by Jannika Forester
Who run the world? MOMS! Mother’s Day is a little less than two weeks away and the time usually reserved for Facebook stalking and YouTube viewing between your supervisor’s rounds is now spent plumbing the depths of the internet for the perfect gift to express your endless thanks to the woman who so graciously gave you life. In our effort to take some of the pressure off your ungrateful shoulders, we’ve dug up some of the most popular gifts, gadgets, and trends that would wrench affection from the most withering, love-barren ice queens.
Think Mother’s Day isn’t a big deal? For shame! In 2011, insurance company, Insure, valued the unpaid work hours of mothers at an impressive $61,436. That’s more than the average salary of architectural drafters, bailiffs, reporters, and social workers!
But in all seriousness, Mother’s Day is a thriving industry full of people who love they mamas. A total of $16.3 billion was spent on Mother's Day last year according to the National Retail Federation, which, when broken down averages out to about $140.73 per shopper. This statistic is really put into perspective when compared to Father's Day which was just $11.1 billion during 2011. From these numbers it is fair to assume that consumers are buying more expensive treats in larger quantities for mom. If we wanted to get deep into consumer behavior, this disparity in parental favoritism may also provide insight into product lines that are currently available on the market, many of which are designed for a female demographic. To put it down sharply, it appears to me to be a similar conundrum to how Barbie has a million and one clothing options and accessories, but Ken only has, like, a pair of shorts and five Hawaiian shirts.
While the majority of people will spend less than $100, 62%; 20% will spend $100-$249 and only 8% will spend more than $250. 10 percent don’t plan on even making a phone call, sorry mama. Although, my mother professes to love the gifts I make with my own two hands, there are only so many occasions that one can throw a melting macaroni portrait or hand turkey at.
So what are all these doting sons and daughters spending all this dough on? Well, according to a survey of 4,295 U.S. online shoppers conducted by PriceGrabber, a unit of Experian, flowers, the Mother’s Day version of Christmas fruit cake giving, immerged victorious as the winner Mother’s Day gift, with 43% of votes. Gift cards pull in at second, with 22%, then come clothing and accessories, 17%; jewelry or experiential gifts like a voucher for pottery classes or a dinner Groupon, 15%; technology items, 13%; pampering spa packages, beauty treatments, and cosmetics, 9%; home appliances, hello 1950, 4% and sporting goods, 1%. It is also important to note that respondents could make more than one selection.
These are all sort of underwhelming gifts at the surface but if one were to combine items, they could be quite exciting! Here are some of the biggest trends in Mother’s Day gifting to get you on the right track.
Carve it into her heart with Personalized Gifts and Jewelry: $2.3 billion was spent on Mother's Day jewelry in 2009, which amount to approximately 8% of all jewelry sold that year. You’re welcome Dr. Quinn. This isn’t really surprising when one considers the endless collections of heart-shaped, birthstone earring sets, necklaces, and bracelets. You could also customize mugs, tote bags, t-shirts, hats, or just go for the gusto and get a Steve-O style tattoo of mumsie on your person.
Find Something to Suit Her Tastes: Easier said than done. A classic story of mothers saying they don’t need or want anything but your love while looking out the corner of her eye longingly at the old family kayak that hasn’t been used in years. Whether she is fan of getting physical, mystery stories or fashion, there is a world of possibilities that meet the demands of moms on the go. Try some sport sunglasses, bandanas, and hats to accessorize her activities.
Pack Her Up and Ship Her Out: The economy makes this a tricky one, but the nation’s underlying growth has many kids investing in a special parental pilgrimage for Mother's Day treat for 2012. Spa staycations and short out-of-town vacations are wonderful ways to reward mom while allowing her to recharge her batteries. From a weekend away at a cozy B&B to private cooking lesson, there are options to fit different preferences and budgets. Luckily for your jet-setting madre, the months of April and May offer significant discounts to leisure travelers throughout the U.S. and beyond, for those who are wanting to splurge a little on affordable trips to warm, sandy destinations such as Mexico and Florida. Think about picking up a fashionable sun hat, tweed fedora, or a new pair of sunglasses to send her off in style.
1. Pashmina Shawls in many bright colors
2. Peace Sign Scarves
3. Lady Diva Sunglasses
4. Jackie O Sunglasses in various colors
5. Lightweight Tweed Cuban Fedora Hats in a variety of colors
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