Almost 100 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as an annual holiday to recognize one's mother.

Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia, was the driving force to have this day set aside. Her idea of a simple note or card to show appreciation has catapulted over the years to a major gift giving extravaganza. Even so the spirit of what she was trying to accomplish has stayed true to the day. For example, more phone calls are made on this day than any other all year long.

Over the years, special gifts and cards have been created to celebrate Mother's Day. Many of these mementos and gifts have become collectibles and could serve as a gift once more for a mom who loves a keepsake from the past.

Such companies as Lladro and Precious Moments have made figurines that have long caught the eye of the sentimental collector. To step back a little further to the World Wars is to see satin-fringed pillows with poems dedicated to mothers. Such missives as:


There's a dear little house inviting

In a dear little place I know.

And a welcome is always waiting

When to that little house I go.

For there lives the dearest lady

The sweetest I have ever met.

And to-day, if I cannot visit,

Dear Mother, I don't forget."

Now I ask you what mother wouldn't shed a tear receiving such a gift from a son in the service?

Besides figurines and pillows, there are china cups and mugs with "Mother" inscribed on them. Also in the china line commemorative plates such as those issued by Royal Copenhagen, Bing and Grondahl plus Haviland have long honored Mom. Prices for antique china is somewhat depressed in today's market so a bargain is possible in this venue.

Jewelry from another era dedicated to "Mother" has also caught the eye of many a collector. One such example is a brass pin that spells out "Mother" - it can be plain or it may have a mother-of-pearl heart or two dangling from the inscription. Yesteryear charms, pins, pendants and rings designed from a wide assortment of stones and precious metals are also items coveted by those who look for Mother's jewelry.

Whether it is a collectible or a new purchase the sentiment of appreciation behind the gift is what counts with Mom.

Jean McClelland writes about antiques for The Herald-Dispatch.


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