Beyond the macaroni necklace: Mother’s Day


Here in the United States, unless you’ve been living in a hole, you know that Mother’s Day is this Sunday (and if you forget, you’ll soon be hiding out in the doghouse, LOL).

Most of us are affected by Mother’s Day in one way or another: if we aren’t moms ourselves, we each had a mother, obviously, at one time.  Some of us are fortunate enough to still have our moms around to celebrate the day, even if it’s just a long-distance phone call.

image via

Also, we have friends who are mothers, or are trying to become mothers – who would give anything for one of those macaroni necklaces.  We see the nauseatingly-sappy commercials for flowers, jewelry, and greeting cards.  We can feel the estrogen pulsing through the tv screen.  Ooh-rah!

Mother’s Day – cha ching!

It’s no surprise that Mother’s Day is a big money-maker.  Here are some stats:

Flowers:  According to the U.S. Flower Industry, Mother’s Day fresh flower/plant purchases make up 25% of their yearly dollar volume (the same as Valentine’s Day!).  According to one source, we spend $1.9 billion dollars on flowers – just for Mother’s Day.

Greeting Cards:  According to Hallmark, Mother’s Day is #3 in card-sending occasions, and Americans send 133 million cards.  Huh?  The government census says there are only 85.4 million mothers in the U.S.  Hmm…where are all the extras going?

Eating Out:  The National Restaurant Association ( reports that Mother’s Day is the most popular occasion to dine out, even surpassing Valentine’s Day.  An estimated 75 million Americans go out to eat on Mother’s Day.  I don’t know about you, but takeout is looking pretty good right now.


How did we start down this road?

Mother’s Day as an organized movement began in separate places – Boston and New York – by Julia Ward Howe and Ann Jarvis, respectively – after the Civil War, as a “Mother’s Day of Peace.”  The goal was to bring together mothers from opposing sides of the war, women who had the common bond of grieving the loss of their sons.  While it was celebrated locally, it wasn’t a widespread movement at this point.  Later, it started to gain ground and lost its anti-war overtones when it was taken up by Ann Jarvis’s daughter, Anna, who successfully worked to get it established as a national holiday.  Below is a copy of Woodrow Wilson’s official proclamation, published in The New York Times on May 10, 1914:

As you can see, we’ve gone WAY beyond flying the flag for moms!

For more history, check out:

Mother’s Day Central

The History of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, U.S. (wikipedia)

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share a favorite recipe from my mom.  It was originally called “Sherry Chicken” – but then came to be called “Sherry Chicken Mumsey” when the recipe got re-copied by a friend.  The name stuck.  It’s from a cookbook that my mom had hand-written and given to me as a moving-out gift when I was a young adult.  The book is now really battered (almost literally, haha), with a broken spine, torn and stained pages, and the cover long gone, but I still use it regularly.  Enjoy!

Sherry Chicken Mumsey


3 whole chicken breasts, skinned and split

 1.5 sticks of butter or margarine

2 cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

3 large jars sliced mushrooms, undrained

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup cooking sherry

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste

hot cooked rice


Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.  Rinse chicken, pat dry, place in pyrex baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Melt butter in medium saucepan, stir in remaining ingredients (except rice) until blended.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.  Serve chicken and gravy over rice.

What are your plans this weekend?  Any traditions or gatherings with family that you do?  I’d love to hear from you!

I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day – with your mom, as a mom, or honoring a special woman in your life.



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19 thoughts on “Beyond the macaroni necklace: Mother’s Day”

  1. PatriciaPatricia

    Interesting history of the origin of Mother’s Day. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anyone put out the American flag in honor of this special day, but I think I’ll go fly mine proudly this weekend!

    Thanks for sharing the history, the recipe and the adorable momma picture with her baby. Too, too cute!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  2. susielindaususielindau

    Greeting cards have become so expensive! I agree about the macaroni necklace. It is really about taking a moment with your kids or you mom or if you are lucky like I am, both!
    Great historical perspective too!

  3. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Sherry Chicken Mumsey! You had me at the name!
    I like the flag simplicity, but I also like that when mother’s day rolls it means I don’t have to do any housework. 🙂
    And of course getting the notes from my kids-that’s the best.

  4. Renee Schuls-JacobsonRenee Schuls-Jacobson

    We have a tradition I’d like NOT to have repeated. Hubby always forgets to remind Tech to do something for his mommy. *ahem*Read:me! I really DO believe it is up to the daddies to model this behavior for their children. So while Hubby and his brother take the entire extended family out to brunch on Sunday after they have golfed 18 holes, it doesn’t teach our boy to do/make anything to celebrate me. I just politely reminded him about this discussion we had on my birthday. Same principle. Hopefully this year, I’ll land a card. Or maybe they’ll raise the flag in my honor. That’d be awesome.

    • Gloria RichardGloria Richard

      Hey, Renee!

      To me, 18 holes of golf for the men, leaving me by myself is a gift. Just saying…

      In re: Mother’s Day Cards. My BIL pulled off one of the most memorable Mother’s Day experiences for his kids. They went to the store after church. He had the kids select Mother’s Day cards and made my SIL stand at the front of the store while they did.

      They ran up to her, cards in hand, and asked if she liked their selections. She did the appropriate “how nicey nice” thing. Then, BIL said. “Good. You like them? Okay, kids. She liked your cards. Put them back, and we’ll take Mom to lunch.”

  5. ReettaReetta

    Interesting look at the history of the day, Kathy. In my opinion the best cards are the ones kids make themselves. I got my first ones this year and they were so cute.

    Happy Mother’s Day to everyone 🙂

  6. Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

    I love it! This is my first “cognizant” Mother’s Day. The first year, we were having the baby that day and the next year, we were getting over the death of our last parent. This year, we’re gonna PARTY!!

  7. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Love the look back on Mother’s Day and where it came from. 🙂 Our weekend was a mix of traditional celebrating and new traditions celebrating in new ways. All in all, it was wonderful! I hope YOUR day rocked! Thanks for the fabulous recipe – sounds delicious!!!

  8. Nancy LauzonNancy Lauzon

    Hey Kathy,

    Great post, and that recipe sounds delicious, I’ll have to try it. I love anything with sherry — I make a nice pork tenderloin with it. Hope you had a great mother’s day!

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