May 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Celebrating Mothers

"Use your imagination, not Hallmark, to tell your mom how much you love her and how unique she is"

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.

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Mother's Day has its roots in ancient festivals, including the Greek celebration of Cybele, a sort of Mother Earth goddess who traveled in a chariot pulled by lions and, upon arrival, was greeted with wild music and free flowing wine. The Romans also revered Cybele, honoring her with an annual festival celebrated on the vernal equinox that included games, feasting and a masquerade.

 But Mother's Day as we know it is a more recent invention that evolved primarily in America and spread to other countries, where it took on different meanings, linked to religious, historical or legendary events and celebrated on entirely different days. In the Roman Catholic Church, for example, Mother's Day is strongly associated with the Virgin Mary, while in Bolivia, the day commemorates the women who died in the Bolivian War of Independence in 1812.

 Mother's Day is celebrated in many ways around the world, with cooking competitions and surprise parties in Indonesia and elegant lunches in upscale restaurants in Malta. In China, carnations and lilies—traditionally planted in ancient times by women when their children left home— are presented as gifts, while the Japanese give red carnations and roses.

 In the U.S., Mother's Day started in 1908 as a day to honor one's mother after Anna Jarvis sought to fulfill her mother's dream of creating a way to celebrate all mothers. Jarvis was from Grafton, West Virginia, but she enlisted the help of Philadelphia department store magnate John Wanamaker to help promote it. They were so successful in their endeavor that Pres. William Taft made Mother's Day official in 1914.

 Jarvis eventually regretted creating Mother's Day when it became so commercialized, it was nicknamed a Hallmark holiday, whose purpose was mostly commercial. When Jarvis died in 1948, she openly opposed what Mother's Day had become.

 Today, Mother's Day is one of the biggest days of the year for sales of greeting cards, flowers and other gifts. It's also the holiday when the most long-distance telephone calls are placed and when the highest number of church-goers attend services, after Christmas and Easter.

 But Mother's Day doesn't have to be commercial. In fact, it's easy to thank your mom for all she does with handmade cards, breakfast in bed, wildflowers from the garden and a handcrafted gift – jewelry, paintings, a poem or even a live piano or guitar recital. Use your imagination, not Hallmark, to tell your mom how much you love her and how unique she is.

 Here are a few ways to celebrate Mother's Day in Santa Fe this year.

 A Cooking Class for Two

Thank your mom for all the breakfasts she made for you by treating her to a Special Brunch for Mom, a hands-on cooking class with chef Johnny Vee at Las Cosas Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School on Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Together, you'll learn to make Sweet Crab Eggs Benedict with Red Chile Honey Glazed Bacon, Ricotta Berry Stuffed French Toast, Ginger Cranberry Scones, Lemon Icebox Tartlettes and Mexican Licuados (or smoothies). Yum! Click here for more info.

 Farmers' Market Mother's Day Tea

The Santa Fe Farmers' Market hosts a Mother's Day Tea Party on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday May 13 at the Artisan Market. The event features Annie Rose the Flower Fairy, and begins at 11 a.m. on both days inside the Farmers' Market Pavilion. Click here for more info.

Historic Train Ride

Mother's Day Lamy Train departs from the historic Santa Fe Depot at 11 a.m. and travels to the Legal Tender Saloon in Lamy for a Mother's Day BBQ, returning passengers to downtown Santa Fe at 3 p.m. On the train, you can talk to the attendants about the train's history and enjoy snacks and drinks while you take in the beautiful views of the high desert. Click here for more info.

 Weekend Arts Gala

Passport to the Arts, presented by the Canyon Road Merchants Association, takes place this Mother's Day weekend, with a full schedule of art openings on Canyon Road Friday evening, followed on Saturday by art demonstrations, trunk shows, performances, auctions and the Artist Quick Draw, in which artists have just 90 minutes to create and original piece that is then up for bid in the Quick Draw Live Auction. On Mother's Day, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation offers a tour of some of Santa Fe's fascinating historic buildings. Click here for more info.

 Mother's Day Feast

Treat your mom to a feast in her honor at the Mother's Day Grand Buffet at Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa. Dine on Alaskan crab legs, buffalo strip loin, prime rib and an array of other restaurant specialties prepared by Chef Christopher McLean and served in the rustic ambiance of the resort's dining room or on the patio. Click here for more info. 

 Mother's Day Museum Party

The Santa Fe Children's Museum hosts a Mother's Day party on Sunday, when all moms are admitted for free! Museum-goers are invited to make unique gifts for their moms and enjoy special hands-on activities. Click here for more info. 

Mother's Day Concert on the Green

The Santa Fe Concert Band presents a Mother's Day concert on the Federal Courthouse Green from 2 to 3:30 p.m., continuing Santa Fe's oldest tradition of free public concerts by volunteer musicians. Click here for more info. 

Mother's Day Sacred Music Concert

A concert of sacred a capella music performed by Schola in the incredible acoustics of the Loretto Chapel offers a magical way the evening. The program features music from the Old and New Worlds, including sacred music devoted to the Virgin Mary from medieval and Renaissance Europe as well as Colonial New Spain, and a Gregorian chant setting of Ave Maria The show begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, with a pre-concert lecture set for 6:30 by Billy Turney, Schola's director. Click here for more info. 

 For a full list of Mother's Day events, visit the calendar on Santafe.com:

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