celebrate Mother's Day (Photo: Miodrag Gajic; Getty Images )

When Julia Ward Howe wrote her Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870, she encouraged women of all nationalities to band together to support peace and end the carnage of war. At that time, the United States was recovering from the devastation of the Civil War, and Howe hoped that mothers everywhere would use their power to ensure that no other sons of mothers would die in battle.

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Howe’s idea was adopted by a number of local women’s groups, and they began celebrating an annual day dedicated to motherhood and peace. In 1908, almost 40 years after Howe’s proclamation, Anna M. Jarvis initiated a campaign for national recognition of Mother’s Day—originally to honor her own mother. Jarvis started by getting her mother’s church to institute Mother’s Day, and she worked tirelessly at the local, state and national levels until President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into law in 1914. That’s how the second Sunday in May came to be known as Mother’s Day in the United States.

Today, people in more than 250 countries around the world celebrate their own form of Mother’s Day. And while the dates and activities are different with each country, the underlying idea is the same: to appreciate and celebrate our mothers.

Wondering how people in the U.S. like to celebrate Mother’s Day, I searched the Internet to find favorite Mother’s Day activities. What I found was pages of polls, mostly from local newspapers and television and radio stations, asking people to vote for their favorite Mother’s Day brunch spot. When did taking Mom to brunch become popular? I did my own informal poll of friends and family, and for us it’s traditional to begin Mother’s Day by serving Mom breakfast in bed. After all, Mom works so hard throughout the year, taking care of all of us, and she deserves to be pampered on her special day. And, really, who doesn’t love breakfast in bed?

This year, pamper your mom (or the maternal figure in your life) by creating a gourmet breakfast and serving it to her in bed. It’s a wonderful way to begin the Mother’s Day celebration, and to remind our moms how special they really are.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate Mother’s Day? Share your Mother’s Day activities with us on Facebook, and you could win a delicious fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements—a delicious way to show Mom how much you love her.