Showing Mom you care - for $50 or less
May 6, 2010 at 12:06 a.m.
People plan to spend an average $126.90 on Mom this Mother's Day, up from last year's $123.89, according to a National Retail Federation news release. Overall, holiday spending will ring in at $14.6 billion nationwide. Here's what people are spending some of that money on:
$2.9 billion on brunch and dinner
$2.5 billion on bracelet or earring sets
$1.9 billion on flowers
$1.5 billion on gift certificates
$671 million on cards
Source: National Retail Federation news release Is $50 too rich for your blood? Several websites offer Mother's Day craft ideas and more that won't cost a thing. Ideas include:
A scavenger hunt that leads Mom all around the house, eventually to her gift: the couch, the family and a movie
Coupons for everything from a free dog washing to a garden weeding and breakfast in bed
A free cosmetic counter makeover at the local mall
A personal play list or burned CD with songs she'll like
A day off, with the family taking over cooking, cleaning and laundry duties
Sources: About.com, CashMoneyLife.com, Lifestyle.msn.com
She's schlepped kids to dance classes, tended to boo-boos and bragged about her children's MVP T-ball status, lovingly overlooking the fact that they were always tagged out at first.
She's Mom. And Sunday's the day to thank her for all she's done through the years.
But showing Mom you care doesn't have to break the bank. Here, local professionals offer gift options for $50 or less.
Local spas offer many manicures, facials, massages and hair cuts for less than $50, said Dena Buchhorn, who owns Eden Day Spa.
"Second to Christmas, this is our busiest season for gift card sales," she said, explaining spa gifts are good for the person who has everything. "It gives them a chance to just relax and take care of themselves."
Personalized gifts are nice because they show Mom you were thinking specifically about her, said Tammy Hogan, who manages Things Remembered in the Victoria Mall.
Many musical water globes, bookmarks and even pens can be customized with an engraving, she said.
"You can always find something to fit in the budget," Hogan said.
Sweet treats usually make for good Mother's Day presents, said Annie Vahalik, who owns Cookies by Design, the Original Cookie Bouquet.
Vahalik's shop offers colorful cookies in various shapes, from hearts to tulips and more. It can also customize orders to what Mom's like, such as sports or pets.
"Most gifts are under $50," she said. "You can spend however much you want, but you can get a real nice gift for less than $50, for sure."
A good read works well for bookish mothers, said Sherita Miller, who owns Maranatha Book Store.
Romance novels, as well as mysteries and suspense-type books are top sellers among women, although many people have gone in recently looking for books on Texas wildflowers, gardening and the like.
Books are good because, typically, the buyer knows Mom is a reader and knows what she's interested in.
"It's a form of entertainment for them," Miller explained.
Fresh-cut flowers or plants often make good gifts, said Holly Weber, store manager for Expressions Floral and Gifts.
The key there is to keep Mom's interests in mind.
Does she like bright flowers or more subdued colors? Or, would she prefer something she could later add to her garden?
Florists often offer more decorative vases, which Mom can keep around the house as artwork, even after the holiday's over.
"We want to make sure it's a gift where it's a really good experience," Weber said. "Something she can enjoy for days to come."
Jewelry, purses, shoes and other accessories typically go over big, said Victoria Gutierrez, a sales associate at Redesign Home Decor & Gifts.
"Mothers know what they like, and they like things that make them feel good," she said. "Pretty things to accentuate their personality."
People can often find new items within the $50 or less guideline but, if the budget is tighter, buying pre-owned items is another option, Gutierrez said.
A home-cooked meal is always a good option for Mom, said Mike Pozzi, who owns Mike Pozzi Catering. It gives a mother a bit of a break.
"She's probably cooked for her kids her whole life," he said. "For them to cook for her, it's a nice gesture."
He suggested firing up the pits and cooking a pork tenderloin, with German potatoes and a green bean medley for sides.
Bacon-wrapped chicken with jalapenos on the grill makes for a good appetizer, he added.
"That goes good with the time of year and nice weather," he said.