Giving Gifts on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day, as we know it today, with breakfast in bed, cards and presents, is a relatively young event, but the celebration of mothers and mother-figures dates back to ancient times.
Whilst the tradition for giving gifts on Mother’s Day was well established in other parts of the world, it didn’t begin in Australia until 1924 when Mrs Janet Heyden, a resident of Leichhardt Sydney, started a campaign to collect gifts for lonely mothers.
Mrs Heyden often visited a friend in hospital. While at the hospital she was struck by the number of patients who were lonely ageing mothers. Janet began campaigning for people to donate presents. School children and local businesses generously donated all sorts of goodies to the mothers.
Then Janet thought, why stop at them?
Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in over seventy nations around the world.
A Gift for Mother
The following is an excerpt from the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on Mother’s Day, Sunday 9 May 1954 sharing Mrs Heyden’s story.
A little old lady living in Petersham looks on Mother’s Day with something approaching possessiveness.
She visited the ‘Sun Herald’ to ask, “Do you know who started the idea of gifts for Mother’s Day?” She answered her own question: “Little me” she said stabbing her chest with a forefinger. ‘Little Me’ is Mrs. J. Heyden. She could be anything from 70 to 75. In fact she is 86 and very proud that few people realise it.
Mrs. Heyden thinks the stores that sell Mother’s Day gifts are not being fair to her about Mother’s Day. Not that she minds the “way it has become commercialised like a second Christmas. But they say the gift-for-mother idea was their own,” she said. “It wasn’t; it was mine.” Mother’s Day when most of us were children meant the wearing of a white flower – a tribute thought up by a school teacher in Canada.
Now it means installing mother as queen for a day – gifts, and the family doing the chores so that [mother] can put her feet up and lap up family worship for one day of the year.
Who fixed it that way? Why, Mrs. Heyden, she says.
It all started 30 years ago. “I was on the committee of the Home for Destitute Women and Children in Strathfield,” Mrs. Heyden recalls. “One of the patients was transferred to the Newington State Home, and I used to visit her. That was when I decided something should be done to brighten the lonely lives of the mothers there. I organised gifts for them on Mother’s Day. Even a little remembrance like hairpins (they wouldn’t be much good these days, would they?), a hankie or a cake of soap meant a lot to people like that.
Then I thought, why stop at them? So I appealed to the public through the newspapers to remember the mothers of Sydney. The gifts started to pour in. The late Alderman Dyer, who was Mayor of Leichhardt, used to drive me around to the old mothers of the district with my gift parcels. For seven years in succession the appeal through the newspapers made sure that hundreds of mothers who would otherwise have been forgotten received a Mothers’ Day gift. It was wonderful. Today, of course, a gift for mother is just the natural thing.”
~ A Gift For Mother (1954, May 9). The Sun-Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1953 – 1954), p. 54. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from Trove – National Library of Australia.
Adopt a Koala from Billabong Zoo this Mother’s Day. Show mum you care with a special Koala adoption and support Billabong Zoo in its vital conservation work. All adoptions receive an Adoption ePack containing a photo and bio of your chosen Koala; certificate of adoption; a paw print of your chosen koala; and subscription to quarterly newsletter.
Bird & Earth
A personal gift of love for your mum.
Bird & Earth Natural Skincare
Let mum cosy up with a warm cuppa this Mother’s Day. A cup of TEA is a cup of PEACE. Dessert First Cookie Gift Packs. Yum! What a perfect gift for mum.
Local pickup from Lake Cathie.
Natalie O’Donnell Photography
Let’s Celebrate Mum!
Not sure what to give Mum this Mother’s Day?
How about a Gift Session from Natalie O’Donnell Photography for a children, family or portrait session. Or just purchase a Gift Voucher and let Mum decide!
Natalie is also offering a limited number of Mother’s Day Mini Sessions. One weekend only, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd May 2021.
Port Macquarie Day Spa
Is Mum ready to relax and feel renewed?
Purchase a Port Macquarie Day Spa Gift Voucher for Mother’s Day.
Self-care is as important as caring for the family. With this in mind Port Macquarie Day Spa have created three special Mother’s Day offers, which are available to purchase as a gift or enjoy yourself! 💝
Offer expires 09/05/2021
The Seed Creative Workshops
The Seed Kids Art Kits for Mother’s Day are a great way for the kids to make a special handmade gift and card for Mum or Nanna, in the comfort of their own home. Or join the Mother’s Day Paint & Sip pARTy at The Seed; the perfect gift for your creative Mumma!
Have a tea lover in the family? World Par-TEA have a lovely selection of Mother’s Day Gift Hampers made to order. Each beautifully gift wrapped with gift card and free local delivery; extra for postage.
World Par-TEA package and blend over 220 hand-blended loose leaf teas, tisanes and infusions that are ethically sourced from around the world. World Par-TEA also offer a delightful range of tea related accessories and gifts. Learn more about World Par-TEA.
Shop locally to discover local retailers unique to our area and the numerous locally made products crafted on the Mid North Coast.