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Happy Mother's Day!

Oh, Mom!

Mother's Day is one of the sweetest days of year.

It's also the most popular day for dining out, according to the U.S. National Restaurant Association — and the most popular day for telephone calls, when phone traffic nationwide experiences a 40 percent spike.

But the holiday itself has an interesting past that's not about presents and flowers.

Feminist Anna Jarvis founded Mother's Day in 1908 after the death of her mom, a peace activist who took care of wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. Jarvis didn't like the fact that most American holidays honored men, and thought that mothers deserved a day to be recognized.

Her efforts paid off in many ways, not just for mothers, but for retailers across the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson recognized the second Sunday in May as the official holiday in 1914, and the annual event grew wildly in popularity. By the 1920's, mothers all over the country were being celebrated with a flurry of gifts: flowers, candy, cards and anything else mom might want to feel appreciated.

Jarvis, however, was not happy with the commercialization that followed, and set out to destroy the holiday she had created. She boycotted it, held protests against it, and in 1923 even stormed a candy makers convention, where she attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using the holiday to raise funds for charities! She was even quoted as saying that candy had no connection to the holiday (although we're hard pressed to find a mom who would say no to a sweet treat).Here at River Street Sweets, we've always been in the business of giving gifts, and have no problem doing that with our own moms.

Company wide, we have an amazing number of moms to recognize, thank and honor. Among them are our founders, Georgia "Maw-Maw" Nash, a true pioneer responsible for finding our original retail location here on River Street in 1973. She and her daughter Pam Strickland (and then-husband Stan) converted the gift shop into River Street Sweets in 1978. Today, the business is owned and operated by their daughter and son, Jennifer and Tim Strickland.

Jennifer is the proud mom of two sons, Willy and Luis, both of whom have no trouble being sweet to her each Mother's Day.

We love all of our moms here at River Street Sweets, and want to offer a big shout out to each and every one of them — and to all the mothers reading this.

Happy Mother's Day! We hope it's a sweet one.

What are you doing for your Mom for Mother's Day?