Mother of Mother's Day Came to Hate It
Why? This year's average amount of $169 on gifts is a hint
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2013 7:03 AM CDT
Anna Jarvis, who conceived the idea of a special tribute to mothers, is shown in this 1928 file photo.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – It's Mother's Day, and Forbes blogger Steve Cooper quantifies the ways Americans will show their appreciation: Figure $169 spent per mom this year, up from $152 last year, with a record 14% planning to buy some kind of electronic gadget as the big gift. Jewelry will be tops ($4.2 billion), followed by dining out ($3.5 billion), flowers ($2.3 billion), electronics ($2.3 billion), cards ($2 billion), clothes ($1.7 billion), and personal service gifts such as a day at the spa ($1.5 billion). It has, in other words, turned out to be exactly the kind of holiday that the inventor of Mother's Day came to despise, writes Nicole Russell at the Atlantic.

Anna Jarvis conceived the day in 1908 and got Congress to make it official in 1914. By 1920, she was so disgusted with its commercialization that she tried in vain to get it rescinded. Russell wishes she had succeeded. "Mother's Day has become to moms what Christmas is to kids: A perversion of the simple joy of honoring loved ones," she writes. At the New York Times, mom Ann Carrns also thinks the day is "a bit of a relic, a holdover from a time when most mothers didn’t work outside the home, and most fathers helped out less with the housework and the children."

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Showing 3 of 43 comments
clmsman
May 15, 2013 5:47 PM CDT
I agree a Hallmark holiday all the way lost its meaning. I know people now that even buy a bunch of gifts for their kids on Easter. When I was a kid Easter was a simple basket no toys with eggs you colored yourself and a hollow chocolate rabbit and marshmellow peeps and you were really excited to get that no toys and it was great. The retail industry has perverted all these holidays Christmas being the biggest scam. I actually saw diamond commericals and Lexus commerical promoting buying one of these high end items for mom, wtf!
SwellDart
May 12, 2013 8:49 PM CDT
Even the Mother who made Mother's Day hates it now.
BoiseNoise
May 12, 2013 8:37 PM CDT
If $2.3 billion was spent on electronics, and $2 billion on cards, then there must have been many, many more people who bought cards than electronics. I'm thinking this points to the fact that "averages" as to what was spent per mother are an almost meaningless bit of information. But if saying that Mother's Day has become to mothers what Christmas is to kids means that mothers eagerly look forward to receiving a loving tribute or even a phone call in the same way that kids look forward to Santa Claus . . . well, what is wrong with that?