Mothers Day Gifts and History
Mothers Day Gifts for Mothers and Grandmothers ... and History
What gift can you send your mother and your grandmother on Mother’s Day to show how much you love them?
If you are short on money for gifts this year, then send this famous poem by telephone, but don't call collect. Or in a note signed, “With love” and your name, or at the very least, in an email. But send it!
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
Mother's Day Gift Baskets
M is for the million things she gave me,
O means only that she's growing old,
T is for the tears she shed to save me,
H is for her heart of purest gold;
E is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
R means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell MOTHER, A word that means the world to me.
(Still popular poem created by Howard Johnson in 1915.)
If your mother has a funny bone – and I’ve never known a mother or grandmother without one, else how would they be able to raise children? And maintain their sanity? – then send this version to them, too. (It’s ascribed to Dean Martin).
M is for the Many things she gave me.
O is for the Other things she gave me.
T is for the other Things she gave me.
H is for How many things she gave me.
E is for Everything she gave me.
R is for the Rest of what she gave me.
Put them all together, they spell MOTHER, A word that means the world to me.
(Repetitive to be sure but it does spell Mother.)
My Mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my Mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her. - George Washington
So how did this celebration of Mothers Day begin?
Thought you would never ask. Once upon a time in ancient Greece, spring celebrations were held to honor the goddess, Rhea, wife of Cronus, and the mother of all the Gods. She was the goddess of female fertility and motherhood and represented the eternal flow of time and generations.
Her husband Cronus (Kronus) was not a nice person. He heard a prophecy that he would be deposed by one of his children so he began the custom of swallowing each child whole shortly after birth. Rhea finally became fed up with her husband’s sadistic behavior and hid her youngest child, Zeus, in a cave in Crete.
In his place she gave Cronus a large stone wrapped in swaddling clothes which he promptly swallowed. Cronus may have been gifted with amazing throat muscles, but it appears he was lacking in the brains department.
So you won’t feel too badly about the swallowed kids, I must confess that they did not die and were later freed. Among these later Olympians who joined Zeus were the gods and goddesses: Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Hades. Note: to see for yourself how god-like Zeus may have looked, see the film, “Clash of the Titans,” with the actor, Liam Neeson, portraying Zeus.
In ancient Rome, a similar significant festival was dedicated to Cybele, the Roman mother goddess. These ceremonies began about 250 years B.C. I can’t desribe in precise detail what Cybele’s followers did during these celebrations - this is a family-friendly article, but it was significant enough to get them banished from Rome.
It seems that Cybele-worshippers were accused, among other things, of disgusting. degrading practices including castration and self-flagellation
In the British Isles and Celtic Europe, the goddess, Brigid, and her successor, St. Brigid, believed to have been an Irish nun, were honored with a spring Mother’s Day ceremony connected with the first milk of the ewes – baby lamb mothers.
God couldn't be everywhere, so he created mothers. - Jewish proverb
Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love.
More Mother's Day Gifts
Fast forward to the 1600s.
On the fourth Sunday of Lent, we find that England celebrated a day called Mothering Sunday. Many poor people at that time worked as servants and apprentices in the homes of their employers. On Mothering Sunday, they were given permission to go home to visit their mothers – if they didn’t live too far away.
They brought their respective mothers a special delicacy called a mothering cake. What kind of cake was it? It was a sort of fruitcake or fruit-filled pastry known as simnels. How was it made? It was boiled in water (?), then baked, and finished with an almond icing. I can relate to the icing, not the cake.
In northern England and Scotland, the cake was replaced by pancakes called carlings made with butter-fried peas. In some places this special mothers’ day was called Carling Sunday. By the 19th century, however, this holiday and its respective delicacies had vanished.
A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television.
All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. – Abraham Lincoln
"Mama" by the Spice Girls
Back in the U.S.A.
Mother’s Day was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe In1872, You may remember her as the author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” – set to the music of “John Brown’s Body.” Julia began promoting the idea of a Mother’s Day to be celebrated on June 2nd to honor peace, motherhood and womanhood. The following year women in eighteen American cities held such gatherings and Mrs. Howe sponsored these celebrations in Boston.
In 1890, Anna Marie Jarvis began a campaign in Philadelphia to establish a national Mother’s Day holiday. Anna had never married but was very attached to her mother. When her mother died, she began a letter-writing campaign to gain support of influential businessmen, ministers and congressmen in declaring a national holiday. She believed children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while she was living, and hoped that a Mother’s Day would strengthen family bonds.
In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to adopt an official Mother’s Day. In 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution establishing the holiday to emphasize women’s role in family life.
This holiday is now celebrated not only in the United States but in other parts of the world including Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Italy and Australia.
So whether you prefer a Mother’s Day cake, a fruitcake, pea pancakes, chocolates, flowers, toiletries or a gift, please send your mother and grandmother a token of your love on this holiday.
To My Mother
For all the times you picked me up, when I first learned to walk.
For all the times you read to me, when I’d not learned to talk.
And gently tucked me into bed, and let the light stay lit.
And held me close for all those shots, they really hurt a bit.
For all those times you went without, those shoes or that new dress.
To save the money for things I’d need, you managed to do with less.
For everything we shared, the dreams, the laughter and the tears.
I will always love you with a Special Love that deepens year by year.
(Dedicated to Lee and Sophie)
Footnote: Hallmark reports that about 96% of American consumers take part in some way in Mother's Day.
Books for Mother
© Copyright BJ Rakow Ph.D. 2011. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know abut Job Search Just Ain't So." An enlightening book about job search with dynamic facts about interviewing, negotiating, networking, and creating a powerful resume.
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