Anna Jarvis worked long and hard to have Mother’s Day declared a national United States Holiday. But It didn’t work out as she had planned. Yes, she got the date recognized, but her intent was lost in rampant commercialization. Shortly after the holiday gained national stature, Jarvis scornfully labeled it a “Hallmark Holiday.”
There’s no denying that Jarvis was deeply disappointed. She reportedly found the practice of purchasing greeting cards especially irksome, seeing it as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was, in fact, arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against this commercialization.
Today, many mothers receive and love cards and the flowers. You’ll even find a few of those funny talking Hallmark cards on our kitchen table. That said, we also see Anna Jarvis’s point. The real intent of Mother’s Day is to acknowledge mothers of all ages and that’s best said over a phone call, a visit, or a gift with personal meaning.
So here’s a short list of gifts that we think do a good job of underscoring her value. Since these ideas involve some planning and preparation, you should start soon.
Record some stories: Stories have universal appeal, especially when it’s a story about your family. There are several angles to this idea. If you are looking for an idea for your mother or mother-in-law, start rallying the troops and record stories that involve you, your siblings, your children and her. Stories could be about how you always love how she’s “there” when each year she sings Christmas carols loudly and enthusiastically. Or how your children giggle when she goes after them with tickles and kisses. If you are looking for an idea for your daughter or daughter-in-law, record some stories about your daughter’s childhood (or your son’s for a daughter-in-law). Then share those stories and listen to your family laugh. If you’ve got a smartphone you can easily do this by using the Saving Memories Forever system. On Mother’s Day listen to the recorded stories with her!
Make a digital photo album: Collect family pictures.Use your computer’s or digital camera’s photo-editing program to put together a slide show and burn it onto a disc. You’ll create a wonderful keepsake for the price of a blank CD. She can display the photos on her computer, and even use them as a screen saver. On Mother’s Day, enjoy watching the show with her.
Make a meal. Make a memory: Whether she’s your grandmother, your daughter, or your third step-cousin’s next-door neighbor, every mom deserves a little bit of pampering this Mother’s Day. So, why not serve her a fancied-up breakfast or a dinner made by you and the grandkids? Start planning now. Take a gander through the The Big Book of Breakfast with a roundup of 300 morning meals. Or plan something bigger: something that involves cooking time and a cookbook to share at the end of it.
There’s nothing that says “family” as well as the act of cooking. Cooking keeps traditions alive. Start by planning a family cooking date. Focus on making a recipe that is both meaningful to your family but also relatively easy, like making Greek cookies. As you make the recipe, record the instructions as “the cook” gives them. Take pictures as the recipe evolves. When you’re done, you can transcribe the words and produce a digital cookbook recipe. Or upload the cook’s recorded voice instructions (along with the background laughter) to a service like Saving Memories Forever and you can listen to those spoken words again and again. You can give her the cookbook or share the recording with her on Mother’s Day.