It’s may be a sign of the times when I Google ‘Mother’s Day’ and all I find are adverts for flowers, etc. What is the deeper meaning, if we push consumerism aside briefly?
Well, of course, it was originally Mothering Sunday, an explicitly religious day, referring to the Church. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, people would ‘go-a-mothering’ to the main church in their area of region, and domestic servants were given the day off to go to church and visit their own families – truly wonderful for them in a life of servitude.
People enjoyed Simnel Cake, a dense fruitcake made with marzipan, including decorative balls representing the disciples, minus Judas.
However, Mothering Sunday fell out of favour as we modernised and secularised, until in America, 1908, when Anna Jarvis invented a day to honour her mother who had been a militant peace activist. This inspired one Constance Penswick – Smith to revive the religious celebration here.
Eventually, as with most things, commercialisation set in. Mother’s Day became a day to sell, sell, sell, making Anna Jarvis eventually turn against her own idea, especially appalled by ready-made cards.
She had originally set up the idea for families to celebrate their mothers together, not as an opportunity to sell cards, flowers and gifts. Maybe the moral of the story is to be careful of what you set in motion.
Interestingly, Anna remained unmarried and childfree.
I have no real views about it; each to their own. If you celebrate it, have a good one. If it is difficult and poignant for you, have a cyber hug. And if you really don’t care, I’m surprised you read this far!