Mother’s Day is a few weeks away, and with this relatively new holiday celebration comes a lot of love, hope and focus on gratefulness.

Nothing is quite so impactful as a mother on a child’s love and devotion. The idea of celebrating the importance of mothers has been around since the Greeks and Romans were arguing about constellations, but the fact is this holiday is incredibly recent for the citizens of the United States. I would venture a guess that the origin of mother’s day is relatively unknown to many.  

It all began roughly 100 years ago, in a small town called Grafton in the state of West Virginia.

A young woman named Ann Reeves Jarvis made quite an impression on the lives of many. As a peaceful protester and human rights activist in the early 1900s, her primary response to war and poverty was acting as a nurse for the wounded.

During the Civil War, she refused to pick sides, defiantly tending to soldiers on both fronts. Her caring and dedicated nature led to the creation of an organization that addressed public health issues across America. Throughout her life, she did many amazing things, and her contributions to society were immeasurable.

When she died in 1905, her absence left an aching hole in the ones she loved and served, including her daughter, Anna.

Anna Jarvis immediately set to work trying to create a holiday in remembrance of her mother, but she also knew that all mothers deserved to be honored and celebrated. She campaigned to create a Mother’s Day to honor all mothers everywhere for three years, but her proposal was met with mockery.

“A day to honor mothers?” all of the Congressmen laughed, elbowing each other in the ribs and giggling like school children. “Why, that’s preposterous!” The entire room erupted in a fit of chortles when one congressman joked, “Then we’d have to create a Mother-in-Law’s Day!”

Instead of letting this embarrassment keep her from realizing her dreams, Anna Jarvis became more determined than ever to let women finally have some recognition in the United States.

Starting with her home state of West Virginia, Anna inspired state after state to create a local holiday for mothers.

She successfully won over all 50 states by 1911, and President Woodrow Wilson gave his approval for the holiday in 1914, thus making it a national occasion.

Mother’s Day, officially held every second Sunday in May, marks a revolutionary moment in history when women were finally beginning to get the respect they deserved. I hope honoring your mother this mother’s day gives the celebration new meaning.

To help you celebrate your mom and mom’s everywhere, we’ve put together something a little fun. Here are the details:

  • Bring a copy of your favorite photo of your mom into either the Cottonwood or Flagstaff shop anytime from now through Thursday, May 11th at 9:00 PM. (Make sure it’s a copy and one you can leave with us.)
  • The photo gets you 25% off any item in the store. And … wait for it …
  • The photo also is your entry into a raffle for a Mother’s Day basket that includes $100 Rainbow’s End gift card and other goodies from local businesses.
  • We will announce the winner Friday morning, May 12th.
  • We will be placing your photos in a window display at the stores to honor moms everywhere.
  • Earn another entry (or an entry if you are from out of town) by posting your picture in the Rainbow’s End Mother’s Day Celebration Post. You can do that here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/700449350143180/

“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” ~ Dorothy Canfield Fisher

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