Celebrate Mother’s Day



How do you celebrate Mother’s Day in your home? How do you wish you celebrated Mother’s Day in your home? We put that question to the moms in our Facebook discussion group and got some interesting answers, in addition to the old standbys.

But maybe the best Mother’s Day of all comes from the holiday’ founder, Anna Jarvis, who intended the holiday to honor “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” While her campaign to get the nation to adopt Mother’s Day was successful (Woodrow Wilson established it as an official holiday in 1914), she was disappointed, to say the least, by the commercialization of the holiday. Here’s how Wikipedia tells what happened:


Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother’s Day she soon became resentful of the commercialization and was angry that companies would profit from the holiday. By the early 1920’s, Hallmark and other companies started selling Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis became so embittered by what she saw as misinterpretation and exploitation that she protested and even tried to rescind Mother’s Day. The holiday that she worked so hard for was supposed to be about sentiment, not about profit. Jarvis’s intention for the holiday had been for people to appreciate and honor mothers by writing a personal letter, by hand, expressing love and gratitude, rather than buying gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis organized boycotts and threatened lawsuits to try to stop the commercialization. She crashed a candymakers’ convention in Philadelphia in 1923. Two years later she protested at a confab of the American War Mothers, which raised money by selling carnations, the flower associated with Mother’s Day, and was arrested for disturbing the peace.

Jarvis’s holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world.

The emphasis is added, because there is probably no better way for families to celebrate Mother’s Day than by personally expressing love and gratitude to moms.

Kids often have trouble expressing themselves in letters, so you might offer them some structure:

  • Create a Wordle, a word cloud, about Mom. (See this article for word-cloud generators.)
  • Create a Letterman-style “Top Ten” list of awesome things about Mom.

Besides writing letters, here are some other ways to express love and gratitude sometime during the day:

  • Make a video montage of your kids telling how much they appreciate their mom.
  • During a family meal, share memories of mom.
  • Ask mom to share her top five mothering memories. What is she most proud of as a mom? (This is a good teachable moment.)


What kind of Mother’s Day Do Catholic Moms Really Want?

What do moms really want for Mother’s Day? We asked a few, and discovered that while the scented soap is nice, they’d also like….


My perfect day would be one that has all of us at the table at the same time in the same place. With her at college, one thing we miss most is our family meal time.


A really good portrait of my family!



Last mother’s day, I had the whole day to myself to lay in bed, nibble chocolates, and read. It was glorious. Then we went to Mass and out to eat afterwards.



I like having my mornings off, where I can wake up at my own lesure and just take my time. I can go on Facebook if I want or roll over to go back to sleep. [My husband] takes the kids out somewhere for the entire morning and I just do whatever I want for that first part of the day. By the time they come back, I am lonely for the kids and wanting to celebrate with them! We do gifts (handmade from the kids) and then go out to eat as a family. I love it, it’s a great combination of down-time but also time with the family.



I would get a family portrait done. Then we would go to an indoor waterpark and play hard. Dinner is steak fiestas, Sangria and chocolate. No dishes. No laundry and no house hangover the next day because I didn’t clean today. Bath, book, pedicure and a Diet Coke. (We’d go to Mass on Saturday.)



Holy Mass in the morning, with everyone clean and wearing matching socks. A picnic lunch with excellent food and some white wine, somewhere pretty, in 75 degree sunshine. A clean house to come home to, and then dinner out with my husband. When I get home, the children have not disagreed once and all the school clothes are clean.



Sleeping in (a bit). Drinking coffee while it’s still warm. I love going out to breakfast/brunch (delicious and no clean up!) and then picking out beautiful flowers for the front of the house.



Perfect Mothers Day…is breakfast made for me; noon at the movies and dinner with an opportunity to read a book.



Start with Mass, then I would love to have all my kids and their kids and my siblings and their spouses and all their kids having a breakfast together outside at one long, long table.



Selfishly… I would love to just stay home with my people. No dinners out. No guilt from one mom or another for not splitting our time well. No rushing. I don’t mind cooking. I just want my people home with no plans.


What about you? Leave a comment, here or at our Facebook page!

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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