Though it Mother’s Day wasn’t an official holiday until 1914, we’ve been celebrating mothers for centuries. These days, we shower Mom with cards, crafts, gifts, meals and most importantly, love.  Read on to find out more fun facts about the history of Mother’s Day and where some of the traditions came from.

The most popular Mother’s Day gift is a card

Whether it’s handmade with love and TLC, or  hand picked with her in mind, the majority of us gives Mom a card to mark the day.

There are 85 million mothers in America

At least, that’s according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau estimate. Other interesting findings from the Pew Research Institute found that the majority of today’s Mothers work outside the home and spend less time on housework and chores than they did over 50 years ago.

Carnations have a special connection with Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis, who encouraged President Woodrow Wilson to declare Mother’s Day an official holiday, started the practice of wearing a carnation to honor our Mothers. Traditionally, pink and red carnations are used to celebrate Mom while white honors Mothers that have passed away.

The average age for first-time mothers in the U.S. is 26.3 years old

According to the CDC, American women are waiting longer to have children. In 2000, the average age for a first-time mother was 24.9 years old. In 2014 (the most recent year for which this data is available), the average age was 26.3 years old.

Woodrow Wilson officially created Mother’s Day in 1914

After much persuasion from an activist named Anna Jarvis, Woodrow Wilson officially declared that the 2nd Sunday of every May would be Mother’s Day. In his first Mother’s Day proclamation, Wilson stated that the holiday offered a chance to “Publicly Express” our love and adoration for the mothers of our country.

France used to award medals to mothers of large families

We all know that Mom definitely deserves a medal. And in France during the early 1900’s, she might have actually gotten one! The country began awarding medals to mothers of large families in gratitude for helping rebuild the population after so many lives were lost in World War I.

  • Mother’s Day accounts for one-fourth of the flowers purchased for holidays. About one-third (32%) of adults (37% of men; 27% of women) bought flowers or plants as gifts for Mother’s Day.
  • In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.
  • Approximately $14 billion dollars is spent on Mother’s Day.