The earliest celebration of Mother's Day can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who honored Rhea, the mother of the gods. In 1600, the early Christians in England set aside a holiday to celebrate and honor Mary, mother of Jesus. By religious order, the holiday was expanded to include all mothers, and the day became known as Mothering Sunday. Here in the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by this British celebration.  

The first American Mother's Day was observed on May 10, 1908. A few years later, on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring the second Sunday of May to be observed as Mother's Day. At the ceremony that day, there were large containers of white carnations set on the platform, and when the proclamation was signed, one white carnation was given to each person as a souvenir of Mother's Day.

I love Mother's Day, and I am so blessed to still have my mother with me—she is my best friend in the world. No one understands or loves me more than my mom, no matter what crazy thing I did when I was growing up. Even now, I still go to her with my harebrained ideas on all the things I want to do next!

A Real-Life Hollywood Love Story 

My mother married my father when she was 14 and my dad was 24 years old. Yes, it's true. I've heard the story so many times growing up that it has become a movie in my head, filled with wild drama, romance, scandal, intrigue and families at odds with one another.

During World War II, my father was stationed in Italy, where my mother was born. They met in the city of Pisa, where my grandmother and mother were living. My grandmother, who was gorgeous, was attending a dance with her family that the G.I.s held on Saturday nights. My grandmother brought my mom with her that night, and as my mom sat listening to the jitterbug and watching everyone dance, she caught the eye of a tall, dark, extremely handsome young G.I. with wavy, black hair. She was instantly smitten!

I'm still a little spotty on how she managed to sneak a dance with my future dad, but by the time my father left for the States after the war, he took his young bride with him and left behind a family divided. I could write a novel about what happened after that fateful dance—it's the kind of story you only see in old Hollywood movies. But this wasn't Hollywood—it was real, and they stayed married for 63 years until my poppa passed away less than a year ago.

Learn what it was like for Cristina growing up with her mother


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