By Jen M., contributing writer
Mother’s Day in the United States is annually held on the second Sunday of May; this year it’s Sunday May 14, 2017. It celebrates motherhood and it is a time to appreciate mothers and mother figures. Many people give gifts, cards, flowers, candy, a meal in a restaurant or other treats to their mother and mother figures, including grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers.
10 Mother’s Day Facts
- The festival of Mother’s Day is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates)
- In 1870 a female activist, writer and poet by the name of Julia Ward (she wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) suggested a day of peace and strongly advocated other women to stand up against the war. From this plea she was able to get Boston to recognize mothers on the second Sunday of June.
- Mother’s Day sees around one quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year falling on this holiday. Approximately $14 billion dollars is spent on Mother’s Day.
- In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.
- In what was formerly Yugoslavia, children would tie up their mother on Mother’s Day. The only way she could get free would be to pay her children with treats.
- In the United States alone, around 122 million phone calls are made to moms on Mother’s Day.
- Approximately 65% of card sales occur five days prior to Mother’s Day.
- According to the Insure.com 2015 Mother’s Day Index, the various tasks Moms perform at home would be worth $65,284 (up from $62,985 in 2014) a year in the professional world.
- 80% of moms say yes to having sex on Mother’s Day.
- May 9, 1914 was the day that President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.
10 Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day
What better way to express your love and appreciation of your mother than with a gift that is both beautiful and fragrant? White carnations have long been the most popular choice on this spring holiday but other popular choices are roses, tulips, scented narcissi and daffodils. You can find deals from 1800Flowers, ProFlowers, FTD and others on this site, or stop by Mom’s favorite florist to custom create a bouquet for her.
A fun flower fact: Not only do florists see their biggest sales in May but flowers are believed to be one of the most popular gifts to send Mom on Mother’s Day largely in part because of Anna Jarvis. She sent 500 white carnations to the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, in Grafton, West Virginia with the hope of distributing the mothers. Then onwards, the tradition of sending flowers on Mother’s Day, took root.
Many restaurants offer special menu options, a la carte dining, specials or coupons for mother on their big day. Online sites like Restaurants.com offer great restaurant gift card packages that are often paired with a second gift, and can make dining out a bit more affordable.
Fun Fact: According to the National Restaurant Association, 38% of consumers go out to eat on Mother’s Day, making it the most popular day of the year to dine out. Of those who enjoy a special meal on that day, 62% do so at a restaurant. Of those who dine out, 59% celebrate at dinner, 51% at lunch or brunch and 22% at breakfast, according to a 2006 National Restaurant Association survey.
A gift card is the perfect gift as it takes away the “guesswork”, especially if your mom is on the picky side. Worried that it won’t be personal? Do some digging and find out her favorite store. Maybe a day at her favorite spa or salon. If you have siblings perhaps combine your ideas for a day of pampering – one buys a gift card to a store for a new outfit, another to a salon for a spa day, perhaps another for dinner.
Fun Fact: According to Mother’s Day Statistics 24.7% of mom’s want to receive a gift card on their big day.
There are so many options to choose from – you can find something nice regardless of your budget is. Earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, silver, gold, birthstones and other gifts are usually on sale around the holiday at stores like Zales. Personalization is always a nice touch, as are items that incorporate photos of the kids or grandkids, such as multi charm necklaces or bracelets.
Fun Fact: The average spent on jewelry is $96 per person, or 4.2 billion nationwide.
Speaking of Personalization…
Personalized gifts are great for adding that “extra special” touch. And personalized means much more than getting something engraved. Companies such as Shutterfly (and even Walgreens) have wonderful picture gift options, anything form a t-shirt to a calendar. And they often have specials, too. You can also find a wider selection of personalized gifts at stores like Personal Creations or Personalization Mall, but may brands like Coach will offer the ability to engrave or monogram gifts year round.
Fun Fact: Modern moms have an average family size of two children, while mothers in the 1950s had an average of 3-5 children, and in the 1700s, women gave birth to an average of 7-10 children!
Candles come in so many different colors, shapes, sizes and scents that they make a wonderful gift idea for mom. According to Ebay: Some popular candles that are gifted to mothers are: Peachy Mango Ring candles which contain scented with white peaches, apples, bananas, and ripe mangoes; Lavender lemon scented candles, strawberry rhubarb, vanilla and wild berries. Looking for something a bit more luxurious? Check stores like Ralph Lauren / Polo.
Fun Fact: Mother’s Day is the third largest holiday in the US for sending cards.
I fondly remember those wonderful boxes of chocolates that had all the different kinds – and you never knew what was what without reading the insert that had the candies clearly labeled – or you took a risk and took a bite. But the idea of candy has definitely come a long way from that simple box of chocolates I remember. Now you have such a variety to choose from, everything from chocolate covered strawberries or cherries to Ghiradelli and Lady Godiva, Parisian Pineapples to Champagne Bears.
Fun Fact: Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May.
You can get a gift basket made up of just about anything: candy, gourmet foods, chocolate, coffee, teas, wines, spa essentials, gift cards……from simple and budget friendly to expensive and luxurious. You can even customize your own and do all of it completely online. Of course, you can always make it yourself, for a creative (and possibly even money saving) option.
Fun Fact: Traditionally, India celebrates Mother’s Day for 10 days each year during the month of October.
In this digital age this category holds a lot of excellent options to show mom your appreciation. Some ideas: Kindle or Nook eReaders, iPad or Android tablets, Fitbit or other fitness trackers, laptops, a new iPhone, smart watch, digital picture frame, wifi enabled slow cooker or a smart coffeemaker.
Fun Fact: According to a 2016 survey by the National Retail Foundation:”Shoppers will spend almost the same on clothing and accessories ($1.89 billion) as on electronics ($1.92 billion), but will spend more per item on the latter; that’s why 35.4% of shoppers will give items of clothing as a present to their Mom, while only 13.8% will get them the latest iPad, smartphone or other electronic device.”
Some other popular ideas for Mother’s Day include: travel gifts (this could be as simple as a day trip or an evening cruise), perfume, books, tickets (concerts, sporting events, comedy nights), cookware and kitchen appliances.
Fun Fact: There are 85.4 million moms in the US!
10 Ways to Save on Mother’s Day
Homemade Gifts, Part 1: Make Memories, Don’t Buy Them
A picture really IS worth 1,000 words and you can make some wonderfully creative gifts that will be treasured for years to come. A photo collage can be fairly inexpensive to make – collect pictures from family and friends and create a montage of memories in a picture frame. Or even on a large piece of poster board that you can have laminated. You can also buy multi picture frames from the dollar store or retailers such as Target or Walmart – or create your own! Sites like Pinterest can help you find creative ideas. Another idea is a Memory Book – pictures, newspaper clippings from important days, handwritten memories from friends and family, poems, artwork…….
Save On Flowers and Other Gifts with Online Coupons & Discounts
Most online retailers offer coupons and discounts for Mother’s Day starting about 3 weeks out. In addition to standard % and $ off discounts, you can sometimes find offers for things like free engraving or monogramming. If you tend to wait to the last minute (see #5 below!) you will also likely find offers for free or discounted expedited shipping. Also, if you do not have Amazon Prime you can sign up for a free 30 day trial and take advantage of free shipping on thousands of items.
A Mom Day
If your spouse or girlfriend is a mother of young kids consider a “Mom” day. Let her sleep in, bring her breakfast in bed, complete with homemade cards, set up a “Mom Spa” in the living room where you can offer manicures and pedicures, mom does no chores for the day……..the idea is to be creative and show mom how much she is appreciated. Depending on the ages of the kids they can help a little, a lot or not at all. But, that is what it is all about, right? Appreciation for a Mom, whether she is your own mom or your kid’s mom.
If you don’t have very young kids (or, alternatively, older kids that are out of the house) you can still be creative – start the day of with breakfast in bed, perhaps a nicely written poem in place of the handmade cards, a more adult “Mom Spa Day” featuring a massage, and you can still do those manis / pedis!! But you get the idea. Make the day all about her.
Homemade Gifts, Part 2: Gifts From the Heart
There are so many options that can be made fairly inexpensively. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- A Coupon Book that she can “redeem” throughout the year and could include things like a Mom/Daughter or Son Day (if it is for your mom), Get Out Of Doing This One Chore For The Day, A Massage (For Spouse), etc.
- A customized Gift Basket that you make yourself – it can be themed (food, travel, music, beauty, etc.), it can contain items bought from a Walmart or Dollar Store, or Cost Plus World Market, and you can even load it up with a bunch of $5 Starbucks gift cards or $2 scratch-off lottery tickets.
- A Book Of Recipes that you can put together from online recipes or from friends and relatives.
- A home cooked meal, a opposed to visiting a crowded restaurant. Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for most restaurants (Believe me, I know. I managed restaurants for years!)
- Flowers that you picked yourself.
- A poem or song.
- Take the kids out for the afternoon and let mom have the whole house to herself!
Plan ahead – Place Orders / Make Reservations in Advance
Most of us will spend more money if we wait until the last minute, since we have lower standards and do not want to get stuck empty handed. Also, many flower delivery places have cheaper delivery fees if you have the order delivered on the Friday (or sometimes even the Saturday) before.
Airline Miles or Reward Points
If you have a credit card that has reward points (airline, hotel, etc.) consider giving them to mom to use for a trip or a weekend getaway. You can even go with her and make the experience twice as nice.
A Group Gift
If you have siblings, you can all contribute to a group gift and share the cost.
Deliver Flowers Yourself
Many flower shops charge a service fee and a delivery fee. You can save the fees if you simply purchase the flowers and deliver them yourself. Just be aware that some florists charge more for flowers than the online florists, so ensure you’re getting a great deal.
Make A Card
Cards are expensive. But, you can easily make one online, for free, and either print it or email it. You can even include a photo! Another option that I use myself on a regular basis is Walgreens Photo. You can design your own cards, with or without a photo, for as little as $1.99 each. And most have same day pickup!
Simple Can Be Just As Nice
There are many free or low cost activities that you could do with the mom in your life. Go on a picnic, spend the day at the beach, go hiking, bowling, boating, go exploring (take a drive and see where you end up), take a class, cook dinner together, etc. In the end, what she really wants is to spend time with you…. you could even watch a movie from our list below.
Popular Mother’s Day Movies
What better way to spend the day than watching some of these favorites:
- Mrs. Doubtfire
- Julia and Julia
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Erin Brockovich
- Steel Magnolias
- The First Wives Club
- The Kids Are Alright
- The Sound of Music
- Rabbit Hole
- Ricki and the Flash
- Freaky Friday (The original and the 2003 remake)
- Terms of Endearment
- Places in the Heart
- Mamma Mia
- The Turning Point’
- And, last but not least……Mommie Dearest
10 Funny Mother’s Day Quotes
“Somebody up there has got it in for me. I bet it’s my mother.” – Mamma Mia
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.” – Phyllis Diller
“I can’t believe you’re going to a therapist. You know, they’re totally going to ask you about me … They always want to ask about your mother. It’s OK. Say whatever you want. But make sure you start with “my mother’s very hot.” –Gilmore Girls
“I just want you to know, if you ever need anything, don’t be shy, OK? There are NO rules in the house. I’m not like a *regular* mom, I’m a *cool* mom.” – Mean Girls
“Oh, Harry, you’re an angel. If your mother hadn’t been such a bitch, we could’ve shared something important.” – Beaches
“My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump
“When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” – Erma Bombeck
“My mother tried to kill me when I was a baby. She denied it. She said she thought the plastic bag would keep me fresh.” – Bob Monkhouse
“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t Fool Mom.” – Captain Penny
“Of course I have a secret identity. Can you see me in this at the, at the supermarket? Come on! Who’d want to go shopping as Elastigirl, know what I mean?” – The Incredibles