As with most holidays in the U.S., the original meaning tends to fade, replaced by a more modern interpretation. Mother’s Day is no different. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to teach women how to care for their children. Following Ann’s death in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, conceived of “Mother’s Day” to honor the myriad sacrifices mothers made for their children. She wanted it to be an intimate day of celebration between mothers and families; she envisioned children wearing white carnations and visiting their mothers or going to church with them in honor of the special day.
Anna successfully campaigned to make Mother’s Day a national holiday but once she saw the commercialization of the holiday, she grew to regret it. She later spent much of her time and resources actively lobbying the government to get it removed from the U.S. calendar.
Quite a sordid past for what should be a lovely holiday! Let’s take Mother’s Day back, making it a day to share with the moms in your life in the way that will mean the most to them. Check out these options, something for every kind of mom:
1. Be of service. What can you do to help? Clean for mom, or help her with some techy project she can’t get a handle on—or hire a professional to do either one. Fix something that needs mending, or bring along a handyman to do the job. Wash and fold her laundry. Cook her a meal, or better yet, come stocked with multiple meals that she can freeze and parse out over time.
2. Quality time with mom. Schedule brunch or High Tea with mom. Take a walk in a beautiful place, or enjoy a little pampering together at a local spa. Visit the Nassau County Museum of Art, home to indoor art exhibits and interesting outdoor installations.
3. Alone time. Maybe Mom would love a little time to herself to do whatever it is she likes to do best. Let her off the hook for the traditional Mother’s Day meal, and let her do her thing. Spend the time without her to tackle a project she doesn’t have time to get to, shop for a little something you know she’ll love, create a piece of art in her honor, or make a simple but thoughtful dinner for her return.
4. Plant a garden. Due to the good weather and generally warm temps, Mother’s Day is the unofficial start of planting season. Take mom to pick out some veggie, fruit or flower seeds, then break ground on her 2019 garden. In addition to the beautiful organic plants from Long Island’s own Marion Gardens, Rising Tide also carries dozens of organic seeds from High Mowing Seeds, including handy collections of seeds like “Summer of Sunflowers”, a “Bee’s Garden”, “Three Sisters”, “Easy Salad Greens”, and “Kid’s Garden” (a fun collection of “easy to succeed” seeds!). If a full-scale garden is too ambitious, purchase a beautiful pot and help her plant some lavender, rosemary, mint or other herbs she can use all summer long.
5. Eat (or drink) outdoors. Nothing cues the shift in seasons like a picnic. Head to the beach, or the park, or lay out a blanket in your backyard. Source some healthy, delicious salads and sandwiches from Rising Tide or another favorite spot. Or how about a sunset cocktail on the water? This area offers many opportunities for sipping something tasty alfresco. Take it one step further and take a bottle of rosé in a water taxi for a cruise around Hempstead Harbor.
6. Buy a green gift. You want Mom to be healthy and to make choices that lead to a long, happy life; this year, choose a gift that reflects that desire. We’ve got something for every kind of mama.
- HydroFlasks: Hydration is so important, especially as we head into summer. We’ve got stainless steel HydroFlask water/coffee bottles in all shapes and sizes, and in beautiful spring colors.
- Women’s Supplements: No matter what Mom’s age, there are hormones to contend with; Womensense supplements are there for every stage of a woman’s life, and can help her through things like adrenal fatigue, menopause, thyroid issues, and balancing estrogen.
- Organic & Fair Trade Sweets: If she’s going to indulge on Mother’s Day, it might has well be with the good stuff! (Plus…so many studies lately point to the merits of having dark chocolate in your life. If chocolate equals health, we are ON BOARD.) Choose from an array of healthier alternatives, including Chocolove Chocolate Bars, Bark Thins snacking chocolate, Skinny Dipped Almonds, Alter Eco Chocolates and Dark-Chocolate Covered nuts & fruits from Tierra Farm.
- Mama Care: We’ve got all kinds of clean, toxin- and cruelty-free goodies to make Mama feel good and look her best. (Check out the Mother’s Day display at the front of the store..there is something for every mom!) Among our favorites are the CBD Bath Bombs by CBD Living. Aromatic and healing and made with 60mg of nano-CBD, these make bath time oh so special. Available in Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Coconut Lime. And for clean facial care for mom, there’s the Sweet Treats git set from one of our favorite natural skin care co.’s, MyChelle Dermaceuticals. This lovely little gift set contains the Refining Sugar Cleanser and the Lip Hints™ Conditioning Lip Balm.
7. Give the Gift of Charity. You and Mom will both feel good when you donate to a great cause in her name. The International Rescue Committee offers many ways to do this, including helping to pay for health pregnancies for woman in Kenya ($52); funding emergency food for malnourished children in places like Nigeria and Yemen ($68 gives three meals each to 50 children), and providing a year of school for children in crisis in war-torn countries like Syria ($58). If there is a local nonprofit that means a great deal to your mom, make your donation there instead.
Of course this is just a quick guide; only you know your favorite moms and what would mean the most to them on Mother’s Day. Reflect on this, and it will be a holiday to remember for all!