Mother’s Day has in many ways fallen victim to our commercialized culture in the same way other holidays have.
The day has become a “Hallmark heaven” of sorts. It ranks third in seasonal greeting card sales behind only Christmas and Valentine’s Day (133 million Mother’s Day cards will be delivered this year). And then there’s the flowers and candy: Mother’s Day accounts for one-fourth of holiday floral purchases and the sale of countless boxes of chocolate.
Anna Jarvis, the founder of the U.S. version of Mother’s Day back in 1914, criticized such commercialization and led a campaign against it.
Needless to say, she didn’t win.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving Mom flowers or candy on her special day if it brings a smile to her face. But there’s a gift that does a better job of honoring the spirit of the holiday, and it hearkens back to an important lesson your mom surely taught you when you were growing up: Don’t forget to say, “Thank you.”
Maybe it’s been a while since you said those words to your mom.
Maybe you haven’t said them enough.
Or maybe, taking a few too many things for granted, you haven’t said them at all.
From the heart
Mother’s Day is a good time to make an extra effort to say thank you for all she’s done to make you the person you are today.
Maybe you could do it during a dinner outing or an unhurried telephone conversation or — if it might take you a little time to find the right words — by writing and “snail-mailing” an old-fashioned letter with words from your heart instead of from a professional greeting card writer.
Motherhood, after all, in some ways can be a thankless job. It doesn’t matter if Mom stays home to help raise a family or works outside the home for the benefit of the family income, motherhood requires hard work, sacrifice, a lot of prayer and unconditional love even in those times when her children aren’t acting so lovable.
Too often, we kids don’t appreciate the challenges of parenthood until we’re older or we’re parents ourselves.
So, if a long-overdue thank you is in order for your mom, consider skipping the gift shop this year. Pay her a visit instead, give her a call when you both have time to talk or write that letter. You’ll be honoring the real spirit of Mother’s Day, and I guarantee it will be a gift she’ll never forget.