Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, must be spinning in her grave and hating Hallmark for all it stands for. Commercialism.
Anna worked tirelessly, by writing letters to newspapers, businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians, to make Mother’s Day a national holiday. She hoped that a son or daughter would honor their mother for all the sacrifices she had made and she used the singular mother’s day rather than the plural. She never intended the day to include all mothers, all over the world.
In her vision, she imagined it to be a day of sentiment, not profit. In her opinion, a single white carnation or a heartfelt letter were the best way to celebrate the occasion. She wanted small groups of people to get together and she wanted the day to be celebrated on Sunday because it’s a holy day. She also wanted it to be the second Sunday in May because that was the anniversary of the death of her own mother.
When Mother’s Day suddenly became an occasion for greeting cards, candy, flowers, and gifts, Anna campaigned vigorously to abolish the holiday that she had founded. Her efforts were to no avail and even got her arrested for disturbing the peace in her public protest.
The other day, my friend and I were discussing birthdays and Mother’s Day and he told me about some of the practical jokes he’s played on his wife.
One year, he and his wife were in a store and he took her over to the greeting card section and pulled out a beautiful card and handed it to her and told her that this was her birthday card. Then he put the card back. Another time he took her to the greeting card section of a store, pulled out a Mother’s Day card and read it to her. Then he put it back and told her that this was her Mother’s Day card.
I guess he can get away with those kinds of jokes because he told me that even after 65 years of marriage he still loves his wife as much as he did when he first married her. It doesn’t get much better than that.