27 April, 2010
What is so hard about Mother's Day gifts?
Today I was in the car and a 'Perfect Gifts for Mothers Day' ad came on the radio. It was from a local company called Vidcam, who I would go to if I needed something techie, something perhaps to do with videos or cameras...
Anyway, their ad went on listing all the 'wonderful' gift ideas they had for Mother's Day, none of which I can actually remember (because in my head I was thinking that would possibly be one of the last places I would shop for a mother) but the last recommended product did stick in my mind. It was... a rubbish bin.
"The perfect gift for Mum". Are they serious?!!!
If a family honestly wants to give their poor mum a rubbish bin, it'd better be full of wine, so that she can drink it and try to forget what the occasion was.
What is it about gifts? Why do we give gifts when so many people seem to have all they need (and perhaps want) and some don't have enough to get what they want so they get what they need (the Bunnings Gift Vouchers that I saw advertised last year as yet another 'perfect gift for Mum' springs to mind)?
I think a gift should show that you care enough to know the person. Even that you've at least tried to know what they might like, and there's reason behind the choice. No gift at all demonstrates that they were not a high priority for you - hopefully not the intention you're going for.
I am a big believer in homemade gifts from kids for mother's day, and am currently suffering from consumerism-itis whenever I have to go to the local shopping centre. I am home a lot these days, and going to the shops and being bombarded with products I know we neither want or need is overwhelming. I find my personal desires are becoming simplified, the things I want have neither popular brandnames or high price tags. I covet originality, resourcefulness, thoughtfulness and care. I have realised I don't want any of the clothes being advertised, nor the jewellery or chocolates or perfume or (God forbid) rubbish bins.
This Mother's Day I'd like harmony in the house. I'd like handmade cards from my kids. Perhaps something small from the fundraising Mother's Day stall at school. I'd like to eat a meal together, recognising how lucky we are to sit at a table together, and no doubt we'll end the day watching Masterchef together, which we are all enjoying at the moment. I wouldn't mind the Julia Child cookbook... but it's not a dealbreaker.
Lately my life has felt out of control, very busy, with lots of balls in the air, some of which I've dropped. I'm not unhappy though! It's my stage of life. The kids are young and there's little free time. But I've decided to stop apologising for it, I will accept help when I can, and I will make time to plan - if only that was a gift that could be wrapped.
What do you want for Mother's Day?