I have made it clear to those who know and love me that I don’t truck with Valentine’s Day. I’m also not huge on anniversaries and, like my husband, I feel it’s not fair to oblige your loved ones to give you gifts on pre-determined holidays. We don’t even do Xmas presents for each other (though we do our birthdays).
We are both pretty against the patriarchical notion of monogamy (duh) and the myth of the nuclear family and I generally think of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as two holidays cooked up to fill the dead retail months between Easter and Christmas.
But after doing a bit of research (on Wikipedia) I found that Mother’s Day has a rich history.
- It probably started with springtime festivals honouring mother and childbirth goddesses.
- It was started in the modern sense as a part of a pacifist movement after World War I.
- Anna Jarvis, the woman who established it in the US did so after her own mother’s death, to create a day for mothers to be appreciated within their lifetime. Paradoxically, she never married and was childless herself. She became disillusioned after its commercialisation:
A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.