Don’t forget that it’s Mother’s Day this coming Sunday (March 10th)! If your mum is anything like the mums we know, asking her if there’s anything she’d like as a gift will only be met with a universal mum-style response: “don’t be silly/you don’t need to make a fuss/I have everything I need!” And while we’re sure the world over that most mums DO actually mean these things, we still wouldn’t dream of taking mum at her word and turning up empty-handed to Mother’s Day lunch!
So what to give the lady who may not have everything, but who certainly wouldn’t allow you to spend all of your hard-earned wages on her (and would never forgiver herself if you did)? Research last year on Mother’s Day gift-buying habits showed a return to ‘traditional’ gifts of flowers and chocolate, following the previous year when apparently we all went a bit mad and bought computers and Kindles and smartphones for mum. We’re a little sceptical. If that was the case, we imagine mums around the country spent Mother’s Day 2011 alternately chastising their offspring for spending too much money on them and scratching their heads as they tried to get to grips with their new piece of technology.
Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday?
The origins of ‘Mother’s Day’, in the UK at least, could not be further from a day celebrated with gifts of e-readers and iPhones. Mother’s Day in the UK is actually derived from ‘Mothering Sunday’, when as far back as the 16th century people returned to their ‘mother church’ (the main church in the area) for a service on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, usually with their mums and families. Children would often gift mums with wild flowers they’d picked on the way to church, evolving into the tradition of giving gifts on ‘Mothering Sunday’. This is when ‘Mothering Sunday’ first became linked to the giving of sweet treats too. It wasn’t chocolate in those days though; rather “Mothering Buns” or “Mothering Sunday Buns” (sweet buns topped with pink or white icing) were made to celebrate.
In the early 20th century, a different ‘Mother’s Day’ was created in the US and held in May, which became a commercial celebration of mums and maternal figures. In the UK, the two holidays are now entwined, with the gift-giving celebration of ‘Mother’s Day’ always held on the same day as the older, religious date of ‘Mothering Sunday’. In Chocolat Chocolat’s ‘Motherland’ of France, Mother’s Day or ‘Fête des Mères’ is celebrated on the last Sunday in May (before the 1940s, it was only a celebration of mums with large families – imagine that!)
Whatever its origins and whenever it is held, a day that recognises our mums and all they do for us can only be a good thing in our opinion. In the spirit of tradition though, we’re sticking with sweet gifts, as we’re pretty sure she would prefer a scrumptious selection of Chocolat Chocolat treats over a new high-tech ‘tablet’ or gadget – on Mother’s Day or any day! What have you got planned for your mum this Sunday? If you’re still undecided, don’t forget to check out our selection of gorgeous gifts!