“Miss Jarvis thought Mother’s Day should be a day you spend with your mother, or a day when you do something special for her like fix her dinner or repair her broken stairs,” says William Pollard, archivist at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. “It was not supposed to be a day where you buy her something.”
Pollard says Miss Jarvis wanted to keep Mother’s Day non-commercial--a battle she knew she had lost by the time of her death in 1948.
Miss. Jarvis graduated from Augusta Female Seminary, which is now Mary Baldwin College, in 1883 and moved back home with her parents... In 1905, Miss Jarvis mom passed away so after her mom's death, Jarvis spent years sending letters to public officials urging them to set aside a day to honor mothers.
In 1914, that day came. President Woodrow Wilson, whose birthplace was just across the street from Mary Baldwin College, signed the proclamation formally establishing Mother’s Day.
Over the years, however, Miss Jarvis became bitter with the commercialization of Mother’s Day.
She has been quoted as saying: “Mother’s Day has nothing to do with candy.. Candy is junk... You give your mother a box of candy and then go home and eat most of it yourself, or else you give her hard candy that breaks her teeth or dentures.”
“Flowers are about half-dead by the time they’re delivered,” said Jarvis. “It’s really a shame to waste flowers for Mother’s Day. Florists have made millions of dollars out of my idea and they don’t deserve it.”
So what do you think? What is the best way to honor our Mothers on Mother's Day?