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And Just Where Would We Be Without Our Mothers?

05/10/07

Motherís Day: The Forgotten History
It began with the ancient Greeks, became a voice for peace, and now receives near-universal recognition
by Craig Weatherby

Mother Jones (Mary Harris), fighter for the downtrodden
The idea behind Mother's Day has roots among the ancient Greeks, who kept a festival dedicated to Cybele, a great mother of gods, around the vernal equinox, observed today on March 31.

The Greek tradition was adopted by ancient Romans, who moved the celebration to the Ides of March (March 15 to March 18). Ancient Romans also honored their mothers on the feast day of Matronalia, which was dedicated to Juno, the goddess of childbirth.

The predecessor to todayís holiday was first envisioned after the American Civil War by English social activist Julia Ward Howe, with the purpose of uniting women against war.

But it was the efforts of Philadelphia woman Anna Jarvis -- never a mother herself -- that led directly to broad celebration of Mother's Day.

Ms. Jarvis came up with the concept on the first anniversary of her mother's death in May, 1907, and actually trademarked "Mother's Day" in an attempt to defend, unsuccessfully, against rampant commercialization.

In 1914, President Wilson issued a National proclamation establishing the holiday: a watershed moment that made flower stores, candy makers, restaurants, card makers -- and, one hopes, many mothers -- quite happy. Everyone that is, but the modern holiday's creator!

While Motherís Day grew to its current proportions largely in response to a persistent marketing push, mothers richly deserve a day dedicated to honoring their sacrifices ... no matter how the holiday came about!


The preceding article comes to us courtesy of Vital Choice Seafoods - Dr. Myatt's number one choice when it comes to healthy, delicious, high omega-3 eating!


Please don't forget Mom this Sunday, the 13th of May - really - where would you be without your mother?

Mother's Day: Why Flowers are Still The Perfect Gift

By Dr. Myatt

Ever wonder why people send flowers for just about every occasion you can name, from births to deaths, weddings to divorces, sickness, love, apologies and yes, Mother's Day? After all, flowers seem like such an extravagant gift. You can't eat them (for the most part), most aren't medicinal, and after a week or so, they wither and die. Yet for thousands of years, humans have spent untold amounts of time and money cultivating these fleeting natural beauties. There has been no explanation for this "wasteful" behavior until recently, when scientific studies uncovered at least part of the reason for our fascination with flowers. With their artful palette of colors, shapes and scents, flowers appear to induce powerful, positive emotions in the human species. And since most humans are "positive emotion junkies," well, we just keep going back for more.

In one study, women always elicited the Duchenne or "true smile" when presented with flowers. The increased positive mood could be measured for three days or more after presentation. In another study, a flower given to men or women in an elevator elicited more positive social behavior than any other stimuli. A third study showed that flowers given to participants aged 55+ evoked positive moods and improved memory. Researchers conclude that "Flowers have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory for both males and females." (Author's note: how do people find jobs like "flower researcher" and where can I apply?)

I'll admit it, I love to send flowers to friends and family for any occasion and sometimes for no occasion. The delight it always seems to bring them is unmatched by other gifts I work a lot harder to find. Aside from their joy, the next best part of sending flowers is that I can choose, order and send people-pleasing bouquets from the convenience of my easy chair by using an online florist. My favorite online service offers hundreds of arrangements by occasion, price, color - you name it. I can add balloons, chocolates, fruit, cookies, teddy bears, wine and cheese or even spa gifts. I love it - customized flower and gift-giving nirvana without ever leaving home! My online florist has always given me excellent service (in the U.S.), and their prices are better than anything I've found locally. As an added bonus, most arrangements can be delivered the very next day (this has saved my bacon more than once, when I suddenly remember a birthday, anniversary or other important occasion at the last minute)!

Bottom line? I'm willing to wager that flowers will never go out of style as "the" gift of love and remembrance, and I'll be sending my mom a healthy dose of same for Mother's day. Have some fun window-shopping at my favorite online flower shop, because life's too short not to stop and smell the roses! Send Your Mother Flowers Now!

References:

Why Flowers are Still The Perfect Gift

1
.) An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers. Haviland-Jones, Hale Rosario, R. McGuire, Evolutionary Psychology 3: 104-132, 17 April 2005.
 

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