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The founder of Mother’s Day didn’t want you to celebrate it like you probably will

Mother’s Day creator Anna Jarvis grew to despise her own creation.

A few years after Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day in 1908, she grew to despise her creation.

In the video above, Adam Conover of TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything goes through why the founder of Mother’s Day didn’t like the holiday she helped create. "Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day to honor her own mom," Conover explained. "And she was horrified when greeting card companies adopted it, and started using the holiday to guilt people into spending money. But by the time she realized she created a monster, it was too late."

At Mental Floss, Jonathan Mullinix wrote about one example of just how much Jarvis grew to dislike Mother’s Day:

Years after she founded Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis was dining at the Tea Room at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia. She saw they were offering a "Mother’s Day Salad." She ordered the salad and when it was served, she stood up, dumped it on the floor, left the money to pay for it, and walked out in a huff. Jarvis had lost control of the holiday she helped create, and she was crushed by her belief that commercialism was destroying Mother’s Day.

Of course, this is an issue that now runs through all holidays, from Cinco de Mayo to Christmas. But it’s striking to see the founder of a holiday grow so disappointed in it.

So if you want to honor Mother’s Day as its founder intended, show your mom how much you care for her — but skip the Hallmark card and flowers. As Conover noted, "It’s also a good excuse if you just plain forgot."


Watch: What is motherhood? Our moms explain.