Sunday, May 13, 2012

Google's Doodle spotlights the creator of Mother's Day and her bitter end

Google's latest Doodle takes a look at - what else - Mother's Day. It's an animated Doodle, that starts with the "Mother G" onscreen, and two little "o's" sneaking out to hug her. It's cute, something that the history of the holiday itself isn't, really.

Click on the Doodle and, as is usual, you'll be taken to a list of search results. Second among them its a Wikipedia article on Mother's Day in the U.S., and there you can find out about Anna Jarvis, who campaigned to get Mother's Day made into an official holiday.

Anna was actually following in the footsteps of - who else - her mother, Ann, who first worked int hat direction. The holiday was first celebrated in 1908, and on On May 8, 1914, Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, requesting a presidential proclamation.

On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.

Since then, it's become more of a holiday to celebrate motherhood, period, showing our love for our mothers, who make sacrifices for their children and are often overlooked, especially the stay-at-home moms.

Sadly, Anna Jarvis (May 1, 1864, Webster, West Virginia – November 24, 1948, West Chester, Pennsylvania) became cynical and bitter because of the commercialization of the holiday. Anyone who has noticed how Christmas shopping seems to start earlier every year, and how Black Friday now seems to last en entire month can commiserate with her.

300x100 - NOOK Tablet™ 8GB
Perhaps as a method of shutting down some of the commercialization of Mother's Day, Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, and trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day."

She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against what Mother's Day had turned into. Both died in poverty, and Anna Jarvis never married, thus never becoming a mother herself.

Jarvis noted that many children felt that their obligation to their mother ended with a greeting card, a gift, and candy. As she once said,

"A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment."

Remember this, as you celebrate Mother's Day with your mother, face-to-face, we hope.

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