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 NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- While the tradition of

celebrating Mother's Day is not even a century-old, families from New York to London to Hong Kong will once again say "thanks" to Mom this year with sweet tokens of affections, such as baskets of candy, bouquets of flowers and breakfast in bed.
 According to a recent survey, conducted for the National Confectioners Association (NCA), nearly one-in-five Americans will express their affection with confection this Mother's Day, pushing candy sales to a record $323 million. Furthermore, the survey finds that of all gifts teens will choose to buy, one-in-three will give Mom confectionery.
 "Giving candy to Mom as an expression of love and gratitude is an American tradition," said Richard T. O'Connell, president of NCA. "Now, with the growing awareness that many confections are actually lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than most people realize, candy can be a very enjoyable part of an active, healthy lifestyle," O'Connell added.
 The Birth Of Mother's Day
 Mother's Day did not start off as a gift-giving holiday, but rather a ceremonial day for Mothers to receive recognition. The birth of this holiday is attributed to Anna Jarvis, a West Virginia schoolteacher, who wanted to honor her mother on the anniversary of her death. The first Mother's Day celebration was on May 10, 1908, in a ceremony attended by 407 children and their Moms, where each mother was given a red carnation.
 The idea for a nationwide holiday was immediately accepted and four years later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
 What's The Perfect Present For Mom?
 Now is the time to start planning for a gift worthy of Mom. Since creativity is key to making Mother's Day extra special, here are a few innovative ideas to earn that special place in her heart:
 -- Create a "coupon book" of favors. On colored index cards inscribe "empty the dishwasher," "take out the garbage," "help cook dinner" and other tiring tasks Mom would rather not do after a long day. Staple the cards together or punch holes in the cards and hold them together with yarn. (Remember -- no expiration date!)
 -- Give Mom a gift certificate for a manicure, facial or massage, especially if these are little luxuries Mom would not normally treat herself to. And, if the price is too high, make it a "share present" among other members of the family.
 -- If you want to buy Mom flowers, try it with a new twist -- go for a bouquet of chocolate roses. These come in dark chocolate, white confectionery and other mouth-watering assortments.
 -- Create the "Mother's Day Healthy Candy Basket." Pick up a wicker basket at a local five-and-dime or gift shop. Fill it with gourmet jelly beans, a sampling of sour balls, lollipops, red licorice twists and gummy products. These are all fat-free candies that Mom can enjoy guilt-free.
 -- Bake chocolate cookies, but instead of dropping them on the cookie sheet with a spoon, shape the dough into the letters M-O-M.
 The "Sweet Truth" About Mother's Day
 Part of enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle is eating foods in moderation and not being deprived of favorite treats. To help Mom enjoy her Mother's Day "sweet treats," send for the "Sweet Truth About Confectionery" brochure, produced by the National Confectioners Association. It contains nutritional information, a "confectionery quotient" quiz, and lists the fat, calorie, cholesterol and sodium levels of popular confections.
 To receive the free brochure, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
 "The Sweet Truth About Confectionery"
 450 Park Avenue South
 New York, N.Y. 10016
 Crazy Confectionery Tid-Bits:
 -- One-in-five Americans will buy Mom confectionery this year.
 -- One-in-three teens will give Mom gifts of candy for her special day.
 -- Mother's Day confectionery sales will reach $323 million this year.
 For Our Special Moms:
 -- Americans will purchase approximately 10 million bouquets of flowers, exchange 150 million greeting cards, and spend $323 million on confectionery this Mother's Day.
 -- More than half of American kitchens have microwave ovens, but on Mother's Day these machines have the night off as 30 percent of all families go out for meals on Mother's Day
 Famous Historic "Moms"
 -- The founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, a West Virginia schoolteacher, lead the first Mother's Day celebration on May 10, 1908,
 -- According to a New England legend, "Mother Goose" was Elizabeth Goose, born in 1665, who was the stepmother of 10 children, bearing six of her own with husband Issac.
 -- "Old Mother Hubbard" can be traced back to a popular cartoon figure in the 1500s and was modeled after the 8th Century French martyr St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters and dogs, who died in a hunting accident.
 -- A Mom who deserves extra special thanks on this day is Dorothy Gerber. On a summer evening in 1927, Gerber asked her husband to strain peas for their baby so she could get dressed for dinner. Her husband managed to strain only a tablespoon of peas and spread the rest all over the kitchen. After that she figured the Gerber family's cannery business could also make food for babies. Dorothy Gerber was correct and went on to educate the nation through radio interviews, conventions and store openings on the convenience of baby food.
 -0- 4/29/92
 /CONTACT: Marie Mascola of Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, 212-951-5445, for the National Confectioners Association/ CO: National Confectioners Association ST: New York IN: FOD SU:

PS -- NYFNS4 -- 4133 04/29/92 07:33 EDT
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Date:Apr 29, 1992

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