LIVING SAFE: Safety, security, time can all be Mother’s Day gifts
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Mother’s Day is right around the corner! The second Sunday in May is traditionally designated to honor our mothers and the mothers around us. Take time this weekend to celebrate in a unique way.
Mother’s Day was the brainchild of Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. Jarvis was inspired by her own mother’s death in 1905 to honor the sacrifices of all mothers. She conceived of a celebration organized around her Methodist church and she obtained financial support from a local retail businessman.
Jarvis’ “Mother’s Day” in 1908 was a resounding success. As a result, Jarvis campaigned persistently for the holiday to be nationally designated and added to the calendar. Politicians, ministers, and local leaders were lobbied. In 1914, her dreams were realized when the annual holiday was formalized by a declaration from the White House.
Ironically, Jarvis remained unmarried and childless for her whole life, while her legacy honors mothers everywhere, every year.
Jarvis accomplished a goal that brings joy to thousands of mothers and families. However, after only a few years of annual celebration, she became dissatisfied.
Department stores, florists, and candy makers capitalized early on the potential annual gift-giving opportunities. The original financial backing by a retail leader inspired many to offer similar support to increase their own sales. Jarvis was strongly opposed to the commercialization of the day.
She was so offended that she actually reversed course and began working in 1920 to remove Mother’s Day from the calendar. Thankfully, she was unsuccessful in her efforts.
To this day, flowers, chocolates, and trinkets are traditional gifts for mom every year. This year, in honor of founder Anna Jarvis, think about giving mom a different sort of gift.
First, the gift of time is always the most precious, Visit, call, or video chat with your mom and the other moms you know. Mother’s Day generates an increase in phone traffic of 37 percent on mom’s special day; make your phone call one of the many that will be made this year.
Second, expand your celebration to include all the moms you know. Make it a special day to celebrate women. Honor all those who you have observed to be making a difference in their families’ lives.
Third, consider a gift to charity in a mom’s name. If your mother is deceased, this is an especially thoughtful way to honor her memory.
Last, give the intangible gifts that will make a difference in a mother’s life. Think about safety and security. Give a gift that will be meaningful in the long term.
For example, has a security system been discussed, but never installed? Take the time to schedule installation today. Has an emergency plan been a priority for the family, but never really completed? Or, if the plan has been created, has extended family been included?
Mothers work to keep the family safe every day. Even the simplest safety plans would be an appreciated gift this year.
For almost 100 years, we have celebrated mothers. As you give flowers, celebrate the day and honor the moms in your life, have a wonderful and safe celebration in 2013.