What comes to your mind when the words’ Mother’s Day’ is said? How about Father’s day?
You’re probably thinking of some corny cards, a whole bunch of flowers, and some drinks, then sitting down to a large meal at the end of it all.
Yes, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day seem like the perfect holidays to sit back and relax, then dump an entire florist’s shop worth of flowers in your parents’ living room. But it’s a bit more than that.
The holidays started differently. This barrage of expensive gifts and sky-rocketing dinner costs wasn’t the vision the founders had in mind when they created those holidays.
And while we’re on the subject, there are some other fun activities you and your family can do on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. You can toss out those cringe-worthy cards.
You know, the ones that go, “Roses are red, Violets are blue. You’re my mother, and I love you.” Brr!
But first, the history. There are some things you may not know about Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Don’t worry about it. We’re here to help you out.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day holidays are widespread now, as they are celebrated in almost all parts of the world, but they weren’t always a thing. Shocking, isn’t it?
History of Mother’s Day
You’ve probably been hearing of Mother’s Day since you were born. That’s assuming that you are one of these youths less than a hundred and twenty years old —practically born yesterday.
Mother’s Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia. All thanks to the efforts of Ann Jarvis. With the backing of the John Wanamaker Department Store, she held a service dedicated to mothers in May 1908.
After that, she sent a proposal to the US Congress to make Mother’s day a national holiday. The US Congress rejected that proposal, amidst jokes that they would also have to recognize a Mothers-in-law day.
That didn’t faze Ann Jarvis in the least. She kept up with her efforts. Then, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson set the second Sunday of May aside to celebrate Mothers.
History of Father’s Day
Father’s Day, however, came about as a result of Mother’s Day.
Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman from Spokane, Washington, tried to get Father’s Day recognized. That was in 1909 after the first Mother’s Day service was held.
Sonora’s father had been a civil war veteran, and he had raised his six children as a widower. Because of that, Sonora felt that fathers also deserved to be recognized.
Her efforts bore fruit in 1910 when Washington State celebrated its first Father’s day on the 19th of June.
But it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day became a national holiday. This came about in a proclamation that President Richard Nixon signed. Boy, did they drag their legs on that one?
The delay happened for a lot of reasons:
- Firstly, fathers aren’t usually as tender and affectionate as mothers. Because of that, Father’s Day didn’t ignite as much nostalgia as Mother’s Day.
- Secondly, the fathers themselves disregarded the holiday. Some felt that it wasn’t manly, while others saw the day as a commercial scheme to sell products.
With what the holidays have become, we can’t say that those men were wrong.
Commercialization of The Holidays
This issue has been really noticeable on Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day hasn’t exactly been free of it.
Even Mother’s Day founder, Ann Jarvis, spent the last years of her life fighting against the holiday’s commercialization. She shunned her status as a celebrity and spent all her funds on her quest.
She wasn’t successful, but Ann was nothing if not tenacious. She kept up with her battle, even to the point of organizing boycotts of Mother’s day, and being arrested for disturbing the peace on Mother’s Day in 1925.
Ann Jarvis had wanted a day for children to appreciate their mothers with handwritten letters and heartfelt gifts. She was sad to see what the holiday had become.
Father’s Day spent years being rejected by the US Congress due to commercialization fears. It took another proposal by a female Senator, accusing the Congress of ‘singling out one of our parents,’ before the US Congress gave the holiday serious consideration.
But the two holidays pushed through because they were necessary. Our parents sacrifice a lot for us, and they deserve to be appreciated.
That said, there are a few activities that you and your family can do on those days. Things that would be fun for the family while still maintaining the significance of the holidays.
Fun Things To Do On Father’s Day and Mother’s Day
Yes, gifts are lovely, but every parent just wants to spend quality time with their family. The holidays don’t have to be so elaborate.
There is a multitude of family activities that can be done on these holidays. You can make variations based on the kinds of things your parents enjoy.
It is just essential to keep in mind that the day is about your parent. It should be for them.
Some of these activities include:
- Having a Picnic: Go to a park nearby and spend a day with your parent. You can even have a picnic in your backyard. The laughs and jokes are guaranteed to make the day a fun one.
- Putting on a show for your parent: This is best if there are little kids in the family, but older children can also do this. You can give your parent a whole lot of beautiful memories from a single show. It’s a bonus if it’s a comedy.
- Making a treat for them: One beautiful thing about holidays is that they are perfect for relaxing. So, let your parent relax. Fix up a treat for them. If you know their favorite meal, cook it up and let them enjoy it. Your cooking might be terrible compared to theirs, but trust us, they’ll appreciate the effort.
It would be impossible to repay our parents for all they have done for us. All we can do is let them know that we can see their efforts, and we appreciate them.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day help us do that.
The significance of those holidays isn’t in the expensive gifts or the exotic dinners. It lies in the time spent with your parents, the love shared, and the lasting memories created.
That is the reason for the season.