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Are We There Yet?

Mother’s Day: A day of rest, not gifts

Mother’s Day can be a lot of pressure – especially on dads and adult children. When the holiday comes around – and it’s happening this Sunday – people find themselves scrambling to find the perfect gift. They send flowers, buy chocolates, purchase certificates to the spa, the mall or a restaurant. Gift-givers are expected to spend less this year because of the recession, according to the National Retail Federation, but Mother’s Day spending is still estimated to reach $14.1 billion.

Mother's Day, however, was never intended to be another occasion to buy Hallmark cards and presents for mom.

When social activist Anna Jarvis began her efforts to establish a national holiday in 1908, her goal was to establish a “day of rest” for moms. President Woodrow Wilson made it happen in 1914. But when people started buying flowers, cards and candy for their moms and making gifts the focus of the holiday, Jarvis became so upset that she started a petition to rescind Mother’s Day, according to this 2008 NPR report, “Mother’s Day Founder Opposed Commercialization.”

“Not one more thing,” I’ve been telling my family for the past three years. I don’t even want flowers. I’m satisfied with homemade cards, maybe a little cake and a couple of hours to myself for a run or a bike ride.

I think Jarvis was right on. Every mom I know could sure use a day of rest.

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This blog is intended to provide a forum for parents to share knowledge and resources. It's a place for parents young and old to combine their experiences raising families into a collective whole to help others.