Mother’s Day Reflection – What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
“I believe in Love at First sight, because I’ve loved my mother since I opened my eyes” – anonymous
Running around last minute trying to get a card and gift for mom, it suddenly struck me; what is the meaning of this day? Sure, it’s a day to call or visit mom and maybe give her a gift and card with just the right words to express just the right sentiment. Husbands and Fathers typically buy flowers and may even give mom a “day off” and send her to the salon or spa for some pampering. But as I was trying to find something mom would like, I started to think, maybe it’s time to reflect on what this day really is about.
Perhaps the best place to start is by looking at the origins of Mother’s Day as we know it. Way back in 1905 Anna Jarvis began a campaign to honor her own mother, Ann Jarvis, a peace activist, by setting aside a day to honor all mothers. As Anna stated “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson finally signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Here’s where the story takes a turn. By the early 1920’s, Hallmark and other companies had started profiting from this holiday by selling Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis saw this as exploitation and a grievous misrepresentation and even tried to rescind Mother’s day! She had worked so hard to promote the sentiment of honoring mothers and was sickened by the commercialization. To her, the holiday had turned from her original intentions to another way for companies to make profits.
I started asking friends and coworkers what they were doing for Mother’s Day. I was not surprised to hear the usual; Cards, Flowers, Brunch and so on. When I probed a little deeper and asked about how they were honoring their mother on Mother’s Day, I was surprised. I received many confused looks as they repeated the usual; Cards, Flowers, Brunch and so on.
I realized that the meaning behind this holiday has gotten twisted up with the commercialization. That’s not to say that mom doesn’t appreciate the gifts and cards, I know I do. Do we love and honor our moms? Yes, of course we do, but maybe it’s time to really reflect on all that mom has done for us and create something truly one of a kind just like mom. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the world to suddenly give up the Mother’s Day holiday profit, but maybe we can take some of the cliché boring ideas that just aren’t that special anymore and make this day more personal.
The easy answer here for me was to create a custom lotion, toner, crème and exfoliant just for mom from the many bases we make right here at Essential. I added her favorite essential oil Jasmine, all the while thinking about how over the years she had made me her family recipe ice cream pie every year for my Birthday and how special I felt. I made labels and chose packaging that I thought was just right. Instead of buying a card, I bought some all natural handmade paper with wildflower seeds imbedded and wrote a letter to her explaining how her love and nurturing had helped me grow into someone I was proud to be.
This is by far the most time and effort that I’ve ever put into this holiday, but I am so glad I did. I hope this inspires you all to do something a little more reflective in honoring mom this year. Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Essential.