It was Anna Jarvis who first formulated an idea to celebrate mothers in 1908. Her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, had been a peace activist who looked after wounded soldiers on both sides in the American Civil War. She created Mothers Day Work Clubs to address issues around public health.
Anna Jarvis wanted to honour her late mother by continuing her work by setting aside a day to honour mothers. The proposal was rejected in 1908 but in 1911 all US states observed the holiday with a few of them officially recognising it as a holiday.
In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mothers Day would be held on the second Sunday in May as the national holiday to honour all mothers.
In 1912, Anna trademarked the phrases "Second Sunday” and "Mother's Day" as well as creating the Mothers Day International Association.
By the 1920s, Hallmark Cards and similar companies were selling mother’s day cards. Anna did not like the idea of these companies exploiting Mothers Day and threatened legal action. Anna rightly believed that people should appreciate and honour their mothers by writing them hand written letters expressing their love and gratitude, and did not agree with the idea of buying gifts or cards.
The etiquette of mother’s day is very simple and is in line with the principles of Anna Jarvis. It’s the things that cost no money that mean more than anything.
Why not compose a beautiful, hand written letter? The art of letter writing seems to be dying, as smart phones, tablets and computers take over. It's wonderful to receive a letter and read the thoughtful words from someone who cares, and then read it over and over whenever you want, and it costs no more than a pen and paper, a little time and some careful consideration!
If anyone is considering writing a letter on good quality stationery, then I would highly recommend my stationer, Piccolo Press in Scotland who look after my personal and work stationery. Their stationery is simply beautiful. To get in touch with Piccolo Press, please look here: http://www.piccolopress.co.uk/