You probably celebrate her all year long, but your mom still does get an official date on the calendar in her honor: Mother's Day, of course. As you get ready to spoil the most special woman in your life—perhaps with a handmade present, a home-cooked meal, or an itinerary full of fun activities—here's everything you need to know to prepare to pamper Mom.
When is Mother's Day?
This year, Mother's Day lands on Sunday, May 12. Although the date changes year-to-year, Mother's Day is always held on the second Sunday of May—similarly to how Thanksgiving falls on the third Thursday of November. The seemingly wholesome holiday often features delicious brunch spreads, thoughtful gifts, and sentimental cards, but the event actually has surprisingly somber roots.
The History of Mother's Day
Anna Jarvis, an activist who lived from 1864 to 1948, is credited with being the "mother" of Mother's Day. (Although, interestingly enough, she never had any children of her own.)
Anna's mother, Anne Jarvis, hosted clubs for moms in the 1850s to help them learn to properly care for their children in order to lower the infant mortality rate, . After Anne's passing in 1905, Anna was determined to honor her mother's legacy. On May 10, 1908, Anna organized the first Mother's Day-related function in her hometown of .
Anna's hard work to respect her late mother was so impressive that President Woodrow Wilson officially declared Mother's Day a national holiday in 1914. (He was also the one who decided it should fall on the second Sunday in May).
Unfortunately, Anna's dream of cherishing her mother and what she believed in didn't last long. Soon, Mother's Day became commercialized by florists, greeting card vendors and candy companies—or, as Anna preferred to call them, "schemers" and "profiteers," . Despite her valiant efforts to try and recapture the true meaning of Mother's Day, the day was completely transformed from giving back to charity to giving gifts. A Reader's Digest reporter captured Anna's disappointment with the alteration and noted: "[Anna] told me, with terrible bitterness, that she was sorry she ever started Mother’s Day," according to BuzzFeed.
Despite her disapproval of what Mother's Day has become, there is a part of the holiday she might accept: the gifting of bouquets of flowers. reports the white carnation has always been the official bloom of the holiday. Apparently, it was Anne's favorite flower.