In the United States, Mother’s Day is a holiday held each year on the second Sunday in May. The purpose of the holiday is to honor and celebrate all forms of motherhood. It is a day where people shower mothers and mother figures with all forms of gifts including some of the more traditional gifts which include – cards, flowers, and candy. Traditionally, this holiday is in honor of mothers, mother figures, grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers.
According to CNN, Anna Jarvis is credited as the inventor of the holiday, and she wouldn’t be too thrilled with just how commercialized the holiday has become over the years.
Statistically, with the exception of Christmas, more individuals purchase plants and flowers on Mother’s Day than any other holiday. This year, Americans are projected to spend more than $23 billion on Mother’s Day. Roughly a fifth of that money will be used to purchase jewelry-related gifts.
When Jarvis created the holiday, she wanted it to be a day for you to honor your mother as “the best mother who ever lived.” The popularity of the holiday quickly spread like wildfire – which was something Anna had not anticipated. The holiday became so popular that, today, people honor anyone in their life who resembles a mother figure instead of just honoring their mother.
Anna grew to hate the holiday she created because she didn’t like the idea of commercializing what she wanted to be a simple holiday honoring mothers for doing such a great job. She was very public with her hatred for people spending extravagant amounts of money on flowers, cards, and high-priced chocolate.
Not only was Jarvis very open about her hatred for commercializing the holiday, she was active in her hatred. She displayed her hatred by protesting florists that marketed Mother’s Day flower arrangements. She was so active in her protests of the commercialization of the holiday that she was arrested a few times for public disturbance.
Her active battle against the holiday she created did not stop at a few protests either. She also went to battle against first lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using the holiday to promote the health of both women and children. Even though Jarvis’ own mother was a health advocate of the community, she didn’t like the connection Roosevelt made between health and Mother’s Day.
While Anna Jarvis passed away in 1948, her holiday continues to thrive in a way that she would never be supportive of.