We love you, Mom!
What Mother means to me
The words to this song, called “Mother,” were written by Howard Johnson in 1915, soon after Mother’s Day was made a national holiday.
Perhaps only your grandparents remember the words or the melody, and probably only because they heard it in an old movie. But it is one of the most enduring American tunes, referenced sometimes even in modern TV shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Saturday Night Live.”
The old-fashioned nature of the song doesn’t really match modern motherhood, with the constant round of transporting kids to various activities and having to deal with problems like drugs, nor does it fit the lifestyle of the military mother, who has to pick up and move the family every two or three years and create an environment that her children can adapt to.
But regardless of the time period, one day a year we pay special tribute to our mothers. Whether it is children messing up the kitchen to make breakfast for mom, designing something for her at arts and crafts, remembering at the last second to get her some flowers or being reminded by a father that she deserves a present, the second Sunday in May is second only to Christmas as a time to give gifts, even if they are only your words that say she means the world to you.
M is for the Many things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing Old.
T is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H is for her Heart of purest gold.
E is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R means Right and Right she’ll always be.
Put them all together, They spell MOTHER .
A word that means the world to me.
Carnations highlight Mom's Day in Japan
According to Ikuko Naito of Ota Floriculture Research Institute, 660 million carnations are sold annually in Japan. Most of those on Mother’s Day.
“Almost 100 percent of the carnations sold during the year are consumed during the Mother’s Day period,” Naito said. “Carnations are relatively cheap while there are various choices in colors and figures that may contribute to the popularity of the flower. Carnations are usually arranged with roses, lilies or other flowers in season to make a bouquet when they are presented to mothers,”
The Mother’s Day tradition of giving carnations began in 1907 in the United States when activist Anna Jarvis delivered 500 white carnations to a church congregation in West Virginia where her deceased mother Ann used to teach Sunday school. Traditionally, red or pink carnations have been presented to mothers while white carnations are offered in front of the altar or grave of deceased mothers.
Japan used to celebrate Mother’s Day on March 6, the birthday of Empress Kojun (mother of the current Emperor, Akihito) until the end of WW II. Influenced by American culture, the Japanese started celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, just after the end of war. The tradition of presenting carnations on Mother’s Day began in the 1960s when there was a boom of Western flowers being planted in Japan.
Originally, all carnations for Mother’s Day gifts were grown in Japan. However, since 1990 Japan started importing carnations. “Today, nearly half of the carnations presented on Mother’s Day are from Columbia,” Naito said.
According to Naito, there have been attempts to promote chrysanthemums as a Mother’s Day gift.
“In Australia, they often present chrysanthemums to mothers since ‘mum’ is somewhat associated with ‘mom’ and is considered as a good gift for mothers,” Naito said. “We tried to introduce this tradition into Japan, however, it was not successful at all. Since chrysanthemums are mainly used for funerals or memorial services in Japan. People cannot accept the flower as a gift for mothers, even when we introduced a bright and fashionable type of chrysanthemum called “fashion mum.”