Good Morning and a Blessed Mother’s Day to you! The sun is shining, the sky a lovely, clear blue and all the various spring greens showing off their rich finery. It’s gorgeous! What a glorious day to honor all mothers – and I am including everyone who mothers someone or something. Pet mommies count too. It may be a surprise to you, but there are OTHER celebrations going on today besides Mother’s Day! Let’s see what they are so we can celebrate together.
Mother’s Day – If you’re like me, you approach every Mother’s Day as it arrives on the calendar with wondering what to do with Mom or the kids. Some of us have our traditions, and some just fly by the seat of their pants and do whatever strikes the fancy when the day gets here. In our family we often celebrate the day BEFORE Mother’s Day for the simple reason that it’s hard to get in anywhere to eat lunch ON Mother’s Day, and we don’t care WHAT day it is, but THAT the day is . . . does that make sense? Our annual outing is lunch, a movie and a bit of shopping. This year was a treat because my daughter took the day off work and the three of us had a lovely lunch and went to see a movie we all wanted to see – did a lot of laughing, ate too much popcorn and had fun together. How many of us stop to wonder HOW Mother’s Day came about though? Many of these sorts of special days come around and we think of them as commercial traps to make the card, flower and gift companies money . . . and yes, that is what it has turned into BUT that isn’t how it started. Let’s take a walk down an historical path and let’s find out what the REAL story is, shall we?
Various forms of holidays that celebrate motherhood have been around for many centuries. The oldest one recorded goes all the way back to the spring celebrations in early Greece that honored their goddess Rhea, who they considered to be the mother of the gods. In the early 1600’s, Christians in England celebrated a day in honor of Mary, Mother of Jesus. This was later expanded to include honoring all mothers that was called Mothering Sunday. It was celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent and was in honor of all mothers in England. Around this time all of the wealthy homes had servants. The servants lived far from where they worked, so it was common and convenient for them to live where they worked and occasionally go home to visit. On Mothering Sunday the servants were given the day off and encouraged to go home to visit their Mothers. This trip to see Mom was often celebrated with a special cake, called the Mothering Cake, that was sent along with the servants. As Christianity spread across Europe the celebration evolved a bit to begin to honor the Mother Church, though it became a blend of Mother Church Day and Mothering Sunday. Over time, for whatever reasons, the observance of this special day phased out, and as the English began to immigrate to the New World, their lives were very filled with work and they didn’t bring the tradition with them because they literally didn’t have time for such things.
After the Civil War, a young woman and social activist, Julia Ward Howe, (she wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic) who was horrified by the carnage of the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian war, worked tirelessly to bring peace through a peace manifesto that she took to the international peace conferences in London and Paris. She was a one-woman crusade, calling on all women to bring about peace from war, and tried to promote Mothers Day for Peace as a special day set up on June 2nd. For years she worked to get this day set up but ultimately it never came to pass. Eventually, Mother’s Day was successfully brought about by Anna Jarvis, who after seeing all of the sacrifices and hard work her mother did to raise Anna and her sister, and all of the dedication her mother had for helping assist in the healing of a nation in crisis after the Civil War, wanted to honor her mother. The day was intended by Anna to be a Christian holiday in honor of mothers, celebrated in church with a special religious service. The very first official American Mother’s Day was held on May 10th, 1908 and was celebrated with a special church service in Anna Jarvis’s mother’s honor. It wasn’t long before the observance of Mother’s Day spread like wildfire and it was celebrated across the entire nation. In 1914 the 2nd Sunday in May was declared an official National holiday by Presidential proclamation. Now, here’s where things get a little interesting. Anna had achieved her goal BUT the holiday took on a commercial aspect that she hadn’t intended. She’d always wanted it to be a religious observance, not a commercial one. Florists, candy makers and other gift companies had their teeth in it now, and like so many holidays, it became a way for these industries to make a lot of money. This really infuriated Ms. Jarvis and she spent the rest of her days, unsuccessfully, trying to wipe this holiday off the calendar and have it canceled permanently.
Personally, I don’t care if people make money off of it. Mothers work very hard raising their children and keeping everything together for the family. We deserve a special day in our honor, and the cards, gifts and flowers are a LOVELY and very welcome part of it. Trust me, Mom’s appreciate these little things after all of the sacrifices we make for our kids.
Hostess Cupcake Day – What a tasty one this is! The very first Hostess Cupcake was sold on May 11, 1919. It is said to be the first commercially produced cupcake that was originally produced by the Taggart Bakery, and was called the Chocolate Cup Cake. Hostess says that it was the first snack cake ever introduced to the market. In 2004 Hostess’s rival, Tastykake, disputed this claim, saying that THEY introduced the first snack cake to the market. Back in 1919, two cupcakes sold for 5 cents. (wow, some things have definitely changed!) There were different flavors during the early years, which included cupcakes that were topped with vanilla or malted milk icing. During the 1940s they developed an orange flavored cupcake, with orange cake and icing. Personally I think that sounds horrible! You know the trademark white squiggly line across the top of the cake? It didn’t come about until 1950. There was an employee at Hostess named D.R. “Doc” Rice, who started working there in 1938 who had the job of dumping baked cakes onto a table. In 1947 he was given the job of developing the Hostess Cup Cake further, which came to the production of an updated cupcake in 1950. The white squiggle on top was added to distinguish it from other cupcakes that were on the market. The vanilla crème filling was also added during this update. Rice got the idea for putting crème filling into the cupcake when a new machine for putting the filling into Twinkies came into being. The company just continued to grow until 2012 when they had to declare bankruptcy due to ongoing issues with unions and contracts. Until that point, as of 2011, Hostess sold over 600 million cupcakes each year. They are still making their come-back after they began production again, but I know many people are very glad they don’t have to give up their Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies!
Root Canal Awareness/Appreciation Day – My initial reaction to this one was “huh?” Someone seriously set up a day to appreciate Root Canals? Have they ever actually HAD a root canal? But as I read up about it, it made more sense. Now some sites said this was an awareness day, some said appreciation. Either way, tooth pain is not something to laugh about, and for anyone who has had that pain that took them to the endodontist for treatment, they will truly appreciate that Root Canals are something they can have done to take away the pain. I’ve had my share of them over the years, so I truly do appreciate that they are a treatment for that awful pain. Celebrate your teeth by taking care of them, and keep on smiling!
This Day In History –
1916 – Einstein’s presents his Theory of General Relativity.
1947 – BF Goodrich manufactures the first tubeless tire. 1951 – Jay Forrester patents computer core memory.
Food Celebration of the Day –
Eat What You Want Day – Many of us spend much of our lives restricting what we eat and when we eat it. They say Diet is a bad word, but face it, that’s the world so many of us live in that we forget what it is like sometimes NOT to be on one. Today is special for those of us who plan out every mouthful, track and log it and find ourselves not enjoying our food because it is so much work to figure out what to eat and prepare meals! Ask yourself today – WHAT do I want to eat? As long as your health permits it, go ahead and enjoy any and all of your favorite foods because today is Eat What You Want Day! Now . . . this day wasn’t intended to eat as much as you want, but to splurge on that special treat that you don’t normally allow yourself to have. Keep within your quantity limits, but let yourself go on the quality. Have fun!
Nacho Cheese Fries
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake
5-Spice Baby Back Ribs
Cheesy Broccoli, Bacon & Chicken Casserole
Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
Frozen Cookies & Cream Milkshake
Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
Enjoy your day today, and remember that to celebrate Mom today. She’s a special woman who deserves all the honor we can send her way. God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow.