I tend to resist holidays that are construed by purveyors of greetings cards, florists, and chocolate makers. Sentimental gushes of appreciation leave me in a state of shock and awe. Why is it considered important to honor mothers on May 8 (Mother’s Day falls on this date in the US)? I looked up the historical significance of this day, and couldn’t find any substantial information that convinced me of its importance. What then is the point?
That’s why, as I researched potential gift ideas for moms from Oxfam America Unwrapped this year, it struck me that I’m not the most ideal candidate for this role.
Still, I reflected on the holiday for a few days, and threw possible ideas on the white board of my skeptical mind. Seasonally, spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, connecting directly with motherhood. Ancient cultures celebrated women for their fertility, and the environmental angle is well established. We have only to say the words “Mother Earth” and images of abundance: lush forests, and streams teeming with fish spring up.
Most vital, however, and what convinced me of the importance of this holiday, were the stark facts about women and poverty: