In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve thought about 10 ways to celebrate moms and motherhood—from sharing a meal to giving flowers to making a card with special quotes and memories.
Mother’s Day 2019
Mother’s Day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May. It’s not a federal holiday, but Mother’s Day is widely celebrated as a special day to honor all mothers and motherhood. Together, let’s honor the women who raised us—and all the mothers who sacrificed for their children.
|2019||Sunday, May 12|
|2020||Sunday, May 10|
|2021||Sunday, May 9|
The History of Mother’s Day
The greatest love is a mother’s; Then comes a dog’s, then comes a sweetheart’s.
Although the custom of setting aside a day to honor mothers has ancient roots, our observance of Mother’s Day mainly came about through the efforts of a devoted daughter, Anna M. Jarvis.
After the death of her own mother in 1905, Jarvis wanted to recognize the sacrifices mothers made for their children. She organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in May 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia.
On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day, and within a few years, the idea gained worldwide prominence.
10 Ways to Celebrate Mom
Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.
–Hubert Humphrey, American politician
We always strive to treat mom right, but this is the day to devote to honoring mothers and motherhood.
Time with family is probably most important to mom. Even a phone call is appreciated. If you’re local, here are more ways to celebrate mom.
1. Bring mom flowers! How about a bouquet with flowers that symbolize your relationship?
- Mother’s Day founder, Anna Jarvis, envisioned all mothers wearing a white carnation on Mother’s Day.
- Purple irises are also a special choice for mothers, symbolizing faith and hope.
- Or, simply pick flowers that have meaning to your own mother!
2. Give your mother a live plant. If your mom is a green thumb, consider giving her a new plant for her collection.
- Perhaps a new rose bush or a geranium?
- Orchids symbolize “many children.”
- Or, perhaps a dogwood or flowering shrub?
3. Design and plant a garden.
Give her the gift of a small garden. You can buy the plants and also plant them in the ground.
- Perhaps your mother wished she had flowers in a shady border?
- Or, maybe she’s admiring the spring blooms and would like some spring-blooming bulbs (plant in the fall) or summer-blooming bulbs (plant in the spring)?
- Or, if your mother enjoys cooking, perhaps she’d love an herb garden outside her kitchen window. (Here are good herbs for the kitchen.)
Draw out your garden layout with our online Garden Planner (try it free for 7 days, ample time to create a dream garden).
4. Cook for mom!
How about breakfast or brunch? Wake mom up with this delicious Frittata de Nonna. (Nonna means grandmother in Italian.)
Or, delight mom with these easy Strawberry Crepes. Cut the strawberries into heart shapes for extra points!
Or, how about a special dinner? Here are some yummy recipes passed down through the generations—made by moms and grandmothers!
- Mother’s Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
- Mom’s Meat Loaf
- Mom’s Caraway Coleslaw
- Big Mama’s Peanut Butter Fudge
- Mother’s Forgotten Cookies
- Mom’s Chocolate Pie
- Grandma’s Pecan Pie
- Grandma’s Meatballs
5. Bake a cake! Traditionally, children in England always baked a cake for their Mother’s Day—called Mothering Sunday. If you like this tradition, here’s a truly delicious (and better than boxed) cake recipe: Chocolate Mousse Cake. We also love Nana’s Funny Cake.
6. Make a homemade gift. Mothers love gifts from the heart! Here are a few simple ideas:
7. Give your mother jewelry with your birthstone. For example, if your birthday is in August, give your mother peridot stud earrings. She’ll always think of her dear child when she wears them. See birthstones by month if you’re not sure of your birthstone or its meaning.
Or, Give your mother a locket with your photos. Forget about a digital photo gift. Imagine your mother’s delight to have a beautiful locket with photos of her children. She’ll treasure it forever!
8. Take your for a walk in the park, with her family. May is a wonderful time to see wildflower meadows! If you’re mom is especially active, go for a hike. Then return home to cook together or go out for a bite!
If your mom has passed away, taking a walk thinking about your mother is also a nice idea. If you are religious, attend a church service and dedicate it to your mother and motherhood.
9. If you don’t live locally, give mom an extra-long phone call! Talk to her and make her laugh. Perhaps throw in some good “mom jokes.” All most moms want is time with you.
10. Make your own card. Don’t forget to send a card in advance! In our home, it’s a tradition to make a homemade card every year. Here’s one way to make Homemade Note Cards.
Wondering what to write in the card? How about sharing a funny story or happy memory of you and your mom? It will make her smile.
Here at the Almanac, we shared some of the happiest or funniest memories of our own mothers. We welcome your happy memories and stories, too! (Please share in the comments below.)
My mom sang a lot around the house and I thought she made up all of the songs. When I got older, I started to hear those same songs on the radio and was like “Hey …”
–Sarah P., Almanac editor
When I was a teenager my mother went back to college to get her Master of Library Science—studies that required she learn how to program computers. This put me in the unique position of being able to help my mother with her homework.
–Peter R., Almanac programmer
When I was young and all of my older siblings were in school, my Mom and I would have breakfast by the kitchen window and watch the hummingbirds. We loved watching the hummingbirds!
–Colleen Q., Almanac art director
We went to Ocean City, Maryland, every summer for a week on the beach. My mom went out on the beach every sunny day and sat there, under a big umbrella. She never got a tan (she had very fair skin and burned easily). No one can remember her ever going into the water. Not once.
–Tim C., Almanac editor
Some of my happiest memories are singing songs with Mom as she played the piano. She also encouraged me to play. Even though it was a struggle at times, I am glad to have had lessons, not only because I discovered how to play an instrument but also because I learned how to read music and how the notes worked together to make a melody.
–Heidi S., Almanac editor
My Mom and I have what we’ve always kind of called “our psychic connection” because it always seems like she will call me when I’ve been thinking of her a lot that day, or I’ll call her and she’ll say she’d been thinking of me. It seems like my daughter and I also have the “psychic connection”!
—Stacey K., Almanac staff
Before I started school, Mom took me to the library every week to take out 5 books, and return the 5 books from the prior week. We’d read together almost every day.
–Colleen Q., Almanac art director
Of course, if YOU are a mother, we wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day!