More than a century ago, Anna Jarvis aspired to create a holiday to honor mothers.

More than a century ago, Anna Jarvis aspired to create a holiday to honor mothers. After the passing of her own mother and a memorial honoring her, she then began a campaign to make mother’s day a recognized holiday in the United States.  She was successful and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day was held in West Virginia and Philadelphia. According to, “In 1908, a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Elmer Burkett, proposed making Mother's Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but by 1909 46 states were holding Mother's Day services as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.”

If you are looking for gift ideas to honor mom this Mother’s Day, here are some to consider. Moms love gifts that kids make. So, get crafty. Make mom a homemade jewelry or memory box, a homemade card with caring words to express your love. Look up a homemade bath salt recipe and make it yourself for her to rewind and relax. However you decide to get crafty, mom is sure to adore this homemade gift made with love. Do extra chores around the house to help mom out this Sunday. Go out of your way to do something special for her around the house that maybe she hasn’t had time to do herself. Show mom some affection. Hold her hand, give her a hug, tell her how much you love and appreciate her. If you are unable to spend the day with your mom make sure to pick up the phone and let her know you’re thinking of her on this special day. If the weather is nice, head outdoors with mom. Go for a walk; spend some quality time together to catch up.

This Sunday, I plan to spend some time honoring my mom. Personally, I am so thankful for the relationship and bond I have with my own mom. She has always been so supportive and loving and for that I have an immense amount of respect for her and I only hope I can be the mother to my own kids that she has been to me. As we all should, I hope I communicate this love for my mom throughout the year and not just on the designated day of Mother’s Day each year. 

Traditionally, we honor our moms on Mother’s Day by giving them gifts, but truly it’s not the gift you buy; it’s the way you treat your mom that really matters most. On Sunday, May 12, the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA joins the nation in celebrating Mother’s Day and honoring and recognizing moms and motherhood. Whatever you choose to do for your mom this Mother’s Day, just make sure it’s from the heart and you take some time to let her know how much she is loved and appreciated. Happy Mother’s Day!

Sarah Sonis is program director for the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA.