Mother’s Day – Past and Present Celebrations

May 05, 2021 8 min read

Mother’s Day – Past and Present Celebrations

When I was growing up, Mother’s Day in my family started the same way every year – my Mum coming down the stairs to find a hot, hearty breakfast awaiting her on a decorated dining table. My Dad and I would crawl out of our beds in the chilly hour before May dawn – Mum remained tucked up cosy in bed – and we’d get to work. I’d lay an artful arrangement of placemats and candles on the table while Dad brewed the coffee and whisked the eggs. When everything was ready, we would call Mum downstairs and dine with my parents’ wedding cutlery. Sometimes I’d even curate playlists for those occasions so that we’d be serenaded with a selection of Mum’s favourite songs while we ate. 

Special breakfasts are a tradition in our household. It doesn’t take hundreds of dollars to make Mum’s morning sparkle – a little goes a long way. 

There’s so much that we should say to our mothers – so much that we have to thank them for – but most of us rarely do. Mother’s Day is a gentle reminder to show our Mums some affection through small, meaningful gestures of love.

Whether you’re curious regarding when Mother’s Day started, stumped on ideas about how to spend the day or not sure what gift to buy your Mum, we have all the answers…


Origin of Mother’s Day

It was 1908 in West Virginia, the United States, and the air was thick with coal mining smog. The first official Mother’s Day celebration was underway at a Methodist church. 

Three years previously in 1905, devoted social activist Ann Jarvis passed away. Ann is considered one of the early Mother’s Day pioneers as she established Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. These clubs proved to be a source of friendship and faith for many women during the Civil War. Despite Ann’s efforts, it was her daughter, Anna Jarvis, who succeeded in bringing about this national celebration. Anna spent the three years after her mother’s death campaigning for this day, determined to pursue her mother’s vision of “a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless services she renders to humanity in every field of life”. 

Anna didn’t know it yet, but she would spend the rest of her life continuing her efforts for a yearly celebration of “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”. 

We now know that the second Sunday in May was established as Mother’s Day by the President in 1914, but celebrations of motherhood date back even further than the Jarvis women. For example, Ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. Nowadays, while many cultures and religions have their own traditions, Mother’s Day is widely acknowledged by children giving their Mums cards and presents, and often a day off from household chores.

Although some have argued that the commercialisation of Mother’s Day has diminished its value (Anna Jarvis included), the sentiment behind it is just as relevant as ever. 

Over one hundred years since Anna Jarvis’ memorial honouring her Mum and all the others in the world, Mother’s Day lives on.

A Truly Special Day

Everyone has someone they can honour on Mother’s Day – whether it’s the mothers who gave birth to us, the mothers who raised and supported us, the fur mummies, the lost mothers, and the mothers who have lost.  Regardless of who you celebrate, the essence of Mother’s Day remains the same.

“the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world” 

- Anna Jarvis, Mother’s Day founder 

Mother’s Day is a terrific opportunity to spend some valuable time with the inspiring woman in your life (but read on for some lovely gift ideas if you can’t be with your Mum this Mother’s Day).

The following are thoughtful, fun activities you can do with your Mum, guaranteed to bring joy to her day. 

  1. Cook her favourite meal

It’s a classic in my household and for many other families too. Simple and relatively inexpensive (both depending on what you cook!), this is always a great idea. Make sure to consult her on the meal choice, check the recipe and head to the shops for ingredients the day before. Get the rest of the family involved in the kitchen with some messy, delicious cooking then sit down and enjoy it together. Food is a wonderful way to bring people together and there’s nothing that says “I love you” like a home-cooked meal.

  1. Take her out for brunch

Okay, we’re not all chefs, but luckily there’s an easy alternative. Nowadays, there are so many excellent cafes, restaurants, and other eateries to choose from. Give your Mum a lovely, long sleep-in, wake her with the mouth-watering scent of freshly brewed coffee in bed, then head to your preferred breakfast place. Do make sure you book in advance though because this is another popular tradition for many families. Treat her to a scrumptious meal and make the most of the time you’ve gained not having to cook. Have a chat! Ask her questions and listen. Our Mums are always hearing about our day-to-day problems and concerns so reversing the roles can make a nice change.

  1. Go on an adventure

Maybe there’s a nearby tourist attraction your Mum has always wanted to check out, or a particularly lovely beach she doesn’t get to see very often, or she just loves the thought of a long, windows-down, loud-music road trip. Going on an adventure together will make your Mum will feel like a child again! Plus, planning your adventure can be almost as fun as the thing itself. A week before Mother’s Day, ask your Mum for her ideas and do some research. Dig out your daypacks and old-school camera, gather a stash of yummy snacks, then set off on an unforgettable adventure.

  1. Have a spa day

Who doesn’t need a spa day? We could all do with a massage, pedicure, facial and general pampering. It’s up to you whether you take your Mum to a professional place or for a cheaper, more casual spa day, DIY it. There are plenty of YouTube videos if in doubt. Put on some calming music and rummage through your bathroom cupboard for supplies. Bath bombs, nail polish and face masks are good places to start. Ever wanted to try the cucumber-on-the-eyes thing? Curious about home-made face masks? Today is the day for all of it! Don’t forget to give your Mum a massage too – even if you’re not a professional, she’ll appreciate the effort!

  1. Travel somewhere amazing

For a truly memorable Mother’s Day, take your Mum on a holiday. Go as big or as small as she’d like. This is definitely an option that takes prior planning and preparation. Even if it’s just a night in a cute bed-and-breakfast in the mountains, there’s nothing like getting away. It’s up to you whether you keep it a surprise or involve your Mum with the planning. If a holiday for the whole family is out of the question, we bet your Mum would adore a night to herself in a hotel. There are so many amazing places out there near and far away. Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to explore somewhere new together.

  1. Have a movie marathon

For a low-key, casual Mother’s Day, a movie marathon is perfect. Whether your Mum is a die-hard Die Hard fan or a hopeless romantic for Hugh Grant films, she’ll love a day of guilt-free relaxation with her family on the couch. If in doubt, see if there’s an old-school film series Mum has yet to educate you on or stick to the classics (Harry Potter, anyone?) Get the popcorn popping and Netflix fired up, and settle back for a lovely, lazy day together.

  1. Disconnect to connect

How often do you start scrolling through Facebook and completely lose track of time? On the weekend, maybe a new email pops up on your screen and before you know it, you’ve spent one of your precious free-time hours on Outlook. Technology is a time thief. It’s irresistible and always working to steal away more of your time. That’s why, on a special occasion like Mother’s Day, the best thing you can do is to disconnect. Turn off your phone, close the lid of your laptop and allow yourself to simply be in the present. The time you spend with your Mum will be more meaningful if you aren’t frequently checking social media updates.


  1. Take a hike

Here in Dayboro, we have some gorgeous hiking trails that the active and outdoors-loving Mums will enjoy. Hiking is a wonderful way to spend a morning or even an entire day. Breathe in the fresh air and chat while you walk, or hike in peaceful silence, listening to the calming sounds of nature. Plus, May in Australia is a lovely time of year for hiking. Be sure to check the weather forecast beforehand though – hiking in the rain can be a less pleasant experience!


  1. Go picnicking 

Another lovely idea for the nature-appreciators. There’s nothing like eating alfresco – food simply seems to taste better! Find a nearby park or take a drive out to the country (quaint Dayboro is a great option). Packing a picnic lunch is heaps of fun and always makes me feel like an Enid Blyton character about to head off on some fantastic adventure. Sandwiches, tea flasks, fruit, muesli bars and cakes are picnic staples. Dig out the picnic rug and maybe a camping chair or two and you’re set! Again, May is a lovely time of year to get outside – perfect picnicking weather.

  1. Go window shopping

Retail therapy is another classic. My Mum and I love a good shopping trip. We browse the shops then settle in a café for coffee, morning tea and a chat. Mother’s Day is a great excuse for a shopping spree, but window shopping can be just as fun if you’re with someone you love. Treat you and your Mum to a girly day out together.


The Finishing Touch

Maybe you can’t be with your Mum in person this year, or you just want to give your Mum a thank-you-present she’ll cherish. We have put together some special indulgent gift packs for Mother's Day, starting at just $13. If you're stuck for an idea, a Lily Rose Indulgence handcrafted gift pack could be the answer.

The following is a small selection of the products we offer that are perfect for Mother’s Day, but there are plenty more to choose from – we guarantee we’ve got something for every Mum.

  • Vintage Rose Gift Pack

A small, floral gift pack that is just right for Mother’s Day. This pack has everything she needs for a relaxing bath at the end of her day – soap, a candle, a handmade hand towel, a bamboo nail brush, hemp exfoliating mitt and chocolate. 

  • Ivory Curl Pack

A pretty pack filled with loads of goodies, including soaps, soaks, cleansing bars and more. A Mother’s Day gift she’ll treasure. 

  • Foot/Bath Soak Trio

Originally a limited edition, this lovely pack sold out so quickly that we now stock them all year long. With three-soaks-in-one, your Mum will have an excellent excuse to take long, relaxing baths as often as she likes!

  • Bath Soak in a Bottle

Perfect for pairing with “It’s the Gesture” (see below). Our signature bath soaks are now available in recycled and sterilised bottles. An affordable and beautiful gift.

  • Bath Soaks

Your Mum will love these luxurious bath and foot soaks. A clever tip: fill a hemp bag with these soak salts and hang it in the shower – the fragrant steam will make every shower feel like a day spa! 

  • It’s the Gesture

Another small token of appreciation for the Mums who insist they “don’t need anything”. Choose a handcrafted soap in your Mum’s favourite scent and we’ll add a hemp exfoliating mitt. 

Check out our website – all of the above can be ordered online and delivered or picked up directly from us on site.


A Mother’s Day to Remember

No matter how you decide to spend your Mother’s Day with Mum or what gift you give her, remember that it’s the sentiment behind it that matters. You don’t have to devote your life to commemorating mothers as Anna Jarvis did – all you have to do on Mother’s Day is show your Mum you love her.