Traditionally, Mothering Sunday was the day when people returned to their mother church (typically the church where one was baptised) for a Laetare Sunday - the fourth Sunday in Lent - service. As time went on it became more of an occasion for visiting family, especially mothers, although the practice was waning by the 1920s.
At least it was until Anna Jarvis' work in establishing the US Mother's Day in 1914 inspired Constance Penswick-Smith to set up the Mothering Sunday Movement. Smith's 1921 pamphlet on the issue was quickly picked up by the card, confectionery, etc industries and heavily promoted. By 1950s the newly secularised holiday was celebrated across the UK.
Today Mother's Day is so entrenched that forgetting will put you firmly in the dog house! Here are five categories of gifts to cover all eventualities...
#5. Food and Drink
Sweet or savoury, store bought or homemade, your mum is bound to have a soft spot for something. Whatever you get, fancy presentation will transform it into something spectacular - and is a good excuse to use up the tissue paper, ribbons, and other bits and bobs you've probably got stashed away somewhere. If tradition appeals, you could even opt for simnel (marzipanned fruit) cake which was popular enough for the day to be known as Simnel Sunday in the 18th century.
#4. Looking Good
Clothes, jewellery, perfume and cosmetics - you know the kind of thing! If your mum is loyal to a favourite product or two your work here is easy. If not my top tip is a subscription box; you can get most of them as a one off, as well as ongoing packages, and they offer a mix of products for your mum to try out. Popular boxes include Birchbox, Glossybox, and more.
#3. Staying In vs. Going Out
Books, music, video games, DVDs, magazine subscriptions - any mum will appreciate some well chosen entertainment. Perhaps your mum prefers going out? Concert tickets, experience days, cinema passes, afternoon tea and stress free meals - they're all great choices for Mother's Day.
Motherhood is often about practicality. Things can look nice, sure, but they've got to withstand sticky little fingers, clumsy little feet, and generally serve some greater purpose to home and family. Mother's Day is the day to throw all that out the window and gift your mum something to simply enjoy. Flowers, perhaps, or an addition to whatever it might be your mum is - or would like to be! - collecting.
#1. Getting Sentimental
Father's Day is the day for getting soppy about all those special motherhood moments. Framed childhood photos, a vintage find of something you both used to enjoy back in the day (board games, books, crafts...), or personalised items. I'm a big fan of The Book of Everyone which offers a Mum version from £25.99. (Use my referral link to get 20% off.)
You could also go handmade. There are so many cool craft ideas out there, both for you and for the kids. Check out my Pinterest board below for inspiration.