Mother's Day: What's Mom's Story?

Design Idea B38M Earrings

by Jake Woolley, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

For most of us, we grow up with the idea that Mom has always been there, always been who she is. But what is mom's story? Who inspired her to become what she is? One man describes his journey of discovery to find out more about Mother's Day and what makes his mother so special so he can create a memorable and meaningful jewelry gift for her.

Like many of us, I've given my mom all the typical mother's day gifts over the years--lovey-dovey cards, carnations and jewelry displaying her children's birthstones. Now I get to help my little girls do the same for my wife, but that doesn't mean I'm off the hook with my mom. I still feel the need to get her something she'll cherish, even if the days of macaroni necklaces and handprint cards are long gone. I really want this year's handmade Mother's Day creation to be a meaningful piece of jewelry that's straight from the heart.

Mother's Day: What's Mom's Story?
Mother's Day: What's Mom's Story?

On a visit to my mom's house a few months ago, I decided to sneak a peek in her jewelry box. Sure enough, she still had some of the jewelry we gave her as kids. Most of the designs included birthstones or little boy and girl charms resembling my brothers and sisters. To avoid recreating those gifts, I'm thinking of new ways to show my appreciation by designing something that's meaningful and represents who she is.

For the longest time I figured that Mother's Day was created by a greeting card company and generally focused on the domestic abilities of mothers--boy was I wrong! While doing a little research on the subject, I found that our modern perception of Mother's Day had two different beginnings.

In 1870, Julia Howe wrote the "Mother's Day Proclamation" as a reaction to the destruction from the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. She saw Mother's Day as a day to be focused on peace. Her effort in a "Mother's Day" anti-war observance wasn't widely accepted, but was a step towards the celebrated holiday.

Years later, in 1907, Anna Jarvis held a small service to honor her mother's hard work as a teacher and founder of Mother's Day Work Clubs. As a result of that humble service, the following year a much larger ceremony was developed; triggering widespread recognition and celebration in honor of all mothers. With Anna's persistence for an official holiday and a continual rise in popularity, President Woodrow Wilson proudly declared Mother's Day a national holiday in 1914.

As I better understand the background of Mother's Day, I now have a broader perspective on its meaning. I realize that this holiday is not only a time to appreciate all the nurturing women in our lives, but also a time to reflect on the women that made a lasting impression on our mothers.

Mother's Day: What's Mom's Story?

That's exactly what I did. After a few phone calls and interesting conversations with my mom, I got a better picture of the important women from her upbringing. I figured out their birthstones and, more importantly, discovered details that I could use in my design. For example, I never knew my Grandma Lois was a hair dresser and Great Annie Carol was well-known for her expertise on flower gardens. With this fundamental information, I was now prepared to tell mom's story through my jewelry design, and honor the women that impacted her life.

Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May and the perfect opportunity to express your creativity through a jewelry design that both honors mom and the women that inspire her.

Looking for ways to tell your mom's story? Here are a few inspirational Mother's Day s along with suggested birthstones and popular charms.

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