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Mother's Day: Gifting Etiquette for Mom and Mom-like Figures in Your Life

Mother’s Day. It’s the time to honor Mom, of course; but for many of us there are other people in our lives who fulfill that caring role.

Who are the special “mothers” in your life? This is a perfect time to stop and acknowledge the supportive and nurturing role they play. It’s a way to say, “Thank-you. I appreciate all you do for me.”

Do you recognize anyone on this list?

  • SL_motherday_WOYour aunt who took you to the theater, ballet, movies or book store when you were young and introduced you to some of the finer things in life. Let her know you how special those outings still are to you.
  • Your grandmother who ALWAYS sends you a card with a check on your birthday, no matter how old you are.
  • The mother of your best friend from high school whose home and dinner table you spent countless nights at as a teenager. Let her know you remember how she made you feel like part of the family.

Mother’s Day is also a wonderful time to recognize other moms you’re thinking of.

          For example:

  • Your sister-in-law with the brood of four kids all under the age of six. How does she do it? Let her know you’re thinking of her and that you’re impressed with the formidable task she’s pulling off everyday. Send her: Chocolates, a beautiful scarf, wine, bubble bath, or flowers.
  • The woman down the street who recently lost her son. Let her know that you’re thinking of her during what will be a very painful time.
  • Your mother-in-law who defies all the stereotypes by being one of your best friends.
  • Your good friend who’s expecting her first baby after years of trying. Remind her to enjoy eight-hours-in-a-row of sleep while she still can. Send her: an eye pillow or heavenly scented flowers.
  • The mom whose son is stationed in Iraq for a 12-month tour. Let her know you’re thinking of her. Better yet, purchase Mother’s Day cards and send them to soldiers in remote areas so that they can send Mom a card.

Peggy Post’s Top Tips for Picking the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift:

Trust your judgment.

Forget about being afraid the gift isn’t “perfect.” If you think the person will like it, chances are she will.

Stick to your budget.

Spending more than you should takes the fun out of gift giving. There’s nothing more stressful than overspending—and feeling uneasy about it.

Buy it when you see it.

If you’re shopping in July and see a sweater that your mother would love, buy it. It may not be there when you’re shopping for the occasion.

Sentimental gifts never go out of style.

Get a digital picture frame and load with great pictures of your family. Write a poem. Get a mushy card. Send her flowers, the number one Mother’s Day gift choice.


Chipping In for Mom

For Mother's Day, my siblings and I usually give a group gift. This year, we want to get Mom a dishwasher, but our older brother thinks that's too expensive. How can we get him to chip in?

Of course you love your mom and want to give her the very best but in these challenging economic times, your brother may have a point.  For him, a pricey gift just isn't in his budget and you and your siblings need to respect that.  Time to regroup with your sibs, establish a contribution level that isn't putting anyone in a tight spot and then choose the gift for your mom.  If she's anything like my mom, she'll appreciate that all her kids were in on the gift as much if not more, than the gift itself.



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