A brief history of Florist's Day

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Q. The day after tomorrow is rather a special day, isn't it?

Q. The day after tomorrow is rather a special day, isn't it?

A. Yes. It's Florist's Day. Well, that's not what it's called. It's called Mother's Day. But it's really Florist's Day.

Q. What happens on Mother's Day?

A. All florists open up early so that men and women and children everywhere can take their mum a bunch of roses on Mother's Day.

Q. Why?

A. So that men and women and children everywhere can, just for one day, express their gratitude for everything a mum does the rest of the year.

Q. What will happen to the roses?

A. They will be given to mum, and then be put into a vase with water.

Q. By?

A. Mum.

Q. So the grateful child doesn't even offer to do the vase for mum?

A. No way. Even on Mother's Day, it's the same old story. Let mum do all the work.

Q. What happened on Mother's Day in the old days, long before there were any florists?

A. Children used to get up at the crack of dawn and go out into the countryside to pick a bunch of wild primroses or snowdrops, and make a posy to bring their mother at breakfast time.

Q. Which she would then have to put into water herself?

A. Of course.

Q. Why did this custom die out?

A. Because the florists came along and went out into the countryside before Mother's Day and took all the snowdrops and primroses and forced people to buy them in the shops.

Q. Is that true?

A. No, of course not. It's because modern children couldn't be bothered to do anything like that, so florists have to do it instead.

Q. Oh. Well, how else can we make Mother's Day a special day for mothers?

A. By taking them to the pub for Mother's Day lunch, a meal whose menu has been available for the last six weeks, put there by the catering firm whose vast vans have already brought round the home-cooked, pre-packed, mass-produced, deep-frozen, portion-controlled Mother's Day lunches.

Q. Oh, dear. Isn't this all a bit cynical?

A. Yes.

Q. How far back in history does Mother's Day go?

A. Right back to the Bible, to the days when, once a year, Jesus would break off his job of saving humanity to spare a thought for his dear old mother, the Virgin Mary, though I am not sure that is how he thought of her.

Q. And how would Jesus have marked Mother's Day?

A. I think he would have got one of the disciples to pop down to the florists to get them to send a bouquet to the old girl.

Q. Could he not have performed a miracle? Like by clicking his fingers and just causing a dozen red roses to appear?

A. No. Mothers are not impressed by miracles. Miracles are too easy. What mothers are impressed by is a bit of hard graft. All year long a mother works her fingers to the bone looking after her family, and the least she expects on Mother's Day is the same in return. Mark you, she never gets it.

Q. O-o-oh, we are cynical today! Why are you so hard-faced and dry-eyed?

A. Because my mother died some years ago and I feel racked by guilt at the thought that I didn't look after her properly then. Oh, mother! I'm sorry I didn't come and see you more often! I'm sorry I got bored when I did visit you! I'm sorry you never heard from your grandchildren! Oh, God! Oh God! I'm so sorry...!

Is your mother still alive? Don't make the mistakes that chap made! Make her a very special person this weekend! Buy lots and lots of roses for her! Shower flowers on her! Get some 'mums for Mum! It'll make all the difference!

This feature has been paid for by Britain's Florists, a wonderful non-profit-making charity. Thank you very much in advance.

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