Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday as my mum would insist) is fast approaching in the UK. I always say it is one of my favourite days of the year, much nicer than a birthday because you have a lovely day without being any older. And as I’m writing this post, I’m smiling because a funny thing happened when we were having drinks with a group of friends after Christmas.
As the women were discussing what presents they had unwrapped on Christmas Day, everything they mentioned seemed very familiar. As I looked across the table and caught their husbands’ eyes, it dawned on me that although my female friends show no interest in my blog, their husbands clearly do… and later they told me quietly that they have come to rely on me for gift ideas. So with that in mind, here are some thoughtful gift ideas for Mother’s Day – maybe you’ll spot something you never knew you wanted too.
Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother’s Day
52 weeks of happiness
This is a pricey gift but I’m going straight in with the one I am hoping for. It is a photo frame with 52 apertures and the idea is that you record a year of your life. As you know, this year is a big one for me because I will be entering a new decade. I would really like to start this now because my birthday itself will fall in the middle of the GCSEs so the celebrations will be a little muted. This gives me the excuse to start having fun now to compensate for that and keep it going all year long… and I know it’s an expensive present but if you think about it, it is practically a piece of furniture – or art… you may be sensing that this is a pitch to Mr MC… you could be right!
Happiness Journal – again!
Continuing on the Project Happier theme, I mentioned this Happiness Journal on Midlifechic when I ordered it a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve actually started using it, I want to suggest it again. It is a really great tool for keeping happiness at the forefront of your planning. The first section is a series of short exercises that help you to identify what you really want from life (as opposed to what you think you want). These are then followed by sections on goal setting and tracking to help you achieve it. You make new plans every month and there are three-monthly assessment pages to make sure you stay on top of your progress.
I filled mine in one Sunday afternoon and it made me realise that I could easily be happier if I stopped filling my time with things I felt I ought to do and instead scheduled some of the things I want to do, giving myself permission to do them. It sounds a bit silly and unnecessary and I agree that a lot of what you cover is common sense. However I find that my common sense often gets buried beneath the hamster wheel of life and I’m really enjoying this little project.
A gift that will bloom for Mother’s Days to come
It’s always nice to get a bunch of flowers but it’s so sad when they die. Each Spring when the daffodils come up in our garden I smile because I remember planting them with our youngest on the day before he started primary school. It felt very symbolic at the time and it still does. This magnolia will flower beautifully in the garden around Mother’s Day for years to come and it will be extra special if it is planted out with love by the person who bought it.
A thoughtful candle
When my mum went into the local hospice it was nearly Christmas. She was desperate to buy us gifts so the nurses wheeled her round to the hospice shop. She gave me candle that simply says “To my daughter to remind you every day that you’re loved.” It wasn’t beautifully designed and she was a bit apologetic about it being all she could get but actually she couldn’t have found anything better. Every morning I look at it and remember that wherever she is, she’ll still be busy loving me.
I can’t vouch for the quality of the fragrance of this candle but it is a lovely design and once it has been used, it would make a lovely pot for pencils or make-up brushes. Because it is a bespoke item you will need to order it quickly though.
This is another bespoke item, the idea is that you are wearing the birthstones of your children so it is a little more subtle than having their names engraved around your neck.
However if you like names (and after all, you chose them), this is the nicest necklace I have seen. You can change the stone so for example, if my sons ever happened to buy this for me, they could choose a garnet which would be perfect as it is our surname (just dropping more hints for the future). You can also commission different numbers of rings in different finishes so you could choose single colourways of silver, yellow gold or rose gold if you preferred.
A shortbread subscription
As they say, where there’s cake there’s hope and I am a firm believer in that. It’s lovely to have a gift that keeps on arriving after Mother’s Day and it’s always good to support a small company. You can subscribe for 3 or 6 months and a different flavoured shortbread will be delivered each month.
A Herdy umbrella
This is a bit random I know but umbrellas are the one thing that I collect because we use them a lot up here! The Herdy Fund is based in the Lake District and it helps to support projects with the upland sheep farmers. There are lots of other lovely products too, all inspired by the local Herdwick sheep which are a particularly hardy breed.
These have to be the coolest slippers around. I like the fact that they have interchangeable soles so you can switch them over if you are wearing them to potter around the garden (I brought the ‘shoes off at the door’ habit up here from the South. Northerners find it highly offensive but they’re used to me now).
Each pair you buys comes with a set of extra soles in the colour of your choice.
Silver ballet shoes
These are a classic choice for a woman of any age, chic and timeless. They’re so lovely for summer and surprisingly difficult to find in the shops.
Phone charging handbag mirror
Everything has to multitask these days and I think this could definitely earn a place in your handbag. It’s a mirror that also acts as an emergency phone charger, such a good idea and also available in blush pink.
If in doubt…
…there’s always Chanel. Who wouldn’t love to have a Chanel lipstick in their bag – it’s the satisfying high quality ‘click’ as it closes that I love. ‘Coco’ is the iconic colour choice, developed and worn by Coco Chanel herself but there are plenty of other shades too.
So hopefully that has helped and my friends will now receive more than a bunch of petrol station flowers on the big day! In the meantime, I thought I’d just share a little mothering story of my own from this week because I suspect you might relate to it.
The middle son is heavily burdened at the moment. Because of the new GCSE syllabus, his school has introduced a second set of mock exams which he is taking this week. He is also staying late at school every night rehearsing for a performance that has made it through to the next round of the National Youth Theatre selections.
Now as you know, Mr MC is a total neat freak but over the years I have fought for the boys’ bedrooms to remain beyond his realm. As you can imagine I spend a lot of time shutting doors so that he just can’t see what lies beyond! Recently though, even I have had to admit that the middle son’s room was getting beyond bearable and so to make it a slightly nicer space for him to inhabit during this tough time, we’ve been venturing in and tidying up a bit.
We have both noticed recently that his school trousers are looking very short. We just assumed that he’s grown again and have been quietly hoping to make it through to June and his last days of school uniform without buying any more. Last night though he came downstairs for a rare visit and the conversation went like this:
Son: “I know you’re busy but is there any chance of any washing being done around here soon?”
Me: “Why what’s the matter – do you need something for your play?”
Son: “No it’s just that I’ve been wearing this same pair of Year 10 trousers for weeks now because I never get any clean ones back in my room.”
Mr MC: “Have you looked in your wardrobe? I hung them in there at least a fortnight ago.”
Son (shaking his head in confusion): “My wardrobe! Why on earth would I think of looking in there?”
With that I wish you a happy weekend!
Mid season sales
Marks and Spencer – be quick
Whistles sale – up to 50% off
Joules – ends Sunday