gift label with stamped word mum on it
Photo: The HK Photo Company

Every year we hold a celebration for that very special person who loves us the most, our dear mother! Mother's Day is revered all across the globe, and like many countries, Australia marks the day every year on the second Sunday of May. This is our opportunity to say a profound thank you to this wonderful person who brought us into the world, and who has given so much of herself to us!

Many traditions help us make this day so special for our mothers. One of the most beautiful and popular traditions is to bring her flowers for Mother's Day, a beautiful and fragrant testament to our undying love and respect.

There is another custom involving flowers that is unique to Australia, the wearing of a carnation. If one wears a colored carnation such as pink, red, or yellow, it means that your mother is still alive. If you wear a white carnation it means that your mother has passed away, white being a symbol of heavenly purity and grace. This lovely tradition is a way to honor one's mother in life and remember her after she has gone to rest.

mother and daugther hugging and a gift card for mother's day

How Mother's Day Gifts Became a Tradition

The presentation of gifts to mothers on her special day in Australia is thought to have begun in 1924 when a resident of Leichhardt, Sydney, Mrs. Janet Heyden began making visits to the patients of the Newington State Home for Women. The hospital was the home and refuge of a large number of abandoned mothers, many of whom had lost their sons in the First World War, and who now had no one left in their lives to love or give their love to. 

The philanthropic Mrs. Heyden gathered gifts and homemade food from the community to give to these otherwise forgotten mothers, brightening their day and instituting this act of kindness as an enduring national tradition.

The tradition began by Mrs. Heyden added another layer to Australia's version of the Mother's Day celebration by honoring not just our own mothers, but also step-mothers, mother figures in our lives, female relatives like aunts, the mothers of family friends, as well as strangers in need of love and affection like the residents of Newington Home. 

Many charitable organizations work with the media and the community to raise awareness of issues that affect women, in particular mothers in need of help, on Mother's Day and collect donations to aid their cause. The feeling in big-hearted Australia is that no mother should be alone or in poor spirits on this special day.

  • When is Mother's Day in Australia?

It's the case that Mother's Day in Australia isn't a national holiday, but since it always falls on a Sunday many people have the day off. Children in particular mark the day by attempting to be on their very best behavior, making their mother's breakfast, doing some extra chores to help out around the house, and making special handmade gifts for her.

young mother hugging two kids and mother's day gift

5 Unique Mom-Approved Gifts for Mother's Day

  • DIY Spa Kit in a Basket:  Create a basket filled with homemade bath bombs, sugar scrubs, or face masks using natural ingredients. Include cozy slippers, a luxurious eye mask, and calming essential oils.  You can personalize it further by adding a handwritten coupon book for massages or pampering treatments you can give her at home.

  • Handwritten Recipe Book:  This heartfelt gift takes time and effort, but it's a treasure for moms who love to cook. Gather her favorite recipes from family members, friends, or even handwritten notes she might have. Include anecdotes, memories associated with each dish, and photos if possible. You can have it professionally bound or create a beautiful digital recipe book.

  • Constellation Jewelry with a Special Message: Pick out a necklace or bracelet with a constellation charm that holds special meaning to your relationship with your mom. It could be her birth sign, a constellation significant to shared memory, or one representing a quality you admire in her. Pair it with a handwritten card explaining the meaning behind the constellation.

  • Plant a "Mom's Memory Garden":  Choose a selection of flowers, herbs, or small plants that hold special significance – her favorite color, a plant from her childhood home, or ones known for their symbolism like resilience or nurturing. Plant them together in a pot or garden, creating a beautiful and meaningful space that will grow and flourish throughout the year.

  • Record a Family Song or Video: Gather siblings, cousins, or even extended family to create a song or video message dedicated to your mom.  You can write a new song, put a funny twist on a classic, or simply record heartfelt messages expressing your love and appreciation.

Let's conclude..

In closing, I would just like to urge all of you who are still wearing a colored carnation to never miss this chance to thank your mother, and for those who wear the white carnation to find other mothers who need some love to reach out to. Happy Mother's Day!