384 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
We have national holidays, we set apart special days for the honour of saint and patriot, but, without an enactment of Congress or official authorisation, we may privately follow the pretty custom, and do honour to the dear household saints, than whom none surely are more worthy our most loving homage.
So thought a certain family in an American city not very long ago.
During the day mysterious parcels were left at the door, merely addressed to "Mother," which upon investigation were found to contain gifts from each of her children, accompanied by loving messages and fond little notes that are likely to be long cherished.
The happiest kind of a "surprise party" met at dinner, which included all the sons and daughters, married or single. The "consorts" did not appear, but only those who owned themselves "her very own," and all did their best to make the occasion a happy one.
At each place at the table was a name-card, upon the reverse side of which some quotation in praise of motherhood was written, and these were read aloud in succession.
"A mother is a mother still—the holiest thing alive."— Coleridge.
"God cannot be everywhere, so he made mothers."— Arab Proverb.
"Her children arise up and call her blessed."—Proverbs, 31-28.
Before leaving the table, the eldest son proposed the toast:
"Mother! God bless her!" and all arose, glass in hand, to pledge her to long life and happiness.