Allison Kirk

Pen and Paper

May 12, 2017

Sunday is Mother’s Day and I read that a woman named Anna Jarvis campaigned for Mother’s Day in 1908 in honor of her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, who had passed away. Her mother Ann was a peace activist and cared for wounded soldiers for both sides of the American Civil War. She had originally created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address issues with Public Health. Her daughter Anna continued her mother’s work and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation and made Mother’s Day an official holiday to honor mothers. By the early 1920’s, Anna Jarvis became resentful stating that companies had commercialized the holiday for profit. She felt the idea of the day was misinterpreted and the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. Anna Jarvis later organized boycotts and threatened companies with lawsuits. Her argument was that people should honor their mothers with handwritten letters instead of purchasing gifts.

I am not a mother but I do have a mom and wonderful step mom that I have celebrated for many years. I will say that I agree with Anna Jarvis and her opinion on the commercialization of Mother’s Day. It’s amazing to me how we as a society have blown things like Mother’s Day out of proportion. Events like Sweet Sixteen Parties, Graduation, Gender Reveal Parties, Weddings etc. Remember when we used to bring a dish to share to a wedding because it was a potluck? When did it become a requirement for a young couple to pay forty plus dollars a person to feed a large group of people! No wonder every couple I know has credit card debt. All of these events are expensive to put on. Keeping up with the Jones’ these days is pretty much having a higher credit limit than the other guy.

I have been told by a mother that having a child is like taking your heart out of your chest and watching it grow legs, run around, and then leave the house. And since most Mothers I know would throw themselves in front of a bus to save their child I assume that comment is pretty accurate. Because of this, I think a mother would RATHER have a heartfelt handwritten letter from their child at any age than have them rack up more credit card debt. I personally have the best mom in the world. There is nothing I would not do for her and I would love to buy her everything she has ever wanted. But I know all she wants for her Mother’s Day is to spend time with me. I know this because every year she says the same thing “Now Allison don’t go spending any money on me this year”. I always do of course, but this year I think I am going to take some advice from Anna Jarvis and pick up a pen and paper.




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