Whether it’s a fancy, expensive gift or a simple phone call or visit, do something for your mother this Sunday.
By Alan Bauer
Americans will dip into their wallets this weekend for Mother’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, some $23.1 billion will be spent on the holiday this year. If that seems like a lot of money, it’s because it is a lot of money.
In the NRF study, 86 percent of respondents plan to celebrate the holiday. Average spending: $180 per person. The major areas of spending: $4.6 billion on jewelry; $4.4 billion on dinner/brunch; and $2.6 billion on flowers.
All of that might seem excessive to some, including the woman who started the whole thing. Anna Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 as a tribute to her mother. The event quickly grew in popularity, and so did its commercial appeal. President Wilson in 1914 made it an official holiday.
Jarvis, who believed simple gifts, a hand-written letter or even just a visit, were appropriate for the day, spent much of her life railing against the businesses that profited from Mother’s Day.
While we understand where she was coming from, we also believe that, if you’re going to drop a lot of cash on someone, it should be your mother.
Talk about a tough, thankless job. There’s no pay. Your “employees” never listen to you, and, in their early years, have to be spoon-fed and have their diapers changed. As for benefits, there’s no time off and even sleep is hard to come by.
But, on one day a year, all that changes. It’s Mom’s special day. It’s a day to, well, apologize for the other 364 days she has to endure. It’s a day to give her a little something to say “thank you.”
So whether it’s a fancy, expensive gift or a simple phone call or visit, do something for your mother this Sunday. After all, if it weren’t for your mother, you wouldn’t be here today.