Happy Mother’s Day!
A few weeks ago, I was thinking about what sort of flowers to send to the mothers in my life. In doing so, I started researching the deeper significance behind many types of flowers. Doing so really made me think about my own mother and my wife, Michelle, and all the things they mean to me. So, in honor of the holiday, I thought I’d share a few of the things I learned with you.
Carnations – especially white ones – are often seen as the official flower of Mother’s Day. The reason for this has to do with the very origins of the holiday. In 1907, a woman named Anna Jarvis began writing to many prominent figures of her time. Teddy Roosevelt was one, and Mark Twain, too. Her goal was to proclaim a national day for recognizing mothers. She then organized local Mother’s Day celebrations in her community and encouraged people to write letters to their mothers. As part of her efforts, she sent five hundred white carnations – her own mother’s favorite flower – to all the women in attendance at her local church. The tradition caught on and spread around the country. These days, carnations represent purity, love, beauty, and kindness. They represent the emotional connection between a caring mother and a loving child.
Azaleas symbolize womanhood in some Eastern cultures. In China, they are also known as the “thinking of home bush." That's because they were often featured in traditional poetry to represent a longing for one’s family and the warmth of home. Given that Mother’s Day is a day to not only think of home but call, write, or visit home, I think they make a great holiday flower!
While the azalea symbolizes womanhood, the daylily specifically symbolizes motherhood. In ancient times, women hoping to give birth to sons would wear daylilies. By tradition, sons would also give their mothers daylilies as a birthday gift to show their love and gratitude. And that’s what Mother’s Day is really all about, isn’t it?
Bluebells don’t have any specific connection to Mother’s Day, as far as I can tell. But they are still popular flowers because they symbolize peace, calm, humility, and reliability. I know many who would say these are the very traits they love most about their own mothers, so they’re also a
good choice for the holiday!
Like some other flowers on this list, camellias have a long history in countries like China and Japan. In many cultures, they represent adoration, gratitude, and never-ending love. These are just the feelings, I hope, that most of us feel for our wives, mothers, and grandmothers.
Finally, we have daisies. These bright, colorful flowers represent cheerfulness and happiness. Given how hard many mothers work to instill these feelings in their homes, I think that makes them a great Mother’s Day gift, too.
As you know, it’s traditional to give flowers for Mother’s Day. Learning more about these types of flowers gives us a chance to think not only about their deeper meaning but about what our mothers truly mean to us. They give us a chance to reflect on the relationships we have with the mothers and mother figures in our lives. To recall the specific traits and gifts our mothers have that we most appreciate. And when we choose a specific flower, rather than just choosing one by default, we can even let our mothers know what it is about them we are most grateful for. I’m so grateful for my mother and Michelle. So, this Mother’s Day, when I look at the flowers in people’s gardens, an arboretum, a florist’s shop, or wherever, I want to take the time to think about what they mean...so I can better appreciate what my own mother means to me.
On behalf of everyone here at Antoine Williams and Associates Wealth Management, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day!