Mother’s Day and its Commercialization


Commercialisation is one of the biggest boom that happened in our era that led to things like ‘Mother’s Day’ and ‘Valentine’s Day’ come all the way to the place it is today. 10 to 15 years back if you would have noticed, you wouldn’t have been celebrating Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or even Daughter’s Day with so much vigour as you are celebrating now. The reason? Mothers, Fathers and Daughters and how much you love them? Nah. Commercialization. One would wonder if even things like these wouldn’t be commercialized like the way festivals and religious observances are done. Called ‘Marketing strategies’ corporations create plans and strategies to obviously increase profits and draw crowds to their products in the guise of ‘celebrating mother’s day love’.

The tradition of ‘gifting’ our mothers with a greeting card that has a few lousy lines scribbled by someone else other than you or companies that offers services, discounts and encourages to spend on things in the name of mother’s day is not the ideal and most definitely not the healthiest way to celebrate motherhood. It could do serious harm to children if this continues; for one, all of these is purely monetary. How about the ones that cannot afford sweets, flowers, chocolates, a fancy dinner, a hotel stay, clothes and the like? Adding to these list of unrealistic celebrations are the Facebook updates by frantic users. Every 4 in 5 user will scream ‘I love you mom you’re the best mother in the world’ on the occasion. The sceptical ones would wonder if the friend actually wished the mother before updating the status. Changing trends yes but aren’t they unrealistic?

The disturbing thing is that our human self is being overrun and it does nothing to help our fast paced changing lifestyle. If anything, it only adds to the changing lifestyle. If you are a working daughter or son and your life is hectic throughout the day you’d be encouraged to cook for your mom or have a one on one conversation with her. But things like greeting cards, a dinner or lunch outing defeats the purpose. All of this aside, can the fact that we love our mothers and mean so much to be them be conveyed by these corporate gifts and the 2 lines written in the greeting cards? That too in one day? It simply cannot. Moreover, times have become such that we need to be poked and reminded every day or a month prior to be ‘thankful’ for our mothers and to ‘do our bit’ to tell them how much they mean to us.

The founder of ‘Mother’s Day’ tried to abolish it

Mother’s Day caught on due to a lady named Anna Jarvis who took over from her mother Ann Jarvis in spreading the culture of celebrating Mother’s Day. During the Civil War, Anna’s mother cared for the wounded on both sides of the conflict. She also tried to orchestrate peace between Union and Confederate moms by forming a Mother’s Friendship Day.

When she passed away, Anna organized the movement through her writing and promotional campaigns and held observances in West Virginia and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. As the annual celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis asked members of Congress to set aside a day to honuor mothers. She finally succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as ‘Mother’s Day.’ Initially, the floral industry was only too happy to support and donate for the movement. But Anna Jarvis soon soured on the commercial interests associated with the day. She wanted Mother’s Day “to be a day of sentiment, not profit.” She referred to the florists, greeting card manufacturers and the confectionery industry as “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.”

So she began fighting against the movement to have it abolished, unsuccessfully. She fought against the fundraisers and the investors, was dragged away from a meeting of the American War Mothers by police and was also arrested. She and her sister spent the family assets trying to end it.

Take a cue from one of these marketing strategies – Customization and Personalization. Make your mother a card, write a letter, cook for her and invent other ways to bring out that smile on your mother’s face. Not just on this day, but every once in a while, while you can.


Posted on May 12, 2013, in Anti-News, Everything Else, Personal Musings, The Serious Stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Really awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Excellent article. What you say is true. There is another aspect to this – People who feel guilty of ignoring/forgetting their mothers might celebrate Mother’s day just to get off their guilt or show to others how *fakefully* caring they are about their mothers!

    But, commerce drives civilization and we can’t refuse it. The card companies benefit even during occasions like birthday and new year’s day. Even festivals that we celebrate involve certain activities that benefits traders commercially. Commerce is woven around most of our activities so that there is incentive to continue them. If you look at it closely, it benefits both the parties – One gets money and the other gets satisfaction. I know it’s a crude way of putting it… but…

    Destination Infinity

  3. Nice one! 🙂
    i was thinking sort of the same lines when my newsfeed flooded with such status updates!

  4. Been a while since something went up on this blog.

    • Yeah we’re all slightly busy with our lives I guess :/ this article happened cos the magazine I’m freelancing for wanted a Mother’s Day article and rejected this cos its very negative. 😛

      • Well, now. Perhaps they wanted a typical Mother’s Day article then. 😛
        But then again, every now and then, people rant about commercialization too.

        Nice one, btw.

        • Yeah, they do? I’ve never read one single article on commercialization :/ so I wrote. They rejected and asked me to write a typical article again -_- so wrote. Sigh.

          Thanks! 🙂

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