This year, get back to the roots of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day in the U.S. is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May. It’s a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

The first Mother’s Day in the U.S. was conceived by Anna Reeves Jarvis in honor of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. Jarvis, a social activist, had cared for wounded soldiers on either side of the Civil War Following the war, she worked to reconcile Union and Confederate soldiers and their families and was involved in public health issues. Anna’s vision for the holiday was both to honor mothers and to carry on the work of her own mother.

By 1911, the holiday was celebrated in every state in the U.S., and in 1914 it became an official national holiday. Mother’s Day spread worldwide during World Wars I and II, as American soldiers observed the holiday with cards and letters home.

Sadly, by the 1920s Anna Jarvis became disenchanted with the holiday, as card companies and florists promoted the commercial aspects of the day over Jarvis’s initial vision of a personal celebration between a mother and her family.

Today, Mother’s Day is the third-largest retail holiday in the United States, accounting for more than $23 billion in retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation. Of this, $1.9 billion will be spent on flowers alone and $671 million on Mother’s Day cards. Some 87 million adults will go out to a restaurant for a special Mother’s Day meal this year, making it the single most popular day for dining out.

If you find the commercialization, crowds and craziness of Mother’s Day a little overwhelming, or if you’d just like to get back to the roots of the holiday, here are some ideas, courtesy of Choices Personal Lifestyle Management:

Make a contribution to a charitable organization in your mother’s name. Choose one that’s meaningful to her: Her church or women’s group, gardening club, medical research, Girl Scouts, food bank, American Red Cross, arts and theater groups, domestic violence shelter, animal rescue groups …. There are countless organizations from which to choose. For more ideas, talk to your Mom or visit CharityNavigator.org to research organizations.

Share a favorite podcast with her. If she doesn’t know podcasts, find one you think she would enjoy, walk her though setting up her computer or smart phone, and subscribe her to a few. Consider Being Boss for women entrepreneurs; On Being for conversations about the meaning of life; The Broad Experience about being a woman in the workplace; Invisibilia about psychological and scientific theories on the invisible forces that shape human behavior; 2 Dope Queens, humor about serious and not-so-serious topics; or The Simple Show, inspiration about simple living and minimalism.

Not tech savvy? Choices Personal Lifestyle Management can help you help Mom! That’s right, we offer assistance with all kinds of tech problems – from setting up wireless routers and email accounts, to using text messaging and podcasts, and everything in between!

Sit down and actually write your mom a letter about what she means to you, favorite memories from your childhood, how you see her in yourself. Make it heartfelt and sincere. She’ll cherish it forever.

Host a Mother’s Day luncheon or tea. Even if you’re not a great cook or party planner, you can do this, and Choices Personal Lifestyle Management can help. Our trained and professional staff can take care of every detail, from developing a guest list, to cleaning the house, polishing the silverware, preparing and serving the food, and cleanup, Choices personnel make it possible for you to give Mom the celebration she deserves, without the hassle, mess or worry.

Finally, get your stuff out of your old bedroom, the basement or attic! Really, how long are those yearbooks going to sit on the bookshelf waiting for you to claim them? While you’re at it, consider going the extra mile and helping Mom get things done she no longer has the ability to do, such as flipping mattresses and moving furniture; the time for, like weeding the flower beds; or an interest in, like scrubbing toilets and dusting door jambs!

Again, Choices Personal Lifestyle Management can help. Whether it’s cleaning out the gutters, planting spring flowers, trimming the hedges, packing boxes, cleaning the attic or basement, Choices personnel can be that extra set of hands Mom (and you) need to get those tasks done and crossed off the to-do list.

You can make this Mother’s Day one that Mom will remember, and truly appreciate, for a long time to come. Just give us a call at (419) 951-3007 to get started!

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