It’s getting to be the time of year to spread a little Mother’s Day magic. After all, mother’s do so much for us, starting with, well, life!
The history of how Mother’s Day came to be celebrated includes such far flung things as the Egyptian Goddess Isis and her brother, Osiris, a woman named Anna Jarvis, another woman named Mary Towles Sasseen, still another woman named Julia Ward Howe, ancient Romans, and lots more, as a quick online search revealed. Ways to celebrate are also many and encompass countries around the globe. Festivals, religious services, and gift giving are common practices. For example, Argentina celebrates Motherhood as part of Spring, India celebrates a “westernized” version with similar gift giving to what we do here, Finland focuses on getting back to nature with a walk to pick flowers and then breakfast in bed for Mom, whereas Ethiopa celebrates at the end of the rainy season when they can gather for large family meals.
In the U.S., the date is set to the second Sunday in May. In typical fashion, the occasion became commercialized shortly after Woodrow Wilson signed the official declaration. Today, in this country we spend about $14 billion every year on gifts for Mom.
Regardless of what you think of the day being commercialized, showing Mom that she’s appreciated is a great idea. And, quite frankly, I don’t see any harm in a bit of gift giving. Not being a mother, I don’t have to worry about anyone thinking I am just trolling for presents (besides, I don’t need a special occasion to do that — troll…troll…).
Despite the women’s lib movement of the 1960s and 1970s, gifts for Mom seem to follow stereotypical female roles. The highest dollar amounts spent are still for a special meal out (to save Mom from cooking), flowers, and jewelry. Nothing wrong with that. Not very magical, though. In fact, they can be downright repetitive.
Time for something new.
Now, you might not think a gift basket is new, or magical, or even inspired. Think again. Fill your gift basket with a tea selected especially for Mom, maybe an herbal like Chamomile that will soothe her while you proceed to turn the kitchen into a shambles making her breakfast in bed. Chocolate is also known to have calming qualities, so throw in some Cadbury, Nestlé, or other brands. Noticing the theme here? “Calm,” “soothe” — very important for today’s frazzled moms, ever busy driving you to sports or band practice, possibly holding down a full-time job, and keeping the household humming along.
More ideas for Mom’s gift basket: scone mix, a special mug, honey sticks, dip mix, candles, and a wonderful container to hold it all. Of course, you can go for a themed basket in line with your mother’s personality and interests. The chess player basket could have a book on winning chess moves, chessmen made of white and dark chocolate, thinker’s tea (a hearty blend of black teas), and something to munch while she’s contemplating the next move. A literary basket would have a classic novel by one of her favorite authors, along with tea and other goodies to enjoy while reading. Of course, there are the tried-and-true options of gardening-themed or a breakfast-in-bed special.
Here’s where the magical part comes in: After Mom has enjoyed the contents of the gift basket, she’ll be so lulled into a state of bliss, that you can spring that last minute science project on her with no adverse reaction. Well, maybe that’s going too far, but she won’t totally freak out. Just a bit of yelling while she bundles you in the car to head to the store to buy what you need to build a human brain, mini-ecosystem that mimics the rainforest, or whatever kids have to do these days.
Give it a try. Enjoy!
A.C. might not be a mother, but that doesn’t keep her from offering up motherly tea advice each and every day over on her blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!