A flower? A hanky?

So what was it? What did your ward pass out to its mothers/all women on Mother’s/Every-Woman-Over-18 Day?

I had lunch with a friend last Friday, Relief Society president in her ward, who informed the bishop two months ago that her sisters didn’t want another booklet with the story of an impossibly perfect mother. The sisters in her ward wanted chocolate. Period.

Seeing how adamant she still was last Friday, I’m pretty sure that her sisters got their chocolate today.

70 comments for “A flower? A hanky?

  1. our ward gave us cd’s with arrangements of church music. at least it is something that we can use, and something that won’t die….

  2. A pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream for each of us to eat while visiting with each otherduring Sunday school complete with a permanent marker on the table to write our names on it, put it in the freezer, and collect the remaining after RS. We have a lovely Bishop!

  3. A potted salvia and the YW to teach Primary. Wild horses could not drag me into RS on Mother’s Day, so I chatted with friends which was quite pleasant.

  4. Chocolate is an excellent idea. We got one carnation, which my kids destroyed before we got home. I would have rather had something to plant. One carnation looks so lonely by itself.

    But chocolate, that would have made my day.

  5. Wow…I’m still geeking out about the ice cream. Did that REALLY happen? You do have an awesome bishop!

    We got flowers.

  6. Our ward gave out cd’s too. “There is a Green Hill Far Away” arr. Lyle Hadlock.
    The Primary children made an outer wrapper for large Hershey’s Symphony bars to give to their mothers.

  7. Chocolate bars. My wife refused to stand up for the giveaway (she hates it) but went up to a youth later and grabbed a bar.

  8. A CD in our ward, too. My wife doesn’t do Mother’s Day, but the bishop gave me one to take home to her.

  9. Our ward did small bags of chocolate. Lucky for me my wife was in a sharing mood and gave me a few Hershey kisses during SS… and yes I just realized that I needed to add the word Hershey.

  10. It is not what they gave out but what I received that made the difference for me this Mother’s Day. We attended two large wards in the Philippines: one handed out a single pink rose and chocolate cookies; the other handed out nothing. What I received during both meetings was a new understanding of the Atonement and of forgiveness and repentance in relationship to mothering. Now that all my children are grown and have families of their own (and are awesome people, I must add) I continue to deal with feelings of guilt and regret at my own ineptness (is there such a word?) as a mother. My belief and frequent saying is that Heavenly Father looked now on me and my husband and said, “Oh brother. I better send those two the very best I have. They are going to need all the help they can get.” He did. We did. And I am finally, thanks to something that clicked in sacrament meeting, coming to terms with my own imperfections and their impact on the people I love. One of my best Mother’s Days yet!

  11. A box of gourmet truffles, handmade by a couple in the branch (with a note describing each variety of truffle and its ingredients).

  12. My husband wants to know why women get flowers and chocolate on Mother’s Day, but men get booklets admonishing them to be better fathers and husbands.

  13. hershey’s chocolate bars wrapped in tissue paper. i don’t know why 3 musketeers isnt in the budget or why they were wrapped.

  14. A chocolate truffle elegantly wrapped. Pretty good, but it can’t compete with a pint of ice cream.

  15. Our ward has a tradition of getting pies from Marie Callendars so the women can have pie during Relief Society. A few years ago for Father’s Day, they passed out Big Hunk bars. I don’t know what they’ve done for Father’s Day since then, since we almost always go to my parents’ house that weekend.

  16. We too got The Testaments DVD. Actually a very nice meeting (and I really have my antenna out on this). We had a missionary homecoming and the Primary kids sang. First Mother’s Day ever I wore flowers. Lots of people did double takes and a few even asked me about it (since I have made such a deal over the years about not celebrating Mother’s Day. Hey, I’m a Mom and grandma, and I think a reasonably good one, I’m not oppossed to Praise or gifts, just Mother’s Day!) Anyway the flowers were from my “Best Guy” who gave them to me Friday night at the opening of the very last museum exhibit I will ever do. It was a bittersweet evening. He gave me flowers at my first opening and at the opening of the RS Sesquicenntenial exhibit 15 years ago and Friday night as the last. It seemed like such a waste not to wear them today, Mother’s Day or no.

  17. Marjorie: It looks like a great exhibit (I linked to a local abc news story about it over at ExII). I wish I were in Utah to enjoy it. Will it be running through the summer?

  18. Russel Stover Chocolates (the little four-piece boxes).

    On Father’s day last year, they gave out M&M bow-ties (a package of candy with a long ribbon wrapped around the middle).

  19. See’s chocolate wrapped up prettily; carnations for those who can’t have/didn’t want the chocolate.

    We also had an “open mike” Sacrament Meeting where anyone who wanted to could come up and spend 2 minutes talking about anything Mother’s Day related. It actually worked out really well.

  20. A potted flower. My wife loves planting flowers and is allergic to chocolate so we were happy.

  21. Granny B’s cookies. Our bishop had been told that the previously given flowers weren’t cutting it (they died, though potted, before long).

    On Father’s Day last year, they gave out fresh baked Cinnamon rolls.

    It’s a good ward.

  22. One of the best Mother’s Day meetings I ever remember (well the only one I remember clearly and distinctly, actually) was when a woman in our ward spoke about accepting and loving all family members and learning to get along with no matter what. She is the daughter of a man who left his wife and children (including her) to become a polygamist, so we all knew that it wasn’t just groundless theory she was spouting off.

    My own son in college drew my own very short graphic novel of our family as Brothers Karamazov. (My son’s joke is that while we don’t have the illegitimate son, I did neglect to have Alyosha, the saintly son, and am left with two imperfect sons, and he listed various debacles they have been involved in. ) It was actually very funny.

  23. A single long stemmed red rose for each child they have.

    I cannot believe there are people out there getting Haagen Dazs and See’s Candies!!!

    It was a great meeting though – completely mom centered without being syrupy.

  24. One carnation. So could have used chocolate, but I learned my lesson last year: I advocated chocolate in ward council, and they put the YW (i.e., me) in charge of it. Ruined everything.

    Side note: we had a recently returned missionary speak too, and she did a great job. After the first talk on mothers and their influence, then we had this wonderful example of the daughter of a single mother who was just glowing still with that “I loved being a missionary and you all should go too” while she testified of Christ. Glad my YW were there to see it.

  25. We got CDs too–the Lyle Hadlock “There is a Green Hill Far Away.” What’s up with that? Were they on sale or was there some kind of Church-wide push to get good Sabbath music to the sisters? I’m sure I’ll like it (haven’t listened to it yet), but I was surprised to see that other wards had gotten the same thing.

  26. Booklets with a talk by President Hinckley. I haven’t read it yet but I don’t think it’s particularly about motherhood. I find that a good choice. We also had yummy muffins and fruit during RS, which was attended by almost all the women and young women in the ward today (the high priests ran Primary, I hear).

    Relief Society was so amusing. It’s been more than 3 years since I attended. I forgot how far off people can go when they’re not focused on teaching the youth.

  27. Ice cream=best idea

    cinnamon rolls, choose your own bag of gourmet chocolates, and two other handouty type things=overdoing it (IMO) but still another reason why my ward is great.
    Best part? Being in the RS for the hour instead of Primary!

  28. A single chocolate AND a CD, “For the Beauty of the Earth” by Mark Geslison & Geoff Groberg. The Bishop announced over the pulpit that it is soothing music, good for putting into the player after getting cut off in traffic, or when the kids become unbearable. We poped it into a CD player in the library and listened while passing out chalk & erasers, crayons and pictures. I’m impressed. Hey, last year we got just the single chocolate. It’s the best Mother’s Day gift I’ve gotten from any ward I’ve ever been in. The music “has been arranged and performed on traditional acoustic instruments”. Mostly LDS hymns as well as other sacred music. A real keeper.

  29. Our ward handed out chocolates individually to all the women. I thought it was a little weird, and messy, because I didn’t totally feel like eating my chocolate right at that moment, but my three-year-old was trying to rip it from my hand so I ate it and tried to enjoy it. The ward I was in last year gave out small tomato plants; it was heavily populated by older ladies with gardens. I actually enjoyed my little plant as well, even though I only had a small apartment.

  30. FoxyJ,

    Ahh, yes. The ward-to-mother-to-toddler transfer of candy on Mother’s Day — it’s an annual celebration in many wards. With practice, it can also involve further transfer of chocolate from toddler’s fingers to mother’s blouse, skirt, and hair, as well as the upholstery on multiple pews.

    And I should note that I was just talking about you last week (sort of) in the church hallway — a random discussion with someone in the ward turned to blogging, and it turns out that he’s Ben’s cousin and a sometime reader of Ben’s blog.

  31. Chocolate and “Testaments” DVD.

    I became weepy during the Primary singing because this is the first Mother’s Day since my mother passed away last June — their singing took me back to when she taught me those songs when I was that age.

  32. ward gift=small, potted flowery plant.

    bishop’s gift=teenaged daughter spoke in sacrament meeting. Scary, but it turned out making me look much better than I deserve.

    family’s gifts: my husband and even my kids gave me really nice thoughtful gifts and notes and letters.

    best gift= Sam relieved me of all my home AND church responsibilities–his wonderful tradition–making Mother’s Day the only Sunday that’s actually a day of rest for the mom of a toddler on up.

    I feel very spoiled, indeed.

  33. Well…nevermind. I just spent ten minutes crafting the most lovely tribute to my wonderful husband (who far outdid my potted flowery thing) and it got dumped. But at least I’m not in outer darkness…yet.

  34. I rescued your comment from the Akismet spam filter, Alison. I don’t know why the filter likes (or dislikes) some people more than others — it really does mostly catch spam. (Hundreds a month, sometimes). It uses a bunch of algorithms that are supposed to spot likely spam. For some reason, it sometimes seems to think you look like a spammer.

    When I have a spare moment (um, never?), I’ll try to set up a whitelist that will get you (and other frequent mistaken targets) past Akismet.

  35. We handed out ham sandwiches. There was food left over from yesterday’s activity. In Europe, Mother’s Day is more low-key, I think.

  36. I absolutely despise it when they take the sisters out of Primary to go to RS on Mother’s day. I always choose not to go, and sometimes even stubbornly stay in Primary.

  37. This is the first Mother’s Day that I am actually a mom. I got lotion. It was a very nice tiny bottle of lotion, which my daughter promptly stole and sucked on.

    Sometimes being a mother is wonderfully funny.

  38. Deborah–Thanks for your kind words about the new exhibit at the Church Museum. It is pleasant, interesting and most important, significant. It is only the second time in my lifetime (that I am aware of) that the RS minute book from Nauvoo has been on public display. This is a uniquely important document for LDS women everywhere. It is the precedent and guide and constitution of the RS according to JS.

    Part of the title panel says–“At the founding meeting of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo on March 17, 1842 Emma Smith declared, We are going to do something EXTRAORDINARY. Since that time Latter-day Saint women have been involved in ordinary, extraordinary activities and events. The sum of these events have and are creating a remarkable legacy of sisterhood, service, and expanding opportunities, all within a framework of sacred covenants. ”

    This exhibit will be open through January 2009. To you, and any other blogger here, I would like to extend an invitation for a tour by me, if you come before I retire at the end of July. Call me at 801-240-4649. It would be nice to meet any of my fellow bloggers out there, “in living color.”

  39. #29: ‘A single long stemmed red rose for each child they have.’

    That strikes me as a horrible idea–a minefield for everyone who doesn’t have 6 living children. Mother’s Day is bad enough without rubbing it in like that. (I guess you can tell I wish they’d abolish the whole thing…)

  40. The women in our ward received See’s chocolates, which I think are very much appreciated. The odd box with coffee centers? Not so much.

  41. a box of four chocolates, curiously not made by Russel Stovers, the big chocolate company in town.

  42. Here in the Netherlands, all the women got a heart-shaped candle wrapped in a box decorated and handed out by the primary children.

  43. We got a LARGE bar of chocolate, with a quote taped to it. In RS, they had a brunch with all of the women in the ward (men substituted in Primary). It was fun, but I am way jealous of the ice cream!

  44. I was part of a RS presidency that lobbied hard for chocolate (wilted carnations are just down right offensive… being single is bad enough). Last year it was king size Snickers and this year it was king size Hershey’s. Not bad considering there are only 4 mothers in our ward (YSA, of course).

  45. A few years ago, the Elders quorum gave a sizeable donation to the local women’s shelter in the name of the women of our ward. They also handed out beautiful (and inexpensive) bookmarks to all the women. I thought it was the best idea I had ever seen. But, several women, including the RS president felt slighted (what, all we get is this crummy bookmark) and they went back to chocolates and flowers. So sad.

  46. We got geraniums in pots to take home and plant. They left them on tables in the foyers to pick up as you left church. That way you don’t have to lug the plant around with you for two hours, and the people who don’t want it don’t feel obligated to take one. Good distribution idea.

  47. I named and blessed my daughter for mothers day, my other daughter gave her first talk in primary. They asked my wife to speak and bear her testimony on the spot because a speaker did not show up. All the talks were on families being together forever. They gave out CDs.

  48. Each adult woman got a Lindt truffle bar, but they didn’t have to stand to receive it. Instead, all the men and children were excused to their various destinations while the women stayed in the chapel for opening exercises to the 2-hour RS extravaganza. The chocolate was distributed by the young men and young women, and after a few remarks by the RS pres, the group retired to the gym for socializing and goodies (save the truffles for later). The last hour was spent in the RS room for the lesson.

  49. #15/16,
    Amen to that! When I was an active member of the LDS church, I found it irritating that Mother’s Day always included a sacrament meeting which extolled the universal near-perfection of mothers, and then Father’s Day always included a sacrament meeting making fun of earthly fathers (or, as in your case, directly criticizing/chastising them) and going on about how perfect *Heavenly* Father is. One bishop simply ignored Father’s Day, assigning talks that would have been given on any other Sunday.

    I think this is symptomatic of a larger phenomenon in American LDS-ism, however. It is common, even in general conference talks, to hear men deprecated, and women extolled. Bizarre claims are made, suggesting that (all) women are inherently “more spiritual” then (all) men. Perhaps it’s a way of expressing discomfort over patriarchy, but still, I’ve got news for these people. A pair of ovaries is NOT the equivalent of a Urim & Thummim!

  50. Marjorie: It’s almost worth the trip just for that — I am an unabashed devotee of R.S.’s illustrious history. I’ll call if I’m in town — maybe we could put together a group of women bloggers for a private tour . . .

    Thanks for your efforts on this exhibit!

  51. we received bath and body lotion – full sized, but then our sweet r.s. president brought us sees chocolates on a silver platter. now that was nice.

  52. Wow! Of course in England we had ‘Mothering Sunday’ some weeks ago on March 18th. (Traditionally the 4th Sunday of Lent in the Liturgical Calender). Primary takes charge but it is quite low key. After the Sacrament is administered a few minutes are given over to the children to sing their little song and as each child leaves the stand they were given a flower – a daffodil – to give to their mother. Some years only mothers of Primary children received anything, sometimes all mothers in the Ward are given them. Seems to depend on the philosophy of the Primary President. This year the Primary workers came down with the children with extra flowers and made sure all mothers received one.

    A plus of havin a different date to the USA is that the missionaries serving in England usually get two ‘Mothers Day’ calls home – one on the UK date and one on the USA date!

  53. Deborah–
    I look forward to hearing from you–and any other bloggers (before the end of July).

  54. OK Kaimi, after looking at your bio now I know which cousin it was. They’re cool people, it must be fun to be in the same ward. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

  55. #59 Nick Literski* : “then Father’s Day always included a sacrament meeting making fun of earthly fathers…I think this is symptomatic of a larger phenomenon in American LDS-ism, however.”

    Nick, this isn’t just us. It’s everywhere and has been for a long time. My father was griping about this in the early 70s. It\’s so insidious no one even notices anymore.

    The other day I saw about 4 TV commercials in a row where a black middle-class father was depicted as a blithering idiot. Ah, I thought, we’ve finally achieved racial equality. /sarcasm

    FWIW, my husband griped at me about the death of Father’s Day chocolate, also.

    *Former denizen of A.R.M. who remembers Nick fondly, and Nomad less fondly.

  56. We were served chocolate chip cookies and milk (chocolate milk, too! Yummy) in the gym during the last half of RS. Awesome.

  57. So, does this mean that in the “ideal ward” I would be forever punished by being forced to leave primary to go to RS on mothers’ day? Why doesn’t the bishopric ask the ladies “Would you like to go?” rather than forcing us?

  58. You guys’ wards must be rich. I think it’s very important for women to get nice girl stuff once in awhile. I’ve thought this since Bill gave me my first diamond ring for our last anniversary. I don’t think it’s a want, I think girl stuff is a need.

    Our ward gave a flower because we don’t have much money. We have 110 sisters in our ward, and if only half came to sacrament (typical)–and we did CD’s, that would be, what–at least $250. I don’t think we can afford that, but I’m going to bring it up.

    I love the lotion idea, small perfumed soaps and bubble bath would be cool, as well. I like your ward’s idea, too, Paula, about the pies. But how would the sisters in YW and Primary get some? One year our young women and men taught the primary and YW classes, so all the sisters could go to Relief Society. I loved that idea. Although, I suppose those who don’t like Relief Society could go sit outside in the shade and just have a good time. Play games like that bean game where you tell stuff that nobody else could have done like ride a camel.

    I was thinking, along with the Testament CD’s, the bishop could admonish the husbands and kids to rub the mom’s feet and gently fan her while she watches it.

    Our ward always gives better stuff to the men on Father’s Day. Because women are better at it. The favorite thing the men got were huge cinnamon rolls. Men love getting food.

    I’ve always hated Mother’s Day, just dreaded it. But I think next year, I’m going with the foot rubs and fanning.

  59. FoxyJ,

    It is a small world. I almost fell over when Jacob started talking about “the blogs.” It became clear pretty quickly, though, that he wasn’t talking about the bloggernacle sites I usually visit. In any case, I’m sure we’ll have future discussions of blogging now. He’s got a very different perspective than I do, so it should make for a good discussion.

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