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The COVID-19 pandemic shelter-in-place mandates and the need for social distancing has changed our lives in unprecedented ways and put a damper on everything — from graduations to proms, milestone birthdays and even summer vacations. However, it has also helped raise awareness of the importance of family. Hence, it is not surprising that many Americans plan to go the extra mile to demonstrate their love and appreciation for the real-life superhero in their lives on Mother's Day, which will be celebrated on May 10, 2020.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics yearly Mother's Day survey of 8,294 adults indicates that, on average, every consumer will spend $205 — about $8 more than 2019 — for a record total of $26.8 billion on Mother's Day gifts this year.
"Families are in an unusual position this year," Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. "Some consumers are looking to make up for the fact they can't take mom out by sending her something a little extra special this year."
The funds will be used to purchase a large variety of items including gift cards and special meals. However, electronic devices like Alexa, Google Home, or Facebook Portal, which make it easier to connect with Mom, are high on the list. Also popular are books, gardening tools, and housewares, which moms can enjoy during the shelter-in-place orders.
Many are also coming up with creative ideas to make their moms feel appreciated. These include treating her to a "spa day at home" with her favorite nail polish, allowing her to sleep in and serving her breakfast in bed, or joining her in a fun activity like solving a puzzle or playing a board game. Those unable to celebrate with their moms in person are organizing virtual parties or picnics.
Though motherhood had been celebrated worldwide in some form for centuries, the idea of dedicating a day to honor the sacrifices made by mothers was first suggested by Philadelphia teacher Ann Jarvis in 1905. The inaugural celebration, held at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908 was such a success that Jarvis became determined to make Mother's Day a national holiday. It took the activist, who ran a peaceful campaign by writing to newspapers and lawmakers, six years before President Woodrow Wilson finally proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day on May 9, 1914.
Unfortunately, Jarvis's vision of the celebration, which involved wearing a white carnation and visiting one's mother or attending a church service, never fully materialized. As soon as the official holiday was declared, retailers seized the opportunity to convince consumers that buying a gift was a better way to appreciate moms. The disillusioned activist spent years fighting the trend and even filed lawsuits against the "profiteers" to no avail. By the time she died in 1948, Jarvis had disowned the holiday she had fought so hard to create.
Though making Mom feel special on May 10 is important, even more so is giving her the love and respect she deserves all year round. So be sure to make every day Mother's Day by spending quality time with her and helping out with daily chores, especially during these difficult times, when many are juggling with additional responsibilities such as homeschooling.