Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mother's Day Gifts: A How-To Guide

I just returned from buying Mother's Day cards, and I'm so eager to pontificate on the subject of Mother's Day that I had to sit down and write it now.

First of all, this day is a big deal.  BIG deal.  It's not just a token day.  I'm preaching to the choir on this one, but trust me if you don't already feel this way.  It's big.

You don't have to be far along into motherhood to understand what a tremendous thing your mother did by birthing or adopting, loving, and raising you.  No matter her shortcomings or failings, because even the best mother is still human, your mother is worthy of praise and respect every day, and especially on Mother's Day.

Fathers and sons:  This is a big deal to your wife and mom.  She probably cooks your meals, washes your clothes, cheers you when you're down, praises you when you're up, and does a hundred other things for you of which you may be unaware.  You are *it* in her eyes.   So spend a little time and thought and thank her!

I am a big believer in letting your loved ones know what you like.  I'm not shy about coming out and telling my husband exactly what I'd like, whether it is a monetary gift or not.  So go ahead and tell them!

Here are my ideas.  I am not quite an arbiter of good taste, but I think I'm reasonably well informed!

The New Mother or Mother-to-Be:  Jewelry.  It's time to ante up, big boy.  If your wife is giving birth to your child, especially your first child, she deserves a precious metal or stone.  This does not have to cost a fortune; you can get a nice necklace or earrings for under $100.  A pair of pearl earrings, a necklace charm, or a nice, engraved silver bracelet would be a wonderful gift. This is probably the most disposable income you'll have for a while, so go for it!

The Mother of Babies and Preschoolers:  Special keepsakes are what I treasure.  Here are some things I love:
* a special picture of your children with mom
* hand impressions of little ones
* photo books
* beauty services (hair, nails, spa certificates)

Anything that involves careful thought will be a wonderful gift.

The Mother of School Aged Children: I believe this is the beginning of the chauffeur years.  Mom's driving, scheduling, and doing a lot.  Here are some thoughts:

* a market tote (to carry all her stuff.  and your stuff.  and their stuff.)
* an updated Ipod play list (the modern mix tape)
*anything personalized.  You can never go wrong with monogramming.

The Mother of Teenagers:  This mother is hanging on for dear life.  She needs to laugh and vent.  Some suggestions:

* Comedy DVD (A chick flick or comedy special)  My favorites are Sinbad, Anita Renfroe, and anything by Jane Austen or the Brontes made into a movie or mini-series.  It's a lock.
* A Kindle or Nook
* A preloaded Starbucks card (really loaded... not just $5).  The woman needs to flee sometimes.
* A detailed (custom cleaned, vacuumed, and scented) mini-van.  She's been driving that thing for a while now and it has lost some swagger.
*Tickets to a show.  Your kids can watch themselves for a few hours.  It won't kill you to sit through a musical.  And no smart remarks.

The Mother of Young Adults:
* A weekend away (Bed & Breakfast certificate or even a mini-cruise)  She's made it.  Your offspring are in relative stages of self-sufficiency.  Now is the time to celebrate.
*A letter of thanks.  By this I mean sitting down and free handing a serious letter recalling specific examples of qualities you are thankful for in your wife or mother.  This could be the most precious thing you give her if you will take the time and energy to do it right.

The Grandmother:  This woman has come full circle.  She is reaping the rewards of her investment.  This should be a slam dunk.
* Anything you would give a young mother-- keepsakes of the babies! 
*Anything that says her special grandmother name: Nana, Grandma, et cetera.
* Time.  If you do not live in the same town, schedule a long weekend visit soon.

The Aunts and other Special Women in your life:  These ladies need to be remembered.  They have mothered and celebrated you, too. Don't forget to buy them a card with a personalized note (not just Love, Me) and include pictures and drawings.  Flowers never hurt, either.

Some links:
Things Remembered for monogrammed keepsakes
Pandora Jewelry
Kindle and Nook
Apple Pie Ridge- great B&B in North Georgia
Chateau Elan- luxurious North Atlanta getaway with spa for her and golf for him
The Fox Theatre

Don't forget:  Buy or make a card now-- one from you and one from the kids.  No joke cards from husbands.  Plan something special, whether is is pancakes in bed, a nice brunch, or a purchased gift.  Or all three!  Go wild, go overboard, go crazy!  She loves you and she is worth the fuss.  Tell her!

And all of God's people said, "Amen." 

Blog Shout-Outs:

Love you, Mom!   I know you are enjoying your hard-earned reward!   Miss you Nanny and MaMaw!  Thank you, Deanne, MIL and Grandma, who did an excellent job with your sons and I'm reaping your hard work!  All my aunts: Susan and Debbie who treat me like their own daughter, Jan and Kris who adore our kids-- love and thanks. Great-Grandma Beverly, you are such a spunky grandma!  My sister, Natalie, who is the best aunt to Jeremiah and Sarah--we're so lucky to have you. 

We love you all. 


Laura and Boone said...

yeah!! you will have to do a follow-up post and let us know what alex got you. i am taking mmy mom (and sis) to the blue ridge mountains for a girls getaway!! and i got boone's mom and pandora bracelet LOL!! i fit your advice perfectly!!
happy mother's day to you!

Jennie said...

AMEN! I think I might send this link, not so subtly, to the man of the Sheppard house. ;) Love it, Melissa!