(BPT) - She nursed you through countless cases of childhood sniffles, taught you to tie your shoes and make a mean omelet, and sheís still your go-to source for good advice and your favorite home-baked cookies. Are you really going to just give Mom a pair of socks and some flowers for Motherís Day? You can do better than that.
In the tradition of a current pop-culture meme, hereís a ďgive this, not thatĒ list of Motherís Day ideas:
Give: Your time. Last year, 44 percent of mothers surveyed by online deal site PriceGrabber said they wanted quality time with their family for Motherís Day. Whether your family includes adult children who live and work far from their childhood home (and Mom) or a busy family with young children, it can be hard to find time to spend with each other on a regular basis. On Motherís Day, make a point of devoting the day to Mom. Whatever you choose to do together Ė dine out, visit a botanical garden or just hang out at home Ė youíll be giving her the gift she wants most: time with you.
Donít give: Stuff. Thereís a difference between a thoughtful gift that has meaning to the recipient, and something clearly bought out of desperation just so the giver has something to hand over on Motherís Day. Moms know the difference. Things like cowboy boots, sunglasses and even designer purses were among the items mothers said they didnít want in a survey by Ebates. Donít wait until the last minute to buy something she may not want. Put some thought into the gift a week or two before the big day so you can be sure youíre giving her something she really wants, like a piece of unique jewelry, her favorite bath products, or an attractive scarf.
Give: A great meal out. Itís easy to understand why dining out was on the list of most-wanted gifts for mothers in every geographic area surveyed by Ebates. What could make Mom happier than enjoying a great meal with her family? Not having to cook it herself or clean up afterward! Taking Mom out for meal is a time-honored Motherís Day tradition and restaurants can be busy on the first Sunday of May. In fact, Chris Ciavarra, senior vice president of marketing for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, reports that Motherís Day is one of the busiest days of the year for their restaurant locations across the country. When choosing a place to take Mom, look for a place that will please her palate with familiar flavors, good food and the kind of warm, comforting ambience she creates in her own dining room or kitchen. Family-style restaurants like Cracker Barrel are a good choice for Motherís Day because thereís something on the menu for everyone. Plus, when Momís done with her meal, she can pick out the perfect gift from the storeís collection of nostalgic items.
Donít give: Practical kitchen items. No matter how much Mom says she wants a new electric can opener or how much she needs a new set of pots and pans, donít give these items on Motherís Day. Moms are more than just the sum of the time they spend in the kitchen. If she really needs and wants those things, why not give them to her at some other time of year, for no other reason than sheís a great mother? Or, if you must give something kitchen-related for Motherís Day, consider something thatís pretty and fun, too, like decorative serve ware. Buy from a store that offers free gift wrapping services Ė like Cracker Barrel Ė and itís even easier to give a good-looking gift.
Give: Gift cards. A gift card to her favorite store was another popular selection of moms surveyed by Ebates. But donít think giving her a gift card is all you have to do. Research to find just the right card for her, and then offer to accompany her on a shopping excursion to her favorite store. That way, youíll be giving her two things she wants most Ė a gift card and time spent with you.
Donít give: Technology. Do you really want to give Mom a smartphone that will be obsolete by next Motherís Day? Or a tablet so complicated sheíll never figure out how to use it on her own? If your motherís digitally inclined, chances are she already has the tech she needs and wants. And if she doesnít, trying to choose it for her can be like trying to pick a pet for someone else Ė never a good idea. Instead, keep gift items simple, personal and nostalgic.
For more Motherís Day gift ideas, gift cards and to learn about special menus for Motherís Day, visit www.crackerbarrel.com.