Always held on the second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day is one of the most popular American holidays. According to Hallmark, it is the third-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, with 141 million cards exchanged annually. In the Hispanic community it is the largest card-sending holiday, although Mother’s Day may be celebrated on different days in other countries, such as Mexico where it is always celebrated May 10.
In terms of gift-giving, Mother’s Day is the second most popular holiday, following Christmas. The Fiscal Times reports that Americans spent an estimated $18.6 billion nationally in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation’s consumer spending survey, averaging about $152 per person – up $12 over the previous year, indicating a continued upward spending trend since 2009, in spite of rising gas prices and economic uncertainty.
History of Mother’s Day:
With regard to Mother’s Day exactly when and where did this holiday begin? The following information was obtained from Holiday on the net.
In the United States Mother’s Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) as a day dedicated to peace. Howe would hold organized Mother’s Day meetings in Boston every year.
In 1907 Anna Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day and persuaded her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the 2nd Sunday of May. Jarvis’ mother had tried to establish Mother’s Friendship Days as a way of dealing with the aftermath of the Civil War. By the next year Mother’s Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia. Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother’s Day. It was successful, and by 1911 Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, officially proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.
While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother’s Day at different times throughout the year, some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium also celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.
Mothers in the Bible:
Nowhere is the importance of mothers more clearly revealed than in the Bible. In a number of instances some of the leaders of Israel are set apart because their success or failure in carrying out God’s precepts. One exemplary example is Josiah:
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
In contrast, there are others, such as Jehoahaz:
Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
The fact that the mother is mentioned specifically by name, indicates her importance in rearing the individual who ultimately ruled in Israel, for the Queen Mother had considerable influence.
Of course, we also find examples of noteworthy mothers in the New Testament as well, from Elizabeth, the mother of John, the Baptist, to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ to Paul’s affectionate reference to the mother of Rufus, as “his mother and mine.” Many are familiar with the powerful impartation upon Timothy, as Paul remarks, “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”One of the most dramatic portraits of an ideal wife and mother is found in Proverbs 31, especially verse 10 which asks a question, and the subsequent verses provide the answer: Who can find a virtuous wife? For her price is far above rubies.
This indicates that the woman so described is priceless, implying that as a good wife and mother, she is of inestimable worth. Mother’s Day provides an opportunity express how valuable Mothers are in our daily lives.
Enjoy the accompanying slide show of people and places connected with Mother’s Day.