This Sunday many Canadians will celebrate their mums and grannies. Mother’s Day is a time-honoured tradition around the world albeit on different days. Here in North America, the second Sunday of May is earmarked for paying tribute to mom.
Ranked the second highest in terms of spending holidays (after Christmas), retailers and restaurants will be looking forward to cashing in on your love. After all cost is no bar when it comes to appreciating her!
Although honouring motherhood is an ancient tradition, some historians believe Mother’s Day has sombre roots, beginning as an anti-war movement after the American Civil War. Anti-war activists including Julia Ward Howe and the mother of Anna Jarvis (the woman credited with the modern holiday) encouraged women to come together once a year to promote peace.
After the death of her mother in 1905, Jarvis began to organize the first Mother’s Day observances in her memory in 1908. It soon spread from Philadelphia to many cities and states and in 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday in May for the holiday.
Ironically Jarvis spent much of her life fighting its commercialization including orchestrating many boycotts in protest. According to reports, it cost her dearly both financially and health-wise. Almost 75 years later it continues to be a “Hallmark” holiday that rolls on the wheels of consumerism. Even urban India has jumped on the consumerist wagon.
So how much should you spend to celebrate mom? Market research indicates that Canadians will pay anywhere from $100 to $200 on an average for gifts. Of course, the guilt of neglecting her during the year could significantly drive up those numbers.
What does mom really want? If consumer reports are to be believed, a dinner with the family (in a fancy restaurant of course) and a spa day are the top picks. However, jewellers would rather have you cast your love and appreciation ‘for that one-of-a-kind mom’ in stone. Note how the focus shifts from the kids to now entrap your spouse or partner.
The extent of the commercialization is evident from several articles on the Internet offering advice on how to budget for the gift. After all, no one wants to disappoint mom or appear unappreciative.
From personal experience both as a daughter and mother, I can’t imagine any mum wanting her children to break the bank or get into debt to show their appreciation. In fact, I tell my boys to refrain from making any purchases as prices of flowers and meals are hugely inflated during this time.
My most treasured gifts are the ones my sons made in their early elementary years. Including the Nutella sandwiches topped with banana slices and a scoop of ice-cream. And not forgetting the tea laced with vanilla extract. What was even more precious was the way their eyes lit up when they presented it to me.
Now they are embarrassed by these ‘imperfect’ symbols of love which are proudly displayed on my desk, dresser and nightstand and tell me to discard them. Just as I recently tried to persuade my mum to get rid of a shabby white sweater I bought her more than 30 years ago.
What’s invaluable is the warmth and memories these gifts afford us not the items themselves. While I appreciate what they give me now, it’s the time they spend with me that I value most. That’s what moms cherish and want.
So, if you are looking for the best gift to give mum this year… it’s simple. Spend time with her. For many that’s harder to part with than money. But that’s what really matters!!! -CINEWS