It’s the thought that counts on Mother’s Day

Today is the day set aside annually to give our mothers the royal treatment they deserve.

Lots of phone calls will be placed, many women will be treated to dinner at a restaurant, flowers and other gifts will be purchased and youngsters will make hand-made cards celebrating their love for the leading lady in their lives.

But Mother’s Day didn’t start out as a reason to dig deep into our pockets to display affection for Mom and the commercialization of Mother’s Day stirred controversy that led to the holiday’s denouncement by its very founder.

The celebration of Mother’s Day began May 10, 1908 when a West Virginia daughter decided to honor her late mother by organizing a church service.

Anna M. Jarvis, who never married and was very attached to her mother, is credited with originating the holiday in the United States.

Two years after her mother’s death, Miss Jarvis began a letter-writing campaign to gain support of influential ministers, businessmen and congressmen in declaring Mother’s Day a holiday.

The first Mother’s Day observance was a church service held in Grafton, W.Va. to honor the late Mrs. Jarvis and the first Mother’s Day proclamation was issued by West Virginia’s governor in 1910.

In later years, however, Miss Jarvis turned against her own creation and even filed a lawsuit in 1923 to halt a Mother’s Day festival. She was also arrested for disturbing the peace at a war mothers’ convention where women sold white carnations – Miss Jarvis’ symbol for mothers.

She felt the day had become too commercialized. “This is not what I intended,” she said. “I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit.”

If Miss Jarvis were alive today, she’d be shocked to learn that millions of dollars are spent for everything from flowers and dinners to spa packages and cell phones on Mother’s Day. But moms are worth every penny of it.

Despite the proliferation of expensive gifts associated with the day, we believe the holiday has retained its sentiment.

Most mothers are just as touched by the thoughtfulness of a youngster presenting a fresh-picked bouquet of dandelions and a homemade card, as they are by gifts worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Regardless of what you spend, if you’re lucky enough to still have your mother on this earth, be sure you show her your gratitude and appreciation today. After all, where would you be without your mom?

Happy Mother’s Day!