In the Middle Ages, as Christianity spread throughout Europe, it became customary to bring gifts to the church in which one was baptized to pay homage to the “Mother Church” on the 4th Sunday of Lent. In England, during the 1600’s, this Sunday became known as “Mothering Sunday”. However, it became a more secular holiday because many servants lived away from home, in the houses of their employers. On “Mothering Sunday”, servants were allowed to return home to visit their mothers. Thus the celebration of motherhood became a celebration of one’s real life mom and not a celebration of Goddesses and the church. Children would often bring a cake home to their mothers. This cake was known as the mothering cake.
In America, Mothering Sunday was not celebrated until 1872 when Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic) suggested that a Mother’s Day be instituted and that it would be celebrated as a day of peace. She wrote “The Mother’s Day Proclamation”. However, her efforts were not realized until the early 1900’s.
Anna Jarvis, in 1907, began a campaign to establish a nationally celebrated Mother’s Day. Her mother had wished for a Mother’s Day after the Civil War because she felt that there would be no fighting amongst men on a day that was meant to honor ones mother. Anna celebrated the first Mother’s Day on May 10, 1908 in Grafton, Massachusetts at the Andrews Methodist Church where her mother had attended. White Carnations were given to all those that attended the service. After the service, Anna Jarvis organized a coalition to write letters to politicians, businessmen, and ministers, campaigning for a national Mother’s Day holiday. West Virginia was the first state to proclaim Mother’s Day as a holiday in 1910. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson announced Mother’s Day as a national holiday in 1914. It would be held on the second Sunday of May every year. Wilson proclaimed that,"...Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."
Jarvis became disappointed by Mother’s Day since it became a secular holiday rather than a faith based holiday and filed a lawsuit in 1923 to put an end to the holiday. Luckily for all mothers, she was not successful.
Mother's Day Activities:
This is a day to pamper your mother. Remember, it is an all day event so start her day out right then continue showing her how much she means to you throughout the day and then top it off with a wonderful dinner. You should start with breakfast in bed after you have let her sleep in. Serve up some warm pancakes. If you have a large tray, serve mom breakfast in bed. Make sure that you put a small bud vase on the tray. Bring her a favorite magazine or her favorite sections of the Sunday paper. Don’t forget to put Mother’s Day cards on the tray. Then let her lounge in a luxurious bath. Lunch should be light but delicious too. Then top the day off with a delicious dinner. Of course, your mom may need to cook a special dinner for her mom. Below you will find a menu. All the recipes will be in separate entries. Remember none of these recipes are all that hard so even a novice in the kitchen should be able to follow these recipes. The Pea Soup is very time consuming though. So start ahead on that.
Make sure that you are on your best behavior during the day so that she knows she has the best family ever.
Mother's Day Menu
Breakfast in Bed:
Penne with Sausage and Leeks
Blueberries and Cream
Fresh Pea Mint Soup