If you were to believe the advertising campaigns that have reached fever pitch this week, come Sunday I’m going to be hanging around in some cartoon-print pjs, fluffy slippers on my feet, while tucking into some supermarket choccies. Urghhh.
I am a mother but I refuse to be pidgeon-holed by marketing. And I know I’m not alone.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for Mother’s Day – and Father’s Day for that matter. We SHOULD get a day where we are put up on a little (most probably handmade) pedestal.
It’s just that gift-giving should be more than a cliche. On Mother’s Day and any special occasion.
I really do fear that the men who are responsible for Mother’s Day gift buying (and let’s face it, it’s not as if they’ve been to the shops yet … hey, there are three more shopping days to go!). Is it their fault that they are seduced by what the clever marketers say we mums want to unwrap on Sunday?
No. It is not.
So in the interests of defying a cliche, I offer these tips for the male gift-buyer in your house. Why not send him the link via email? You may just thank me for it.
1. We love bling. Only buy though if you’re confident you understand our style. If not a voucher will be very welcome. The same applies to clothing and handbag purchases. I do find that very specific hints (ie, a weblink or photo landing in their inbox) do work wonders for any of these categories. Outside the square suggestion: a voucher for a session with a personal stylist!)
2. Buy her something she’s actually interested in. Tickets to the footy are perfect only if she spends all weekend sitting on the couch next to you wearing her team’s jersey. Apply this principle to everything from music, to DVDs, concert tickets, theatre tickets and books. Outside the square suggestion: set up the lounge room for a DVD afternoon, complete with hot chocolate and popcorn … and let her watch her favourite movie or DVD series in (relative) peace.
3. We know you like to buy us underwear and we do like pretty smalls. It’s just that you’re idea of the type you think we’d like and what we actually do can vary greatly. We like sexy, not skanky. Oh, and check our size. You need a number and a letter for the bra.
4. Thinking of buying her perfume. Don’t go random on this. Check out what she actually wears. If she’s getting low, then replace; if not, let the sales assistant know what her favourite is and they might suggest something similar.
5. We do like all things beauty product wise but for a gift we want it to have a pretty factor as well – or be something from a skincare or makeup range we already can’t get enough of. Check her beauty cabinet for clues. Outside the square suggestion: book her a session with a makeup artist.
6. I’m a sucker for champagne. A little bottle of the French stuff will go a long way. Trust me.
But perhaps, most importantly:
Ask her want she really wants from Sunday. For most mums, it’s not about the gift. It’s about being made to feel special and being given a little bit of time to chill out and enjoy her family. For me that’s a sleep in, a lovingly cooked breakfast/brunch, a work-free afternoon and some precious, new memories.
I would love to hear about the best gift you’ve ever received? Or how you are spending Mother’s Day. Leave a comment below.