James E. Faust once remarked, “The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.” This exact sentiment is celebrated by Americans on the second Sunday of May each year. A holiday dedicated to honoring and remembering the mothers who have shaped our families, Mother’s Day boasts an insurmountable influence on society, uniting families for day completely dedicated to the women who selflessly sacrifice of themselves to make us who we are.
As is the case with most holidays, Mother’s Day creates a flurry of economic activity. Experts estimate that a grand total of $26 billion dollars will be spent on gifts this Mother’s Day, $5 billion of which will be spent on jewelry. Florists typically witness a spike in sales around Mother’s Day, too, as the carnation is the widely-accepted symbol of the holiday. Another 80 million people typically celebrate Mother’s Day by eating out, making this holiday the busiest day of the year for restaurants. Studies have even shown that the average person spends more on Mother’s Day than they do for Father’s Day! Although Mother’s Day undeniably bolsters the economy, not everyone is a fan of the commercial aspects of the holiday. Even the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, petitioned to rescind the law proclaiming Mother’s Day to be a national holiday after observing an influx of consumerism surrounding the holiday.
Although Mother’s Day is not celebrated internationally on the second Sunday of May, many cultures boast unique customs designed to honor mothers. In Thailand, maternal contributions are celebrated with parades. Serbian mothers, on the other hand, are tied up with ribbon and only released after they give their children candy.
All mothers are special, but some motherhoods have proven especially unique. Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev of Shuya, Russia, had 69 children over the course of 27 pregnancies, the most children born to one woman in recorded history. The oldest mother in modern history was India’s Omkari Panwar; Panwar, 72 at the time, and her 75-year-old husband welcomed a set of twins during their golden years. The world’s smallest mother, standing at 2 feet, 4 inches tall, is Stacey Herald, a mother of three.
No matter where they live, how tall they are, or how many children they have, we hope all mothers enjoy time with their families this Mother’s Day!
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