Mother’s Day and Minimalism

Mother’s Day has always been a special day to me because my mom is so amazingly awesome, I do not have enough words to express it. I know a lot of people say that, but mine is the real deal. For Mother’s Day, we usually spend the day together and go spend some time with my grandmother. There is usually some exchange of cards and/or gifts.

Since my own first Mother’s Day as a mom, we still spend the day together, but of course there are even more cards and gifts. Now besides buying cards and gifts for my mom and grandma, I also get gifts from my daughter for each of them.

Really? My preschooler can’t even afford Hallmark.

Not to mention trying to outdo myself each year. As I’m striving to find or make the perfect “thing”, I’m really setting myself up for an even more challenging task the next year.

Also, last Mother’s Day my grandma was 91 years old. She really didn’t need more stuff. She knew it and embraced minimalism without really calling it that. Not to say she was always nice about the way she returned stuff, because she has been known to hurt a few feelings in her time by returning gifts to the giver, but she didn’t keep anything she didn’t love.

My grandma passed away shortly after Mother’s Day last year. As we have sifted through her belongings, I have realized how thoughtful she was, by being so selective in her belongings. She had very few things beyond what was displayed in her home. Even her dresser and closet had been combed down to just the things she needed or loved.

Mother’s Day originated in 1908, not too far from here, in Grafton, WV. It was created by Anna Jarvis in remembrance of her mother. Jarvis worked relentlessly to get the holiday recognized as a national holiday, and in 1914, she succeeded, but her enthusiasm was short-lived. Jarvis came to resent the commercialism that grew to surround the holiday, and she unsuccessfully fought to have it removed from the calendar.

I think Miss Jarvis and my grandma were on to something.

Mother’s Day isn’t about picking out the perfect gift. It’s about honoring mothers. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a nice gesture to show someone how much you care, but I know, at least for my grandma, that pictures of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were more precious than most of the physical things that were gifted to her. I also know that she would rather her family take the gift money, put it their gas tank and visit more often, than to receive any physical thing.

So this Mother’s Day, before you buy a card, flowers, or a gift, think about what the special ladies in your life really want. Do they need another ceramic angel or jewelry box? Probably not. After losing my grandma, I realize how important the gift of my time was to her… and to me.


4 thoughts on “Mother’s Day and Minimalism

  1. Jackie,

    This post is extremely touching and though-provoking. I always wonder why we tend to commercialize everything as a symbol of love rather than just finding and doing things that symbolize love. Great post. I hope you have many beautiful memories from this Mother’s Day and continue your minimalist journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautiful. I have been very emotional with this being our first Mother’s Day without mom. She was not a person big on material things either, and as much as it hurts that she isn’t here, I know that we did all we could for her and spent so much time with her. I am so thankful that I don’t have any regrets or guilt for that on top of the hurt I already feel. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day Jackie. You are a wonderful person!


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