Table of Contents

History of Mother’s Day
Why Celebrating Mother’s Day Is Important
Different Ways People Like to Celebrate Mother’s Day
Show Your Appreciation with a Mother’s Day Gift
Say “Thank You”

Mother’s Day is coming up on the second Sunday in May (May 12 this year), and it’s time to reflect on the mothers in our lives. Many of us celebrate Mother’s Day by spending time with our moms. Some people give them gifts, and flowers, or write heartfelt cards. Some of us make phone calls to the mothers in our lives instead. Did you know that there are more phone calls made on Mother’s Day in the United States than on any other day of the year (phone calls increase by more than 35%)? But above all, it is a day to show appreciation for mothers.

History of Mother’s Day

Various Forms of “Mother’s Day” have been celebrated throughout the world in many different iterations for centuries. Greek and Roman civilizations held festivals in honor of mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. The UK and other parts of Europe also celebrated “Mothering Sunday,” which was a Christian festival that fell on the fourth Sunday of Lent, where worshippers would return to their “Mother Church” (the closest church nearby) for a special service. “Mothering Sunday” would later be merged in Europe with American Mother’s Day in the early Twentieth Century.

American Mother’s Day has multiple origins. Ann Reeves Jarvis, a famous pacifist and activist during the Civil War, worked to create a “Mother’s Friendship Day.” This day was used to encourage both Confederate and Union mothers to gather and promote friendship and reconciliation during a war that ripped the nation apart.

Two decades later, Boston Poet and pacifist Julia Ward Howe created a special day for mothers that also emphasized peace to try to counteract the turmoil that was created by the death and destruction of the Franco-Prussian War.

In the early Twentieth Century, Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, continued her mother’s work and tirelessly fought to create a day that recognized not only the work that her mother did to promote peace, but also to recognize the sacrifices and contributions that all mothers make in their daily lives for society. After recognizing that there were many holidays established to reflect on men’s accomplishments, but none for women, she started a letter-writing campaign and movement to create a special day just for mothers. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution into law that established the second Sunday of every May as what we now call “Mother’s Day.”

Why Celebrating Mother’s Day Is Important

Even though Mother’s Day is often considered a “Hallmark Holiday,” it's helpful to remember its origins, which centered around gratitude for women’s service as mothers and friends. We may not be mothers ourselves, or even have a mother who is around. But, we certainly have many women in our lives who are mothers and deserve to be recognized. The sacrifices they make in their lives to help their children thrive and the balancing act they expertly navigate between caring for others and themselves are both things that we can be grateful for.

Different Ways People Like to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Some mothers are partnered and some are single. Some are introverts and some are extroverts. There are many different ways to celebrate regardless of your family structure and how much you enjoy gathering with people.

  • With Kids
    Mother’s Day is traditionally celebrated by getting the whole family together. This type of celebration is for moms who like a big party.
  • Without Kids
    Sometimes Mom just needs a break. Some people take Mother’s Day for self-care, which often means alone time or having solo time with other moms. Taking a break from responsibility for the day to focus on themselves can be a welcome break for moms who are always “on.”
  • Partnered/Unpartnered
    Regardless of their partnership status, the Mother’s Day celebration should revolve around what makes the mom feel best. This could mean time with their children and extended family or without them. If they are a solo mom and time alone is not an option, they could choose something special to do with their child that makes them feel good–do an art project, go out for a meal, take a special hike, etc.
mom and daughters arranging flowers on Mother’s Day

Ideas for Non-traditional Mother’s Day Celebrations

Does the idea of brunch in a crowded restaurant adorned with pastel flowers make your stomach turn? Fear not! There are many other ways to celebrate mom without eggs benedict and a mimosa (although we highly recommend them!).

  • Take a scenic hike or walk:Nothing helps mom unwind like being out in nature. Depending on the mom’s level of athleticism, you can look into local popular outdoorsy locations. For moms who live in the city (or who enjoy exploring them), take an “urban hike.” Choose your destination and plan fun stops along the way, including food or drinks they’d like to try.
  • Visit a new museum: Museums are great for moms who feel like they need more culture in their lives. Art museums are a popular destination for moms, but many cities offer other great options including local history museums, science museums, and more. Many museums require reservations in advance, so be sure to reserve tickets on their websites.
  • Have a picnic: This time of year is perfect picnic weather. Grab a picnic basket, fill it with sandwiches or charcuterie, and head out for the day. Local lakes, beaches, and wineries are popular picnic destinations. If you’re heading to the beach, be sure to bring something to help hold down your picnic blanket in case it’s windy. Stop at your local sandwich shop and bring some food along with you or grab supplies closer to your destination.

Have a Heart-to-Heart Conversation

Sometimes all a mom wants is some quality time with her kids and family. If you’re far away from the mom in your life, a phone call can be enough. However, if you’re fortunate enough to live near them, put your phone away, turn off your computer, and sit down for a nice chat.

TableTopics questions provide an exciting opportunity to delve into each other’s unique stories and perspectives, fostering meaningful conversations. Discover new things about one another and feel closer than ever.

  • If you’re on the go and have a lull in the conversation, choose from any one of our To Go conversation starter sets. Consider using our Can You Imagine, Pets, or What Do You Think cards.
  • If you’ll be at home and want to start a lively conversation there, check out our family mealtime conversation starter sets: Choose from Family, Grandparents & Grandkids, and Infomania Family, among many others.
  • If you need some extra help disconnecting from your technology, use a TableTopics Phone Away Bag. The Phone Away Bag encourages you to remove the distraction of your phone—enabling you to be more engaged with your family so you don’t miss any precious moments. Tuck away all the mobile phones into the Phone Away Bag and dive into engaging conversations with loved ones. 

    Setting phones aside on Mother's Day

    Show Your Appreciation with a Mother’s Day Gift

    Whether you buy into the flowers and a gift tradition of Mother’s Day or not, gifting or some kind of small gesture is a nice way to show your appreciation for the mom in your life. It is important to note that some moms like to be surprised and some moms would rather choose their own gift.

    Choosing Your Own Gift
    If you are a mom and you know your family or friends need guidance, don’t be shy in sharing with them what you’d actually like. Sometimes, that could be a half or full day of alone time. If you have young kids, asking for a piece of art or something they crafted for you can give them agency in the holiday. They will be happy to indulge you.

    If you’re guiding adults in your life to buy your Mother’s Day Gift, ask for something that contributes to your self-care—a book you’ve been wanting, a new pair of shoes, a gift certificate for a spa, massage, or yoga class, a new journal. TableTopics offers a set of Prompted Journals designed to focus on Gratitude, Inspiration, and Happiness, which are all a great way to kick off your self-care.

    Gift Ideas
    First and foremost, ask the moms in your life what they actually want. If they’re out of ideas, there are many things you can purchase that we mentioned above, including the spa, massage, or yoga gift certificates or Prompted Journals. Some of the best Mother’s Day Gifts, however, don’t need to be purchased on Amazon. Let Mom sleep in. Make her breakfast. Walk the dog and entertain the kids for the morning while she sips some tea and reads her book. Whatever you can do to help her take a break is the way to go.
    TableTopics Prompted Journals for Mother's Day

    Say “Thank You”

    More than anything else, most moms just want to be recognized. Let them know that you see the hard work they are doing and that you appreciate them for it.

    May 03, 2024
    Tags: Family