By Tamra Booth, Keeeps
Mother’s Day is just around the corner (Sunday 14th March), and this year I am determined to avoid a last-minute dash. My own teenage kids are currently challenging my patience with their rampant hormones, and I think I may be feeling a slither of sympathy for my own mother. I am also aware of the fact she is not getting any younger and that I am lucky to have her around. So, this year I am going to put some thought into it.
Let us look at the options for Mother’s Day presents and find some ideas that will not end up in the present drawer. First of all, avoid clutter. A 2012 study done at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) discovered that managing a large amount of possessions was linked to increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in women.
By the time you reach a certain age, us mums have had enough of clutter, so avoid ‘bits and bobs’ like paperweights, coffee table books, and ornaments, unless you can guarantee your mum will love it. Whatever you buy, make sure it is something she will use, or an experience she will definitely enjoy.
Flowers are the obvious, classic choice. If you have siblings, as I do, it can mean your mum will end up spending half the day arranging flowers and looking for something to put them in as she has used up all her vases. So, a vase is a great idea for extra brownie points. Glass vases annoy me as you can see the water getting dirty, although it is quite handy to see when the water is low. A handmade pottery vase is perfect, individual and is especially thoughtful if you buy flowers to go with it too. Or actually, come to think of it, a gorgeous plant in a statement plant pot. There is a big house plant revival at the moment, and so why not buy a stand-out, handmade plant pot (from Keeeps or Etsy) and then pop to your local garden centre or flower stall to find a suitable lovely succulent. These green specimens are all the rage.
An often-overlooked category for mums’ presents is tech. If your mum goes for walks or exercises, go for AirPods or noise cancelling wireless headphones. And for avid readers, Kindles are brilliant. Something I quite like the idea of, is the robot vacuum cleaner that does the hoovering for you. Whilst literally no mum would want a vacuum cleaner for a present, this is a neat solution as it says, ‘Mum, I want you to spend less time vacuuming and more time on yourself’.
If you want to buy something a bit ‘luxe’, scented candles are always good, albeit a bit pricey. Jo Loves, NEOM Organics and Beauty Pie are my current faves. Cosmopolitan wrote a great article recently listing the best scented candles if you want more inspiration.
The trend for handmade, homegrown and eco-friendly products is therefore definitely something to consider when buying for your mum. We are seeing an important shift in our culture following Brexit and Covid, and this is having an influence on consumer purchasing and demand. There is a growing local-centric focus, with increasing concern for well-being and the environment.
Buy from UK craftsmen and businesses that care and that you can trust. Presents that encourage creativity and engagement with others, mindful gifts such as handmade functional pottery, jewellery from local jewellers, handmade aprons, art workshop experiences, flower arranging classes, natural skincare products. Check out your area’s local Facebook page for ideas. Or find your local foodie influencer on Instagram to find the best foodie gifts in your area. At Keeeps, we buy all our pottery pieces from UK studio potters, supporting craftsmanship is key. If you give a gift that has a relevant story about the maker, process, origin of ingredients or product, then this makes a truly meaningful present for your mum that they will treasure and appreciate.
If you are nervous about buying something but have found a website you like, go for a gift voucher, especially for the fussier mums. Gift vouchers are stress-free and as long as you buy it from a great store, then you will get a big thumbs up. Go for vouchers that look snazzy, no e-vouchers, but real ones that are smart and attractive.
The best-looking gift vouchers for women we have seen are Selfridges (comes in a stylish yellow wallet, and lots of luxury goods on offer), Space NK (huge variety of excellent beauty products), Keeeps Pottery (beautifully presented and lots of choice of homeware and kitchenware), or try your local beauticians, spa or hotel (afternoon teas are always a hit) as they usually have smart gift vouchers too.
And finally, WHAT NOT TO BUY your mum on Mother’s Day – anything to do with housework or appliances, except maybe a kitchen accessory that they have suggested they would love, like a juicer or blender for healthy drinks and treats. Avoid cheap perfume, tatt, joke presents, clothes (mums are very particular about what they wear and the size they want), random experience days (comedy clubs, paintballing etc!).
And do not leave it to the last minute, as you will definitely end up buying something that they will politely pretend to like. Mums are generally pretty thoughtful, so make sure you make them feel special on their day, like you have taken time (not necessarily money) to think about them.
My Top 10 tips for Mother’s Day present buying:
- Avoid what could be considered ‘clutter’.
- Ask yourself, will she REALLY use it? What evidence do you have that she will like your chosen gift?
- If you go for flowers, be different, try dried flowers that last, or a beautiful vase to go with it.
- Do not dismiss tech presents, such as AirPods and Kindles.
- Luxe presents such as scented candles are a winner.
- Look for handmade products – pottery (cake stands, lemon squeezers, vases, pestle and mortar etc), cakes, jams, chocolate, soap, jewellery and more. Look for local foodie and community pages and influencers on Instagram for inspo.
- Buy from small, local businesses. Find ideas on your local Facebook community page.
- Gift vouchers are a great option, but do not buy an e-voucher, order a physical one from a really beautiful store.
- Functional presents are best but stay clear of housework related gifts!
- Do not buy last minute, put some thought into it!
Good luck buying a Mother’s Day present – whether for your mum, stepmum, or mother-in-law – and remember, a little bit of forethought will go a long way to showing how much you care and appreciate her. After all, that is all they want.
Happy Mother's Day!
- The Clutter Culture - Feature - UCLA Magazine Online
- Best robot vacuums in 2021: Top picks according to reviews in the UK (mashable.com)
- 16+ Best Scented Candles | Top Cheap, Natural and Luxury Candles (cosmopolitan.com)
- DIY craft trends that will sell well in 2021 | ebadges (e-badges.net)
- The homemade trend in the spotlight - Premium Beauty News
- Best gift cards 2021: from trainers to tech | T3
- Best smoothie makers 2021 – top blenders - BBC Good Food