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?


  1. Marissa7:33 pm

    Hi Anna! I'm with you on the mother's day wish list with hand made cards & treasures at the top of mine.....my favourite is the "vouchers". I love the amount of thought that our little cherubs put in to completing the blank "service" (last year's examples included "1 x clean the loo" & " 1 x play with bubby so Mum can read some of her book"....so lovely!). Happy early mother's day to you. xx

  2. Anonymous10:13 am

    I know that place you're in! That's where I live! We must be neighbours... I sensed your closeness. I say patience is a virtue, this place is crazy busy but NEVER boring, days fly by here like comets and a good mother's day present is truly thoughtful whether in action or object . I have tossed lots of out of date perfumes but always held onto every butter spotted, painstakingly scrawled message of love from the bairns and big fella. One of the best was a great brekky followed by a long rose petal bath with my favourite music and book, AND then he took the kids out so I could enjoy! True thoughtfulness!

  3. P.S. Having said that a little Elk jewellery never goes astray.....

  4. Also who wants a rubbish bin when she spends half her time BEING a rubbish bin or coffee table.( ie. holder of used or still to be finished item of food, drink or misc. interest) !!!

  5. Thanks for all these lovely comments - they are drowning out all the awful, consumeristic mother's day ads for me!

  6. Seriously, a rubbish bin?! rofl!! That ad was born in desperation, surely?

    In the UK we already celebrated Mother's Day back in March, I got beautiful hand-made cards and lots of loving hugs - and also a beautiful necklace! And those things were exactly what I wanted :-)

  7. Every father's day, while we eat our meal, I lead a conversation that entails naming out everything we like about Daddy (my husband). It is precious as we get most things listed and the kids start saying things like, "Well, he has a very nice beard." I only wish my husband would do that same for me. That is what I would like for Mother's Day -- to hear nice, heartfelt things about myself, there I said it. Not that I don't know they love me, but wouldn't it be wonderful to hear the specific things that are good?

    My mother is impossible. But I get what you mean and that's why I have such a hard time with people who ask for ideas for Christmas gifts. By the time I make a list -- or ask my husband for a list -- I may as well get it for myself. I'd rather get something THEY would like me to have. Nobody ever seems to get that, though.

    Great topic!

  8. Too right Anna. My head nearly fell off as I was ferociously nodding in agreement. With all of it. From rubbish bins to harmony in the home. Great post, so glad I stopped by.


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