Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10, and many of us will probably be spending the Saturday beforehand frantically perusing gift shops and card stands. This holiday is one of the busiest times of year for florists and department stores, with 2.3 billion dollars spent on flowers alone in the United States last year. With approximately 85.4 million mothers in our country, it is expected that the U.S. will spend a total of 20.7 billion dollars in preparation for this day.

Despite the modern preoccupation with spending money for Mother’s Day, the holiday was not always so commercialized. Although the official holiday as we know it is fairly new, traditions of celebrating mothers and fertility date back to early civilizations, when numerous festivals were often dedicated to goddesses of fertility and “Mother Earth” deities. Our current tradition, a day dedicated to our own mothers and the mothers in our lives, originates from England. “Mothering Sunday” is still celebrated today, but began in the 16th century as one of the only days that child workers, often indentured servants, could return to their hometown in order to visit their mothers.

The holiday as we celebrate it in the United States has its roots in the women’s suffrage and abolitionist movements of the 1800s. Several women, such as Julia Warde Howe, campaigned for and led local celebrations, which were often linked to peace and women’s rights, but the holiday didn’t become nationally recognized until the 1900s. Anne Jarvis, widely considered to be the mother of Mother’s Day, had no children of her own but established the day in honor of her mother and the work she had done for women and children during her lifetime. Unfortunately, as the holiday gained popularity, Anna became increasingly disappointed by the heavy commercialization that had accompanied it. Near the end of her life, she started a petition to reclaim the holiday from the corporations that benefited from sales. From Jarvis’s perspective, it should simply be a day to spend time with mothers and give thanks.

Today, Mother’s Day exists as a way to acknowledge and thank the women who gave us life. Popular gift choices include spa days, gift cards, books, jewelry, and flowers. Yet many mothers say that they would prefer a homemade gift, or dinner.

This year, if you are looking for something on the non-traditional side, the internet is full of DIY tutorials and homemade gift ideas. Projects range from complex necklaces to simple folded cards. If you’re not the crafty type, making your mom breakfast in bed or cooking dinner is an inexpensive and easy gift that she will surely appreciate. Performing household chores that she usually takes care of, working on the yard, or washing her car are thoughtful and completely free ways to show your mom you care. One DIY idea for a simple Mother’s Day gift, is a “10 Things I Love About You” mason jar. The concept behind this project is quite simple: write ten or more things you love about your mother on slips of paper, fold them up, and place them inside a mason jar. You can then decorate the outside of the jar with ribbons, bows, pain– anything goes. To upgrade this gift, try adding small objects such as candy, nail polish, or flowers to go along with your ten things.

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