Staying in the good books on Mother´s Day

30 Mar 2011


It’s been a little more than three months since I grinned, charitably, after opening another dreadful Christmas present from my mother.

Mother’s Day presents? I’m still reeling from Christmas shopping…

“Sum 41’s greatest hits – great! I haven’t listened to them since I was 13 and had black, spiky hair,” I exclaimed, through gritted teeth. “Thanks, Mum!”

It’s something of an inside joke in my family that Mum is a terrible gift-buyer. After Christmas dinner, we secretly compare novelty socks, hideous jumpers and a collection of postcards featuring water towers – then we argue over who she bought the worst present for. How else are we to decide who is the favourite child?

But with Mother’s Day approaching, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge…

Mum does her own line in fake smiles when accepting presents. What’s it going to be this year? Flowers? Chocolates? All accompanied by a pink card with a nauseating message that I probably haven’t even read. She must wonder what she has raised.

Like a good son should, this year I have vowed not to disappoint my mother… at least not when it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, anyway. So I am avoiding the annual last minute dash to the local petrol station to pick up melted chocolates and whatever wilted flowers are left.

Fearing my imagination might let me down, I asked my mum what she wanted a couple of weeks back. But that was no good either – all I got were ambiguous answers.

As far as I could tell, her shopping list consisted of ‘an easy life’ and ‘some peace and quiet’. Dixons don’t sell either. Yes, I checked.

So I am going to have to engage my grey matter and think about what puts a genuine smile on Mum’s face.

What every mum who craves ‘an easy life’ really wants is a robotic vacuum cleaner, so they can leave all the hard work to a clever piece of kit.

I used to vacuum the house for a fiver on Saturdays and she loved shouting ‘you’ve missed a bit’ – an accusation she won’t be able to hurl at the Samsung NaviBot. And even if she does, I don’t think it’ll be listening.

While the NaviBot tackles those hard to reach areas, Mum will want to put her feet up and sip on a lovely cup of coffee. She’s been keen on George Clooney ever since we bought her the ER boxset, so the Nespresso coffee maker he endorses should be just what she’s after.

A mother is rarely happier than when she’s spending time with the family. But now the age of gathering round a piano for a sing-song on a Sunday afternoon has passed, I’m going to have to be more inventive. Besides, I can’t afford a piano.

The Nintendo Wii should keep the old intra-family rivalry alive and help burn off that substantial Sunday roast. I wouldn’t be surprised if it tempted her to swap her kickboxing classes on a Thursday evening in favour of hours on a balance board while she plays Nintendo Wii Fit Plus.

Given the amount of time she’ll spend exercising, you would have thought Mum would just want to put her feet up. But no, I can guarantee she’ll be out on her bike, stopping only to take arty pictures of the scenery.

Maybe a new digital SLR camera will help her get better snaps. If she really wants to take it seriously then there’s always photo editing software to add cool touches to her handywork. They’ll be showing her snaps before the weather forecast once more!

A few clicks on my web browser and I’m done – Mother’s Day is sorted and all without the stress I usually put myself through to get a mediocre present.

The only worry is that she’ll expect me to put this amount of thought into birthdays and Christmas from now on.

What have you bought your mum for Mother’s Day? Is she difficult to buy for? Comment below…