How To Give A Meaningful Gift To Your Mom
I don't know if we could ever honour our mothers enough for what they have done for us. But we can try. So, here's a guide on how to get your mother a meaningful gift that celebrates her!
By Jasmine Kaur
My mother is the one who inspired me to write this article. Her joy at a yellow dress I gifted her recently made me want to spread the love by writing a short guide on gifting. At the time I didn’t even know how pleased she would be. I just knew that she liked dresses and that she only had a couple and that she wouldn’t be shopping more for herself anytime soon. Partly because there were no good shops in her area and partly because she grew up in a very conservative household and that still holds her back sometimes when it comes to being open about her desires and choices.
So, I took the matter into my own hands. I asked her what kinds of dresses she liked, starting from the basics, e.g. sleeve type, dress length, dress shape and her preferred cloth material. Other than this, the decades I had spent with her had trained me enough to spot some styles she would like. I picked out multiple dresses that fit her preferences and tastes and we settled on one.
We were so excited when it arrived that I got her to try it on almost immediately. We both looked at the dress in awe. We clicked some pictures to capture this moment and send it to my father and my brother. I felt very blessed that I could do this for her when I saw her looking so joyful wearing it. This is when I realised that gifts do not have to be surprises, but can be collaborations. Sometimes you might even have to push the person to think about what they want and then help them on the journey in getting it. I’ve often felt lost when thinking about what to gift my parents, but I know now that it’s not too hard to find clues if I pay attention to them to know what they would like.
The birth of Mother’s Day
Before we dig into finding a great gift for your mother, it might help to look at how Mother’s Day originated. I’d assumed that this day came about as another way for companies to sell more products like greeting cards, but was pleasantly surprised and moved by its story. Anna Marie Jarvis began this tradition because she wanted to honour her mother and her efforts to reunite families during the American civil war. She also felt strongly about acknowledging the importance of mothers, as captured in her own words:
‘I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.’
Anna wanted people to deeply understand the immeasurable love and commitment of mothers. For a while it seemed that the people around her agreed. Sadly, many of them were in this for profit. They could sell more products like greeting cards and novelty items by advertising them as an important part of Mother’s Day celebrations. Looking at the insincere industry growing around the day that was so important to her, she tried to have it abolished. She explained that:
“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”
I think many of us would be on Anna’s side, even though we might not think too harshly of greeting cards. We’d want to celebrate Mother’s Day not out of obligation and generic gifts, but because we truly care about our mothers and acknowledge the extent of what they have done for us. This article is just here to help you show your mother how much you love her and let her know that you care about her needs and wants.
What makes a gift meaningful?
It is personal
The best gifts come from a shared personal space and show that you know the person well. So, avoid generic gifts. In case you can’t, be sure to personalise them, because your mother is likely to cherish your flowers more when they are accompanied by your loving words. Indeed, whatever you chose to gift your mother, a letter would make a great addition to it. Even if you can manage only a few words to express your love for her, do write them down.
It fulfils a want
I have a hunch that some of the best gifts are the ones that a person hasn’t gotten for themselves and likely wouldn’t, but nonetheless would like to have. For example, a perfume your mother would like, but wouldn’t buy because she doesn’t know about it or wouldn’t want to spend that much money on herself. Or a short vacation/spa day she has been putting off due to lack of time. So, keep an ear out when your mother talks about her likes and dislikes. If you find a gem like the examples mentioned, go for it!
It has your thoughts and efforts
Gifts are special when the other person knows that you have personally put effort in creating or procuring the gift. It shows that you actually care and are not just gifting out of obligation.
How to pick a meaningful gift
Make a list!
Think what your mother has been really excited about in the past. Think of what she pays a lot of attention to. Keeping these in mind, make a list of your mother’s interests.
Do some research!
If you feel a bit unclear about some of the stuff on your list, do not worry! Think of questions that would help you gain more clarity. For example, if your mother likes books, you can ask her:
- Whether she prefers fiction or non-fiction
- What genres (e.g. historical fiction, mystery, epic fantasy, magical realism, graphic novels etc.) she enjoys
- What form she prefers books in: e-book, paperback, hardcover, leather-bound, etc.
- What books she has loved
You can also get advice from others. For example, if you know your mother would like some new paints, but you don’t know enough about paints, insights from someone who knows about them would help. All this is likely enough for you to decide on the gift and where to get it from.
In case you still feel a bit stumped, just ask your mother. Like I mentioned in the beginning, gifts can be great without being surprises. In the end, mother’s day is about honouring and celebrating your mother. The gift should contribute to that celebration not stress you out to find the perfect gift.
Also read: Best Mother's Day Gifts For You And Your Mom
About the author:
Written by Jasmine Kaur on 11 May 2019.
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