Northern Pacific Railway Mother's Day postcard - 1915 - white carnations are the symbol of pure love
When I was young there was an elderly couple that lived near us and they sold flowers and plants. On the Saturday before Mother's Day all the kids in the neighbourhood went to their house to get potted flowers for Mom.
My Mom loves Chinese Food, and one of the first places where I worked I was teamed up with a guy from China. His sister gave me some instructions and bought some ingredients for me in Chinatown, and I spent hours (most of it chopping) to make a delicious Chinese dinner for my Mom. Sweet and Sour Ribs, Rice, Chop Suey and Egg Rolls. Mmmmmm. Since the only other entree I had made at home was spaghetti, my Mom was very pleased and impressed!
When I had my own kids, although it was becoming vogue to buy gifts, I steered my girls more toward doing something nice for me, plus whatever they made for me at school. When they all got old enough, they banded together each year and washed my car. After a long dirty winter it sure needed it, and the girls had a great time with the hose and buckets of soapy water. I don't know which was wetter, the kids or the car! The joy for me was merely watching them working and having fun together.
1908 - wear a white carnation to honour your mother. "People with bad mothers are also invited to wear the carnation on Mother's Day in honour of someone else's mother who was good."
1909 - over 50,000 people wearing the white carnation as an expression of filial love.
1913 - Mother's Day is spreading - an appeal to men to honour their mothers ...
More recent newspapers from the 60's on carried Mother's Day messages like these ones...
What traditions do you have, and how do you honour your Mother?