Most people would agree that moms deserve more than only one recognized day a year. On Mother’s Day we celebrate them by taking them out to eat, spoiling them with gifts and cards, and other gestures to commemorate everything that they do for us. After all, where would we be without our moms? (Hint: we wouldn’t exist).
Here at DDL Advertising, we really love our moms! We have two hard-working mothers on our staff including Stacey Liakos, aka Boss Lady, and our graphic designer Lily Ferranti. Both of these women know how hard it is to hold full time jobs in the office and as moms. They understand the many sacrifices they must make to provide for their kids and the hard work involved.
Nobody thinks twice about Mother’s Day. Why does it fall on the second Sunday of May? When did it begin? How long has it been around? These questions often slip people’s minds as it is routine to celebrate this holiday. Our mothers are deserving of so much more and we should bother to know the surprising answers to these uncommon questions.
President Woodrow Wilson officially signed a measure assigning the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in 1914, thanks in large part to Ann Reeve’s Jarvis and her daughter, Anna Jarvis. Dating back to the 19th century, Ann Reeve’s Jarvis was a West Virginia woman who organized “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly take care of their children. These efforts led to her establishment of the “Mother’s Friendship Day” in 1868, where mothers met with Union and Confederate soldiers in an effort to bring peace in times of tension.
When Ann died in 1905, her daughter, Anna, came up with the idea of Mother’s Day as a way to recognize mothers and all that they do for their children. Anna worked to gather funds and eventually held the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908 at a church. She progressed and began writing campaigns to newspapers and politicians urging them to add the holiday to the national calendar. Her persistence finally paid off in 1914 when the holiday was nationally recognized.
One would think that having her holiday recognized on the national calendar was a happy ending for Jarvis, but not so fast. Florists, card companies, and candy companies all quickly capitalized on the business opportunities that were presented by the Mother’s Day holiday. Angered by the way that businesses were commercializing the holiday, Jarvis pleaded that everyone should not support these businesses or buy their products. She eventually stopped recognizing the holiday herself and even tried to legally remove the holiday she worked so hard to create. A tad bit ironic, don’t you think?
The Boss Lady here at DDL Advertising has three kids herself, so we were interested in measuring the statistics behind how much people spend on Mother’s Day every year. Mother’s Day offers a huge revenue opportunity for a lot of companies. 8 out of every 10 Americans celebrate the holiday and spend a total of 21.4 billion dollars combined each year. The average person spends $172 on their mom, which is up from $97 per person in 2003. Reports from the National Retail Association say kids will spend an average of $187 this year! 78% of consumers buy greeting cards, followed closely by flowers at 67%, a special outing at 55%, gift cards at 43%, and clothing and jewelry both at 35%. Millennials ages 25-34 are the perfect target market for these companies since they statistically spend the most money during this holiday. (All information via National Retail Federation)
Thanks to this blog, you are now prepared to vocalize the history of Mother’s Day and its origin to your mom this Sunday. You also know that Anna Jarvis is wrong and that you should most definitely buy your mother flowers, cards, and candies, because she deserves that and more. Happy Mother’s Day to DDL’s own Stacey and Lily as well as all of the hardworking mothers out there! DDL Advertising thanks you for everything that you do day in and day out!