Personally I have always shied away from buying gifts on the fixed days that are designated for such gestures. I have always felt that spontaneous presents work more magic as they are unexpected surprises and can be bought when a good opportunity arises. Somehow I have never been able to shake the feeling that a gift is devalued when there is a set date involved. I start questioning myself and wondering if I am being generous or merely conforming to expectations.
Special Day or Any Day?
I often wondered if my parents detected my ambivalence. Were my Mother’s Day and Father’s Day treats sincerely given or was I splashing out because not to do so would look bad? Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to treat them and I always made a big effort to purchase or to arrange something truly special, I just wasn’t happy with being told on what day to do it!
A Good Thing
Like it or not there is a Mother’s Day and I suppose that this is a good thing after all, if only to prod busy youngsters into action. Without the specified day some people may never get around to thanking their mother which would almost certainly be a cause for regret when they have gone. So the question is what would make for the best Mother’s Day gift?
A Precious Gift
Listening to Mum’s, the answer is actually quite simple and costs nothing. What mum’s want most is time. Time with kids who have flown the nest or time to do something that isn’t a chore when the youngsters are still living at home. In other words they want their kids to show how much they appreciate them by putting them first for a day. One day without washing clothes, ironing, cooking and cleaning because the kids are dealing with everything or one day with the kids because they have made the effort to come home.
Mums also cherish receiving cards with personal messages of thanks for everything they do. It really is the thought that counts and a few words can mean the world. Having said that, I do think that at least a modest gift is in order for Mother’s Day. I am sure that most mums would be unconcerned about the monetary value of the gift as long as it is something that has clearly been the result of careful thought. The gift should be something which is special to them because it reflects their tastes and interests. Sometimes an extravagant gesture can miss the mark because it just isn’t personal to the recipient. I know that my mother was always delighted if I found her a book that she had been searching for.
I think that of all the gifts that I ever bought my mother, the one that meant the most was a telescope. Not so much because she was desperate for one, but because she was touched that I had remembered her telling me that she had always wanted one when she was a child. However, I think she was even more pleased that each Mother’s day I made the effort to visit her. She didn’t really need a telescope but she did need to know that I cared.
Article by Sally Stacey