The woman who invented Mother's Day came to hate it

Mother's Day means big business for...

Posted: May 14, 2018 12:59 AM
Updated: May 14, 2018 6:08 AM

Mother's Day means big business for retailers. This year is no different -- shoppers will spend an average of $180 per mom.

If you hate all of the commercialization behind the day that celebrates moms, imagine how Anna Jarvis would feel now.

The holiday's founder worked so hard to get the world to give moms everywhere a shoutout. But before her death, even she had to admit she had some regrets about starting Mother's Day.

If she were alive now, she'd probably be living her worst nightmare.

She just wanted to honor her mom

Long before her death, Jarvis' mom Ann Reeves Jarvis hoped someone would dedicate a day to honor mothers. When she died on May 9, 1905, Jarvis set out to do just that. She began campaigning not only for her mom but for moms everywhere.

It started off with her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia, which takes credit for hosting the first official Mother's Day celebration three years later at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church. Since then, the church has been dubbed the "International Mother's Day Shrine."

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Jarvis' Mother's Day as a national holiday.

There's a reason 'mother' is singular

Jarvis was very intentional about the name of her holiday. It's Mother's Day - as in one mom. The way Jarvis put it, Mother's Day is a day to honor "the best mother who ever lived, yours."

But Mother's Day became way more popular than she expected. People today honor any mom-like figure in their lives.

So Jarvis disowned her own holiday

Jarvis couldn't stand the idea of people spending so much money on extravagant flower arrangements, sappy greeting cards and overly priced chocolates.

First, she went after florists, protesting their marketing of those beautiful and ornate carnations. Then, her protests escalated to arrests for public disturbances.

Jarvis didn't stop there. She went after first lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother's Day as a way to promote the health and welfare of women and children. While it was true that Jarvis' mother was a community health advocate, Jarvis still didn't like the association.

Jarvis died in a sanitarium in 1948. The holiday she created lives on.

Today, more people purchase flowers and plants for Mother's Day than for any other holiday except Christmas/Hanukkah. This year alone, Americans will spend $23.1 billion on the holiday. And most of that money will be spent on jewelry: $4.6 billion.

READ: Things you didn't know about Mother's Day

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Mostly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Roseburg
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 53°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 54°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events