Making the Most of Mother’s Day Celebrations

By: Melissa Canellis


This Sunday, May 8th, Mother’s Day will be celebrated in the United States. This long-standing  tradition of showing moms a little love on an important day just for her started centuries ago. While the holiday may have been around for ages, a recent study reveals Mother’s Day celebrations now take place across the world in over 152 countries. 

For many people it’s an opportunity to spend time with their families and share a special experience as they honor their mothers or mother figures. To give you some inspiration on Mother’s Day activities and gift ideas, let’s take a look at how this tradition began.

The History of Mother’s Day

The origins of celebrating mothers and the concept of mothering can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, who held spring festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. 

However, the more modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday”, which began being celebrated in the UK and other parts of Europe in the 16th Century. The original intentions for the day were focused on having the faithful return to their mother church – the main church – for a special service. This is why Mother’s Day is held annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent. 

Over the course of time “Mothering Sunday” became more secular, with children giving their mothers flowers and small gifts. It eventually faded in popularity, until merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s. 

Ann Reeves Jarvis and her daughter Anna Jarvis are most often credited with founding Mother’s Day in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. Prior to the Civil War, Jarvis helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia, where local mothers learned how to care for their children. After the war, Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day” so mothers and former Union and Confederate soldiers could gather and promote reconciliation.

Anna Jarvis picked up the cause upon her Mother’s death, wishing to honor her and all mothers. She began the movement in West Virginia, which hosted the first official Mother’s Day celebration. Jarvis then began a letter writing campaign to make it an official holiday and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be celebrated annually on the second Sunday in May.

Mother’s Day Today

To help Moms everywhere enjoy the special day, brands have stepped up their promotions to drive sales of her favorite things. Millions of omnichannel offers reach customers in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. Shopping and ordering online continues to increase year over year, making it convenient for gift givers to easily pick out the perfect meal or merchandise. 

Punchh is pleased to power the marketing and loyalty campaigns for Mother’s Day and all holidays throughout the year. Brands with the right digital tools can make the biggest impact on this special day and the other 364 days too. Let us show you how with a free demo.

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