A recent survey by the National Retail Federation says families are spending more than ever on their Mother’s Day celebrations this year. The national average family expenditure is a staggering $175 dollars in gifts. That is up from $162.94 in 2014 and is the highest amount in the NRF survey’s 12-year history.
So, what are people spending their money on? What is Mom asking for? For many folks, it is really hard to get a realistic idea of what Mom actually wants. You ask her preferences, and she’s bound to say something selfless, like,
“Oh, hon, I don’t need anything. You’re my best Mother’s Day gift of all.”
LISTEN UP: THIS IS NOT TRUE. Okay, granted, you are your mother’s “most precious gift” (well, you and your siblings are). BUT ON MOTHER’S DAY, YOU STILL NEED TO GIVE YOUR MOTHER AN ACTUAL GIFT.
So what if Mom demurs and says she doesn’t want anything for Mother’s Day? She is, in fact, secretly pining for a gift. (Trust me. It’s true.) She would really like a special, thoughtful gift.
Everything you know about buying Mother’s Day gifts is wrong. The Christian Science Monitor warns against giving Mom three of the most frequently-purchased Mother’s Day gifts:
Heartfelt, or ho-hum? Here is the shocking reason why not to buy these perennial (pun intended) presents: many mothers are actually not that crazy about getting variations on those same “popular gifts” year after year. According to CSM,
“[i]n fact, our survey reveals that only 62% of moms were fully satisfied with their gift last year. That means 38% of moms were either “somewhat satisfied” or “not satisfied” at all. “
Danger, Will Robinson. So apparently, choosing a Mother’s Day gift is fraught with peril. You have a nearly four-in-ten chance of disappointing your mother (and this time it has nothing to do with your fashion sense, your musical prowess, or your first-round elimination at the county spelling bee). So what *should* you choose?
Read the lifestyle blogs and magazines, and you won’t discover many good ideas,* other than the discovery that you are too poor to give her the $2,000 Peleton super-duper stationary bike that apparently mothers really want, and you discover that you don’t want to be the lame gift-giver who wraps up cosmetics, or a skin-care set, or (ugh) a practical car emergency kit as a gift, either.
“Here’s what you ought to do…” How about we let AllSpice owner, Rory Brown, give you some unsolicited, but heartfelt, advice?
Rory says: “Whether it is your mom, your spouse, your mentor or your best friend, there are a handful of important people in your life. People who have helped shape the person you are today, need to know how special they are to you. Everyone needs to hear that.”
Two of Rory’s favorite gifts to recommend (and based on what we’ve seen in the shop, they are customer favorites, too) are the “Olive You” apron, on its own ($25), or with a bottle of Olive Oil in the Wear It gift box ($43).
Rory continues, “Giving a gift that is specific to the recipient’s talents, tastes, and hobbies shows that you’ve paid attention to what they’re doing (when they’re not paying attention to you), and that you find it interesting in some way.”
With that in mind, for the aspiring pastry chef, or the mother with an incurable sweet tooth, the Bakin’ (Lovin’ From the Oven) Box ($24) or the Sweet Things Box ($24) always make great Mother’s Day gifts. This also is the perfect symbolic gift for someone who has a sweet, sweet temperament.
“If mom is more of an outdoorsy cook, or if she’s someone who prefers the main course to the dessert course, then maybe the she needs the BBQ Box ($36) or Splash($20), Moo ($24), or Barnyard ($24) boxed spice blend set.” according to Rory.
“It’s finally the season for working out into the garden, and so many of our customers are finding fresh spring produce now that the Downtown Farmers’ Market is open, then a thoughtful surprise for a gardener or a fan of the farmer’s market would be one of our delicious olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
“A good pairing for those early-season greens would be the Eureka Lemon Olive Oil ($17) and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar ($14.50), — Herbes de Province Olive Oil ($14.50) paired with Peach Balsamic Vinegar($14.50)… or if it’s hard to narrow it down to a single pair, put together a “pick-4” package and give her more choices.
“We also have a growing assortment of books to accompany our ingredients, too. The Tale As Old As Time book covers our oils and vinegars and the Busy Cook’s Guide to Spices is a great reference for people wanting to learn more about how to use spices.
The gift of shared experiences, past, present and future. “Finally,” Rory says, “if you want to make that gift extra special, come in and we’ll help you create a one-of-a-kind box of your (and her!) favorite things to give it to her, perhaps ingredients that remind you of meals or cooking projects you have done together. Or make new memories together! Use some exquisite ingredients, throw in a liberal handful of love, and cook her a wonderful meal.”
*Pet peeve from the Grammar Lady. You may also discover that news outlets that don’t know the difference between plural nouns (moms) and singular possessives (mom’s? MOM’S? Seriously?) may not be smart enough to give you good information and ideas about buying something thoughtful for the person who gave you life and raised you and everything.