The real scope you need to know about this special occasion
Don’t rush to get your mom a Mother’s Day present. If that sounds counterintuitive to you, get ready for a new perspective.
If the present worldwide crisis has taught us anything at all, it’s that we need to change our ways—fast. We’re not thinking about climate change (at the back of our minds, we are too, but that’s another story for another time).
We’re talking about major relationship overhauls and a shift of mindset while we’re at it. Life is indeed very fragile. So let us take stock of our relationships and seize every chance to make precious memories.
Mother’s Day, which is a few days away, is the perfect time to reflect on our relationships, especially with those dear to us.
This may be a bitter pill to swallow, but our lives are constantly motivated by the incentives of commercialism. Mothers’ Day, for instance, has been thoroughly commercialized the world over. You can bet there’s no place on the planet that doesn’t run Mothers’ Day specials. From florists, hotels, to salons—everybody has found a way to cash in on the holiday.
And like the rest of us imperfect humans, you’ve probably fallen for those capitalistic ploys too. Say, when you noticed Mother’s Day creeping around the corner, your first reaction was probably to buy a surprise gift to make your momma happy. But what does happiness mean to your mother? More importantly, what can you do to make her truly happy, especially on Mothers’ Day?
The internet is rife with perfect Mothers’ Day gift ideas for different price points: an anti-aging cream, a monogram clasp bag with croc-embossed leather, tchotchkes, best sellers, a country club membership, a kitchen utensils set, a pamper session. These are all excellent gifts for moms, but truth be told, they mean little—a fleeting excitement at most or a few times of service—if we fail to see what the day is really about: love.
In 1905, Anna Jarvis started her campaign to establish Mothers’ Day as an official holiday in the US. Anna wanted to honor her mother, Ann Jarvis, who was an activist who tended to wounded soldiers during the American Civil War.
Ann created functions and Mothers’ Day clubs in order to raise public health awareness. When she died, Anna wanted to honor her and her contributions to society, but it wasn’t until 1914 when, impressed by Anna’s dedication to honor her mother, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday of May as Mothers’ Day.
Honor and dedication are keywords that jump off this little reference to history. These are two words that are, unfortunately, often extraneous in our modern celebrations. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Supreme Court associate justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841–1935) was right when he stated, “Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”
There are many things a mother hopes for, but on Mothers’ Day, she hopes for three things only: time, attention, love. No hocus-pocus, no rocket science, no hefty price tags.
Time is both a blessing and a curse, especially for mothers: One moment a mother’s day is filled with baby snuggles and bedtime stories and good night kisses; her little ones cling to her neck much to the delight of her soul; the word mother is synonymous to superwoman. The next moment, her brood is discovering the world on their own. Then, finally, her nest is empty.
As much as she wants to slow time down and savor precious moments, time does not stop for anyone at all. So she watches as, little by little, her children conquer the backyard, the school grounds, and then the rest of the world.
So why not gather the family at home for some bonding activities on Mothers’ Day? Play games, tell stories, cook meals, and eat together. Take this time to slow down and focus on that one woman who is most deserving of love and attention—your dear momma.
If you hardly wear your heart on your sleeve, make Mothers’ Day an exception. Let your mother know everything she does for the family does not go unnoticed. Tell her she is appreciated.
Give her your time, smother her with attention, and assure her of your love. And her world will be all right again.
If you’ve been unintentional with your Mothers’ Day presents, it’s not too late for a U-turn. In fact, it’s never too late to start a new family tradition.
Lynn, a thirty-nine-year-old mother of three from New Hampshire, shares how her husband, Patrick, started a lovely Mothers’ Day tradition.
Eight years ago, Patrick surprised her with a lovely portrait of their son, Jerome, and a little note that read, “Thank you for this precious gift.” Patrick did not stop there. Every Mothers’ Day since, Patrick gives Lynn several photos of their growing family so Lynn can see the family she has lovingly created with him. Today, their family wall holds a good number of snaps gathered throughout the years, and Lynn is a proud and happy camper.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not about to start a cult against gift-giving. On the contrary, we’d like to underscore the real power of giving gifts—something many of us rarely pause to consider when we purchase presents.
Oftentimes, we miss the point of gifting something to someone, not just mothers. This is especially true when we don’t focus on the recipient and how our gift will make him/her feel. Don’t give for the sake of giving. Instead, get a surprise gift because you truly want to make someone feel special.
So in case you’re still looking for the best gift for your momma, think of something personal and/or functional. Don’t allow labels and price tags to sway your decision. Instead, pay attention to your mother, her routines, her likes and dislikes.
There’s no reason, for example, to buy a pricey handbag if she’s never going to use it. Knickknacks that don’t mean anything to her or add value to what she does should be skipped as well. Instead, look for trinkets or unique gifts that harken back to a special time or place in her life.
Another excellent idea is to make an artsy card or a poster. A letter expressing how she means the world to you works wonders too. A surprise gift is always exciting, but remember, you and your love and affection are more than enough for her.