How to Celebrate Mother's Day in the USA

09 Apr 2024 - Category: Blog /
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Mother's Day is coming up. It’s time to start thinking about gifts and how you’re going to celebrate. Do you have a plan to make sure your mom has a great Mother’s Day this year?

At Small World, we know how important it is to show appreciation to all the hardworking and loving moms out there. Mother’s Day in the USA has been a tradition for many years now and there are a variety of ways people choose to celebrate.

In this blog w,e’ll explore the origins of Mother's Day, talk about present ideas and discuss how you can make your Mother's Day great this year.

When is Mother’s Day in the USA?

This year Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 9th. It’s just around the corner so make sure you're thinking about how your mom would like to celebrate the day. In a moment we’ll discuss the many ways you can show your appreciation.

Who founded Mother’s Day?

Let’s look at the history of Mother’s Day celebrations. Mother’s Day, as we know it today, actually originated in the US and can be traced back to three women: Ann Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, and Anna Jarvis.

While the early settlers in the US didn’t take the Mothering Sunday tradition with them, in the 19th century, before the start of the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis (from West Virginia) pioneered Mother's Day Work Clubs. These were designed to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

After the Civil War, these clubs became an important part of local communities and in 1868 Anne Reeves Jarvis came up with the idea of Mothers’ Friendship Day, on which mothers and soldiers would meet in order to attempt reconciliation.

Around the same time, suffragette Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation, asking mothers to come together to promote world peace. In 1873, she fought to have Mother’s Peace Day celebrated every year on June 2nd.

However, it wasn’t until the 1900s that Mother’s Day in the USA as we know it became official. Anne Reeves Jarvis died in 1905 and her daughter, Anna Jarvis came up with the idea of honouring the impact mothers made on their children by celebrating mothers on a specific day every year.

The first Mother’s Day was held in May 1908 and was such a success that Anna was determined to have her holiday added to the national calendar. She wrote hundreds of letters, arguing that US holidays were focused mainly on male achievements. She asked politicians to create a special day to honour motherhood.

It didn’t take long to catch on: by 1912 Mother’s Day was a holiday in many states and her hard work eventually paid off in 1914, when President, Woodrow Wilson, officially declared that the second Sunday in May would be known as Mother’s Day.

Interesting facts about Mother’s Day

The history of Mother’s Day in the US is fascinating but the tradition of honoring mothers on a particular day goes back even further than the 19th Century. For example, the origins of Mother’s Day go as far back as Ancient Greece. Greeks used to hold an annual spring festival dedicated to the maternal Goddess Rhea, mother of the Gods.

Here are 8 more fun facts about Mother’s Day:

  1. Carnations are one of the most popular flowers for Mother’s Day. The flowers are thought to be made from the tears of Mary, Jesus’ mother, when she wept at his feet on the day of his crucifixion.
  2. In the United States alone, almost 122 million phone calls are made on Mother’s Day.
  3. In 250 B.C. ancient Romans celebrated a three-day spring festival, called Hilaria, dedicated to a mother goddess, Cybele. Back then the traditions were slightly different to what we do now. The followers of Cybele would make offerings at the temple, play games, hold parades, and have masquerades.
  4. In 2020, U.S. consumers planned to spend a total of 2.56 billion U.S. dollars on flowers for Mother's Day.
  5. For some reason, in the majority of the world’s languages, the word for mother begins with the letter M.
  6. Although the name of the event is usually understood as a day belonging to mothers, which would normally be spelled Mothers’ Day, we actually tend to use Mother’s Day, which means the day belonging to Mother.
  7. Americans were planning on spending around 26.7 billion U.S. dollars on Mother's Day in 2020. This may seem like an absurdly large number and it has been growing steadily for years now. An extra 12 billion dollars was spent on loved ones in the U.S. in 2020 compared to 2010.
  8. More than 150 million Mother’s Day cards are exchanged in the U.S. every year and is the third largest card-sending holiday after Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Mother’s Day present ideas

If you are struggling to find any Mother's Day gifts here are a few present ideas that may help you pick the perfect gift for your mother.

  • A personalized photo album.
  • You could get her pink or red carnations, or you could buy her a new houseplant which might be a lovely way to remind her that you care every day.
  • There is nothing wrong with the classic gifts of jewellery, candles or wine either.
  • A subscription to a coffee or tea service is a great present that she could use all year round.
  • While day trips and mini breaks might not be on the cards at the moment, why not plan something you can do together when you’re able to? Plan a trip to a spa, or a trip to a city she hasn‘t visited, and send her a voucher to give her something to look forward to

This list touches on a few good ideas but of course you could also try and think of a few personalized gifts. Give your mom something that is unique to your relationship with her. Often the personalized gifts are the ones mom’s appreciate and remember the most.

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