NEW YORK (AP) — Please, no flowers for Christy Turlington Burns this Mother's Day. No chocolates and no last-minute, convenience-store cards, either.
A handmade craft from her children would be OK, but mostly what she wants is to have a conversation about the important role that mothers — and grandmothers and great-grandmothers, too — play in families and in larger communities all over the world.
"I never was more appreciative of my own mom and all the other moms out there than when I became one myself," said Turlington Burns, a model, businesswoman and documentary filmmaker, whose children are now 6 and 8 years old.
Her No Mother's Day Mother's Day is a way to draw attention to maternal mortality, the cause at the heart of the Every Mother Counts advocacy campaign she founded in 2010. It's also a way to get back to the basics and, hopefully, cut through "all the noise" that now comes with a holiday that the National Retail Federation estimates will come with an $18.6 billion price tag in spending by Americans this year.
Typically, Turlington Burns said in an interview Wednesday, she "goes through the motions" and sends her own mom flowers, although that's lately morphed into a living plant that can go in her garden.
Turlington Burns worked with her husband, actor and director Ed Burns, to create a short online social-issue film. She recruited Jennifer Connelly, Kelly Rutherford, Ann Curry, Blythe Danner, Debra Messing and Dayle Haddon, among other famous and not-so-famous moms, to appear in it.
Pretty much everyone she asked to participate did, she said. "I had a few people that said, 'Good. I hate this holiday and I can say I'm not participating.' Some people have a negative feeling toward it, and I think it's because of all the commercialization."