favorite television program — especially moms who are stressed out from all the jobs they have to tend to. The solution? A restful evening or weekend at a nearby hotel. Mom won’t even have to leave the hotel if breakfast is included, and for lunch and dinner, she can dine nearby at a fun restaurant.

•     Find a spa, so that mom has a private hideaway to escape to, or indoors, --  a perfect gift and wonderfully relaxing any time of day or night.

•     Think your mom is for the birds? Then check out a bird store to buy her a new bird feeder, bird bath, book, seed, and lots more.

     If your mom has been complaining about how bad the back yard looks, hire someone to visit and tell her how to improve it with afree estimate, and perhaps install anything from a small pond where she  can meditate, to a private sitting area where she can listen to the birds.”

               Remember, if you get stuck on figuring out what gift your mom would like best, remember that giving her a long hug while wishing her the best Mother’s Day ever, is the best gift of all!

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