It’s coming up to Mother’s Day again and for all those who still have their sweet and tender mothers (this also includes wives, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, and anyone who might fall into the “mother” category), trying to find that special gift can be a challenge. 

In particular, searching for something that your mother doesn’t have but may need after many years is like hunting for treasure in the ocean.  

Sometimes asking friends what they are getting for their mothers is usually not so helpful since giving a gift is often a personalized affair. At the same time, trying to understand what NOT to give one’s mother is also important, since you don’t want to send the wrong message. Here’s my short list of items to steer clear from. 

1) Anything that has to do with anti-aging – We’re all going to get old and wrinkly. That’s a fact. But do we have to remind our mother that she might not be as fit and beautiful as when she was young and sprightly? It’s best to sideline these kinds of items since the underlying message might not be so endearing. 

2) Cleaning supplies – If I wanted to make the gift into a joke, I could see giving a bottle of laundry detergent. But come on now — do we really want to tell our mother, “Happy Mother’s Day and now please wash the dirty clothes.”? 

3) A discount card to get a tattoo – If your mother doesn’t have a tattoo and has no interest in getting one, but you have indulged yourself with permanent body wallpaper, this kind of gift is more like imposing your personal fashion taste and style on your mom. But rather than a discount card, a gift card that has a nice healthy amount on it where she can use it wherever she wants, is definitely a good gift choice. 

4) Breakfast in bed – Remember in the old movies where you would see the rich heiress being brought her breakfast on a silver platter in bed? How decadent was that! The reality however is that many of us have grown up with our mothers telling us, “Don’t eat in bed – you’ll get bugs!” But there’s nothing from stopping you from having a gorgeous breakfast catered and having it served at the kitchen or dining room table. Or, if you are a good cook, making it yourself with lots of love will be just fine. 

5) Sports memorabilia – Unless your mom is into the sport and a die-hard fan, this is almost a weird gift. Getting a signed baseball from some MLB player who your mom has never heard of just seems way out of the ballpark. Or getting tickets to go see a match, game or some other sporting event is no different than getting your mother tickets to the opera if she’s just not into it. But of course, a couple of tickets to see her favorite band, singer, actor, or other entertainer would be most welcomed. 

So, what gift do I recommend? You can always give your mom some special flowers or her favorite box of candy, and just spend meaningful time with her. Making her feel valued, appreciated, and loved will be the most precious gift that you can give not only on Mother’s Day, but also on each and every day she is with you. 

Please give my best to your mother for me. 

Nancy Seiverd, President, CMI Credit Mediators, Inc.

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