Mother’s Day in 2023 falls on Sunday, the 14th of May. Throughout Australia, like the rest of the world, people use the occasion to give thanks to their mothers and to celebrate and pamper the women who are so special in their lives.
Mothers have been honoured in society going back to ancient times because of the special role they play in bringing us into the world. While there is an early Christian tradition around the day, the modern version of Mother’s Day is generally credited to an American woman, Ann Jarvis, who wanted to have a special day to commemorate her beloved mother and all the other mothers. She first celebrated it in 1908 and then lobbied long and hard to establish the day which was finally established by the US President to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year. There are also other days devoted to celebrating mothers throughout the world.
In Australia celebrating Mother’s Day usually involves people spending time with their mothers and often involves a get-together such as a meal. Typically, people give gifts to their mothers to show their appreciation of them which can range from flowers or a card to more expensive gifts that show the love they have for their mothers and the role they have played in their lives.
All About Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a day set aside for celebrating and honouring mothers both in a family and as individuals. It emphasises giving thanks for the gift of motherhood we all share; the importance of maternal bonds and the huge influence mothers have in people’s lives and society in general. It is celebrated on various days around the world, most commonly in March or May.
In Australia and the rest of the western world, Mother’s Day is celebrated in the last week of Lent in the Christian calendar which typically falls on the first or second Sunday in May.
Mother’s Day is not an official public holiday in Australia. It is always celebrated on a Sunday, however, so it is not a working day for most people.
Although there are as many ways to celebrate Mother’s Day as there are mothers, at its heart this day is about mothers spending time with their children (and grandchildren) and the different ways that they express their love for her.
This can include flowers or other gifts, being treated with breakfast in bed (or a break from cooking), being pampered in some way that she will enjoy, or any other way that will make her feel special. Gifts and activities should be centred on her interests and could range from a yoga class to a spa treatment or other things that are designed to spoil her with something she enjoys.
The day is usually celebrated with a brunch or lunch with her children to mark the occasion. For most mothers simply having their children around them expressing their love and appreciation is the best present that they could receive.
There is a long tradition of celebrating mothers that goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who held regular festivals for goddesses such as Rhea and Cybele, who were associated with motherhood, and the Roman festival known as Hilaria. The first modern precedent for the celebration is regarded as Mothering Sunday, an early Christian festival, in which the faithful returned to their home (or ‘mother’) church near where they lived. An important tradition in the UK and parts of Europe, it was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
Over time it became a more secular tradition in which children would present their mothers with flowers and other gifts as a token of their love. This religious custom became less popular until it was merged with the Mother’s Day celebration that became popular in America.
This modern version of Mother’s Day is usually credited to an American woman called Ann Reeves Jarvis. In 1868, after the end of the US civil war, she organised a Mother’s Friendship Day on which mothers gathered with former Confederate and Union soldiers to promote reconciliation. The official Mother’s Day holiday we know today was established by Anna Jarvis, her daughter, who, after the death of her mother in 1905, conceived the day as a way of honouring her beloved mother and the sacrifices that all mothers make for their children.
As part of her efforts, she gained financial support from John Wanamaker, a Philadelphia department store owner, and in May 1908 the first official Mother’s Day celebration was held at a Methodist church in West Virginia. She went on to start a letter-writing campaign to make the day an annual holiday and established the Mother’s Day International Association to promote the idea around the world. Her persistence resulted in President Woodrow Wilson proclaiming Mother’s Day to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year.
There’s a huge range of gifts that you can choose for Mother’s Day and as the years go by you might be getting stuck for inspiration and feeling the pressure to get something unique that your mother will really enjoy. While your choice of gift will depend on the individual, remember to make your gift special, something she’ll use and enjoy (but not something that is overly practical – because she probably already has them) and something personal and perhaps somewhat sentimental. Following are some common gift ideas to make her feel special on Mother’s Day.
Flowers – Flowers are a time-honoured gift on Mother’s Day but you can make this a more lasting and special gift by buying your mother a special plant to mark the occasion – especially if they are an avid gardener. You could, for example, buy her an olive tree or other tree that lasts for many years and, because of its longevity, will always be a reminder of your love. You can also choose other special plants that you know she will enjoy.
Fun Activity – This will depend on your mother’s interests and the things she enjoys doing. It could include a weekend getaway at a luxury spa, a yoga retreat, a special beauty treatment or something similar. If you want to get a little adventurous you could organise a bush hike or glamping in a special location, time on a racetrack driving a supercar or even a skydive!
Personalized Pictures – Giving your mother a picture or portrait of your family can be an especially thoughtful gift especially since today’s technology can make it unique and unusual. You can, for example, have your picture turned into a jigsaw puzzle or have an artist create a personalized drawing of your family portrait which can feature not only family members but pets as well.
Gift Hamper – Mother’s Day is an ideal occasion to pamper your mother and a hamper of gourmet treats or luxury items that you know she will enjoy is one of the best ways to do this. A Mother’s day hamper can cover the full gamut of tasty treats and can include gourmet foods, wines, chocolates, and other sweets as well as wellness products, aromatherapy items and self-care products like bath salts and essential oils.
Hampers with Bite is a Australian owned business that has over 17 years of experience in providing deluxe and gourmet gift hampers for all occasions. Our range of feminine gift hampers are designed to spoil your mum on her special day and include a Breakfast in Bed hamper and a Moet Chocolate gift box that is sure to delight even the most discerning mum. The Breakfast in Bed hamper, for example, includes a range of premium teas, cinnamon pancakes, and double chocolate chip shortbreads to name just a few of its gourmet delights. It comes complete with a beautiful wooden tray and is sure to make for a luxurious breakfast in bed that will make your mum’s day.